Anxiety by night: the sleep-stealing b**tard

My fiancé can fall asleep anywhere. I mean anywhere – on a bus, the tube, waiting for me in a dressing room – but also within seconds in his own bed. My ability to sleep, conversely, is a different story. I’ve always struggled with falling asleep and am an incredibly light sleeper – but in more recent years falling asleep has become a real problem.

I believe this stems from my anxiety disorder. Sometimes I’ll just be struck with this intense dread that I can’t shake. It feels as though I’m just about to take the biggest exam of my life. It rises deep from within and can sometimes feel like a physical pain. Alas, the bloody exam doesn’t even exist.

I can lie awake for hours even though I’m so tired and then struggle to focus on the next day with no sleep. How about an afternoon nap, you might say? Forget it. I could never.

HOWEVER, there are many reasons why insomnia can occur and ways you can ease it.

Not alone, hun

Episodes of insomnia are suuuuper common. In fact, it’s estimated that a third of us will struggle with it at some time in our lives.

Although I do struggle with falling asleep, I’ve developed my own ‘sleep hygiene’ system which sometimes works for me. This includes things like avoiding alcohol, not drinking any caffeine after 12pm, not eating a big meal past 8pm and doing my best to stay off my phone when I’m in bed. You can read more about sleep hygiene here. After a good night’s sleep, I feel much more productive and clear-headed.

Sometimes though, it’s worth looking into a little extra help.

  • I have heard that Lush Sleepy Body Lotion can give you that extra boost. It’s filled with lavender oil which has long been thought to aid sleep and using it tells your body that it’s time to start relaxing for bed – has anyone had a good experience with this?
  • Using a White Noise machine works for some babies, why not adults? Especially living in London with all those sirens. I usually use Spotify and play some rainforest sounds, but there are also dedicated sleep aids on the market I’d be intrigued to use.
  • There are also the oft-discussed benefits of getting jiggy with your partner or yourself to aid sleep! I’m no scientist, but a round with the LELO Sona Cruise will have you absolutely zonked out!

To Bedfordshire, we ride

Listening to your body truly is key. If you’re struggling, it may be time to make some adjustments to your sleep routine. Easy changes, like turning off your phone and computer an hour before bed, meditating, going to bed at the same time each night and making sure your room is dark can all improve your odds of catching a good night’s sleep. If you’re still struggling though, it may be time to speak to your GP.

Femme Luxe Haul #2

Pink background, girl wearing light coloured dress with jacket

You’ll remember I previously collaborated with Femme Luxe, and I’ve been lucky enough to do so again!

Continuing in the vein of getting out of my comfort zone and choosing clothes which I wouldn’t normally go for has been really positive for my confidence. I’m noticing that I’m choosing things I’d never have even looked at before because I feel better about myself. Perhaps some of that is my consistent, healthy lifestyle I’ve written about here, but having more of a choice over different shapes and styles of clothing makes a difference.

Here’s what I chose:

Dark Blue Denim Bardot Top

“Take it off the shoulder this season and make a serious fashion statement in the Dark Blue Denim Bardot Top. Featuring a gathered front and puff sleeve, this bardot top is a summer essential!”

Femme Luxe Bardot Top

I wore this top with a plain black skirt and wedges on a night out in Cyprus, unfortunately didn’t take any pictures! It looks great but I didn’t wear a bra with it and to be honest I would have sized down if I could have (I chose size 12 but ran out of time to return). It is a really unique shape and something I’ll return to.

Black Polka Dot Ruched Puff Sleeve Mini Dress

Get the cutest look in our Black Polka Dot Ruched Puff Sleeve Dress. In elegant long sleeves and a cute print we know you’ll love this mini dress.”

Hmmm, not my favourite I have to say. The model on the website looks banging, but I ended up looking a bit like a spotty sausage. I got a medium (apparently 10/12) – but this size was so tight on my boobs it just wouldn’t have been possible to wear it out. 

Polka Dot Dress with long sleeves from Femme Luxe

There is some funny sizing on Femme Luxe so I’d just be aware. For example, the medium in this dress was 10/12, but a large on another item of clothing would be 12/14 and an M would be 8/10. I try to aim for size 10 where possible, but when the sizing isn’t consistent, you will get some ‘misses’ like this!

Black Cut Out Body Con Dress

Sorry, I can’t find it on the website now (I’ve linked to other black body cons from Femme Luxe, but you WILL have seen this dress on Insta.  Again, I wore it in Cyprus on a date night and I couldn’t believe how it made my body look. It isn’t a stretch material but it pulled me in in all the right places, and somehow made my girls look two or three sizes bigger too? Magical. 10/10 would wear again.

Femme Luxe Cut Out Body Con Dress Black

Looking forward to see what Autumn brings from Femme Luxe! You can visit the Femme Luxe website here.

BROMPTON BICYCLE X ELLA DELANCEY

I worked with Brompton Bicycles to bring their customers experiences and stories about owning a Brompton Bicycle to life. I edited long-form case studies into cohesive, easy-to-digest blog posts for the Brompton website as well as writing up company events and news.

The Jones Wedding Update – June 2019

Oh wow…how has THIS much time passed since my last update on our wedding plans?

I remember thinking that May 2020 was AGES away when we first got engaged. Now, we’re six months to Christmas (!) and I feel like we’re running out of time – we’re 100% not, though.

We’ve now been engaged for almost six months. I’m still really enjoying it and still haven’t got over it. I really can’t wait to marry William in May next year BUT I definitely think I’m going to miss being engaged. It’s so fun and exciting.

Here is what we’ve been up to over the last three months…

Had an engagement party

In the end, I had nothing to worry about and the party was fab. So many people turned up and we were just overwhelmed with all the love. I felt amazing and Will looked so handsome. My only regret is that I didn’t take any photos at ALL – I’ve got a few from other people but no group shots.

Couple at engagement party in Ealing

Met with the venue

We met with the venue last week, armed with about 100 questions that had been rattling around in our heads. We came out feeling much more chilled and with a better idea of how our day is going to be and what it’s going to look like. Our wedding planner Michelle is amazing – she knows everything and there are no silly questions!

Gave our notice of marriage

This was CRAAAAZY. This is where you go to the actual registry office to give your actual intention of actually getting married. It felt so grown up and formal (which I suppose it is). This is where you confirm the venue and time of the ceremony and they ask you a heap of questions to make sure your marriage isn’t forced, or that you could potentially be related!? We headed to brunch afterwards to celebrate and it was just the perfect Saturday morning.

Arranged our wedding party

I asked Lucy to be a Bridesmaid like one week into the engagement as it was such an easy decision for me. We then confirmed one witness. More recently, Will asked some of his closest friends to be Groomsmen. We still need to confirm the Best Man and one other witness, but it’s something we want to do face-to-face so I’ll hold off saying anymore until the next update.

Gypsophilia flower or Baby's Breath in differet colours including pink, blue, yellow and green

Tried on more wedding dresses

I know the exact style of dress I want and can see it in my mind – I just haven’t found it yet. I’m also really concerned I’m going to buy one then regret it. I do need to get a move on though, as I want to leave enough time for adjustments. I just want it to be RIGHT.

We’ve been doing a great job of working as a team whilst planning and still haven’t found anything we really disagree on (except perhaps Will’s choice of First Dance song – Jurassic Park? No). I’ve been practising my second name and have booked a few restaurants under the name ‘Jones’ – it’s SO strange but I’m loving it.

We desperately want to go on holiday as we’ve both been working really hard and planning for a wedding can be stresssssssful, but we’re also aware of money so need to have a break on as much of a budget as possible. Again, we’re doing great as a team for saving so hopefully we’re on the right track.

There’s still so much to look forward to and we can’t wait!

 

Femme Luxe Haul Review

– This post contains gifted products –

I made a few resolutions at the start of the new year. I’d had a crazy, stressful 2018 and had been on a jouuuuuurNEY with my mental health and anxiety. Luckily, I was finally coming out the other side and had amazingly just become ENGAGED.

Quite frankly, I was sick of feeling sick in myself. I don’t want to say all of my resolutions – although I might further down the line – as it’s all still a work in progress. However, one of them was to begin dressing more adventurously and trying to accept my body and face for how they are.

My general uniform is black jeans, heeled boots or AirMax, with a variety of different ‘nice tops’. I admire fashion from afar, often jumping on trends too late, usually at the tail-end of the item’s popularity. Part of this is confidence, but part of it is definitely because I just don’t have the ‘eye’ for fashion. A few of my friends throw outfits together without even blinking and look incredible, it’s a skill. I just either stick to what I know or half-heartedly copy my pals.

I digress. I wanted to start wearing things that I wasn’t used to and start loving myself more. I’m approaching 30 (shut up) and I won’t have this body forever; it needs to be enjoyed instead of covered up! In the age of fast fashion, things are becoming easier for Fashion Losers like me. Returns are super easy, so I can buy a heap of stuff and only keep what I enjoy wearing and the CHOICE of items is just incredible.

Femme Luxe black and white logo

Bold choices

I was approached by Femme Luxe to try out some of their new clothing range. I was delighted, of course, but found myself adding things to the basket that were things I was used to. I had to stop and make myself choose some items that I would have once admired from a distance. These clothes are likely to be standard for everyone else but I was super pleased with my choices.

The ordering process was easy and the items were dispatched quite quickly. However, when I checked the dispatch notice, I saw that a couple of items including a great pair of jeans were not on there. I double checked and I’d definitely ordered them. When I contacted customer service, I was told that the items probably weren’t in stock. That was confusing to me as usually the website is updated if something is out of stock. It wasn’t the end of the world, but it was a little disappointing that this wasn’t communicated to me.

Blonde girl wearing Femme Luxe khaki lounge set

Lounge sets for life

The first outfit I chose was a khaki lounge set. I’ve majorly relaxed my style since meeting Will. I used to wear heels everywhere and have a FULL face of makeup morning, noon and night. I didn’t even own a pair of trainers. He has taught me that I can be loved and be a great person to be around without all that. With that revelation came the age of Ella In Athleisure. God I love a lounge set with trainers.

This one was different though. It’s cropped. I’ve hated my stomach for as long as I can remember and often get caught in a little bubble of feeling gross about it. It’s not until I am shown a picture of myself that I can actually see that I’m not fat. Like, at all. N.B. This is a story for another day.

The set is really up my street – it’s not the most quality of fabrics but it definitely does the job. I’d say that the sizing is good – I chose a 10. The top was fine but the bottoms were a little loose on my legs. I’d probably size down next time. Although the top is cropped, the trousers come up high, so I actually felt much more comfortable than I thought I would.

This set was £31 but there are often great deals and discounts on Femme Luxe so keep an eye out.

Blonde girl wearing Femme Luxe khaki lounge set crouched on decking

Free the nipple

I have absolutely no problem getting the girls out and this black bodysuit was a winner when I first saw it. I think I’m going to wear it to Wireless with some coloured nipple pasties underneath. I like the backless look, too. It’s true to size, the size 10 was fine for me.

Girl wearing black lace bodysuit and zip leggings from Femme Luxe

I paired the bodysuit with the Femme Luxe zippered high-waist leggings. Unfortunately, the material is quite thin so you could see the body suit seams, which isn’t a good look. Again, I’d ordered size 10 which was a little on the big size for my legs, but fit nicely on the waist. I’d probably size down next time!

Blonde girl facing away from the camera wearing Femme Luxe bodysuit and zippered leggings

Femme Luxe verdict?

Femme Luxe has so much choice across the site and is definitely going to help me in making bolder fashion choices. Although there were a couple of issues with my items, the ones they did send arrived really quickly. The materials used are obviously not the best BUT, at these amazing fast-fashion prices, what would you expect?

I’m impressed enough to want to work with Femme Luxe again, so I hope I’ll be sharing a few more outfits over the coming months. Maybe I’ll get better at posing in my garden. Who knows?