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
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
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
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.

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."


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.


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?