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*Disclaimer* This is a sponsored post in collaboration with Silk Plants Direct. 

Since the start of my Floristry Diploma back in September, I can honestly say my life has been consumed by flowers. Floristry is such a wonderful art and a skill that’s not as glamorous as you’d think!

Looking back, I have come such a long way. From my first hand tied bouquet to making one for someone famous worth nearly £200 and recently doing all the flowers for one of my best friends’ wedding!

I do feel like I’ve found my calling; Floristry combines my creativity, love for nature and superficial appreciation for beauty and pretty things. What excites me the most about this industry and the path I’d like to pursue within it, is with events. The wedding and events market is huge and I can’t wait to dabble in it – my course lately we’ve been covering designs and arrangements suitable for weddings and events and ooh it makes my soul happy.

I’ve got to a place where I can now express my personal style and creativity within my work now that I’ve learned the basics. Now with less than 6 weeks left until I ‘graduate’ and become a qualified Florist, I’ll be working on building my portfolio and getting more experience before I officially open my diary for bookings.

One of my favourite designs to learn from the course is the Topiary. You know, those cute little trees/flower balls you usually see outside restaurants. On my travels, I spotted these gorgeous topiaries outside this home, obviously I had to stop and take some snaps.

A while back we made our own from scratch, which is no easy task – it involved a bucket, fast setting cement (which wasn’t fast at all ) a wonky stick and some blood sweat and tears *of laughter*. But the end result was a wonderful design which is now a lovely edition to my hallway.

If you’ve been following me on Instagram, I often share my plant babies on there as I truly believe having house plants are not only insta goals, but they’re scientifically proven to boost your mood. As an earth sign I love being in nature, feeling connected to nature which funnily enough is impactful to my productivity and sense of well-being. Being near natural elements really is a quick fix to feeling happier.

A topiary tree is something I’d love to recreate and have a new found appreciation for. I think it’s such a delightful way to spruce up an environment. So when Silk Plants Direct got in touch regarding their selection of faux flowers. Specifically topiary designs I thought it as perfectly aligned with my current interests. Not everyone can be a talented florist like me *cough cough* this is where Silk Plants Direct can step in by providing Faux Topiaries to make an aesthetically pleasing space.

Whether your style and taste is more modern or traditional, inclusion of greenery can radically change the ambiance of any home or commercial space.

Natural trees and plants in any commercial landscape can be associated with many hassles. This is where the fake trees, plants, and topiaries come in the designing arena. They look like their natural counterparts but can adorn any interior and exterior landscape minus the problems. In case, you are looking to add life and style to your commercial establishment then the fake topiaries are the right decorating material for you.

Here’s some further information from Silk Plants Direct on the basics of faux topiaries and chosing the right one for you:

When you include faux floral arrangements in your corporate interiors, they deliver a peaceful ambience, besides revamping the design and style of the setting. These realistic decorative elements let you include a piece of nature within your commercial landscape without actually having them in. With their flawless appearance, they impart positive vibes in the minds of those who are there and help to grow your business.

The faux boxwood topiaries, artificial trees and plants can be used for decoration of a wide range of indoor and outdoor commercial settings, such as@

• Rooftop Gardens

• Luxury Hotel Lobbies

• Approach and interior of Restaurants

• Corporate entrances and welcoming areas

• Exotic bars & Casinos

• Private Hospitals

• Art Galleries & Museums

Since artificial boxwood hedge and topiaries are excellent decorating elements, these can be installed into any commercial setting for livening up the place. As well reinventing residential landscaping.

Range of products to choose from…

There are countless options, when you decide to revamp your corporate setting with fake topiaries. Varieties include: Boxwood Topiary; Cedar, Evergreen, Cypress Topiary; Ivy topiary, etc. All of these come in many shapes like single, double and triple topiary balls, topiary cones & spirals, Boxwood hedges, screens and mats for fulfilling every landscaping need. These are so beautiful that they fit any space in a graceful manner and add life and vibrancy to the place.

Better than the live foliage…

There’s some great advantages of choosing artificial plants for your home or commercial setting:

No maintenance team: There’s no need for soil preparation, watering, pruning, fertilizing and, therefore, there is no need to have dedicated staff for their maintenance.

No periodic replacement: As these are artificially made, they never shade leaves, outgrow the place or die. So, there is no need for periodic replacement.

Place anywhere: Since the artificial topiaries, trees and plants are soil and sunlight independent; these can also be placed in the most dimly lit indoors without any problem.

Shines in all seasons: Being artificial, the silk plants and trees look same in all seasons reliving you to change them seasonally.

The outdoor artificial plants and topiaries are so versatile that they can take an ordinary looking space to the next level, with their mesmerising beauty. All fake topiaries and artificial palms are made of premium quality plastic material and colour pigments for imparting the most natural appearance. Moreover, fade resistant chemicals are also used in manufacturing the fake topiaries. This makes them inert to varying weather conditions, and they never fade.

These are safe to use

Safety comes first when decorating any commercial space. In many cases, the fake topiaries caught fire and resulted in casualties. These are made fire retardant by using special chemicals during manufacturing of these realistic botanical items, for delivering the best fire retardant landscaping option.

Can be installed very easily…

All mimic trees and topiaries come in standard pots and bases, therefore they can be installed very easily without any accessories. 

On top of all the benefits above, artificial trees are:

Cost-effective: They are durable and can be had at minimum budget.

Easy to clean: Periodic dusting with a soft cloth is enough to keep them shining.

Easily interchangeable: Coming in standard bases these can be interchanged between places for making a change in landscape without further investment.

Choosing the right one…

Coming in various sizes, shapes, and varieties, the artificial palm tree leaves and topiaries are ideal for adorning any commercial indoor and outdoor. Using topiaries, you can also create a focal point in the reception area. You can use anything from balls, cones and spirals depending on your landscaping theme. The illuminated types uplift the ambience for festive gatherings.

Do you have plants in your home? One day when I own a house with a driveway I imagine it’ll be adorned with topiaries, hedges and an abundance of plants like lavender and rosemary. For now I’ll keep on playing with flowers, brightening up homes and creating flower visions at weddings.

Keep in touch!

Twitter | Instagram | Facebook

The post Floristry Update | Transform Your Space With Faux Topiary * appeared first on Cydney Helsdown.

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Self-Care takes consistent effort,

commitment, self-discipline and an un-ignorable (did I just make that word up?!) desire to be better than you were yesterday. You don’t just wake up one day living your best life, loving every part of yourself. It takes a lot of routine and daily work to get there. In this post, I want to talk about those daily efforts and my routines, that keep me on track to looking after my health and mental well-being.

This is very apt to be writing this, because I’ve been really tough on myself recently with all that negative self talk which loves to creep in every so often. But I have to remind it who the F I am and kick those negative thoughts to the curb. These routines help me be more in touch with my intuition and remind me to be gentle and patient with myself most importantly.

WEEKDAY MORNING ROUTINE
  • Recently I’ve been getting up earlier in the morning. It’s a gruesome 6am alarm, but it allows me to get myself and my son ready without the stress of rushing around. I can make sure everything is set up; the school uniform is ironed, the beds are made, have a moment of silence and slowly start to wake up and seize the day.
  • No phone for the first hour or half hour after I wake up. Most of us sleep with our phones near or next to us, it’s so tempting to check the socials first thing but I’ve realised this does nothing for my self esteem or mental well-being. So I like to stay switched off for a while, make a cup of green tea, have some breakfast and get in the shower.

I’m not the best morning person so there’s really not more to my routine right now. Waking up at 6am is a struggle enough as it is, so I give myself a little pat on the back for doing that.

WEEKEND SLOW MORNING ROUTINE

The glorious two days of the week where I don’t let my alarm dictate to me when I wake up. But let my son do so instead, probably by demanding his favourite cereal… Long gone are the days of laying in until 12. I digress! After I’ve fulfilled my five year old’s requests, I like to get back in bed with a cup of green or herbal tea, pull the blinds up to let the sunlight in and just ~be~.

  • I’ll put on a Chill-Out playlist to have some ‘me-time’ to. I’ll use it as my weekly opportunity to discover new music on Spotify OR re-read the messages in my favourite Self-Help books.
  • When I eventually pull myself out of bed, I’ll usually cook something for breakfast rather than a quick and convenient bowl of cereal or toast that I usually g for in the week.
  • I’ll take the chance to burn some sage to cleanse my environment, otherwise known as smudging! Burned Sage is scientifically proven to change the ionic composition of the air, cleansing it and any negative energy.
  • Indulge in a proper skincare routine. Starting with cleansing the day off my face, steaming my skin for 5-10 minutes with boiled water infused with some eucalyptus oil to open my airways and flush out my pores. I’ll then put a face mask of choice on and leave it to dry. I have recently been using the Muddy Body Detox Mask which is full of ingredients that my skin loves (clay, charcoal, witch hazel). Or I’ll go for the trusty Lush Fresh Face Masks. My personal go-to’s are Catastrophe Cosmetic and Rosy Cheeks. I’ll wash it off using rose water or just plain water. Following that with a toner and usually finish with the full of grace serum from Lush. When I have any spots or blemishes I’ll dab some tea tree oil on and pray for the best.
  • The weekend is also when I carry out my hair-care routine. (Go see THIS post to read all about my natural hair journey.) I’ll soak my hair in coconut or olive oil, which I’ll leave on for a few hours (or overnight in some cases). I’ll wash that out normally with shampoo, followed by a hair mask – either the Umberto Giannini Minute Mask or Indulge Mask depending how indulgent I’m feeling. I’ll finish by using a conditioner, after I rinse that out I’ll put coconut oil to the tips. You can imagine how long my showers are when I wash my hair!

EVENING ROUTINE

After I’ve tucked my son in to bed, read with him and talked about our favourite parts of the day. I can then start to focus on any pending things I need to tick off from my mental to-do list. Whether it’s finishing a blog post, doing some revision, writing down ideas, making plans and goals or making progress on a floral assignment. I dedicate some time in doing something productive before I switch off and wind-down. Now the following things I don’t do every night as I simply don’t have the time to be so boujee every night (and frankly want to cram in as much Netflix as I can), but I’ll do at least one or two minimum from the list below:

  • I notice a huge difference in my overall sense of content when I do some basic exercises in the evening. Some simple yoga poses and stretching along with some booty firming exercises, so I can try and reverse the mum bum situation.
  • Have a bath with Epsom Salts, essential oils, or, recently I add a few pumps of the This Works Sleep Shower Gel to create a few bubbles and let that lavender goodness soak in. Of course I’ll pair it with the Deep Sleep Pillow Spray, so it can do it’s magic when my head finally hits the pillow.

  • Yoni Steaming – Okay, this may be a little far out there for some of you, but listen, there are so many benefits to steaming your vajayjay, including reducing the occurrence of ingrown hairs. I don’t even remember how I first stumbled across Yoni Steaming but since I started doing some research on this, I also heard a woman who waxes vaj’s for a living, endorse it on one of my favourite podcasts. Who am I to ignore an expert! Go google it hunnies and give your down there some TLC.
  • Burn Incense – First of all, taking a trip to my local spiritual/hippy shop is a wonderful experience within itself to chose my incenses. When I light one at home at night, it makes me feel instantly relaxed. I now associate that smell of incense with slowing down and switching off.
  • Skincare Routine – Something that I refuse to neglect or ignore is skincare. DAY AND NIGHT. My skin has been on a mad one the last year and I just can’t seem to get it to settle down. My goal is to be a baby girl with fresh, glowing skin and an even complexion. I’m not a big make-up wearer so investing time in my skin is really important to me.
  • Put that damn phone down – Again, it’s easy to stay on our phones with the light beaming into our faces while we lay in bed, but I’ve been avoiding doing that. Too much stimulation in the evening makes it harder to sleep because our brains are overactive. It also doesn’t help that social media, as great as it is to have us all connected 24/7, can be a very negative, draining and triggering environment for a lot of us. So do yourself a favour and give Insta a break love. So you can love yo’self.

Okay there we have it. My every day SELF-CARE routines! Do you have daily self care practices you focus on daily? If so I’d love to know about it, let me know yours on twitter.

The post Self Care Series | Daily Self-Care Routines appeared first on Cydney Helsdown.

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Before I delve right into how I get my locks so popping these days. I want to Re-wind to when my hair was my own personal nightmare…

From the age of around 10, there was nothing I wanted more than to have long, flowing, smooth strands. I hated my frizz and, what I thought was unruly hair. When I was a pre-teen there was a lack of representation of WOC with natural hair in the media. Which gave me no positive black or mixed raced role models I could look up to for hair inspiration. Natural hair wasn’t really a thing. Growing up I also didn’t have any mixed raced friends I could identify with, which made me struggle with my own identity. BIG TIME. I thought by changing my hair, it would make my whole life better.

I begged my mum for straighteners and of course she resisted. She told me my hair was beautiful the way it was and that I should learn to take care of it how she used to when I was a child. She always wished she could have hair like mine. She even tried bringing in aunties and godmothers for some advice. Did I listen? Course not. What did she know, FEH! I finally convinced her to get me some GHD’s. I knew straightening my hair every day would damage it permanently, but at the time I didn’t care. I ignored the long term affects because all I wanted at the time was silky smooth. I had no peers that looked *like me*, so I just wanted to fit in. I tried to pigeon hole myself into this idea of beauty I thought was more accepted and I wouldn’t be happy or confident in myself until then.

Once I turned 16 I started using chemicals to actually alter the curl pattern of my hair to make it easier to straighten. I did this consistently until I was 21. You can imagine the state of my natural hair after consistent heat and chemical damage: frizzy, undefined, A HOT MESS basically. I couldn’t even remember what my natural hair looked like. At this point I thought WOW okay bish, these chemicals really aren’t doing anything good for you. My hair was still looking wild and I had less to work with as it was all breaking off. I considered the harmful side effects of chemical straightening and panicked at the thought of losing it all.

After typing in natural hair on Google, I discovered a whole world of natural hair gurus on YouTube. I was inspired by their journeys. That’s when I decided I was ‘going natural’. I began researching how to revive my natural curl pattern and maintain every kink, curl and coil on my head. I consciously made a decision then to practice self-care and self-love. Starting with my hair.

Embracing my natural hair has been so much more than just ditching the chemicals and GHD’s. It’s been about learning to love what I was born with. It’s one of the biggest factors of my self-love journey, because it was one of those things that I tried to hide. Through all of my teenage years I did anything to change it. I didn’t want to accept it.

But It’s been three years now, since I stopped using chemicals and roughly two years since I chopped of pretty much everything. It was an opportunity for me to start over.

Back to present day, I have such a healthy relationship with my hair and an even better one with myself. I am grateful to have such a diverse hair type. It’s part of me. It’s part of my heritage and identity. I embrace all of it. I learnt to accept every part of me. I realised what I thought were flaws were actually beautiful.

To say it’s been easy is a huge understatement. I have spent hours on the internet reading articles, watching videos and browsing products learning the 10000’s of ways to grow and look after it. (Girls growing up now are so lucky to be able to find people they identify with on social media. Along with all the information they could possibly need to maintain healthy hair, whatever the type or texture.) I have spent forever doing hair masks and protective hairstyles until my arms ache. It has been frustrating. At times I even thought a magic hair growing bear shaped jelly baby would solve all my problems LOL. I’ve been through so many products trying to find the right combination to get that perfect bounce and definition.

Luckily for me, large brands are starting to cater for curly hair types. Making it easier and more affordable to get my hands on the right ingredients that my hair loves.

Which is why when Umberto Giannini got in touch, wanting to make me a brand ambassador, I was absolutely thrilled. It makes me so proud to see brands wanting to diversify their panel of ambassadors. It’s great to see that brands have realised there’s a whole market of people who’ve been struggling for so long. Missing out on great hair care because nothing’s been tailored for us.

But guys, I think I’ve found my holy grail of haircare with their curl range:

A huge factor in me deciding to partner with Umberto Giannini is because they are a cruelty-free brand who’s products are also vegan friendly. (A gal has still got to maintain her ethics with these blog opportunities.) I was sent their minute mask and curl jelly to try but can’t say I was expecting a miracle. I was ready to stash it with all my other half-used curl products. But I was really blown away by how soft and manageable the mask left my hair. On top of that the shine and curl definition the jelly gives my hair… JUST LOOK!!

The compliments I’ve received recently since using these are a testament to how well these work for me.

When I look in the mirror now, I see my hair as a reflection of my own growth as a person. My hair is shining, healthy and beautiful and there’s not one day that I wish I was born with anything different. Embracing my curls has been the catalyst to loving myself. I am so proud of how far I’ve come from the days of straighteners and clip in hair extensions. My GHD’s now live in the bottom of my ‘random junk’ drawer collecting dust.

Shout out to all the other curly hair girls who’ve been through similar journeys and have learnt to love themselves too. And obviously a big up to the marketing team at Umberto Giannini for making me Brand Ambassador and giving me LIFE with these products.

The post Natural Hair Journey | Umberto Giannini Brand Ambassador appeared first on Cydney Helsdown.

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I didn’t always embrace the thrifting lifestyle. In fact as a youth, when my mum insisted on ‘just having a look’ in EVERY charity shop on the high street, I used to die with embarrassment. However, all those years of ducking and diving behind the rails in the charity shops so I wasn’t seen, must have had an effect on me. Fast forward a few years later, I have a wardrobe brimming with second hand clothes and volunteer at my local Oxfam. I’m now that person who has to have a look in all the charity shops when I’m out and about. To me each one is a treasure trove, with gems just waiting to be discovered.

a mixture of new and second hand

Before apps like Vinted and Depop became normal for people to sell off their unwanted fashion items, I didn’t always confess that my clothes were secondhand because *cringe*. But as more and more people have started to buy second-hand, I’ve become an advocate for it. Not only is it kinder to our purses, but embracing slow fashion just a little bit, has a much better effect on the planet.

I’m becoming more aware of our responsibility to reduce the impact on mother nature. I think there are certain changes we can all make to our lifestyle that can make less of an impact on mass production and waste. Whether for you that’s cutting back on meat, reducing your plastic usage, walking more instead of driving and/or choosing to recycle clothes and buy second hand, instead of completely surrendering to fast fashion.

It’s easy to get caught up in fast fashion, but I’ve learnt that fashion fades. Style remains the same. Trends come and go quicker than you can say ‘There’s a sale on in Topshop.’ Which is why I think it’s important to discover your own personal style. Once you feel confident in your self and have a strong sense of what you like wearing. It becomes easier to find things that reflect your personality, et viola your own personal style.

If, like me, you’re also a bit of a shopaholic with a not so stretchable budget, you probably can relate to your bank account not being able to keep up with your spending habits. Of course the aesthetic, shiny high street stores sometimes suck me in, compared to the chaos of a charity shop or boot sale. But at least I am saving money getting the majority of my clothes second hand, I can kinda justify splurging on something I really love from Zara or Asos. Saving my poor bank balance and conscience in the process.

So I want to show you a few bits from my wardrobe that are either second-hand or found in charity shops over the years:

This cute kimono is only from Primark, but it was love at first sight when I spotted it among the hangers in my local charity shop. It couldn’t have been more than £3.

This similar wrap is from a charity shop when I lived in Bournemouth, with a Topshop label but a second hand price tag. Worth every penny.

that’s a bit of coconut oil in my hair aha!

Both the jeans and top above are from the Oxfam shop where I work, the beauty of volunteering here is getting first dibs on the things that come in. Jeans are from M&S which cost me £4.99 and the top if I remember was around a fiver.

Coral blouse again is from Oxfam.

I don’t know about you but I can’t resist a good turtle neck jumper, and I’m attracted to anything red, because I know it suits me! Topshop label for a fraction of the price.

Featuring my mum’s vintage denim jacket from the 80’s! LITERALLY. I always get compliments on this jacket, it’s been part of my wardrobe for years and my mum’s years before that. The striped TEE is also from a charity shop, surprise surprise.

Lastly, I recently bought this striped shirt/dress which is originally from Oasis and cost me £4. I love wearing it tucked into a pair of jeans and can’t wait to pair it with some strappy sandals when we FINALLY get hotter weather.

If you’re also a serial charity shopper/thrifter or just need some inspiration, I have started an Instagram Community for the ethically conscious style obsessed. Head over to Thrifted Fashionn where there’s tonnes of bloggers and grammars with impeccable style who are featured all in one place.

Would you like to see more of my ethical wardrobe ? Hope you’ve enjoyed this post, get in touch to let me know your thoughts.

Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

The post Ethical Fashion | My Second-Hand Wardrobe appeared first on Cydney Helsdown.

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It’s been 6 months since my I published my last post,

BUT I’M BACK HEAUXS!

The main reason I took a blogging hiatus is because I started a Floristry Course (more on that in a separate post). To say I got overwhelmed with assignments is an understatement. My life revolves around floristry at the moment. Seriously, ask me the latin name of your favourite flower – I’ll most likely know the latin name, seasonal availability and 100 ways to incorporate it into an arrangement aha! All of which has been drummed into my head since September.

On top of embarking on a new course, my son started big school and we moved house *twice*. Before I knew it, it was Christmas and I hadn’t even thought of writing anything new. I barely even shared a pic on Instagram, let alone care about that damn algorithm.

A few months ago I was debating whether to give it up all together. But it must be the spring equinox that’s given me a new lease of life. I’ve been inspired to get creative outside of the world of flowers again. Truth is, I’m not done with this ol’ blogging thing yet. I haven’t reached my full potential and I’m trying to give up Self-Sabotaging so I can start living my best life. So here’s to giving it another shot.

On that note, you’ll be pleased to know that I’ve got lots in store for this blog. My upcoming posts will include a lot more style shots, photography, wellness, self-care, home inspo, daily life, and collabs. Speaking of collaborations.. I’m introducing *drum roll*…

MY FIRST EVER GIVEAWAY

Oh yes you lucky readers are in for a TREAT. I’ve collaborated with CaseApp, a Swedish company who make customised phone cases and laptop skins.

It ain’t no secret that we’re all attached to our phones most of hours of every day. We carry it everywhere on our person like a permanent accessory. So I believe having a customised case is one way to reflect our personality and style. With CaseApp you can chose or design a custom iPhone case or a custom laptop skin (they even do custom iPad cases/skins) so they’re all matchy matchy.

Personalising your phone case isn’t a new thing by any means, but what I appreciate about CaseApp is the freedom it allows you to have with the customisation; you can add text, chose your fave colour, upload your own photos and make collages. Also they’re Swedish, and if you didn’t know, I have a certain affinity with Sweden after spending some time there last summer. *stares longingly into the distance dreaming of the day I move to Stockholm*.

They also have a tonne of designs that you can chose from, which I adore! They have all the marble effect/patterns/floral prints that your little heart could desire. As you’re a lovely reader of this blog you can receive 20% off your product order with the code ‘CYDNEY20’ at the checkout. OR you can hedge your bets by entering the Giveaway over on my Instagram. CLICK DAT LINK > GO GO GO!

Keep up with me on Twitter to see what post will be coming up next. Is there anything you’d like to see on this blog? Get in touch and let me know!

The post Blog Re-launch + CaseApp Giveaway appeared first on Cydney Helsdown.

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October is in full swing! And now that we’re in the last phase of the year, it is a great time for me to reflect on the experiences I’ve had and memories shared. By looking back I can start to set my sights on how I want the remainder of 2017 to unfold. 

I don’t know about you but hibernation mode has been switched on. The shorter days and cold weather will be the perfect excuse for me to keep my head down and really focus on personal development, self care and generally moving life forward.

This year has been equally bitter sweet. After a turbulent end to 2016, leaving an abusive relationships and saying goodbye to my beloved Bournemouth, to start from rock bottom. I’ve had a chance to find my feet on my own and focus on self growth. This blog has been a true reflection of those ups and downs. And although another year has gone by with me not being as consistent as I’d like with posts, looking back I can cut myself some slack because here’s what I have been up to:

Jamaica –  Our first family holiday. Discovering more of my roots and family history. A real learning experience for me and my son and the perfect surroundings to heal.

Sky News Interview – My first experience on Live TV! Telling my true account of how I struggled financially as a single parent, regularly skipping meals so my son didn’t go without. 

Refinery 29 U.K InterviewSpeaking up about the struggles young parents face when it comes to returning to work as well as trying to juggle childcare and part time work.

The Blogger Market – The nicest day with a close blogging friend. We were in our element with second hand clothes and accessories, taking breaks from shopping to get stuck in with workshops.

Brighton – Earlier this year I met a wonderful human whom I was lucky to share some amazing adventures with this summer. Our first being a day in Brighton. The sun shone, the atmosphere was glorious and it was a perfect excuse to show someone my happy place by the sea.

Volunteering at Oxfam – In early April I finally started volunteering at a local charity shop. I’ve wanted to volunteer for the longest time and found the perfect fit. It’s become part of my weekly routine and my wardrobe has expanded rapidly. I cannot resist a bargain! 

Rekindling relationships with family – Growig up I didn’t really have anything to do with my siblings, but as we’ve all gotten older and had families of our own, it’s nice to re-connect and start building those relationships. Even though they’ve always been there, I feel like my family has grown and I feel part of an extensive family tree. 

The Shard & Sky Garden – With previously mentioned wonderful human, I planned the nicest day out in London to The Shard for his birthday. We also spontaneously booked a spot in the sky garden in the ‘walkie talkie’ building. The whole day with great views and company was perfect. 

THIS photo shoot – I finally met Yossy after sharing the same twitter banter over this summers Love Island. She’s an amazing photographer who I was lucky to shoot with and love seeing her evolve and try new things with her style and edits. 

Sweden – Speanding 3 days in Stockholm was my favourite and dare I say highlight of my year so far. Check out the photos in THIS blog post and what I have to say about my new favourite city in the world.

And the newest venture. The beginning of my diploma in Floristry. All my life I’ve struggled to find my purpose but I finally feel like I’ve found my calling in life. Floristry combines my creativity, passion for nature and will allow me to put into action my entrepreneurial spirit. For the first time in a long time, I’m excited for what the future holds, I have so many ideas and am learning new skills every week. Big things are going to happen for me in 2018 I can FEEL it!

The post Highlights of 2017  appeared first on Cydney Helsdown.

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It’s been a year since my ex assaulted me for the last time. Although this was not how I invisioned our relationship ending, I’m so happy to be away from this toxic person and on the other side, where the grass really is greener.

Now that I’ve had a whole year to get my shit together and look back on the trauma of the relationship (and aftermath.) I’m ready to make peace with it. I’ve licked my wounds and rooted myself in new fertile soil, where I’m going to blossom. I’ve spent the last year de-worming the foundations of my life. I’m now sewing my seeds for the future. (Gotta love a nature metaphor AY!)

So, I’m ready to talk about how living with a narcissist can change you. How being with someone who brings out the worst in you, is the most brutal lesson in self awareness. How trying to love someone who hates themselves shatters the hope that there is any real joy in the world and that you aren’t worthy of love. 

You live each day trying not to say the wrong thing or let that person push your buttons. You cut off friends and family to avoid conflict and drama. The cycle of emotional abuse continues, for weeks and months, turning into years. Eventually you grow into an angry and bitter person. You’re a snappy and impatient mother. A judgemental friend. A distracted employee. A lazy, begrudged partner. That’s just what a narcissist wants, they want to be the better person. They want to have the control and power over you. They make you believe you’ve become the problem, while victimising themselves.

Once you’re left with a shred of the vibrant and optimistic self you used to be, you’ll look in the mirror to be confronted with a reflection of the person you’ve started to resent. You start to resent them for turning you into someone you wouldn’t even want to spend time with. You’re angry at yourself for being manipulated. But you know this is not who you are, this is not the person you want to become. You realise this is the beginning of the end. It took a long time, but you’re aware now. You know that you’re the heroin of your story. You can break the cycle and save yourself. You don’t even know if anything close to love exists. But you live in hope, because you’re starting to love yourself and that’s where you reclaim your power

I finally cut off the baggage that was anchoring me in one stagnant position. Cut ties with people who don’t have my best interest at heart. I made a decision that will affect me and my son for the rest of our life, but one I have no doubts or regrets about, because we are thriving.

In some ways I feel like the same person that I was a year ago: I have hope, I’ve reclaimed my power and am learning to love myself more and more each day. On the other hand, I’m so so far from that place that I don’t even recognise who I was. That chapter is over. When I talk and think about it now, I see myself as a close friend who was going through a struggle. Glad to see they’ve come out of it, a little bruised, but unscathed. That’s a nice perspective

This last year I’ve proved to myself that actually, I can do this on my own. I can rely on myself. I am MY best friend. I’m the definition of a strong independent woman who don’t need no man! My vibration is HIGH. My aura is glowing. 

I’ve defined what I want and what I don’t want. What’s worth my time, energy and resources and what sure as hell is not. And boy can I spot a red flag from a mile off. 

It was brutal and soul shattering living with a narcissist. But here I am today, grateful for that lesson, living my best life, becoming the person I’ve always wanted to be. I’m not quite there yet, but wow look how close I am now. *plays Thank You by Jamelia*

The reason I’m baring all in this post is because I want any other person who’s going through or has been through the same thing, to feel empowered. I’m a reminder that no matter how bad things get, you can take control of your life and turn things around.

The post Domestic Abuse | My Experience appeared first on Cydney Helsdown.

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Yesterday marked the official first day of Autumn! What felt like a blink ago was the beginning of September. Now October is just a hop, skip and jump through crunchy leaves away. I can’t even remember the last time I did a wish list on the blog, but I’ve been in my creative element lately and have been itching to collate some beauty, fashion and home pieces that I’m lusting over right now. 

FASHION & BEAUTY | MAMA

This is the season I get most excited about when it comes to style. SHOW ME ALL THE KNITWEAR! I find it so much easier to dress in the autumn; layers, boots, thick tights and a bear-like coat to get you through those chilly days. 

For the past two years I’ve been rocking the same Zara coat. For £80 it was a great investment (still adorable with a few more winters left in it), but I’d love to add this fluffy beauty to my collection. I’m so glad I’ve embraced colour into my wardrobe this year, it would only be right to continue my pink fetish into winter too. | Not forgetting the essential that is a black leather jacket. | The mustard colour scarf I think it would go perfectly with the olive knit jumper. | In the winter my ears are particularly sensitive to the cold, I’ve learnt from last year that ear muffs are essential for me. | Now how cute is the giant Pom Pom scarf?! 

With the recent launch of Fenty Beauty I am so desperate to get my hands on the collection! I’ve seen and heard great things and am lusting over it right now. | Even though I have 100’s of red lip products I also really want some NYX lip glosses, in berry shades of course. I’ve always loved the matte lipsticks by NYX but gloss is making a comeback into my life. 

FASHION & HOME | SON

This summer my boy has gone through at least two growth spurts I’m sure! So I’d love to get him some new bits this Autumn to see him through till spring. | Priority being a thick and rain proof coat. I can’t fault Next for their range of suitable outerwear. His teacher has informed us that they play outside in all weather so a robust jacket is absolutely essential. | Speaking of school, I adore the Baby Groot rucksack! Which would be perfect for him throughout the week. |  When I saw the blue bomber jacket I had to add that too, it’s perfect for weekends when we go on adventures, and would be a perfect combo with the red hat. | He has one jumper that still fits him from Christmas time, so I’d need to stock up on some more. Thebright yellow one makes a nice change to his very blue and green dominated wardrobe. | As for lazy days at home, he’d be the perfect cuddle companion in that fluffy robe, throw in some matching striped pyjamas and shark slippers in for good measure too. 

Speaking of home, there’s a few additions to his room I think he’d love. Especially the starry night light, I’ve been telling him all about space recently and he has a space poster on his wall. So I think he’d appreciate watching stars floating around before bed time. | So I might be a bit obsessive with pillows and ‘scatter cushions’ but the message on this one is really cute! | At the moment his dirty clothes end up in a pile on the floor so to make my life easier, a small dirty washing basket would be handy to have rather than flinging them into the hall or ‘as close to other dirt washing pile as I can get’.

STATIONERY & HOME

Okay, I saved the best for last! Having recently returned to college, I can actually get excited about stationery again and have already spent far too long in Paperchase and probably spent too much money on notepads. But I’m full of ideas so can never have too many *wink*. | All that note taking soon works up an appetite, give me a pink lunch box full of sushi and I’m yours. | Everything Kate Spade produces I gasp at because it’s perfection. From the black studded phone case, to gold striped coffee flask and polka dot notebook. *HEART EYES*. | The pusheen pencil case is just too adorable to resist! | Did someone say chai tea?! And you’re telling me my house can smELL LIKE IT?! I think it’s a match made in heaven to be honest. I’d also love a Jo Malone although it costs the equivalent to my weeks worth of food but CANDLE!|Who doesn’t appreciate an illuminated pumpkin in the month of October. Also fairy lights in general come out as soon as it gets dark by 6pm| My crystal collection is steadily growing but there’s always room for more rose quartz and amethyst to harness positive energy within the home. | Finally, it wouldn’t be winter without THE FLUFFIEST BLANKET YOU’VE EVER SEEN, don’t you just want to rub your face in it?! 
Look at how excited that homeware made me, I couldn’t help myself with the capital letters. The enthusiasm is real. I hope you liked my little collections of autumn and winter wants and perhaps shared a few with me too. Would love to know what you’re currently lusting over, let me know in the comments!

The post Autumn/Winter Wish List | Mum & Son  appeared first on Cydney Helsdown.

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Okay guys, before you get stuck in. Make sure you’re comfortable because this post contains A LOT of photos. Starting with the most beautiful hidden gem in the countryside where we stretched our legs.










It’s about a four hour drive from Stockholm to Kalmar. After rainbow spotting, talking about superpowers and listening to hilarious YouTube videos, we needed a pit stop. Which turned out to be the luckiest find and one of my highlights of the trip. It was the cutest and typically Swedish spot. The sun glistened on the surface of the lake which I spent a quiet moment admiring from the hammoc. It was very idyllic. We watched a couple of swedes getting ready for a dip and spontaneously decided to go for a swim too. Nowhere near as cold as skinny dipping in Bournemouth at midnight, it was so serene. A soul cleanse that had us feeling refreshed for the remainder of the drive.
The next week was much more slow paced compared to 48 hours in Stockholm. We took our time to look around the town, visit the beach and got to know some lovely horses. Kalmar is a wonderful place, just a short drive away from the beautiful holiday island  Öland which we travelled to a few times:

(That’s Kalmar in the distance from Öland)
The perfect place for a dip in the Baltic Sea, somewhere you could set up camp for the day and frolick around. 


Each year at the end of summer the residents of Borgholm, in Öland come together in the town centre to sell their second hand stuff. It’s like a huge car boot sale! On our last day, we took a walk around the town. I admired the buildings and took pleasure in seeing so many people enjoying the last of the summer weekends. There was music and hot food. The streets were brimming with crafts, furniture, clothes and nik naks. 




We had a bite to eat, well a few plates actually at the nicest sea-front buffet. 

Then continued on to Borgholms Slott (castle), which I hear is thriving in the early summer months with concerts, festivals and family activities. 

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If you remember my post about relaunching the blog, you’ll know I’m making a few changes around here to reflect my personal growth. I’ve refined my style and direction but will still remain personal. Which made me think I should probably re-introduce myself so you guys can get to know the person behind the blog a bit better. I’ve seen those ‘get to know me’ tags and thought it would be fun to do a little one of my own. Because if you’re as nosey as I am, you’ll love finding out the answers to these random questions. I’ll save the boring facts for the about me section. So here goes:


Are you named after anyone?

I’m told that I’m named after a famous actress called Cyd Shareese. But I think my mum just liked the name (I also have three middle names so she really wasn’t holding back).

When was the last time you cried?

Last week when my son brought me to tears, seriously he’s going through THE ASSHOLE PHASE.

If you were another person, would you be a friend of yourself?

I actually think this is a really important question we all need to ask ourselves from time to time. I always aspire to be someone that I WOULD want to be friends with. And to be the blogger I’d want to follow. There’s no persons opinion I value more than my own, and if I’m proud of myself and want to be around me, then that’s all that matters.

Do you use sarcasm a lot?

I don’t really and I always lack common sense when other people use sarcasm, it takes me a minute to get it haha.

What’s the first thing you notice about people?

The warmth behind their eyes and their smile. I love to see people smile, I also have a thing for teeth, I admire someone who has nice teeth. Is that weird?!

Scary movie or happy endings?

Happy endings of course! I’m such a hopeless romantic.

Favorite smells?

Vanilla, rose anything that is sweet and floral. Oh and cinnamon! 

What’s the furthest you’ve ever been from home?

This is an odd question because I feel like home isn’t always a destination but a feeling… Sometimes being with family or certain people make you feel at home. BUT I’d say ‘technically’ Jamaica is the furthest I’ve been from ‘home’ being in England.

Do you have any special talents?

Yes overthinking, being stubborn and blocking my own blessings.

Where were you born?

LANDANNN TANNN

What are your hobbies?

Aside from blogging, I love getting creative. Whether it’s making something, painting, baking, knitting. Does drinking gin count as a hobby?

What do you want to be when you grow up?

Financialy stable. International florist owner. A better mother. Somebody’s wife. 

How many countries have you been to?

6 I think. France, Belgium, America, JamaicaSweden and Denmark (even though I just travelled through).

What was your favorite/worst subject in School?

I absolutely hated History (I blame my dickhead teacher who told me off in front of the whole class). My favourite was drama, art and English, even though I wasn’t always very good at them.

What is your Favorite drink?

Anything that has elderflower in it. To be honest I could split this whole question into categories; tea, alcohol (then I would split that into wine | gin | cocktails etc), fizzy drinks, squash, cordials. The list is honestly endless.

What would you (or have you) named your children?

My son is called Corben. But I love the names Wendy and Luna for a girl. When I was little I wanted a little girl called Maya. And for boys I’ve always like Leo. 

Who are some of your favorite YouTubers?

Honestly I don’t really make time to watch many vlogs/vloggers. But I did write a post earlier this year on my current favourite bloggers, which still remains the same.

How many Boyfriends have you had?

Omg I don’t even want to re-live all the mistakes I’ve made. Let’s skip that one.

Favourite memory from childhood?

I don’t remember that much from my childhood! One of my earliest memories is when I went camping, I vividly remember the bluebless in the woods and poking an ants nest with sticks. Also primary school was a pretty decent time of my life haha.

How would you describe your fashion sense?

Basic? LOL I just like shopping in charity shops. I mostly wear neutral colours but have been adding a lot more pink into my wardrobe this year. I’d say I can be quite girly… I don’t own any trainers. I get a lot of inspiration from Pinterest, I have four different boards dedicated to fashion  throughout the seasons. 

Tell us one of your bad habits!

I always get ingrown hairs on my knee, and it’s a really bad habit that whenever I have bare legs and am sat down. I sit and pick them out with my nails. *cringe*

I hope you’ve enjoyed getting to know me a little better! Why not copy and paste these questions and answer them on your blog? Tweet me if you do as I’d love to have a read. 

The post Let Me Re-Introduce Myself appeared first on Cydney Helsdown.

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