Good morning, beautiful people! Now, I think to think of us as friends here on FBrides, so I won’t deny that I had a seriously hard time waking up this morning, and d’you know, every one I speak to is experiencing the same thing right now.. Utter exhaustion! This time every year, once the excitement for the new year has calmed down a little, I feel like we hit a bit of a lull: grey days, still dressing for the cold (but minus the charm of that lovely wintery/festive feeling), dark mornings, early nights… It all seems totally acceptable pre-christmas, but on the flip-side can feel heavy and all kinds of exhausting, am I right?!

Hence today’s title: ‘Lighter Days are Coming’. We’re taking a moment to remind ourselves that it’s ok. It’s ok that we feel tired and like we’re still in hibernation mode, because everything in this life is temporary, it won’t last much longer, so let’s try and find the tiny joys in these darker days, because before we know it, Spring will be here. And what’s light without a little dark?!

So whether it’s indulging in a bi-weekly bubble bath to see you through the rest of the winter, sprucing up your winter wardrobe with some seriously cute boots, or willing Spring into being with the one of the season’s first beautiful blooms, keep your head up darlin’, because lighter days are coming…

One: Bubble Love

When in doubt, Lush. That’s the motto that’s seen us through another dark winter to be honest!

Because what could be more luxurious than to come home to your cute little paper bag and ponder which creamy, sparkly, essence-filled treat you’ll soak in that evening?! As a self-proclaimed summer lover, Lush baths are a key winter survival tool for me!

So you better believe I was all over their new exclusive Valentine’s range. Like a kid in a candy shop, honestly! My faves look like this:

Unicorn Horn – relaxing lavender oil meets mood-brightening neroli in this lustre-filled bubble bar. Neroli oil increases serotonin levels in the brain which makes us feel contented and cheery

Heart of Enlightened Expectation – with ylang ylang and bergamot oils to brighten moods, create a bubble bath that softens skin with Fair Trade organic cocoa butter. Heady geranium, jasmine and rose create a floral fantasy that soothes and calms

Cherryish – cherish skin with a moisturising scrub of Fair Trade organic cocoa butter and fine sea salt. As you stroke this mouth-watering bar over wet skin, a second helping of ground cherry stones help to get the blood flowing. With warm and uplifting cocoa absolute and a touch of sweet almond essential oil

Melt My Heart – this massage bar is a herby garden, with grounding cypress oil, uplifting orange flower absolute and the sweet softness of Fair Trade organic cocoa butter

Two: Chasing Rainbows

It may be grey. It may be cold. But if you keep your head up, you’ll have noticed a good few rainbows showing their lovely colours this past few weeks. Just a glimmer of sun in amongst all this rain we’ve had, that’s all it takes!

The moment may be fleeting, but that’s kinda what makes it so beautiful.

So if you see one of those glorious beams of colour, stop and take it in. Breath in all that magic and feel recharged. Because blink, and you’ll miss it.

Three: at-home Acupressure

Honestly, babes, I’m equal parts fascinated and terrified by this one, but the testimonials don’t lie! So what exactly is a Bed of Nails?!

The mystical bed of nails originated over 1,000 years ago in Asia, used by gurus in the practice of meditation and healing. Today we have embodied all the acupressure principals in an innovative re-invention with numerous healing benefits. Our genuine 21st century Bed of Nails® is a profound life changing experience that may induce deep relaxation, stimulate energy, relieve pain and heighten happiness

Similar to acupuncture; the pressure of the rounded nails against the skin may help the body release endorphins, the body’s very own “happiness drug” which provides a sense of joy, energy and pain relief, and oxytocin, which induces a sense of calm (yes, it is possible to feel energetic and relaxed at the same time!)

I mean… I’m game! But then, I love anything at-home holistic! Nevertheless, check out the list of potential benefits:

  • Improved circulation
  • Increased energy levels
  • Reduced blood pressure
  • Reduced stress + anxiety
  • Alleviation of headaches
  • Relieved tension + muscle aches
  • Improved sleep + insomnia relief
  • Relieved chronic neck + back pain
  • Activates the parasympathetic nervous system
  • Aids weight loss by reducing cortisol levels
  • Improved heart rate variability
  • Feel revitalised + rejuvenated
  • Improved skin complexion
  • Constipation relief
  • Alleviated malaise
  • May also reduce the appearance of cellulite as the nails create more blood flow to the area on which Bed of Nails is used and this can help break down the fat groupings which causes the cellulite

Four: Now Watching

Season two of Easy just recently arrived on Netflix and was just as intriguing as the first season. If you haven’t seen either, I’d highly recommend.

An exploration of human relationships, in all their wildly different forms. From your classic boy meets girl, to parent-teenager struggles, there’s also the first footings of an open marriage, a successful momtrepreneur venture, the bond between a struggling single mother and a childless thirty-something… It’s a little bit awkward, it’s honest, it’s accepting and it’s heart warming. A great way to expand your mind as to the many ways we humans relate to one another.

Check out the trailer to season 2 below! A little heads up though, probably not something watch with little people nearby (or in an open office?!). Enjoy!

Five: Quit Disposable

Now, if you’ve been reading our 10 Ways for a little while now, you’ll know that we’re forever seeking out new ways to reduce the number of plastic/disposable products we use and replace them with environmentally (and often purse-friendly!) reusable options.

Well, here’s our latest little discovery: the oh-so-simple and yet oh-so-ingenius reusable cotton pads. If you’re a big eye makeup wearer, no doubt you probably use a couple (if not 4 or 5) disposable cotton pads every night to get that sh*t off the moment you walk through the front door?! I feel ya!

You might be thinking, ‘but why do I need to quit them? They’re not plastic, so surely there’s no issue?’… That’s exactly what I thought too, but here’s the problem, as explained by Be a Shade Greener:

The non-organic cotton industry is a huge source of global environmental pollution using almost one quarter of all the world’s insecticides and 10% of pesticides. These toxic chemicals cause health problems for cotton workers and are responsible for poisoning wildlife and rivers, as well as killing an estimated 16,000 people each year

Not good, right?! So here’s the simple solution:

  • Two pots by your bathroom sink: one for clean, one for used cotton rounds
  • Buy a super cute set of reusable organic cotton/bamboo rounds from Etsy (there are so many sellers! Just search ‘Reusable Cotton Rounds‘)
  • As necessary, pop the used ones into a delicates washing bag (so they don’t get lost in the machine!) and…
  • Voilà a fresh set of cotton rounds every time, with zero waste!

Six: throw something beautiful

Woah there, Nelly! Don’t just go grabbing the nearest vase and throwing it to the wall – there might be some momentary satisfaction – but overall loveliness will not be achieved!!

No no, we’re talking about throwing ceramics. Have you guys ever done this? Sat down to a wheel and put your hands on that cold wet clay, ready to form something beautiful and useful with nothing but your bare hands? Perfectly raw, exquisitely messy and that chalky dust in the air that gives everything an air of softness. Such satisfaction.

I’ve done it once, at an open air festival, and can honestly say I treasure the little nondescript vessel I created, imperfections and all! If you haven’t tried it, and your looking for something creative-while-soothing that’ll reawaken the inner texture-loving child in you, book on to your local ceramics course.

Seven: Now Following

All the seventies feels. Those warm peachy, earth tones. Cane furniture, perfectly grown-out fringes, oversized tropical plants, flared denim and lived in hippy spaces…

If that’s your vibe, follow @bohemegoods on instagram.

‘Nough said!

Eight: #TimetoTalk

Thursday February 1st.

Pop it in your diary, because it’s #TimetoTalk.

It’s easy to think there’s no right place to talk about mental health. But the more we talk about it, the better life is for all of us.

Too many people with mental health problems are made to feel isolated, worthless and ashamed. Time to Talk Day is a chance for all of us to be more open about mental health – to talk, to listen, to change lives.

Wherever you are – at home, at work or up the top of a mountain! – have your conversation about mental health this Time to Talk Day.

Breaking down the taboos and shaming around mental health is vital. And the only way that’s gonna happen is if we start relaxing that stiff British upper lip and start talking. Simple, small steps will help us ensure no-one is left alone in their dark place:

Show you’re willing – just being there means a lot

Listen, don’t judge – talking is important, but so is a listening ear

Be yourself – talking about everyday things helps. You don’t have to fix this

Step up – make a brew, text them, take a walk. Small things go a long way

Be patient – be there for the good days and the bad days

Support – don’t be scared to look to professional to support you supporting them

Nine: Cutie Booties

We are striding on through the last of the winter in super cute ankle boots. After lusting after those gorgeous studded Susanna boots, by Chloé, I stumbled upon these perfect little dupes on ASOS. Saving me £815, and providing a non-leather option (#veganlife). And honestly, I haven’t taken them off, nor do I intend to for the foreseeable future.

Right now I’m wearing them with all my ankle-skimming jeans, whatever top I pull out first and my teddy jacket, but as soon as Spring starts coming around, I’ll be pulling out all the midi dresses and floaty florals to pair up for that perfect indie look. Here’s some of our fave affordable boot picks to transition into spring:

Add a pop of red to any denim with Topshop’s Kick Ankle boots – very Sienna!

H&M rake the classic Chelsea boot and make it a little chunkier and in a gorgeous faux khaki suede – done and done!

Echoing the buckles of the Chloé boot, the Topshop Alfie boots in mock croc will amp up any outfit

Ten: First signs of Spring

Forever being the light in my life, my beau bought me this year’s first bunch of daffodils this week (mushy, I know, I can’t help it!).

Guys, I cannot stop staring. Every year, they bring such hope of sunshine and warmth; I just love them!

So it seemed apt to end with a quote from Wordsworth’s beautiful Daffodils poem…

And siiiigh. If you’re feeling a little glum, I’d recommend the first thing you do is go and spend a quid on a glorious bunch of sunshine. Actual sunshine.
Have a beautiful weekend, babes, and we’ll see you on the flip side.

Peace + Love

Clare XO


Images: Ashley Neese, @samanthabbeautiful, The Gloss, @samanthabbeautiful, 3 rainbow image original sources unknown, Cult Beauty, Bed of Nails, Collider, Just Watch, Creekside Kid (via Etsy), LespetitssoinsSophie (via Etsy), Lobster & Swan, Nicole Franzen, The Design Files, @bohemegoods, Time to Change, 2 mental health images original source unknown, Sienna Miller image original source unknown, Just Fire Fits, The Frugality, Hans-Simon Holtzbecker, ‘Narcissus’, Wellspring Stones 


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