Monday, 22 May 2017

Bluebelle & Co...Brighton's Treasure Trove


Having lived in Horsham for the majority of my life, Brighton is somewhere that I have visited a lot over the years, being only a 30-40 minute drive away. The fresh sea air and cute Laines to mosey around in always makes for a great day out.
This last week I was invited by my friend Emma from Colour Me Copper and Katie from Katie Kirk Loves, both fellow Sussex bloggers, to go down to Brighton and have a good old nosey around a beautiful little shop called Bluebelle & Co. It sits on Trafalgar Street in the North Laines, only a short walk from the station, and is owned by Kate Powell; the director of the quirky gifts and accessories brand House of Disaster.

Bluebelle & Co is an independent boutique, which I can only describe as a treasure trove. It feels very warm and familiar as you walk in, due to the gorgeous decor, with a large cosy bed at one end and beautiful vintage style floral and bird print wallpaper (love!).
It is filled with everything from makeup bags, to chinaware, to baby clothes and throws. You could honestly find a gift for anyone in here....and the best thing being that it would be really unique.



The manager Lauren was lovely and welcoming to us all, and it was really interesting to speak to her about the shop. As you walk around you notice little quirky details, like a row of tiny children's wooden chairs nailed to the wall and used as a hanging rail for the baby clothes. So adorable and inventive! Lauren said that Kate often finds these little random items on her travels and then they incorporate them into the shop. I love these touches and it shows the thought and care that goes into making the boutique feel special.


If you are a fan of the House of Disaster brand, then Bluebelle & Co always get their new items and stock in first, so it's a place to keep an eye on for that.




I had a lovely evening getting to know the store and even treated myself to a little compact mirror, perfect for a makeup artist like myself, and also a little feather necklace. However I could have picked up so much more and have made a list of items to go back for that will be perfect for family and friend's birthday gifts.

I highly recommend a visit if you are in Brighton, and you can check out their online shop here too:
http://bluebelleandco.com/

I love to discover new local businesses don't you?


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Monday, 3 April 2017

Happiness

Happiness: The quality or state of being happy.



What does the word happy mean to you? This is something that I have been thinking about and reading into a lot lately.  
Have you ever just felt flat and lacking in extreme emotion? Not sad, or down but not really happy either. I have come to the realisation that this is possibly just our standard default state of mind. 

I found myself recently wondering why life isn't always exciting and craving a life where everyday is a happy one, filled with adventures. However why am I sad that I don't have a life that simply doesn't exist?

It's true that if we didn't have the down times, then we wouldn't appreciate the happy times. If life was just one colour all the time, then it would equally just feel as flat. But how can we work towards a life filled with more happiness....more ups than downs and less of the flat times?

From my research and own experiences I think that nothing but our own frame of mind can do this. As frustrating as this is, nothing external can truly help. Of course, you can get a surge of comfort from treating yourself to that new bag or eating some much needed chocolate, however long term this just doesn't suffice. 

There is a lot written about mindfulness at the moment, and meditation seems to have become pretty trendy. But this technique that has been around forever, really should have a place in everyones life, in whatever form suits you. It doesn't have to mean sitting cross-legged and chanting, but just having a few moments throughout the day where you allow your mind to wander and appreciate small moments does wonders for your mental and physical health.

From taking a walk and really looking around and noticing the flowers, listening to the birds and breathing in the fresh air, or snuggling under a blanket with a new book and finally lighting your expensive candle. Take note of your surroundings....when in a taxi or on a train look out of the window and admire life, or maybe chat to someone new.
These small details are what will truly make you feel alive and happy. 

I watched a documentary this week about Rio Ferdinand and his journey through grief after losing his wife to cancer. The whole programme was incredibly moving, but there was something in particular that I took away from it. After struggling to get his children to talk about their feelings, he discovered an activity that could help. They sat down and wrote their favourite memories of their mum together and put them all into a jar. This could be the smallest of details, from a colour, to a favourite song, but whenever they were sad in the future, they could go back through these and smile.
This is something that I loved and will start doing myself for my mum I think. But this shouldn't have to be just for someone that you have lost.

Why don't we all try to write down little moments that we love each day, to remember and look back on. 
The process will surely help to have our eyes fully open and notice the happiness in each day, which can often be forgotten and un-noticed because of the hustle and bustle of everyday life and chores. 
Or instead of writing them down, just taking a moment whilst removing your makeup or taking your bath, to think through what has made you smile today and why.

Life sadly isn't always a party or an adventure, but it is filled with little moments of joy, that can make you feel happy every day when you take the time to notice them. 
Let's try not to strive for perfect (perfect only exists on Instagram), and be grateful for being alive and what we have right now. 


Use all of your senses and breathe in each moment so that it can be locked away as a memory. I'm sure that this way we would realise that in fact there are more ups than downs.

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Sunday, 1 January 2017

Reflections and My 2017 Inspiration



So January has arrived again. As usual full of promises of new beginnings and fresh starts, but also the dreaded rain and dark skies. To me it's a strange month and I have a little bit of a love-hate relationship with it. However it always makes me reflect on the previous year and even though I don't usually make resolutions, I do love writing a list so I prefer to focus on goals.
2016 was a very non-eventful year for me. There were some definite highs and lows, but in general there isn't much that particularly stands out. This worried me at first thought. We all love to feel as though we have achieved or are at least moving forwards don't we? However a few weeks ago whilst getting my roots bleached I was discussing my 'nothing' year with my lovely hairdresser and her response made me feel instantly better.

'I'm quite happy that you've had a non-eventful year after everything you went through last year...I'm pleased to hear it.'

I completely agreed. I had decided after my mum's passing that I would allow myself time off from the world to let myself rest and heal. This was only intended to be for a few months however I had really lacked the motivation to return to the 'real world' and struggled with my get up and go. Life had changed and I couldn't accept it, plus I didn't know how to adapt.
Looking back now, instead of thinking negatively on this year and being frustrated, I think it was the best thing for me. There had been so much emotionally and mentally to deal with for multiple years that I believe it's done me so much good to sit back and not have to deal with much. A break from drama and anxiety will do you the world of good, and you know what it's ok. If you are struggling too then don't feel as though you can't temporarily stop. Boring for some...necessary for others.
I now feel as though I'm ready for a pro-active year and have a list (of course!) of the things that I want to achieve.

For anyone else that is ready to take on 2017, I wanted to share a recommendation. As I have mentioned before in my posts I am about to embark on an exciting journey to create my own brand....which fingers crossed should be launching at the end of the year..eeek! To aid my learning and give me inspiration I have been doing a lot of reading and have just this afternoon finished a book that I loved. This book was 'Jo Malone My Story'.
I haven't been able to put this book down for the past few days and think it's beautifully written. If you have your own business, wish to start one one day or just love the beauty industry then I highly recommend you give it a read. I sit here this evening feeling incredibly driven, inspired and full of girl power running through my veins!
Jo is a true British entrepreneur and I just love the spirit and passion that she exudes. I hope that one day I can follow in her footsteps with my own venture.

If there is anything that you have dreamt of doing, perhaps let this year be the year that you start. Be it a tiny step or a big leap, take the chance and begin your journey. We can do it together.

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