chloehelenmiles

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All looks wearing the new adidas Z.N.E Hoodie

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Photography by Ryan Winterbotham

21st century life is pretty fast paced. We’re working longer and sleeping less. Social media has us constantly plugged in. This is a blessing and a curse. We’re bombarded with information from the moment we wake to the moment our heads hit the pillow.

With so much information around us and so much on our plates it can be hard to find focus. With this in mind I’m working alongside adidas on their Find Focus campaign to share a few tips and tricks that help me to find focus balancing a busy lifestyle.

 

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Priorities 

Knowing what matters most is key to organising your time. Write a list of your priorities and work accordingly.

“Beware the barrenness of a busy life.” -Socrates

Not only will this help you to put what matters to you the most first, it will also help to reduce your workload by highlighting the things that in retrospect aren’t so important.

 

Making Lists

There’s no denying the satisfaction of putting a thick black line through an item on your to-do list.

When you’re making a list don’t make anything too broad that you can’t cross it out. It’s better to have a long list that’s easy to cross through than a short list that’s too broad to work through in a day.

E.g. If you’re studying Maths, instead of ‘Revise’, be more specific with ‘Revise Vectors’ or ‘Revise Kinematics’

If you break a task down into small sections you’re much more likely to get it all done.

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Little Wins

Little wins are so underrated. Getting your coffee for free at Pret. A room upgrade at a hotel. A passing compliment on your outfit from a stranger. A shared glance and smile across an otherwise miserable tube journey.

A lot of these little wins are luck. But they don’t have to be.

To make your day more productive and keep your positivity high, create your own little wins.

One way I like to do this is creating email tally’s. Every morning when I get to my desk the first thing I do is write two lines in my notebook. The date & ‘Email Tally’. Then I open up my emails and for every email I reply to a little stroke goes on the tally. When I get to 30 I take 10 minutes off.

I can’t begin to explain how much difference this little routine has made to my productivity.

It’s so motivating to see those strokes building up. It also means it’s completely on you. There’s no time period. You get your break as quickly or slowly as you’re willing to work. But if you’re like me, you’ll zoom through to get your 10 minutes asap. Win win.

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Maximize Your Brain Productivity 

I recently read a very interesting article on The 8-Hour Workday by Travis Bradberry.

“The eight-hour workday was created during the industrial revolution as an effort to cut down on the number of hours of manual labor that workers were forced to endure on the factory floor.. it possesses little relevance for us today.”

In a recent study conducted by the Draugiem Group they found that the length of the work day didn’t matter as much as the way the day was structured. Overall, the subjects who took regular short breaks were more productive than those who worked long hours.

“The brain naturally functions in spurts of high energy (roughly an hour) followed by spurts of low energy (15–20 minutes).”

After reading this article I put it to the test and the proof is in the pudding. I’ve found that I can concentrate on my work for roughly 50 minutes before starting to fidget and flick through my phone. So now when I’m at my laptop I take 50 minutes on, 15 minutes off. I can honestly say I’ve never been more productive.

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Give these tips a try and let me know what you think!

Shop The Post-

Z.N.E Hoodie / Z.N.E BottomsUltra Boost TrainersLogo Sports Bra / Three Stripe Leggings / Three Stripe Shorts / White Racerback Vest

This Post is in collaboration with adidas. All opinions are my own. 

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Photography by Ryan Winterbotham

The pressure to exercise has been growing rapidly over the past few years. The expectation to be active, fit and healthy is higher than ever. When I first started this blog it was a 50/50 split of Fashion and Fitness. That’s something I recently announced I’m going back to.

I will always love exercising and always highlight the importance of it. But to kick off my process of going back to 50/50 Fashion and Fitness I want to start by highlighting the importance of not going to the gym.

One of the side effects of grief is loss of appetite. I’ve suffered with this greatly. Since Dylan died I’ve been trying hard to eat enough and eat regularly but it’s been a struggle.

With this post I wanted to share the message that if you haven’t eaten enough, you should not go to the gym. Not only will you not have enough energy to exercise well, you will likely enter a massive caloric deficit. If, like me, your intention is to build muscle and strength it will stunt your progress. It will make you feel weak, tired and moody.

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I’m not a nutritionist, a personal trainer or any kind of fitness expert in any sense, so please don’t take my words as gospel truth. I’m just sharing my personal experiences.

There are so many accounts dedicated to fitness now. On blogs or on social media. It’s easy to take inspiration from these people, and rightly so, but I think a lot of us forget that for the majority it is their job to exercise. Whether they’re fitness bloggers, bodybuilders or athletes, they dedicate their lives to getting their bodies to peak physical condition.

For the average Joe it’s just not attainable. If you have a 9-5 you don’t want to be going to the gym 5 times a week and you don’t need to.

I used to go to the gym 6 or 7 days a week, often twice in a day. It was too much. I became obsessed. I muddled my priorities. I rejected invitations to meals out with my family and friends, all because I was too concerned with eating chicken and rice and going to the gym.

This seems crazy to me now because everyone knows my family and friends are my highest priority.

I love exercising and eating my greens but I also love going out for meals, scoffing cake and slobbing out. I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that and neither should you. I’m a strong believer in a balanced life.

So if you haven’t eaten enough, you didn’t get enough sleep last night or there’s a dinner party you’d really rather go to, skip the gym today. You might just find it’s better for your health.

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Step One – Does it fit? 

If it’s too small or too big, forget it. Oversized works on some items: boyfriend shirts, baggy t-shirts, floaty dresses, big ol’ woolly jumpers, it’s all good. But it has to be oversized in the right way. If it should clench your waist but it doesn’t, it’s bound to be unflattering. If an item’s too small, making bulges in places they don’t belong and stopping you from being able to lift your arms up, it’s not a good look.

So, step one: make sure it fits.

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Step Two – Do you feel comfortable?

This has long been my number one question when choosing an outfit. Nothing looks worse than constantly having to pick up your straps or tug on your riding-up skirt. Whatever you wear, make sure you can move. Make sure nothing feels restricted or uncomfortable. Obviously, we can’t always be baggy t-shirt and trackies comfortable, sometimes we have to wear figure hugging dresses and heels, but just make sure you can walk in those heels without looking like a horse doing a Spanish Walk.

Spanish Walk Horse Gif

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Step Three – Do you feel confident?

Confidence is key. When you look in the mirror do you feel good? Feeling confident in what you wear will make you happier, it will make you stand tall and it will make you walk with a spring in your step.

If you can say yes to these three questions, I can guarantee, you will look great.

Shot by Ryan Winterbotham

Dress – Magali Pascal / Shoes – Forever 21 / Bag – Zadig & Voltaire / Sunglasses – Rayban / Rope Belt – Forever 21 / Name Coin Necklace – Bethany Joy London / Karma Necklace – Lily Who / Long Pendant Necklace – Katie Mullally Silver

 

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The ‘Naomi’ – Novah Swimwear

I got my first Novah bikini over a year ago. It’s been on many holidays and spa trips and impressed me with its ability to maintain its original shape and colour. They are the highest quality bikinis I’ve ever owned.

In February I received an email from Maddy, founder of Novah Swimwear, proposing making a charity piece together. Of course I jumped at the chance. Naomi House came to mind immediately. We chose the colour based on the Naomi House logo and staff shirts.

Naomi House opened on 27th June 1997, two days after Dylan was born. We first visited when Dylan was 10 months old. I was only two at the time and I was so excited I pooed on the floor. Let’s keep that between us.

Naomi House is a children’s hospice based in Winchester. They provide respite support for families of children with life-limiting and terminal conditions. I know the word ‘Hospice’ can carry some negative connotations, conjuring up images of sadness and death. But our experience at Naomi House was the exact opposite, their aim being to make the most of life. In addition to the support given to Dylan and my parents, my sister and I were privileged to have been invited to do many sibling activities that we would never have had the chance to do otherwise. From sailing trips to helicopter rides to hover-crafting.

All families were allocated 14 nights a year. Sometimes Dylan went there on his own but normally we would all go together. Naomi House provide food and accommodation for the whole family.  Their motto was “A home from home.” which is exactly what it felt like. We always knew a warm welcome was waiting for us and we always felt relaxed, comfortable and knew we were going to have a lot of fun.

We went to Naomi House for over 16 years and we’re still friends with the families and staff we met there.

Undoubtedly, the greatest support we received from Naomi House was when Dylan died. We knew we wanted Dylan to be at home in his bedroom with us around him when he died and that we wanted him to then go to Naomi House. They have a special suite there where children who have died can stay and be visited by their families until their funeral. Dylan was there for almost two weeks and we went to visit him every day. This time was very precious to us. We read his favourite books, sang his favourite songs and cried a lot.

The staff gave us so much support and helped us with all of the official requirements and funeral arrangements. We asked the Naomi House Chaplain to give Dylan’s funeral service.

Naomi House costs 5 million pounds a year to run and they rely almost entirely on fundraising and donations. All profits from the ‘Naomi’ bikini will be donated to Naomi House. I know first hand that this is a truly amazing place and have many great memories here with Dylan and my family that I will cherish forever.

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Boots – Tony Bianco / Bag – Skinny Dip / Sunglasses – Karl Lagerfeld at Specsavers

Black Maxi Dress – ASOS / Blazer – ZaraZip Dress – Boohoo  

Skinny Jeans – Dorothy Perkins / Turtle Neck – New Look

 

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