Exploring London | Borough Market

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Having been back home in the land or trees, sheep and more sheep for probably only about 5 minuets, I am already finding my mind drifting back to my life back in the big smoke. With sirens having been replaced by mooing cows, office blocks by sheep sheds, hard by soft water (whatever that means) and air by well, clean air, it has definitely made me realise how for granted I take living in a city like London. Now as much a love having to wait an hour for the next bus after the one you tired to get didn’t arrive or having to lean half way out of your highest window to get one bar of phone signal the peace and tranquility of the countryside can get a little tedious for a city lover like myself. At home I definitely miss having everything you could want or need on your doorstep with plenty of places to explore and beat the boredom. 

Despite having been living in London for nearly a whole year now there are still plenty of places I keep meaning to visit. Borough Market however was one of those recently which I have managed to tick off the list. Now there is no way that I would describe myself as a foodie with the M&S ready meal isle getting far too much of my attention and money of late but going somewhere like Borough Market definitely makes you want to become one. With every meat, vegetable, bread and unearthly food on offer it is least to say you will leave feeling a little peckish. 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

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Lastminuet.com

Lastminuet.com

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Yet again in a plea of getting a post up this week you join me trying to make some sense at 2am on a Friday morning maybe after having one or two drinks in the SU (so beware of some dodgey sentences). Nothing like lastminuet.com

Talking about being last minuet, In a completely water tight and seamless link, todays look consists of some of my most favourite throw on and go pieces when you have zero time and want zero effort. 

You most likely will be bored about me yacking on about these velvet trousers by now however I’m going to continue to do so. Since getting them as a sneaky bargain in the January sales they have barely been off my legs. From going out to dinner to a chilled out weekend they have been a staple for creating a quick and easy outfit yet still feeling vaguely put together. The fact I have now found a small rip in the nether regions, god knows how that got there, is more than disheartening. Paired with some simple layered T shirts (you will be pleased to know my addiction to Zara plain T Shirts is still strong with this lovely green and black striped number not being able to stay in the shop), my classic grey Zara coat and Adidas Gazelles, this creates a cool and relaxed look whilst being so easy to put together. Also with spring not quite popping its head up quite yet this look is perfect for the transitional period were in, as long as Storm Doris docent get too feisty! 

So with it being far far to late for someone who has to get up early for uni in the morning, yes believe it or not some students do have to get up early, I shall say farewell and hopefully see you next week slightly less blurry eyed! 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS

Lacy days

Lacy days

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Hello! As you may have been able to tell from the large black whole where last weeks blog should have been this weekly posting thing is going extremely well!. Anyway, my punctuality aside I am back today and we are going all old skool in terms of me just wittering on about something that I have decided to wear on one fine day (and other wicked fans feel free to continue the song.)   

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If you have been over on my instagram recently you may have noticed that my all time love with all black outfits has been seeming to wain a little with items such as bright green jumpers and red trousers weaselling their way into my wardrobe (whatever next!) However there are always going to be days that old colour ignorant Chloe comes out and reverts back to a (nearly) all black look. With not being one of the girlies of girls, I don’t own a particularly large amount of lacy items. To be fair, this dress is probably as far as it goes. However the small amount on this lovely black Zara dress had my eyes pulling me towards it whilst my debit card was trying to pull me away.

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In the short amount of time I have had it I have already found it to be a very versatile piece with it being great to layer up, with a long sleeves underneath or a jumper over the top (or both if you end up working in a tent over christmas, long story). Also for anyone like me who doesn’t like showing oodles of flesh in the summer this piece will be great in terms of keeping you cool with the strappy top and thin floaty fabric but keeping that cellulite from christmas that you haven’t quite managed to shift yet out of sight! 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

DRESS | TOP | BOOTS

21 for 21

21 for 21

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So another year rattled its way around and I now find myself somehow getting to the grand old age of 21. Seriously, how the flipping hell did that happen! It feels like yesterday that I was playing in sand pits and panicking about what GSCE’s I am going to take ( I can confirm that they were not both happening at the same time). 

Anyway, I thought I would bring the celebrations into blog form in a 21 for 21 round up, 21 special occasions to me from the past 21 years. Now I say 21 years, with my memory not serving me in quite as much detail the further back we go I’ve had to sort of narrow it down to the last few years. (but “21 for 21, well from the last 5 years of said 21 years” wasn’t such a catchy title.) 

These occasions may not have been special out of their grandure, just out of something small happening to make it feel special. Obviously there are going to be some that get missed too but these are some which have stuck out to me. So after a good old trawl through my Facebook to see what I have actually been up to without further ado in no particular order as I really don’t have the brain power for that, lets get onto no.1. 

p.s. those who don’t like theatre may avert their eyes.  

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1. Weekend away in the Isle of Arran

In a rather snazzy hotel with probably the best gravy I have ever tasted, we had a great time in a very cool location and managed to get some pretty great photos (even if I did have to freeze my feet off in a very thin dress in very cold water.)

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2. Pool (no water)’s final night show

 I’ve been involved in many a show over the years from being on the stage to my new life behind the scenes but the final night of Pool (No Water) will always hold a very special place in my heart. On the whole my 2 years at 6th form was a brilliant experience and it was great way to bring them to a close and say goodbye to some wonderful people who I loved working with. 

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3. Visiting Alton Towers in the summer of 2015

Take me anywhere which involved very high things and very fast things then its highly likely that I’m not going to enjoy it. But with best friends by your side it really did make some scary experiences so enjoyable. From getting on my first rollercoaster, to the creation of “Hampshire rules” in UNO (something even we will never truly understand) and getting well and truly “gazeboed” in a £22 a night hotel in stoke it all made for a very special and memorable experience. 

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4. Disney fancy dress party

 Rather ironically as someone who spent most of their youth performing and now studies costume I have never been much of a fan of fancy dress parties. But our disney themed fancy dress party in 2014 was fab with everyone giving it their all and creating some fab costumes, (maybe not including my slightly below average Mary Poppins), and having a great time and was the start to many a great party to come. 

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5. Filming Summer Falls

Give a group of 18 year olds some free time and access to some camera equipment and what do you expect them to do? Make a short film of course. with my silver screen debut (maybe more slightly grubby tin screen would be a more apt analogy) we spent 3 days from day break to dusk filming 

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6. STaG Nights scratch night

Genuinely one of the funnies nights of my life with the Student Theatre at Glasgow scratch comedy night proving sometimes that we may just be students, but there is definitely a lot of talent within us. 

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7. Getting into Guildhall

 Obviously getting a phone call while standing on a windy and rainy mountain in the middle of deepest darkest Shropshire trying not to be blown over was not quite how I imagined the moment I found out that I had got into drama school. Drama school was aways somewhere that I had dreamed of going to. It may have previously been for acting but now for my new life backstage in  costume I was over the moon to finally be moving down to London to one of the world’s leading schools. 

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8. Wicked lady rehearsal and Lightsdown

 This is one going a bit further back but devising and rehearsing this show basically turned into having a huge laugh and a giggle with obviously working hard to get the job done at the same time, obviously ;). I had a fab few years at Lightsdown Theatre School from being a student to a teaching assistant leading to far to many good memories and shows to mention with it being the highlight of my week for a long time. I will always hold some of the shows we did here as some of my favourites I’ve done and it was so great to be part of a group of people having the same passion for performing and theatre that I did. 

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9. The film “Pride”

 With the story line being such heartfelt one of a true story I will probably won’t be the only person out there who has any emotional attachment to this film. However, this is definitely one of my favourite films I have ever seen added to the first occasion of seeing it being with a very special person. 

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10. A level results day

Proving that all the hard work, late night, blood, sweat and tears had all payed off (even if I haven’t used any of that knowledge since!) 

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11. Me Before You premier

I think getting to sit next to Sam Claflin on the premier night of Me Before You, a film which I loved from the book and had waited so long to see was a stroke of luck leading to an evening that I will never forget. 

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12. All the other fab shows I have been a part of

 From Billy Elliot to 42nd to Macbeth and all the others in-between, all of these shows have lead me to some great times with some wonderful people and have shaped me and inspired me to pursue what started as a passion into a career. 

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13. Seeing Death of a Salesman at The RSC

As a theatre lover it is probably considered some sort of a crime to have only ever seen 1 show by the Royal Shakespeare Company but seeing Death of a Salesman in Stratford upon Avon in 2015 was a wonderful first show to see and the first of many to come. 

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14. My first textiles collection

I never imagined being someone who has their own textile design collection but at the end of my foundation year I had just that. Now it may not be on your Debenhams bed lined quite yet but now having my range of makeup bags with new designs sat waiting to be sewn together after my small break due to pure busy-ness, I’m determined to keep going with it. 

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15. Starting off Fabric Forward

Something starting as a new hobby just over a year ago has turned into something that has grown to be a big part of my current life.  It may not be getting 1000’s of views a day with sponsorship deals coming in every direction but I still love styling and putting together posts each week for the little community on here.  It may also have had a couple of face lifts and content direction changes, but it is still the good old miss spelt, badly punctuated and poorly scheduled Fabric Forward at heart! 

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16. So many shoots!

Kind of the thing which started off Fabric Forward in the first place. From those first few shoots me and Tom did in our home town we have trawled the country in search for cool photo locations and have come up with some pretty cool shots (if I do say so myself). I look forward to many to come!

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17. Barbican Ball  

Its not everyday that you find yourself in a room with the walls entirely covered in pink fur and Ru Paul booming over the speakers. However some how I did. As part of uni we were tasked to dress some mannequins to be shown at the Barbican Ball this year running along the theme of Vulgar which is their being exhibition going on at the moment. If you follow me on Instagram you my have seen a couple of pictures from the event on there. I’d never done anything like this before and was a really cool experience to be part of (along with having a new appreciation for people who dress mannequins, and I thought actors were difficult sometimes ;). ) 

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18. NYT Gala

This summer I became a member for costume of The National Youth Theatre and with it being their diamond year at the end of my course I got to work on their Diamond Anniversary Gala at the Shaftesbury Theatre in hair and makeup. This was my first occasion working and going backstage of a west end theatre so it was all very exciting for me. Despited being full of the worst cold I have had in years I powered on doing more victory rolls and beehives than I have ever done in my life. It was a long and tiring day but it was all worth it seeing such a great show come together (Plus and having Matt Smith acknowledge my existence in the corridor twice was the icing on the cake!)

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19. Working at The Libertine

 This year I  lucky enough to get the chance to do some work at The Libertine at The Theatre Royal Haymarket on The Libertine doing wardrobe maintenance on a Saturday morning. It may have only been washing and ironing shirts, but its washing and ironing Dominic Coopers shirts.

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20. Moving to London

I know this is something that came with moving to a university down here but moving to London is something at I have always wanted to do. I know many a young adult has said this same thing before me but but to live in such a busy and vibrant city with so much going on and the industry I work in centred down here is something I have always wanted. Sometimes feels a bit surreal that I am actually now here maybe partly not being quite as good as you thought it would be (the northern line at 5 o clock on a Friday would put anyone off!) Obviously is it not all plain sailing, realising you need to leave at least an hour to get anywhere and you wont find a cheap supermarket for miles but its the place for now that I call home and I promise to make the most of it.

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21. So turning 21

 It may not have been and intoxicating time partying the night away however spent with my nearest and dearest it was a time to say goodbye to the ups and downs of 20 and onto the next chapter of 21. 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS 

Black and white is back

Black and white is back

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There will have rarely been day over the last couple of years where black and white haven’t been staple items within my outfit. From dresses to jumpers my wardrobe has become a sea of blacks, whites and greys (with a couple of hints of red thrown in for good measure). Call it boring, funeral attire, stylish or simple one reason I like it in particular is that it is just easy. Dressing and shopping become so much simpler when you know that everything you buy and wear will mostly likely go with everything else in your wardrobe and never having to worry if that colour will go with anything.

The strappy top or dress over T shirt trend has been a huge trend this past season. Not only do I like the look of it but the practicality of being able to wear your more summery items into the autumn and winter months has been an added bonus. This little black number from Urban Outfitters has to be one of my favourites with it fitting like a glove but I love the edgier side of it with having the longer hems at the sides and the square strappy neckline (and was a lovely little sale bargain to boot!) Despite making more of an effort recently to add a splash of colour here and there, especially helped with my new found love of vintage 90’s dresses,  I will always be monochrome lover at heart.

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PHOTOS: TOM FLATHERS (at The Custard Factory, Birmingham)

DRESS (similar) | TOP | SHOES | BELT

Painting the town RED

Painting the town RED

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Now I can’t say that I am someone who is out every weekend “painting the town red” or blue or green or any colour for that matter. Staying in at home tucked up in bed with a mug of hot chocolate and an episode of the crown on seems all too appealing. However when it comes to fashion, a good old piece of red is definitely is a good enough to get out of bed for. 

If there is any colour that I am going to be wearing that doesn’t make me look like I am going to a funeral then it is going to be red. From tops to dresses to scarfs all of these nestle within my wardrobe in a variety of different shades. Its a good old trusty colour for me with never feeling too girly but is versatile when pairing with other colours. I feel its a colour that never really goes out of season, being bright and colourful for the summer months yet an obviously festive option for the christmas period.

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Ever since I saw The Little Magpie repeatedly strutting her stuff in a gorgeous pair of Topshop red tapered trousers, I had been on the hunt to find a pair for myself. Funnily enough after searching high and low from high street to vintage, it all came back to Topshop with exactly what I was looking for. With them being a slightly more muted and darker shade of red I don’t think they end up being too bright and in your face. This style of tapered trouser is definitely a bit of a Chloe signature with them being great at showing of a waist with not being too tight and restrictive. 

I’ve never been one to shy away from red on the basis of it being “fattening” because at the end of the day if you like it and feel good in it, the bloody well just wear it! 

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PHOTOS | TOM FLATHERS

TROUSERS | TOP

1 year of Fabric Forward | What i’ve learnt about blogging

1 year of Fabric Forward | What i’ve learnt about blogging

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So that year milestone has finally arrived.

With my habit of dropping hobbies as nearly as quickly as starting them (those golf lessons only lasted a matter of weeks), it is a minor miracle that we have actually of this far. Having not done anything to celebrate one of my own birthday for the past few years, I can’t say I have cracked out a cake quite yet however having managed to stick at this semi constantly for the past year I thought it should be given at least a small nod somehow. From horse riding to knitting after taking up something new for over a year, you would hope you have learnt a few things new about it and blogging has been no different. So without further ado here are some of the things which this year has taught me about blogging. 

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Technical stuff it hard!  

From SEO’s to HTML’s no matter how much you consider yourself a wiz on the computer with being able to use Iplayer and photoshop at the same time, coding will always seem to be another language to you. 

That writing isn’t the easiest things to come to me.

You may have noticed in the early days of the blog, nearly 1000 word essays seemed to be the order of the day, competing with War and Peace in terms of time taken to read.  This is something which didn’t last particularly long realising 1. I’m not exactly the next Charles Dickens and 2. I don’t exactly have the size of following of Charles Dickens  

Staying consistent can sometimes be hard (as exhibited today!).

No matter how many days that I give myself to sort the photos and write a new blog post, you can almost guarantee that I won’t end up doing it until the morning of wanting to post it. 

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That it is harder to get your blog noticed than I first thought.

With everyone and their dog seeming to have a blog nowadays to make someone read yours rather than one of the big guns’s seems to be a never ending struggle. I guess many many more tweets is the key. 

Whenever your eating out you feel obliged to take photos of your food.

I don’t think I can scroll through instagram nowadays and not see a picture of avocado on rye bread served on perfectly dainty crockery anywhere. 

Learning more about what suits your figure.

No matter how comfy and marshmallow like those big baggy winter jumpers are, sometimes when put on camera you realise their not the most flattering thing for you. A good old waist belt never did anyone any harm! 

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There are only so many times that your home city will come up with new and exciting places to shoots photos. 

 

That at some point or another no matter how well you thought you hid it on the extremely public on the internet one of your friends of family will find it, and spread it.

Any new blogger out there will know the feeling of panic that rushes through their veins when someone tells them that they have been reading their blog, then you just have to remind yourself, you did put it out on the internet. 

Check, check and check again!

Even if you are damn sure that when you wrote that post you couldn’t possibly have make any glaringly obvious grammatical errors or spelt any words practically backwards its highly likely that there will be a mistake lurking in there somewhere. it is aways good to go back and check everything through if nothing more than to save the embarrassment of having your friends scribble their hypothetical red pen all over it. 

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Finally, to end on a positive note after realising they all seem slightly negative, it is a great way to journal your life and look back at where you have been and what has happened over the past months/years.

Its like having all you photo albums at the click of a button! 

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Photos – Tom Flathers 

Life in a leather jacket

Life in a leather jacket

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Now I may not be a member of the Hells Angels and I definitely don’t have a Harley Davidson tucked away in my garage (as if i even have a garage) but it doesn’t mean I haven’t used and abused wearing a leather jacket. Since purchasing this little beauty back in the spring from Topshop, there has rarely been a day when I have reached to put on anything else. With it being in my favourite colour/not colour black, it instantly brings out that inner rock chic which I had somewhere hiding within me and probably makes me look about 10 times cooler than i actually am at heart. 

But never mind the jacket, lets talk a little more about that little interesting denim item I have on. As someone who for a very long time now has barely taken off her plain black skinny jeans and has never wanted to make a statement in the denim, thinking I really should not be drawing too much attention to those tree trunks. All in all these really shouldn’t be something that I am interested in however, some tiny corner of my brain (which definitely wasn’t the money saving part) propelled me to try these on in Topshop and I knew that they would fit perfectly in my wardrobe.

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Over the past few years we have seen jeans move from the pairs of trouser that everyone wears for practicality and comfort into more interesting fashion statement pieces. Be it flared frayed hems, all over embroidery or the ripped knee trend which it seems everyone and their auntie has tried out, the high street is still continuing to come up with new and exciting reinventions of the humble jean. Topshop has been somewhere that I have always noticed to push the boat out with their denim pieces, probably to the extent where some other brands aren’t willing to go.

When I first picked them up I assumed that they would only work with other plain, neutral coloured items, keeping it all well within my comfort zone, but since trying them on with multiple different items i’ve realised quite how versatile they can be due to being made of the 2 colours of denim that go with everything. This is the first kind of this style that I have seen around in the shops and on the streets.This may be because nobody else likes them or just because they haven’t yet to be worn by some A lister to make them the next highly sort after thing. Whether they become a hit or a flop I will continuing jazzing up my denim these jeans this autumn winter.

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Wonderful photographs by Tom Flathers 

JEANS: http://bit.ly/2dvnyZd

JACKET: http://bit.ly/2dKdfSP

Those matchy matchy vibes

Those matchy matchy vibes

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You know those days as a girl (sorry boys) when you actually manage to end up wearing an exactly matching set of underwear and you actually feel like you are winning at life and could take on the world? Now I wish I could say this was one of those days but without giving too much away, with my rather undesirable underware collection, mostly consisting of massive granny knickers (Bridget would be proud!) leave these days rather few and far between. However how could anyone not miss the opportunity to match their lipstick colour with their outfit?

Now I know this will come as a massive shock to all and at the risk of repeating myself for the 100th time but shirt dresses and bright lipsticks are near enough the only 2 things I ever wear. This maroon one was a new addition for me this summer. Its near enough a carbon copy of a black one which I have had and worn to death over the past few years so what better way to introduce some more colour to my wardrobe. The ultimate matching lipstick was the lovely Love Liberty from Charlotte Tilbury. I spoke more in-depth about this lipstick in my review of it linked here. I may have had a some what love hate relationship with this lipstick in the past but you can not deny how perfectly it works for this look.

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Pics as ever by Tom Flathers 

Spotlight on – Getting organised and proactive!

Spotlight on – Getting organised and proactive!

As I sit here surrounded by 4 notepads having just planned out my week ahead in acute detail, I do tend to think of myself as a rather organised person. There have been many times in my life where I wish I could get my nose out of my dairy and just let everything role along happily but with my brain seeming more sieve like than brain like, if its not written in my diary and well as being written on reminder post it notes and my daily lists, then it will get forgotten. Now with it still being the beginning of a new year (only just realised it is now February, that still counts right?), what better time for everyone to get organised and help get their life in gear. So here are a few of my little tips for trying to stay organised! 

IMG_3124LIST BOOKS 

We all know that extremely satisfying experience of being able to cross to tick something off a list right, well with being a list obsessive you get this lovely experience many times a day. 

One of these can seem like a little gift from god when times get busy and hectic. Being able to off load all the big and small things into one manageable list to work through seems to make my life a whole lot easier. But you do need to make sure that this list writing doesn’t go to far. It can be a dangerous business ;) Firstly don’t let it get to the point when you write ‘write new list’ on your list…been there far too many times. And secondly, try not to have too many notebooks not the go at once, you may forget which one your current list is then, then all hell may break loose ;)

WEEKLY PLANNERS ARENT JUST FOR MUMS 

Even if you don’t have to plan getting one child to football practice and another at ballet while taking yourself to yoga, weekly planners or diaries are the way forward. I like being able to put down everything I have planned for the week onto one page to see how much I have to do, If things clash and if some things need to be moved around. With being thoroughly stuck the dark ages this process definitely stays on paper for me and hasn’t yet sneaked onto the phone or computer. Like I like being able to hold a proper book rather than a kindle, I like being able to plan my week out with a paper and pen, add things in and cross things out (without messing up the perfectly neat handwriting ;) .) 

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STICKY NOTES CAN NEVER BE TOO CLOSE 

For the moment when inspiration strikes and no notebook or diary seems to be within easy reach, this is when that pile of sticky notes lurking in the corner of your desk has their moment to shine. I particularly love this pack from knock knock with the different colours and slogans. Now I can’t say I have much to delegate or much I can eagerly write down to put off, but out of pure beauty, they will get used on occasion.  

As much as I try to organise myself putting all the right steps in place, my productivity levels can drop towards the floor. With a cosy bed day in front of I Player looking so much more appealing than chaining yourself to your desk, (I’m really selling working here aren’t I) sometimes we just have to get round to it. So here are some of my top tips at getting proactive. 

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HAVING A ROUTINE (as boring as it sounds) 

Now I’m not expecting everyone to be getting up at 6:30 sharp everyday, having a kale and spinach smoothie, heading to the gym for a long work out and then effortlessly slipping back into your perfectly scheduled work routine (god knows I don’t do that,) however having a routine  can be so beneficial for being proactive. One of the most productive times of my life was when I was back in college. I look back on the days of getting up at 6:45 every day and wondering how the hell I did it, with me now being a uni student me and 6:45 have not met in a long time. But i think being able to do this was partly down to having such a rigid routine. With most days following the same sort of pattern, getting up and working felt a lot easier because your body does the exact same thing every day and knows what it has to do. I’m not saying that I used to spring out of bed wide awake and fresh as a daisy at 6:45, however being busy and having a routine works a lot better for me than getting up when I want and doing work whenever I want. 

PUT ON CLOTHES 

I’m not talking about anyone working in the nude should put clothes on, if that works for you then go ahead, but what I do mean is get out of those pyjamas and put of on some normal clothes. I like anyone else will always be inclined to have a lazy day of wearing lounge wear but just changing into jeans and a T shirt can make such a difference, separating yourself from relaxing mode to working mode. 

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PREETY STUFF IS COOL 

Im a sucker for anything with a pretty pattern on it, what can I say, i’m a textile’s student. But if i find a lovely pretty notebook or set of stationary I am far more likely to want to write in it, even if I don’t have anything to write! 

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MAKE STARBUCKS YOU NEW OFFICE (other cafe’s are available)

Now I’m not saying work out of the house everyday, staying in the conform of your home with snacks on tap can be very appealing however, however once or twice a week is a nice little change to freshen up our surrounds and get out of the house. Now dreading the day that baristas at my local cafe will say ’the usual?’, living in a big city I like being able to explore and go around and try different cafe’s (or at least just a different branch of Costa) to work.Also with this being somewhat of a trend nowadays to get productive over you pain au chocolat, sometimes it’s nice to work around other people doing the same thing as you, however the noisy family of 7 to your left throwing coffee around may get annoying after a little while. 

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