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Thursday, 24 July 2014

Throwback Thursday | "Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards."

I know you've been thinking 'Where the hell is Charley?', but I've been a busy little bee recently. Between getting paint on myself more than the walls, knocking down parts of the house and working in the pub, I've not really found the time to write anything which has lead me to being completely lost in the blogging world. I've been through so much in the last few months, so I should have lots to write about but stringing a coherent sentence together has felt like the most impossible of tasks. 

Finally, a little inspiration has been thrown my way. A series of 'Throwbacks'. While searching for my NI number, Danny and I came across photos of him and his brother when they were children. I don't know about you, but nothing makes me happier than to reminisce looking through photos. Most of the time I wonder what the hell my parents were thinking putting me in those clothes, but thats the 90's for you, I suppose; a wonderful array of tie-dye, braids, too much denim and dungarees.

This week, I'm going to show you a few photos from my youngest years.
Baby Charley | Young Charley & Nanny P | Older Baby Charley

Back in the day, when technology wasn't as advanced as it is now, everything was recorded via camcorder, a fancy mashup of a camera and a recorder, something that I doubt people born any time after 2000 will know of. I remember being sat in the living room at Christmas, rummaging through the mounds of presents under the tree to find the ones that belonged to me. My dad would grab his huge camera and film us opening our presents. My parents have a video somewhere of me opening a gift, getting cellotape stuck to my finger and I couldn't get it off at all. They joked that they would send it in to You've Been Framed, though the £250 would be lovely.

Little Beth, Little Charley, Baby Dan | Cool Charley

The first picture is of my friend from school, me and my brother. The garden in our old house backed onto a lane where all the garages were, but to us it was a playground. Many a time have there been waterfights, arguements and blood. Dan managed to cut his head open after falling off his bike,  I took him up to see mum in the house and she placed her hand on his head to rub it better and sent him on his way, little did she know that her hand was covered in blood. Needless to say, she screamed at us both and took him straight to hospital.

I have so many incredible memories of my childhood, being able to just look at an old photo and be transported back to that memory is amazing. Especially now, as I've moved away from home and get homesick from time to time, looking through these images has made me feel at peace. It's so easy to get caught up in your life now, that you never look back at what you've done, what you've been through. I highly recommend searching for some old photos if you have the time. You never know what memory you'll come across, but be warned, you might not ever forgive your parents for their style choices.

Note To Charley: Don't ever forget where you've come from. Remind yourself of what you've been through and be thankful that you are where you are today.

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Summer Essentials | "The tans will fade but the memories last forever."


Summer is looming, and the sun looks as though it's trying to peek its lovely head through the clouds (finally!), so it's time to top up on our must have products for this time of year. If you're like me, and the sun is really not your friend then I can relate when you say that Summertime is not your favourite season. Countless freckles inhabiting your entire body, having to spend a million pounds on Factor 50 every single week and even then only getting a tan that is really just sunburn in disguise. 



I purchased this product from Morrisons at £3.99, while it was on offer, mainly because I'm so pale and wanted to see if this sort of thing actually worked. I'm secretly hoping this might turn me into some sort of Greek Goddess... a girl can dream right? I decided to try it out today and my god, the smell is incredible. It's a mixture between apricot and coconut, it just smells like a dream, a wonderful dream where I've been transported to a beach with the sun beating down on my body, an ice cream in hand. 
Honestly, I've never had a moisturiser work so well. It is fast absorbing, which is great for people who can't afford to wait ages for it to soak in and it leaves you feeling gorgeously smooth, soft and sexy.





Marc Jacobs Daisy 'Eau So Fresh' 125ml £68
daisy


If I had to go for the rest of my life with only one perfume, it would be this one without a doubt. I loved it so much the first time I bought it that my boyfriend bought me another bottle for Easter this year. Oh my God, it just makes me smell like a beautiful Summer day. Marc Jacobs has an amazing range of perfumes that all have a beautiful scent and are completely different to anything you've had before. To top it all off, they come in the cutest little bottles (as you can see...), which can make really lovely decorative pieces when you've used up all your perfume.
It may be a little bit pricey, but it's 100% worth the money. If you can't afford it yourself, put it on a christmas/birthday wishlist. You won't regret it.

barry m

Any of you that read my blog know that I absolutely swear by Barry M for nail polish (and usually lipstick if I'm looking for a lovely colour). They bring out new ranges or shades every couple of months which is fan-bloody-tastic if you're like me and can't wait to get your hands on a new colour to paint your nails (and fingers...)
The polishes you see to your left are my must haves for Summer this year; Lemon Ice Cream,
 Prickly Pear & Greenberry (Gelly Hi Shine), Meadow & Mist (Silk). 

I'm currently sporting Lemon Ice Cream, which needs a fair few coats before it is opaque but when it's dried it leaves you with a nice glossy finish as you can see here. Who doesn't want their nails to resemble ice cream?





make up
Mac Lipstick in Russian Red £15
L'OrĂ©al Paris Superliner £6.99
Kate Moss Rimmel in 31 £5.49 

I'm a huge lipstick fan. Matte is my favourite as I find that the finish is much better and lasts longer than others I've tried. These are both red statement lipsticks which I find (along with corals) are the best for Summer. Especially for us pale girls, corals (as pretty as they are) can often not suit our pigmentation and make us look drowned out. What is better than a beautiful, bold statement red? Nothing. That's right. Superliner is my absolute favourite eyeliner. I completely swear by it. A nice thin 'cat eye' is perfect for this time of year and this one is so easy to apply.
All we need now is a high waisted bikini and we have 2014's new pin up girl... oops.



So there you have it, my 'Summer Essentials' for this year.
I've recently tried out the Garnier Summer Body moisturiser with a hint of tan and it has actually worked. Overnight my legs (and hands...) have become a slightly glowing tan colour which is incredible considering they were porcelain. I really didn't expect it to work as well as it has. 10/10 would recommend to anyone looking for a little bit of colour.

Do you have any products you would recommend?

Monday, 16 June 2014

Love Is Golden | "Love is composed of a single soul inhabiting twobodies."

anniversary

At the weekend my grandparents celebrated their Golden Wedding anniversary. How amazing is that? 50 years putting up with the good, the bad and the ugly from the person you love, dealing with imperfections as though they don't exist. That's what love is, isn't it? Seeing through the flaws because the good is just so much better. I always thought that being in love would be easy, a really smooth ride, but it isn't. If it was, it would be boring. You have to fight through the bad times to really appreciate the good ones. We are so obsessed with the idea of 'Prince Charming' that we forget that he doesn't exist. If you really do love someone, you'll love who they really are, not who you want them to be. 

Love is special, and a love as special as my grandparents is one that should be cherished. We arranged a large party for the whole family to get together to celebrate the most wonderful couple we know. Family flew over from Ireland and travelled from parts of the UK to be there which goes to show how much we care about them. Over the years, they've continually shown every family member and friend an unlimited amount of care and affection, and that day we all came together to shown them our gratitude for everything they've done for us. Being a big Irish family there was mountains of food, a beautiful cake and plenty of drink. As the night progressed, the alcohol flowed and we all found ourselves dancing (I have a video on my instagram) in a big circle to an Irish folk band. That was my Nan's idea of course, and boy was it a great one. It was such a brilliant night, I'd do it again in a heartbeat (even if I woke up with a fuzzy head...).

I feel so privileged to have been bought up in such a strong, loving family. Anyone that knows my grandparents have nothing but nice things to say about them. I quote "They are one of a kind", and it's true. Their generosity and dedication to their loved ones always amazes me, we could be taking them out for a meal, and the naughty grandparents will insist on paying. If anyone needed help, they'd make sure that they could do something, no matter how busy they may already be. No matter who you are, you will be welcomed into their home with open arms. Infact, if someone was to just turn up when we're having a get together at their house they'd be asked to join us. During the Christmas period, family and all our close friends (it starts as 10 people and soon enough there are 30 throughout the day...) are invited to a boxing day banquet at their beautiful home, (my nan can't just cook for a few people, she'll make enough to feed 100 people). We will drink, gorge ourselves on divine food and play quiz games until the early morning. I wouldn't change my family for anything. Why would I when they're already the best I could ask for? 

50 years is a huge milestone. Marriages never seem to last these days and I don't know if it's down to people jumping in too quickly, not being as in love as they think or just the time we live in now. My grandparents got married a year after they started dating, and my Granddad said he loves her as much now as he did back then. We were talking about how they met and when he knew she was the one, he lit up, the smile across his face was that of a child in a sweet shop. Seeing just how much they love each other really makes my heart melt. Theirs is a love like no other. You know when you just know someone is with their soulmate? It's like that with those two. They bicker, they argue, they laugh, they smile. They are simply perfect for each other. If I could be as happy and in love with Danny in 50 years time as they are now, I will be one happy old lady. 

party




Wednesday, 11 June 2014

Springtime | "The glow of one warm thought is to me worth more than money."

I bet you didn't think I could be doing much more with my life than working non stop and buying things for my house, did you? Here is a little peek into my life for the last month.

I've just created a Facebook page for 'Note To Charley' so go ahead, click this link and like the page.

McBUSTED @ LG Arena, Birmingham
3rd May 2014
mcbusted
For weeks, this was the thing I was looking forward to the most. Meeting up with my favourite girls and dancing to our favourite band (plus 2/3 of Busted). I wouldn't have met any of them without McFLY so seeing them with anyone else would just be wrong. I love the fact that a band can bring so many people together. Tour time is my favourite.
First off, we met up with some McFriends for lunch and a catch up, then waltzed back to the hotel that Abby and Amber were staying in to have a few drinks and a chat. The support acts were pretty rubbish at the gig so we skipped them and made our way in on the cool air shuttle from the airport to LG Arena. Megan had booked the tickets and we had great seats so there was no rush to be there. It turned out that the seats were so great that they were only a few feet away from the B Stage. Awesome, right?
Even though there were fewer McFLY songs than I would have liked, it was great to reminisce my childhood with Busted. I know I'm not the only one, but I really do hope that McFLY come back as themselves and let McBUSTED go out on a high, rather than pushing away the die hard fans that got them where they are now.
The best part of the whole night was getting to experience it all with my best friends, and I wouldn't have changed it for anything. Not even a kiss from Dougie Poynter...


Katy Perry @ LG Arena, Birmingham
14th May 2014
katy perry
 Okay, so I've never been a huge 'recent' Katy Perry fan. She's released the odd recent song that I've liked but I always preferred her older songs. Danny managed to get us tickets on Tickets For Troops, which is a great website that gives free tickets to people in the military. We queued from 3pm so I could get Danny as near to the front as possible (he's a little bit in love with KP) and we ended up right on the barrier. The photos you see above aren't even zoomed in. She started with her popular single, Roar, in which she arrived in a prism (shock...) and began what became the best concert I'd been to in my life.
The whole concert was split into sections; Prismatic, Egyptian, Cat-oure, Acoustic, Throwback, Hyper Neon, Encore and each of these required another gorgeous costume. Honestly, the Acoustic section was the most incredible thing I've ever seen. She came to the front of the stage and performed a few songs up close with the crowd. By The Grace Of God is the most beautiful song I've heard for a long time and completely relates to me so when she sang it, a few tears may have fallen out of my eyes. If you've not heard it before, please go and listen to it. Infact, let me help you. Click here and you'll be transported to the beautiful sounds of KP. It was the first time I'd ever seen the super confident Katy Perry look vulnerable and dare I say it, human. We put celebrities on pedestals and sometimes, I think that we can easily forget that they are real people, just like us. Katy's new single, Birthday, was the second to last song she performed and being the wonderful person she is, revolved the whole song around a competition winner who's birthday it was that night. Talk about the best birthday present ever, right?
All in all, I would 10/10 recommend you go and see her if you get the chance to.


Red Arrows Arrival @ RAF Scampton, Lincolnshire
8th June 2014
red arrows
Sunday bought out the plane geek in me. Somehow I got wind that Red Arrows would be arriving at RAF Scampton around 6pm and being someone that has never seen them before, really wanted to go. Danny, being the lovely person that he is, gave up his evening and drove there to take me to see them land. We found somewhere to park and walked across a field to the end of the runway. There were a few people there already with their children, getting all excited to see a national treasure. Luckily for us, the Red Arrows did a little display before they landed and I don't think I've ever been so awestruck in my life. A few of the pilots waved to their admirers on the ground as they flew over our heads, ready to land. This experience has just made me so excited to be attended the RAF Waddington Air Show in July (which my family are coming to visit for... even more exciting!).

So there you have it. A little look into the not very interesting but hectic life of Charley. It may not be a lot but it's mine. I have so much to look forward to in the coming months and feel so lucky to be in the position that I am now. Maybe I don't have everything I ever wished for, but I have everything that I have ever needed and that's the important thing. For the first time in a long time, I can finally say that I am happy with where I am in my life. If there were one thing I could change, it would be that my family were closer, but I have the joy of them coming to see me for a weekend soon.

Note To Charley: Don't take your family for granted. Spend as much time with them as you can. You'll miss them far more than you ever expected to. 

Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Home Wishlist | "Home is where our story begins"


So, it seems that now the house sale is going through pretty smoothly (hooray!), looking for furnishing has become my most favourite past time. I've gathered a couple (quite a lot) of my favourite and most wanted items to show you because I'm just SO excited. 
wishlist

Danny and I have absolutely fallen in love with this bed. Unfortunately, it's around £400 out of our budget. Donations will be accepted. It's only taken a few months but I've also finally persuaded him to let me have a Vanity table in the bedroom and I think that the photo frame would compliment it. Last Christmas, I bought his mother a wax burner and it's quickly become one of my favourite purchases. It's a gorgeous accessory for anywhere in the house and the melted scented wax tarts smell absolutely beautiful. I just have to have one. 
candles

Anyone that knows me can tell you that candles are my weakness. Moving up to Lincoln, I had an entire box dedicated to my candles. So it only seems fitting that there would be at least one candle in my wishlist. I find that Next do a really great range of boxed candles which I think look really lovely. I'm a real storage freak. I like things to have their place but without being cluttered. These pretty little storage boxes would be so great for make up. Another wax burner... how predictable of me. Honestly, I don't think you can have too many. Wouldn't it just look so lovely on the mantlepiece of the fire we're getting? Just imagine it! 

furniture

Everybody needs a dining table and this one is absolutely gorgeous. I absolutely love the chairs and how they are different to what you'd usually see around a dining table. They look like they'd be so comfortable. Cushions are probably my favourite accessory after candles and these are just so cute. I'll never have them because Danny hates wordy cushions, but a girl can dream right? Here we go, more storage, how exhilarating. Isn't the chest just the cutest though? You could have it at the end of the bed with all your bits and bobs in. I can just imagine it already, it's getting me all giddy. The chest of drawers is part of a furniture set we are getting. We went to view these at B&M and completely fell in love with them. The fact they are so reasonably priced makes them even better. 

The day we get the keys to our new house and can finally start buying things properly will be the best day ever. It's the start of our lives together and it's so important that we incorporate both of us into the making our house a home. I know that I will have to make compromises and I'm okay with that. 

We've already bought the essentials for our kitchen, thank you Argos starter sets for the great bargain. Knife block, cutlery sets, dining sets and pots and pans for just £20. I'd definitely recommend going there if you're a first time buyer looking for good offers and cheap bits. We did however take a trip to Dunelm Mill, where we will probably spend all our money, and picked up these little beauties. I can't wait to fill them up with goodies. 



   

Monday, 28 April 2014

Adventure | "We all live under the same sky, but we don't all have the same horizon"


adventure
Hello again, it's been a little while. Life has been pretty (very) hectic for me these past few weeks. So far I've flown the nest, moved from Bristol to Lincoln, put an offer on a house, offer was accepted for said house and we have been buying/deciding things to renovate it. Crazy, huh? I'm used to coming up to Lincoln for a week or so at a time to visit my boyfriends family but now, he's just left to go back to work and I'm sat here all alone in a 4 bed house. It's only now it has occurred to me that this is real life. I have actually moved out.

I'm a grown up now. A grown up...

On the Friday before I left to start my journey to what feels like the other side of the world, my family took me for a leaving meal. It was such an amazing evening and I got to spend it with my favourite people. To top it all off, the gorgeous Alice (Alice's Antics), came down to say ciao while she was back from Italy. Gorging ourselves on steak, burgers, nachos and far too much alcohol, we spoke about the future and laughed about the past. The couple beside us thought it was so funny that my boyfriend had the challenge burger, I don't think I've ever seen a group of people be so engrossed with someone eating. I guess a 24oz burger is pretty funny... but not as funny as my Grandma asking me to take 'the selfie' with her. Evidence below. Although it was such a positive event, I couldn't help but feel a little bit sad that I wouldn't get to experience this again for a long time. We all left feeling a little bit merry, but for a good cause. It really was the best going away present I could ask for.

friends

After waking up with a fuzzy head and taking Alice back to the train station, we finished the last of our packing and headed on our long journey up to Lincoln city. 3 hours on the motorway, a stop at the services and treating ourselves to a McDonalds we arrived at my new home. We didn't waste any time looking for a place to live and by the Wednesday, an offer was accepted on the house that we had fallen in love with. Unfortunately for us, that house is an empty shell. It does, however, mean we can create our dream home from the blank canvas previous owner had left us. The minute our offer accepted was so special. Danny picked me up and spun me around the room, we both fell on the floor laughing and I may have even shed a tear. Everything seemed to fall into place in that moment.

Having my future balance on someone saying 'yes' was the most exciting yet nerve-wracking experience I've ever been through. You could cut the tension with a knife every time the phone rang. Buying a house after just hours of viewing it is impulsive, but when you absolutely love something you have to go for it. Houses don't stick around on the market for very long anymore and we would have been gutted if we'd left it that little bit too long. I can't even tell you how many times we've driven round to see 'our house', it seems to be our favourite past time at the moment. To make things even more exciting, the last time we spontaneously took a trip to admire our new baby, there was a sold sign waiting for us. I think that was the best feeling in the world. That little place was going to be our home. Somewhere we could bring up our children, create memories with family, host dinner parties and fall even more in love.

Currently, Danny is back at work for the week and I'm sat here browsing home stores for lovely things to furnish our house with. If anyone fancies giving me any websites to check out, they will be greatly appreciated. You can leave suggestions in the comments or on twitter.


house

It's so odd to see my life changing so dramatically all at once. I've been here a week... already it's all systems go and it doesn't seem like it'll be slowing down any time soon. I think one thing I'm going to take from all this is to cherish every moment spent with my family. At home I saw them nearly every day and took it for granted. We didn't spend half as much quality time together as we should have. It gives me comfort that although I may be a few hundred miles away from them, if we look outside we still see the same sky. Homesickness hasn't kicked in quite yet, but I'm sure it'll come at me full force soon enough. 



Sunday, 30 March 2014

SuperMum | "All that I am, or hope to be, I owe to my mother."





As you are probably aware by now, I'm moving out in a few weeks and the thing I'm most nervous about is leaving my wonderful mother. My mum is the strongest woman I've ever met, but there is just something unnerving about leaving and her being the only woman of the house. Wether that be leaving her to be the one to clean up pee from the toilet seat, or have no-one to talk about women things to. I just never want her to feel alone.

I can't claim to have been the perfect child, because I wasn't. I was moody, irrational and remember saying disgusting things (shudder) I would have never have said if it weren't the heat of the moment. Mum always stood by me though. She may have sent me to my room and told me off, taken my phone away or banned me from the internet. I might have slammed my door shut, screamed at her and thrown a temper tantrum but everything she did was for my benefit, and I don't think we really understand that until we're older. All of what we have been through together has moulded me into the person I am today, and if there is anything she should be proud of, it's that.

mummyI don't know about you, but my mum would do anything to ensure my happiness. Over the years she has given me everything I could have dreamed of and more. When I was tiny, I took up Irish Dancing. This was not a cheap hobby, but she made it work. Dresses were in the hundreds, fake tan, wigs, dancing shoes, socks... It all amounted to a lot of money that we didn't really have but that never stopped my mother from helping me pursue my dreams. Then from the ages of 11 to 18, I was part of a theatre school and went there every weekend. Mummy P would drive me to and from these lessons every saturday and pay the money required, sometimes having to pick up extra shifts to be able to cover the cost. She'd take weekends off work to come to London to watch me perform in shows, even though it would cost her an arm and a leg. She encouraged me constantly to be the best performer I could be and fulfil my dreams. Money wasn't an issue for her because the reward was so much greater. That's the sort of person my mother is. There is nothing she would not do for her children.

It sounds cliche to say that my mum is my best friend, but she really is. She is the one person who has been there for me through everything from the very beginning and there is nothing I can say to thank her for that. She carried me for 9 months, cradled me for years and stuck by me when things got tough. She is a super-mum. When I have felt like there is nothing left to live for, she reminds me how strong she is and how I can be that way too. If I turn out to be half the mother she is to me and my brothers, I will be one hell of a mum.


This lady is the most warm, loving mother I could ask for and I wouldn't change her for the world. There is no-one in this universe that could even come close to her. 


Note to Charley: Tell mother how much you love her everyday.



Tuesday, 18 March 2014

The Lullaby Trust | "If love could have saved him, he would have lived forever."


teddy cheese

This is Teddy Cheese, a beautiful little boy from Hanham, Bristol. Sadly, he passed away earlier this year, three weeks before his first birthday. 

His parents are raising money for 'The Lullaby Trust', this charity is dedicated to helping save babies lives. They also support families that are shattered by the death of a child and support research into why babies die suddenly and unexpectedly. You can find out more information about the trust in the link above. 

I really admire the fact that Matt & Emma are making something amazing out of such a devastating situation. Losing a child is just about the worst thing you could go through as a parent, and it just goes to show how strong they are that they are focussing on helping others and promoting awareness so soon after. Already, they have raised over £1000, and the money just keeps rolling in.

It's overwhelming to see the amount people are willing to do to help people in their community. The Jolly Sailor Wetherspoon are having a day to remember and raise money for Teddy & The Lullaby Trust on the 7th of April. There will be a bake sale, cookie decorating, raffles and lots more fun things. If you live in or around Bristol, it would be absolutely amazing if you could come down, indulge yourself in cake and help us raise money on the 7th. 
It seems that everyone on the High Street wants to do their part which is absolutely incredible. The shops have offered to help out in one way or another and I've seen people going round the streets with donation pots and coming back with £100. Hanham's community have been so generous and I'm just hoping that we can see that same generosity online.

If I could even help them raise £10, that's another £10 toward a great cause. It doesn't matter what you give, every little penny helps. If you can't give anything, it'd mean a lot to me if you could share this page. This is one of the most worthwhile causes you could possibly give to. No parent should ever have to bury a child, so lets support the charities that help them through it. 

You can donate to Teddy's page here. 




Friday, 7 March 2014

Body Image | "To all the girls that think you’re fat because you’re not a size zero, you’re the beautiful one, it's society who’s ugly."

Fat. Thin. Huge. Skinny. Curvy. Skeletal. Chunky. Hefty. Thickset. Scraggy. Twiggy. Scrawny. Chubby. 
Fat. Thin. Huge. Skinny. Curvy. Skeletal. Chunky. Hefty. Thickset. Scraggy. Twiggy. Scrawny. Chubby. 
Fat. Thin. Huge. Skinny. Curvy. Skeletal. Chunky. Hefty. Thickset. Scraggy. Twiggy. Scrawny. Chubby. 

We've all heard these (and many other horrible) words at least once in our lives and even though we've probably tried to shake them off they hurt and sometimes they stick with us forever. It only takes one person to say something and the way you feel about yourself can be completely changed. I understand  people have different opinions on how we should look but surely as long as you're happy (and healthy) it shouldn't matter? 

The media has completely redefined our perception on body image. What used to be perceived as 'beautiful' is now something that is looked down upon. 60 years ago it wasn't diet pills people were after, it was pills to make you GAIN weight. 
body image
Nowadays, if a celebrity puts on a bit of weight for whatever reason, it's front page of a gossip magazine and it's not to tell them how great they look. There is no respect for people anymore. It makes me sick to my stomach when there are stories about girls in primary school having eating disorders because they want to look like the 'ladies in the magazines'. Children shouldn't be worrying about their weight at that age, they should be out playing in the garden, learning the basics at school, eating as much rubbish as they want and not having to give a damn about it. We're persistently told that being 'fat' is wrong and we need to change. It might not be said outright but it's certainly implied. Take the Christmas period for example, it only needs to get to boxing day and the diet adverts are in your face. Then there is shop mannequins, barbie dolls and models... Each one of those is a slap in the face to someone with a little more body fat than others. There is little to no space for the 'larger' model on a catwalk. Barbies are completely out of proportion but it's okay for a child to have her as a role model, and mannequins make you feel like crap because it's hard to imagine how you would look in those clothes if you're not a size 8. 
Shout out for the shops that have started to use plus size mannequins, you're great.

I'm sad because I'm 'fat'.
 I eat because I'm sad.
I'm 'fat' because I eat because I'm sad. 
And repeat. 
I am one of those people (there are plenty of us) who finds comfort in food. My weight tends to fluctuate depending on how I am feeling. If I've had a rough few weeks, I usually put on a few pounds and then lose it again when I find the good in my life again. We end up living in this horrendous vicious circle and there seems to be no escape.

skinny girl

Above are some photos I've come across photos of myself when I was younger and a size 10. Now I wonder why the hell I ever thought I was fat. I would kill to be that size again. I don't understand why people would make fun of my size. What did they gain from it? I was healthy, wasn't half as big as I am now, yet I felt so upset that I looked that way. The reason for this being the people in my life and the nasty things they would say about me.
I'm so frustrated with myself for letting peoples words get to me. I'm mad at myself for thinking my body was disgusting and I'm horrified that I've hated myself for so long because of it. It feels like the things they said had been engraved into my mind and I just started believing them as though they were fact. I'd look in the mirror and all I could see was those names I had been called.
I'm finally realising, even though I don't like the way I am at the moment, it's who I am at this point in my life. Instead of dwelling on what I'd like to be like, it's time to do something about it but enjoy my life at the same time.

Society is always reminding us of what is 'acceptable' and if you don't fit the criteria then you won't be accepted. I'm hoping in time people will just come to terms with the fact not everyone will look the same but it doesn't mean they aren't beautiful. We all come in different shapes and sizes. Nobody should be able to make you feel ugly, too fat or too skinny. You can never please everyone, so you should stop trying to.

Your body doesn't define you. You are more than your dress size. 

Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Affordable Fashion | "The only real elegance is in the mind; if you’ve got that, the rest really comes from it."

I don't know about you, but money is always an issue for me, so Primark is usually my go to shop. At the moment, I don't have too much time to go into town so I've been browsing the internet for bargains. Honestly, I don't claim to know or follow any sort of fashion, but what I do know is that lots of people try to budget. A lot of the time it's really hard to find any decent good quality clothes and accessories for a small amount of money. 
Here are just a few of the things I've found on some super cheap (and reputable, promise) sites.

pretty shoes
LITERALLY EVERYTHING IS £5, HOW GREAT IS THAT?
I can't comment on the quality of these pieces, but there are so many things on that website that need to be in my wardrobe, and for £5 each I won't feel guilty buying them.

cute polkadot dress
www.missluxe.co.uk
Now, this is a little steeper price wise. Most things range from £10 - £30. They do have some lovely items, but the majority of it isn't really to my taste.

monochrome style
Basically, I want to purchase this whole store. It's so cheap. I think the most expensive thing I've seen on there was a leather jacket and that was £25. I've purchased a few things from this store and they've always been amazing. Fast delivery and great product.

affordable jewellery
This website is such a little gem. Each of those items above are less than £3. I absolutely love every single piece on this site. If I could buy all of it, it would all be mine. If you're looking for beautiful pieces of quirky jewellery, then this is your newest bookmark.

And now for some of the more recognised names...

cute dress
www.asda.com
Yes, thats right. You saw it correctly. ASDA. I am under no illusion that ASDA isn't a clothes shop, but my gosh, have you seen some of the beauties in there? I can't help myself but look at the new additions when doing my weekly shop. They also do the best bras for ladies with bigger busts -  now theres a tip for you lot.

lipstick
Elf has always been so great to me. Their lipsticks are so pigmented and stay on all night. I've never tried their varnishes but they are great value. The only things that are above £7 are the gift sets and brush sets. It's really a great place to go if you don't really have too much money to spend on cosmetics.

cut out boots
Matalan isn't exactly the cheapest of shops BUT the quality you get for what you pay is incredible. I have items of clothing I've bought from there for years and they still look new. They're good at keeping up with the newest trends and still keeping them at an affordable price. Definitely worth a look.

barry m
Barry M is quite possibly my favourite make up range. It seems like no matter how popular they are getting their prices are staying the same. Their nail polishes and lipsticks are incredible if you don't have money to spend on MAC etc etc.

A lot of people try and steer clear of sites that don't look 'professional' or are cheap, understandably, but what did your mother always tell you? Don't trust a book by it's cover. They might not look great, but it doesn't mean they are untrustworthy. I can't speak for every single site out there so you definitely just need to read the reviews and make your own decisions. 
If you're not a fan of sites you don't know too much about, don't forget to check out the sale items on sites like new look & topshop.

I absolutely despise spending money on clothes, which is odd considering how much I adore buying them. You'll always find me in the sale section and I'm not ashamed of it at all. 
You don't have to spend a lot of money to look a million dollars. 


Sunday, 23 February 2014

100 Bloglovin' Followers | "Your present circumstances don't determine where you can go; they merely determine where you start."


I can't believe I'm saying this, but I've reached 100 followers on Bloglovin'. I am so grateful to every single person that has followed or even just read my rambles about life. It was only 2 months ago that I started up 'Note to Self' so to have over 3000 views and 100 followers is completely insane. Reaching a milestone is so exciting for me. I'm hoping that my next one will be the 100,000 view mark on an old video of mine. You can find it here if you fancy giving it a watch. It's taken 4 years but I'm so close now, how exciting is that? I put myself into everything I do, and the fact people spend their time watching and reading what I post is the best feeling. It gives me hope when I'm feeling uninspired and motivation to write until I can't feel my fingers. 

You will never know what this means to me. I'm the most self critical person I know, and starting my blog was mainly for me to rant and rave about things for myself. So the fact that people have taken to it and have enjoyed what I've written really means the world to me. Feeling like you have achieved something is the best, and reaching my first 100 has left me with such a warm feeling in my tummy. 

So thank you, thank you & thank you again. 
Here's to you, you beautiful people.

Monday, 17 February 2014

Post Valentines Day | "A flower cannot blossom without sunshine, and man cannot live without love."

zoo

I've never been too much a fan of Valentines day, not because it's so commercialised it hurts my eyes, but because I don't want to feel confined to telling my boyfriend I love him once a year.

Me and Danny had decided that we weren't buying each other anything this year because we're trying to save money for a house. 5pm came, he arrived at my house with a bunch of a dozen red roses and a huge smile on his face. What a sweetheart...Boyfriend points awarded. I wasn't expecting it at all. I felt so guilty that I hadn't gotten him anything so I purchased two Kinder Eggs for him later that day. They have new Marvel toys in them and anyone that knows us is aware that we have a bit of an obsession. Ironman is my weakness. Already, this Valentines day was the best one I'd had. We jumped into his car and sped off to the shops in search of food for the weekend. Danny wanted to cook me steak, but went we to ASDA and Lidl were completely out. Our last hope was CO-OP... finally, I laid my eyes on a glorious Sirloin and all was well in the world again.

We didn't get to spend much of Friday together as he travels down from work, so we had made the decision to celebrate Valentines on Saturday instead. Bristol Zoo had an offer for a 'cheep' date (£20 for 2 people) so we headed there for the day. I used to go to the Zoo as a child nearly every weekend as we had an annual pass but I hadn't been for so long and I really wanted to go again before leaving Bristol, possibly for good. Danny was good enough to take me (and pay) even though he really doesn't like Zoo's or anything similar. Boyfriend points awarded again. The weather in the South has been absolutely awful the past few weeks, with most of the surrounding areas of Bristol being underwater. Luckily, the sun was shining for the most part of the morning and we got to enjoy our trip without ending up looking like drowned rats. We got to see the Lions feeding (you can see a photo above) and the Gorillas in their new exhibit. It's absolutely incredible.
After we had finished at the Zoo, we went to go and get some food. Forgetting it was a Saturday and the day after V-day, everywhere we wanted to go was booked up all day. We had been looking forward to going to The Burger Joint in Clifton for weeks, so both of us were quite disappointed when we couldn't treat ourselves to the biggest burgers ever. Knowing we had to go to a few shops anyway, we drove into Cabot Circus and gorged ourselves on pizza and burgers from Frankie & Bennys. Yum.

Valentines day still isn't my favourite holiday, but it's honestly been the best weekend I've had in such a long time. Times like these make me realise just how much my boyfriend means to me, and how much I love being in love with him. Say 'I love you' everyday, you never know if you'll get the chance to say it again. People take love for granted so often. It's so important to remind yourself of why you fell for someone in the first place, because sometimes it can get lost in the madness of our lives.


Sunday, 9 February 2014

Long Distance Relationships | "Distance means so little, when someone means so much."

Sunday. My least favourite day of the week.

It's that time again, Danny has left to go back to work for the week. 120 miles apart (he always says it's not 'long distance', but 120 miles is pretty bloody far), 5 days a week. I long for the days where we can wake up together every morning and fall asleep in each others arms in the evening. After two and a bit years of barely seeing each other during the week, we are looking at moving in with each other in the next few months, which means I don't have too much longer to wait.

With Danny being in the military, I'm fully aware that our situation could be one hundred times worse. He could be jetting around the world, but he is only halfway across the country. People try and make a point of saying 'it could be worse', but just because it could be, it doesn't mean what we do isn't hard too. I find comfort in thinking that there are only about 12 weekends left before we take the first step into buying a house together. We've made it this far without spending every second of the day with each other, we can make it through this.

Even though long distance relationships are hard (...really hard), they do have their benefits. You get your own space, miss each other throughout the week which makes the friday night cuddles even better and appreciate the time you spend together so much more. Just knowing that he is travelling down, blasting my One Direction album, to my house at 3pm on a Friday makes me so warm inside. Absence makes the heart grow fonder and all that. Butterflies still swarm my stomach when I open the door and he's there with a little grin on his face. Basically, 2 years on and we're still in the honeymoon period, it's great. We've been together since we were 19 and have done so much growing up. It's almost as if we're morphing into proper adults. Eeek. Recently, we've begun planning the next stage of our relationship, moving into a house, for me that just cements what we have. I'm getting all giddy just thinking about it.

love


However, spending the majority of your time without the one you love is hard. You spend hours just wishing they could be with you because you're having a bad day. Everything around reminds you of them. With Danny being so far away so much of the time, my insecurities are sky high. It's not easy at all to control them, but it's something I have to try to do. A long distance relationship won't work unless you make them. There has to be effort put in and compromises made. I never saw myself in a relationship like this, but now that I am, I couldn't imagine anything else. He is everything to me, and even though I don't get to see him everyday, the time we do see each other is so special. I try to make every second count. Just waking up, cuddled into him, on a Saturday and Sunday morning makes the days spent without him a bit better.

Are long distance relationships worth it? Definitely. Don't completely write off a relationship with someone that lives miles away. If you do, you'll never know if that person was 'the one'.

Are any of you in a situation like this? How do you cope?

Monday, 3 February 2014

Bucket List | "A life spent making mistakes is not only more honourable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing."

February has arrived and it makes me wonder where the hell January went. It only feels like yesterday we were welcoming in the new year with champagne, fireworks and loved ones. When I was younger my mum would always tell me that the years go by faster as you grow older. I didn't realise how right she was until recently. I remember the day that my youngest brother came into the world so vividly. Almost 13 years later and it only feels like 5 minutes ago that I was consumed by the disappointment of not having a sister. One day, I'll blink and wake up 50, with 3 children and a dog roaming round my house. It's so scary to think that your life can slip through your fingers without you realising it. I don't want to get to my last days and wish that I had done more with the years I had.
We only get a short time on earth. I don't want the last thing I think of to be 'what if?'


10 of the 3851085183951 things on my Bucket List
In no particular order:

1. Go to New York at Christmas. Who doesn't want to visit New York at Christmas? It is the most beautiful place at that time of year and I always see it on TV and wish I could be there. I want to go to Macy's and buy presents for my loved ones, and gorge myself on chocolate covered pretzels.
2. Learn to play piano. 
3. Buy and run a pub. How great would this be? I love independent public houses and it would be a dream of mine (and Danny's) to own and run one. Serving home cooked food and great beer. Who could want anymore?
4. Go to Disneyworld with my kids. 
5. See the worlds famous landmarks. There are so many absolutely beautiful places in world and it would devastate me to not see any before I pop my clogs. You've got The Northern Lights, Great Wall of China, Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Pyramids of Giza. There are far too many to name and I know I'll never get to see them all, but I don't want to miss out so I'd like to see a couple. Hopefully I can persuade Danny these are good holidays...
6. Learn another language.
7. Do something crazy. Be more spontaneous and stop worrying about things and just do them. It's great to be cautious, but I can't let it rule my life. The craziest thing I've ever done is Jet Skii across the coast of Tenerife, so I'm really not into that sort of thing. I would love to be brave enough to sky dive or bungee jump - maybe for a charity because I'm such a wimp and it'll make it more worthwhile.
8. Get married and start a family. I put these as one because they go hand in hand for me. This one is the most important. I've found someone I love so much that I can do this with and that for me is so special. Walking down the aisle was never really something I was too bothered about when I was a teenager, so writing this now is a bit strange. Now, I long for the day when I have a ring on my left hand and can walk toward the love of my life in a beautiful white gown knowing we will spend the rest of our lives together.
9. Write and release an EP.
10. Be the best version of myself I can be.  Being a good person is really important to me. I want to be a good wife, a great mother and be the best Charley possible. This is such a long winded part of my bucket list because it affects almost everything, and there is no way I can mention all of it here. Nobody has enough time for that but I often get out of the shower (there is something magical about showers, I swear) and have a revelation. Sometimes it's about how to be more attractive, to lose weight, be more motivated... and now I know I need to stop thinking about being the best version of myself and actually BE that version. It will take time, but the best things come to those that wait, right? 

Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is the top thing on that list? 


Wednesday, 29 January 2014

Liebster Award | "Time you enjoy wasting is not wasted time."

Okay, this is crazy. I've been nominated by the lovely A Yank In Blighty for the Liebster award. This is such an amazing way to find new blogs and I'm going to nominate my own 11 to answer some questions. I have been blogging less than a month and it's so humbling to see that people like what I ramble about. Over the last few weeks, I've made new friends, accumulated 23 followers on bloglovin' and found my love for writing again.


There are a few simple rules that you need to follow:
1. Mention the person who nominated you with a link in their blog
2. Answer the 11 questions provided by the person who nominated you
3. Nominate 11 other bloggers with less than 200 followers 

4Create a new set of 11 questions for your nominees to answer 

(I don't know if the blogs I'm going to nominate have under 200 followers but they are my favourite blogs at the moment).

1. Why did you start blogging?
I lost all passion and motivation to sing which is what kept me happy for a long time. Being a creative person, I knew I needed to get my teeth into something new and my friend (who I'll be nominating in a minute) started blogging and it then occurred to me that I probably should try that too, and I absolutely love it!
2. What is the main goal you'd like to accomplish in 2014 with your blog?
I really don't have a goal as I've never really thought about it that much. I don't see my blog as being something that other people will enjoy, it's just something for me - though it's great that people read and do like my posts. I guess it would be great to reach 100 followers and keep blogging and not lose faith in myself again.
3. If you could move anywhere in the world, where would it be? Why?
Oh god, this is a hard one. I have no idea. I think I'd buy an RV and travel all the way around the world first and then decide after I've experienced all different cultures and places.
4. What is your earliest memory?
Being 5 years old in hospital for 2 weeks and my class making me a card with all different pictures and names on it. My teacher bought it into the hospital when she came to visit and it made me so happy to see that people cared about me. Hospital at 5 years old for a fortnight is pretty lonely.
5. If you could have any super power what would it be and why?
Now, you're bringing out the Marvel geek in me. As cliche as it is, I think I'd have to pick flying. How incredible would it be to just go somewhere and not have to pay extortionate prices for the train, or walk miles on end to get to where you want to be?!
6. What website do you spend the most time on?
Probably Twitter. Or Zoopla, house hunting online is my new favourite past time.
7. What is your dream job?
I would absolutely love anything in the music industry, or in media. It's something I've been aiming toward for so long, but I've sort of given up now. 
8. Do you prefer cooking or getting take out?
It really depends on whether I've been working or not. I really love a good take away, but I feel that cooking your own food makes it taste so much nicer and you appreciate it more. So, I'd have to say cooking my own food.
9. What if your favorite store, where you could probably spend too much money?
At the moment, I spend absolutely no money at all, but it would probably be Yankee Candle or Primark.
10. Who is your favorite blogger?
This is a hard one. I don't think I really have a favourite blogger because I don't really enjoy putting things in an order. I have lots of blogs I enjoy to read!
11. What is the best piece of advice you've been given/found?
Stop caring about what people think about you. It doesn't matter if they don't like you, if you like yourself.



1. Alice's Antics - Here is my best friend. Alice is 18, and wise beyond her years. She's just moved to Italy as an Au Pair for 8 months, so you're bound to find quality content here. 
2. Skinnedcartree - I have never known someone so passionate about blogging as Corinne is. She posts beautiful dresses and advice on blogging, she's set up a website so we can get to know one another (you can join up here).
3. What Lucy-Jayne did 
4. Coffee And Cosmetics
5. RubyDuchess 
6. LipstickLeathers
7. FabulousWithHeart
8. CatchLifeAsItFlows
9. MissAmyKatherine
10. SimplyRoxilicious
11. Wear Something Black

And my questions for you are...

1. What are your ambitions for this year?
2. Where do you see your blog in 5 years time?
3. Sweet or savoury?
4. What would you change about your life if you could alter one thing?
5. What made you start blogging?
6. Favourite blogger?
7. What is your day job?
8. What other hobbies do you have other than your blog?
9. Favourite song?
10. Describe yourself in 5 words.
11. Link your favourite blog post.

There you have it. Go go go. I can't wait to read your answers, and thanks again for nominating me.
Normal blogging resuming in 3...2...1..

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Moving Out | "Parents can only give good advice or put them on the right paths, but the final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands."

So this is it, this is the year that I'm moving out. Expect another post on this when I've moved and I'm settled in... It's exciting, but God damn, it's terrifying. I've never lived away from home for more than 2 weeks before and this time it's for good. I currently live in Bristol, a big city with everything I could possible want or need on my doorstep. I've spent 21 years in the same place, people coming and going out of my life and it's finally time for me to move on. Don't get me wrong, I'm going to miss this part of the country so much. It's all I've ever known. Starting completely from scratch in an area I don't really know, but I'm just excited for this adventure to begin.

bristol
Bristol. My home.


With my boyfriend being in the Royal Air Force, I will be packing my life away and moving half way up the country. It's a crazy thought being so far away from my family, my friends and my job, but it's something I need to do. People keep asking me if it's a good idea to leave everything behind, but if I don't do it now while I'm young, when will I do it? We get comfortable in one place and never go and experience other things. For a long time, I've been starved of inspiration and motivation to do the things I usually love and I'm really hoping this change will ignite my fire again. 

Luckily for me, we will be moving up to Lincolnshire which is where Danny grew up and his family still live, so I'm not completely unfamiliar with that territory and it won't feel completely alien to me. Lincolnshire is such a beautiful area and it's SO flat. Hills are pretty much my arch enemy, so this is a great factor for me. If you ever get to go to Lincoln in your life, there is a Cathedral (see below) which is so stunning you would be a fool not to visit it. The only problem is that it's basically at the top of the biggest hill I've ever seen, accurately named 'Steep Hill'. 


lincoln
Lincoln Cathedral, Lincolnshire.

Friends come and go, but family are for life. This is something I need to remember as I'm so nervous about drifting away from my family. Even though I might not see them everyday, or speak to them when I want to, I know that they will always be there. It's always going to be hard to just pack up and leave when you're so familiar with this routine but there has to be a time where you think about what is best for yourself. As much as I'm nervous about this new chapter of my life, I am so ready for it, and when I say ready, I mean that half my life is already packed away in boxes. I even have a whole box just for candles alone (I really love candles...). I will definitely miss Bristol and everything I've come to know here, but it's time for me to move on.

The view from my room/Lots of boxes already...


I'm hoping that in this change, I can find myself. 
I'm ready for you, adventure. Come at me.

Have any of you moved out? How did you find that experience? If you have any tips, leave them in the comments!

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

2014 Resolutions | "There is only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self."

It's almost the end of January, so I'm aware this is a bit late, but better late than never right?
Every year I tell myself I'm going to make a new years resolution and stick to it. Every year I'll get to the third week of January and those resolutions are a thing of the past. I love having the start of a new year as motivation to better myself and this year I am more determined than ever to achieve my goals.

Firstly, Lose weight.

This is my main goal for this year. I don't care if it takes me 12 months, or 3 months. I want to feel more comfortable in myself and with my body. I want to be able to wear gorgeous clothes and not feel like a complete monster in them. I would be more than happy with a size 10.
I'm making changes to my lifestyle, and although they might not be completely concrete at the moment, I'm really happy with the progress I'm making. Losing a few pounds in these last few weeks has already made a difference in how I feel, which is great! I can't wait to be able to be proud to stand in a full length picture, rather than feel like I have to hide behind other people.
If you have any tips, feel free to share them.


Be more positive. 

Anyone that knows me knows I'm not exactly the most positive of people and I'm really trying to change that. I'm trying my hardest to see the sunshine in rainy situations. It's amazing how just ignoring the negative feelings can make me feel so free from this cage I've kept myself in for so long.
I've stopped regretting things that I've done or being upset about situations out of my control, started believing that it all happens for a reason and getting on with it. The past is the past and we can't change what has happened, only grow from it.
2014 is going to hold so many amazing experiences for me, and I'm really excited to see where it takes me.


Save as much money as humanly possible.

This year I'm finally flying the nest and moving in with my boyfriend (hurrah!). It feels like such a long time coming and there are no words to explain how excited I am. It's a completely new experience for me and I have no idea what what to expect but the mystery just makes it all so much more exciting. We've already been looking at houses online and I've gotten a bit ahead of myself saving lots of furniture and accessories to my favourites. Oops. Luckily where we are looking at buying, house prices aren't horrendous, because money saving isn't the easiest when your job doesn't pay that much per week/month.

Do something for charity.

I don't do enough for charity at all. Apart from posting about wanting people to become organ donors (you really should join, if you haven't already). I really haven't done anything and I feel awful about it. My pub throw out so much food daily, and it really bothers me that it can't go to the homeless so I'd love to do something for those less fortunate than I am. It doesn't matter how big or small what I do is, I just want to help. In my bid to get fit and healthy, I would aim to eventually do a charity run and get sponsored to it. It won't be this year, but never the less, I should (really should) probably start training soon...


So, these are my resolutions. Do you have any? How are you getting on with them?