How to get a better nights sleep

How to get better sleep
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For the past few years I've managed to stumble through life by going to bed late and getting up later. I've always been a night owl, and thankfully doing what I do (and having the excuse of being a Uni student) makes it somewhat acceptable for me to get work done in the AM. Unfortunately, life in general doesn't work the same way. Have you ever tried to go to the post office at two in the morning? They're not open. It's insane. Same goes for the gym, the nail salon - even the 24 hour supermarket. I'm serious. Cornwall is a weird place.

So anyway, now that I'm doing real life things in the real world, and with just a few months left of me being able to use the 'but I'm a student' excuse, I've finally decided that - after twenty three years - it's time to get myself a sleeping pattern. A real one. So for the past few weeks I've been experimenting with a million and one things in a bid to help me catch those Zs and - judging by the fact that I naturally woke up (yes, by choice) before it even got light today - I'd say I've cracked it. So without further a-do, here's how to snooze.
 

Stay up all night

When it came to shifting my sleeping pattern the only thing that helped kick start me into a routine was practically killing myself the night before. I used to go to bed at around 4am every single night, and get up at 10am. No matter how hard I tried to go to bed at a 'normal' time, or get up at a 'normal' time, I always failed. I would either lie in bed rolling around until my usual sleep time, or I'd get up early and end up napping half way through the day. So one night I decided it was time to bite the bullet and get myself sorted. So, I stayed up all night (minus the odd power nap) and kept myself up all day long. It was hell. But by the time 10pm came around I was exhausted, and so I fell straight to sleep. I woke up at around 7am with nine solid hours of sleep under my belt and the makings of a solid sleeping pattern. 
 

Stop napping

Napping has always been a part of my daily routine - whether I'm travelling, working from home or simply out and about running errands (I once stopped for a nap at a Burger King car park whilst on my way to do a food shop). I just like to snuggle up and sleep at inappropriate times okay!? Sometimes a girl's just gotta cocoon. But not this girl! Oh no, not any more, because now I'm a fully functioning adult that can stay awake for an entire day without drifting off to sleep at every possible moment. God I miss naps. But alas, they do me no good in the long run. If I'm utterly exhausted, then sure, a little power nap won't do any harm. But when it comes to my impressive three-hour-sleeping-stints? They're long gone. Sob.
 

Have a reason to get up

Like I mentioned before, being a full-time blogger means that I can pretty much do my work as and when I please, which is great - don't get me wrong - but it also means that I can get a little too comfortable when it comes to my daily work routine. A few weeks ago I decided to sign up to some classes at my local gym. At first I just opted for classes at times that suited me, but it then dawned on me that if I actually had a reason to wake up, I'd be more inclined to do so. With my gym, you sign up for classes online, but you have to physically call up to cancel, making it a lot more awkward to say no if you simply can't be assed. So - what with my new sleeping pattern - i decided to sign up to a bunch of morning classes to help force me out of bed. I woke up at 6am for a spinning class. Six. In. The. Morning. I told you I've changed.
 

Tire yourself out

Okay so it never dawned on me exactly how tiring spin classes were. Like, wow. I knew I wasn't great at cardio but man, going to spinning class has made me feel like I have the fitness level of an eighty year old (no offence, Granddad). There's a serious difference between mental exhaustion and physical exhaustion. They're both just as hard to deal with as the other, but when you tire yourself out in both ways? Oh you are going to sleep like a baby.
 

Cut the caffeine

I feel like I'm one of those people that has had so much caffeine in her life that even five thousand espressos wouldn't perk me up in the morning. If I'm sleepy, I'm sleepy, and no macchiato cappuccino extra shot frappe coffee thing is ever going to change that. However a few weeks ago I decided to stop the coffee consumption at around 5pm, just to help me ind down a little more as the evenings went on, and I have to say that it really does seem to be working. I no longer have my evening slump, meaning I'm able to work semi-effectively throughout the day, right up until I go to bed.
 

Give aromatherapy a go

I like nice smells, but I've never really taken an interest in the benefits certain nice smells can have on the body. Now I'm not gonna go all hippy on you guys (not yet, anyway) but recently I've come across some serious hero products that have helped me drift off, even when I've been wide awake. A favourite of mine has to be the This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray because - get this - it really does work. I'd heard so many internet peeps talk about this that I was so sure it had to be some sort marketing campaign. But you know what? Marketing campaign or not, this stuff is the bomb. In fact, it's so good that I've even gone and bought it in travel size as well. #Commitment.
 

Create the perfect space

With Ollie and I focussing more on the prospects of our new house, I've gotten a little lazy on the interior front lately. I like to make sure the rooms our guests see look nice, but when it comes to our own bedroom we've never really put much of an effort into doing it up - probably because everything nice we get our cats end up attacking. Ahem. But anyway, about our bedroom. A few weeks back I decided to bite the bullet and pick up a Denver wooden bed frame - one I actually liked - to replace our old, tatty, faux leather frame that had been torn apart by two particular felines. I loved the frame so much, i decided to deck out out with brand new sheets (all white, of course) and a bunch of decorative bits and pieces to make it that little bit more inviting. It looks so good sometimes I don't know whether I want to jump into it or simply take pictures of it (a la above).
 

Write down your thoughts

If you're a busy body like me, listen up - cause this shizz is going to change your life. If you're the sort of person that goes to bed with a million and one things buzzing around your head, one of the best pieces of advice I can give you is to simply write it all down. Before I go to bed I make sure I write down every thing I have to do the next day - including the boring crap like hoovering the lounge and washing my knickers (you know, not that I forget to do those things..). Jotting it all down on paper will help you clear your mind and let you focus on the more important things in life - like which side you're going to sleep on, or how much dribble you're going to produce that night. 
 

Turn off technology

If you're one of  those people with lots of will power, then 100% do turn off your technology. But, if you kind of rely on all things electronic to survive like I do, try turning down the brightness of your gadgets as the evening goes on instead. I always try (emphasis on the word try) to turn off my computer at least an hour before going to bed, just so I can start to wind down for the night ahead. This does mean that I no longer get my nightly fix of Candy Crush, but whatever, I'm a real adult now guys.
 

Feel good about going to bed

I'm not saying you should give yourself a full blown facial before heading off to he land of nod, but one thing I always like to do is to make myself actually look and feel good about going to bed. This means clean skin, a nice (but not too nice) messy bun/up do, moisturised limbs, a spritz of my favourite perfume and - of course - a fresh set of PJs. Think about it. Do you ever want to go on a night out if you feel you look like crap? Probably not. So make that little bit of effort each night to get yourself feeling good about going to bed. Sure, you might wake up with crusty drool up your face the next morning, but hey, it adds character.

What's your sleeping pattern like? Please tell me I'm not the only Burger King car park napper!


In This Post

River Island Silky Pyjama Top *
River Island Silky Pyjama Bottoms *
Denver Wooden Bed* (Use COCO10 for 10% off)
This Works Deep Sleep Pillow Spray
Dunhelm Wire Stag Head
 

12 Days of Give-mas | WIN a Fujifilm Instax Camera!

Oh hello there you wonderful people (is it too early to start calling you my little elves?) - as you can probably t ell from the title of today's post, we have yet another giveaway! But hey, are you really complaining?

Today's giveaway is in collaboration with Fujifilm, who have given me a brand spankin' new Instax Mini 8 camera in baby pink and a bunch of film to gift to one of you lucky humans. I've been obsessed with my own Instax for years now, so I know you guys are going to love it just as much as I do - especially for all those festive seflies. Oh my god. Festive selfies = elfies? I'm making that a new thing. Please, no one tell me it was already a thing. Anyway. Keep scrolling for the giveaway - and good luck!
 

How to enter:

Leave a comment with your name and email
Subscribe to my Youtube channel (pretty please)
 

Terms and conditions (AKA the boring bit):

All of the '12 Days of Give-mas' giveaways will be running up until December 14th, when I will contact all of the winners via email! One entry per person, per daily give away. This giveaway is international!
 

Something wonderful is about to happen

So guys, I'm afraid I have a confession to make. It's November, and I'm wearing a Christmas jumper. I'm burning festive smelling candles and I've made (and eaten) two gingerbread houses within the past week. Needless to say, I'm a big old fan of the festivities. 

But anyway, those of you that are subscribed to my Youtube channel may remember that last month I journeyed off to London with Virgin to review one of their experience days. Could you imagine my excitement when I found out that I was going to be experiencing a four course cream tea cake fest at Harrods? I've never eaten so many scones in my life. Wait, did I mention it was practically an all you can eat? The poor people at Harrods didn't know what hit 'em.

As for the menu (which I know you're all dreaming about as you read this) - it was okay. And by okay, I mean that it was the most delicious thing in the world. Looking back at the above photos even gives me some sort of pain in my heart. Then again, that might be the trifle talking.

So the afternoon tea started out with - of course - a good old pot of tea. But not just any tea, no sir, it was the special no.15 Georgian blend that took my fancy. And whilst I'm very much a milk and two sugars, PG tips kind of girl, I must admit that, actually, it tasted pretty damn perfect. And as we all know, the way to a Brit's heart is...through a cup of tea. Some girls like diamonds, I just want a sugary cup of caffeine.

Okay so enough about tea. The main selling point of the day was the food. The perfectly formed, bite size, delicious little squares of food. As with most cream teas (I say that like I'm such a cream tea connoisseur) it all started with the finger sandwiches- which I had multiple rounds of - followed by a serving of miniature cakes and pastries that I quite literally couldn't stop eating. In fact, the only thing that stopped me from eating those mini bites of perfection were..the bigger bites of perfection - AKA the scones. Plural. After about four of them I finally felt like I was ready to throw in the towel, until the waiter advised us that the best was yet to come. And oh, how it was. Ladies and gentlemen, if there's one thing you ask for this Christmas, make it a Harrods trifle. I wish I was joking. Some people want puppies - I just want a pot of custardy fruity goodness. Okay, and maybe a puppy.

Ahem. Anyway. Of course - as you'd expect - Harrods was decked out in the most exquisite Christmas gear (even in October), so perhaps that was what kicked me up the festive arse this year. London was dressed up to the nines, I was donning some of my best day wear (because, well, when in Harrods..) and the amount of food on offer could only be compared to the amount of food I scoff at Christmas. Only ever so slightly more civilised. Slightly. I've never had the best table manners..

So it's no wonder I'm already in Christmas-mode, since I've practically already convinced my stomach that it's perfectly normal and acceptable to eat five times your body weight in sugar for no apparent reason. Hey, start as you mean to go on, I say!

And now onto the title of this post - because you're probably wondering what this wonderful thing could possibly be - this year, to celebrate my first proper Christmas with you guys I've decided to do my own version of the Twelve Days of Christmas. Only instead of giving you a bunch of french hens and turtle doves I've decided to give twelve different fashion, beauty and lifestyle prizes every day from Tuesday. And hey, why not throw #vlogmas into the mix while I'm at it as well?

Now to kick off the festive season I'd love for you guys to tell me exactly what it is that gets you in the Christmas mood - whether it's the food, the late night shopping, anything! Just leave it down in the comments section down below, alongside one thing you're wishing for this Christmas. You never know, it might appear in the giveaways!

[This post is in collaboration with Virgin Experience Days, but all thoughts (and soon-to-be-fillings) are very, very much my own.]

Tips on getting a career in fashion #2

 

Be proactive

Another tip that relates to both New Style Boutique 2 - Fashion Forward and real life is to be proactive when it comes to selling yourself, and your product! Of course it's easy to send out some emails and letters, but another great way of actually promoting who you are and what you do is to go out into the real world and talk to real life, walking, talking people. The world is so saturated with technology these days that it's actually quite a skill to be able to go out into the world and talk to random people. In fact, from personal experience, I've found that talking to others about what you do is one of the best and most successful ways to get where you want to be. If you want something - whether it's a promotion on the game or a raise in real life - you gotta go get it!

[This post is in collaboration with Nintendo, but all thoughts are my own!]

Tips on getting a career in fashion #1

For any of you that follow my YouTube channel it'll be no secret that I'm a bit of a video game fanatic. In fact, prior to fashion and this here blog the majority of my free time used to be spent with my head engrossed in some form of games console or computer, as opposed to, you know, sites like ASOS and Topshop. But these days, what with university, working and running this blog, free time is little and far between, so when it comes to me getting my game on I try to make it as productive as possible. Think of it as 'making learning fun' - but you know, without sounding like a small children's commercial.

So a few days ago I was asked to try out Nintendo's newest game for the 3DS called New Style Boutique 2 - Fashion Forward (I know right, woe is me) and - after racking up hours worth of game play - I think it's safe to say that I'm well on my way to 'fashion-world-domination'. Or at least, animated fashion-world domination. Eh, small details my friends, small details.

Anyway, since my blog has kind of become a bit of a blog tips mecca, and since I've some how managed to make my way into the fashion industry with a seriously small amount of experience, I thought I'd share a few bits of advice that I've picked up over time that have helped me in my real life career, as well as my Style Boutique career. And yes, I did just say that.

Be multi-skilled

So the general premise behind the game is that you - as a character - have to build up your own fashion empire from the ground up, including everything from being a personal stylist, to a shop manager , to even an interior designer. The moral of this story? Be seriously, seriously multi-talented. 

This doesn't mean you need to be a pro when it comes to just about everything in life, but it does mean that you should at least dabble in various areas of interest to ensure you cover all bases. These days everyone with an internet connection has the ability to pick up different skills to help them in their chosen field, which means the competition is more fierce than ever before. Think about the daily role of a blogger. We style shoots, we take photos, we write articles, and the majority of the time all of these skills are self-taught. That in itself sounds much more impressive to a potential employer compared to just a simple degree, don't you think?

Head back in an hour for my next tip on making it in the fashion industry!

[This post is in collaboration with Nintendo, but all thoughts are my own!]