How to Make a Sick Day Better

A Girl, A Style _ How to Make a Sick Day Better

As a bona-fide Type A personality, I struggle with the notion of being forced out of action by something as unsatisfying as being sick. But it happens to us all, and sometimes, you just have to admit defeat and call in sick to the world for a day. Here’s my guide to making is good as can be (NB: none of this is ground-breaking advice, but we can probably all do with a little reminder to slow down when we need to):

1. Ditch the guilt + woe. If you’re anything like me, sick days will inevitably induce feelings of guilt (“but I don’t have time to be sick! There is so much to do” etc. etc) or self-pity. Getting sick is your body’s way of telling you to slow down, so listen and do as it says. Guilt-free. (No one will congratulate you for forcing yourself to work when you’re an incubus of germs anyway)

2. Take care of yourself. Your body will be devoting all of its energy to getting better. Help it along by wrapping up warm, taking the medicine/remedies you need and getting plenty of fluids and healthy nutrients. Tea, soup and orange juice were invented for days like this!

3. Get cosy. You’re not leaving the house all day (no one else wants your germs), so get comfortable! Fluff the pillows, change into your most comfortable pyjamas, and fix yourself a tray of healthy snacks, tissues, medicine and supplies so you don’t have to move more than you want to.

4. Rest. You’re home for a reason, so give your body what it needs and spend the day doing as little as possible. Go straight back to bed after breakfast, have a nap every few hours or just rest as long as you need (no guilt allowed).

5. Indulge in a little escapism. There is no point even attempting anything energetic, so spend the day as peacefully as possible. When I’m feeling horrid, I like to escape with a happiness-inducing book, some light-hearted TV or an old-favourite movie (avoid anything too intense or cerebral, or you’ll just fall asleep anyway).

A Girl, A Style _ How to Make a Sick Day Better 2

Pictured: (Top) John Lewis bed // Marks & Spencer lamp // White Company bedding // Diptyque candle // Aerin fragrance // (Bottom) Warby Parker ‘Huxley’ glasses // Anthropologie monogrammed mug (a gift from Nicolette). 

6. Pamper. You’ll probably feel dehydrated, achey and flat, so a little nurturing won’t hurt. I try to take a long bubble bath (the heat eases aches and pains and the steam will help clear your sinuses), slather on a face oil before climbing back into bed (to combat parched, dull skin), and a healing balm to soothe dry lips and nostrils. A spritz of face mist during the day and a few drops of relaxing lavender oil on an oil burner also work wonders.

7. Tidy up a little. No matter how sick you are, wallowing will only make you feel worse. Open the window and spend five minutes collecting all the tissues, straightening your room and washing a few dishes. The outer order will help your mood if nothing else.

8. Indulge in small pleasures. Don’t waste your precious energy on anything elaborate, but now is the time to indulge in a few of your favourite small pleasures to cheer you up. I like to light a few candles (even if I can’t smell a thing, it lifts the mood of the room – just don’t fall asleep with them lit!), have a piece of dark chocolate and make a pot of my favourite Laduree tea. Such pleasures certainly won’t cure any ailments, but they will make you feel a little rosier.

9. Do one small task. even though I only take sick days when I’m so unwell I’m physically incapable of leaving the house, I struggle with productivity-guilt if I do nothing with my day. I find it helps if I do at least one tiny task. Now is not the time to do anything requiring sharp focus or decisiveness. Tidy a junk drawer, file a stack of paperwork or clean out your medicine cabinet.

10. Go back to bed! just when you’ve spent the day resting, go back to bed and sleep some more. Hopefully, you’ll wake up feeling like yourself again (and if not: rinse and repeat tomorrow!).

How do you try to make the most of a sick day?

Love, Miss B xx

Pictures via my Instagram (because who whips out a DSLR when they’re sick?!)

Home Sweet Home

20140707-091417 pm-76457270.jpg
Today marks a very major milestone for me: the Clever Boyfriend and I just bought our very first house!

Well, ‘house‘ is probably a polite exaggeration. Really, it is a teeny tiny apartment (which by Cambridge standards probably equates to a sprawling estate in other, less spatially-challenged cities), but it is right in the city, on the top floor, filled with light, minutes from the station (so I can be in central London within the hour), and even has a little balcony (roughly the size of a postage stamp) for planting herbs and having morning papers and brunch outside on weekends.

But, most importantly, it is all ours!

As a compulsive over-sharer, it has taken all my restraint to keep this quiet until now. But conscious of how drawn-out and boring these things can be, and for fear of things falling through at the last minute, I didn’t want to share the news until we’d signed that big stack of paperwork (so.much.paperwork).

We complete and collect the keys next week, and then have less than a week to move, set up, and gather an entire house worth of furniture, fittings and accessories before we leave our current place (all while holding down our day jobs). The timeline and ‘to do’ list gives a mild control freak like me palpitations (eg. I don’t even know where to start with setting up a wardrobe system to fit the space…), but I am so excited to get stuck in and to turn that blank, empty canvas into a cosy little space that feels like our very own home.

I hope you won’t all mind me adding a new interiors section to the blog (to share the stages as I go, as well as new treasures I discover and love), but please do let me know if you have any comments, questions, suggestions for wonderful places to buy treasures for the home, or first-house-buying wisdom of your own!

Love, Miss B xx

 

How to be Fabulous Each Morning (in 15 Minutes)

A Girl, A Style _ How to be Fabulous

I don’t know about you, but during the week, I never have the luxury of being able to take my time getting ready. If I want more than half an hour to get ready, then I have to either forgo sleep or get to the office late (and frankly, I’d rather lie in bed for those blissful ten minutes after my alarm goes off than spend time styling my hair). Needless to say, I’m by now an expert in getting out that door as quickly as possible, without turning into a frazzled, grumpy mess.

The secret to leaving the house feeling your best? Leave ten minutes to do your makeup (more if you can spare it) and always do a few things that feel leisurely and fun, no matter how rushed you are (for me that’s taking a few minutes to put on a soundtrack to listen to while I’m getting ready, make a quick + healthy breakfast to have while I’m doing my makeup, and always remembering my lipstick, perfume and jewels: those finishing touches that make me feel ‘done’).

Here’s how I do it when I’ve got 15 minutes flat:

One minute: Turn on music that makes me want to have a dance party in the bathroom (hello, Motown!). Brew coffee/put fruit in the blender. Jump in the shower (Jo Malone shower gel starts the morning off right), brush teeth + sing badly.

Four minutes: Quick face routine + slather on body moisturiser (+ sunscreen if it’s summer). Get coffee/juice, giggle at my boyfriend’s silly jokes.

Six minutes: Dry shampoo (Batiste is the best bargain in my beauty arsenal) + quickly run a GHD or tongs through the front and ends of my hair. Twist hair into a bun while it’s still warm to set while I’m getting ready.

Eight minutes: When I’m short on time, I focus on perfecting my complexion and adding a pop of colour. I start with BB cream all over + long-wear foundation and concealer where I need it.

Ten minutes: Add a glow (I like Nars illuminator around the cheek/browbones, down the bridge of the nose and on the cupid’s bow), lightly buff bronzer into the cheekbones/temples/jawline) then a pop of peachy blush on the cheeks.

Eleven minutes: Add a flick of liquid liner (I’ve tried them all, and this Stila marker version is absolutely the best; foolproof and SO fast), fill in brows and a wash of pearly/bronze shadow if you have a moment.

Twelve minutes: Spritz on perfume (this Jo Malone version is my current favourite), undo hair (shake out waves or pin back into a loose undo), and get dressed in something that makes you feel fantastic.

Fourteen minutes: Add a dash of sparkle (if in doubt, add a statement necklace or a pair of fabulous earrings). Do a twirl + turn off Motown soundtrack.

Fifteen minutes: Grab handbag, do a quick outfit check, smile and go!

In transit: Add a coat of mascara and a pop of bright lipstick on the bus/train/at the lights if you ran out of time at home (ie. these are the only two acceptable steps to do in public; never your whole makeup routine). Write your ‘to do’ list for the day (be sure to include something just for you/that makes you smile). Spend the morning being pulled-together + fabulous!

A Girl, A Style _ How to be Fabulous 2
Pictured (L-R): Nars ‘Turkish Delight’ lipgloss // Anthropologie monogrammed mug (from Nicolette) //  BaubleBar earrings c/- (similar style available at Shopbop) // Nars ’413 BLKR’ illuminator c/- // Nars ‘New Attitude’ blush.

Do you have any tips for getting-fabulous-quick each morning?

Love, Miss B xx

P.S. By popular request, I’m bringing back Beauty Wednesday each fortnight. Do you have any requests for future beauty posts? Let me know in the comments below or via Twitter / Instagram!

At The Flower Market

A Girl, A Style _ At The Flower Market 4A Girl, A Style _ At The Flower Market 1

There are few simple pleasures I love more than a trip to the florist to pick up a big bunch of fragrant blooms (as anyone who follows me on Instagram will know). Since moving to Cambridge, a weekly trip to the flower stall at the market has become one of my favourite rituals at the end of the work week.

To me, those flowers are so intrinsically linked with happy memories and moments throughout my life, that it is a luxury I’m happy to indulge (I’d take a bunch of roses over a coffee, any day). Growing up in Australia, we had a beautiful English garden which exploded with perfumed blossoms each season, and some of my happiest days were spent hosting tea parties under the peach trees for my (usually imaginary) friends, helping my father tend to the flower beds, and collecting armfuls of fragrant roses, hydrangeas bluebells and ranunculus with my mother to bring inside.

A Girl, A Style _ At The Flower Market 12A Girl, A Style _ At The Flower Market 10

Although I don’t have a garden here in Cambridge, it is a tradition I try to maintain to this day. Each week, I’ll pop to the flower stall before a massage and date night with the Clever Boyfriend on Friday evenings, or cycle to the market early on a Saturday morning for coffee, flowers and long chats about life with my best friend (we’ve been friends for 16 years, and by some wonderful stroke of fate, we have always seemed to end up in the same places in the world at the same time ever since and now both currently call Cambridge home).

A Girl, A Style _ At The Flower Market 3Wearing: Alice by Temperley dress (sold out, but similar styles available via Shopbop, Net-a-Porter and TheOutnet) // Whistles leather jacket (past season, but similar styles available here) // Marc Jacobs Stam bag (available at Nordstrom and Neiman Marcus) // Chloe sunglasses (similar style available at here) // J. Crew pearl necklace (also available in cheaper faux pearl version) // Kenneth Jay Lane pearl bracelets (sold out, but similar style available at J. Crew and necklace version available at Net-a-Porter) // Chanel brooch + ring (past season, but very similar styles available here and here). Beauty note: MAC ‘Ruby Woo’ lipstick // Essie ‘Bachelorette Bash’ nail polish (available at Nordstrom and Debenhams and Liberty).

Regardless of how hectic my week has been, life always just feels wonderful again after these weekends filled with love, friendship and those beautiful flowers.

Do you have any small pleasures you adore which always seem bring about happy moments? I would love to hear!

Love, Miss B xx

Sponsored post in partnership with Flowers of Holland