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A festive day in London

Sunday, 9 December 2018

This post is going to be picture based, including some snaps I took of all things festive in London- Carnaby Street. London is stunning and so christmassy at the moment, it was a beautiful day!


Liberty was like a shopping winter wonderland, the detail was gorgeous and it was clear how much thought was put into the design. The Christmas shop in Liberty was particularly festive, the fairy lights and the quirky decorations.



Dreaming of one these wreaths on every door in my house!


Yep, that is an indoor wonderland, absolutely stunning!


If you are looking for a modern Christmas, Carnaby street is the place to be. 




I hope you enjoyed this post, what city is you favourite during christmas? 

I would adore to visit NYC at christmas!


Ellie 

Real talk: When Anxiety Became A Trend...

Sunday, 2 December 2018

I am worried that this post is going to be a bit of a rant, but at the same time, I feel passionate about this topic (as I am sure many others do) and so I feel like I need a little rant.

Anxiety is a mental illness that unfortunately affects so many people. People who suffer with anxiety and are brave enough to speak about it and share their experience with the view of helping others and ending the stigma should be supported, loved and respected. However, I have seen- several times- people being told that they are 'attention seekers', they are 'copying X' and are just 'joining a trend' when they share they have anxiety.




This deeply saddens me, not only because I know what it is like to suffer with anxiety, but because anxiety is an actual illness that affects people daily. It affects everyone differently, there is no rule book stating how everyone with anxiety feels because no universal feeling exists. After bravely sharing something so personal the last thing one needs is hate and criticism.

With the hard work of many and the pure courage of many, people are slowly breaking down stigmas attached to mental illness such as anxiety, why create yet another barrier for people ? I am sure there are many people who are afraid to share their story in fear of being accused of following a trend/making it up/exaggerating or being belittled by being told 'everyone gets anxious'.



Maybe more people than ever before have anxiety, but more people than ever before are active on social media and feel the constant pressure to meet certain standards. Social expectations seem to be constantly rising. We are used to communicating online, making it harder for people to interact socially- in *real* life. Or maybe mental illness is actually spoken about now and therefore more people realise that they are actually suffering.

I think people who are admitting that they have anxiety- or any other mental illness for that matter- should be praised. Not because mental illness should be glamourised, but because in an online world full of so much criticism, opening up can be so scary. A supportive comment could mean the world to that person.

Anxiety is not a trend, it is not 'trendy'. It is a real problem for so many.
Giving a label to a mental illness is only adding to stigma, which we do not need at all!

If you would like to read more about pressure and positivity, you can do that here.

Ellie x

Things I Learnt After Leaving School

Sunday, 25 November 2018

Since completing my A-Levels I have learnt so much. Of course I learnt a lot during education but really, I have learnt a whole lot more post education,

School doesn't teach you 'real life'. School is a bubble which you get so caught up in, when you leave, you see the world differently, well in my experience anyway. Friends, lessons, teachers, grades, exams, homework, sports etc.. all whilst trying to grow up and figure out what you want to do. Everything at school felt like a massive deal and the be all and end all when in actual fact, nothing is the 'end of the world' (if that makes any sense).

I want to share with you a few of the things I have realised since leaving education and working.



1) Nobody cares

 This may sound harsh or mean but seriously, everyone is focused on their life and their own problems. Yes people will care about you and how you are, but we spend too much time worrying about how we look and how we are perceived when, really, everyone is caught up in their own business to even think about yours. At school I was so worried about others opinions, but just months after leaving school I am much more care free, knowing that people are busy doing their own thing.

2) Popularity doesn't matter 

Similar to the previous one but popularity is irrelevant. There is no such thing, we are all just people trying to get on with our lives. There is a 'hierarchy' in the work place or higher education but popularity as such is not an issue. Though in school I didn't strive to be 'popular' it is interesting how you realise that it really is just something for schools.


3) Grades don't define success 

It saddens me how much I let grades affect me at school. I worried about my grades so much and worked excessively hard for grades that I didn't actually 'need'. Yes, getting grades is an amazing achievement but once you leave school there are so many more factors which define your success. To be honest, I no longer strive to be the most successful or to do the 'best', I just want to be happy- which sounds cliche but it is true. Happiness over an A* any day!


4) Getting a job is hard

No matter what grades you have, getting a job is so hard. Whether that be in retail, media, finance, property etc.. it is a challenge and a half to find a job with a decent salary. I thought it would be easy, which was silly of me. You really have to work for the job you want, you have to compete with hundreds of others who also want that job and prove that you are the right one for the role. It is so difficult and grades will only take you so far. But once you find that job you want, and you get it, it is one of the best feelings ever!


5) There is so much more to life

I think this sounds so cringey but again it is so true. In school you are bubble wrapped, you are with the same people all day, all week, you know your routine, you have holidays etc.. I am not undermining school- it is hard, but once you leave school it is quite a shock. I have realised that there is so much more to life than this little bubble of school and routine. So many more people, places and opportunities. Leaving education has been one of the best things for me because I have met so many people already and have found new hobbies which I love.


This post was personal to me, of course we all have different experiences. I left school after A Levels and decided not to go to university and from that experience I have already learnt a lot and I am feeling excited for the future! 

What have you learnt after leaving school? Was your experience different to mine?

Ellie x

My 5 Tips On Getting a Dog

Sunday, 18 November 2018

Teddy (my Bichon Frise) is my dog and I could not love him more. He is apart of the family and means so much to us, he is now 2 1/2! Though I am defiantly not a dog expert, I want to share with you some tips on getting a dog- basically lessons I have learnt from! Obviously there are hundreds of more tips, but these are just 5 of my personal top tips I would share with a friend, therefore I am going to share with you!


Just been groomed, look at the smile!!!

1) Be prepared for your life to change

This may sound obvious or ridiculous to you. But honestly, your life will completely change: your routine, the things you do, even your friendships (dog walking friends are a thing). 
Want to book that holiday? Who is going to look after the dog?
Going to work- Have you walked the dog? feed the dog? Who is going to take care of the dog whilst your at work?
Obviously that is just two small examples but, genuinely, the majority of what you do will require the consideration of your dog. It is like another family member.




2) Research

We actually did not research very much about our dog breed before getting Teddy when realistically, we definitely should have and that could have been a huge mistake. Luckily, Teddy's breed (Bichon Frise), it very friendly and suited to our family, however you should definitely research this because different breeds do have different traits and suit different families. Did you know a Husky needs over 2 hours exercise a day? (minimum). Whilst a pug requires around 40 minutes? Obviously this is just roughly and I do not know exactly the amount those breeds require but my general point is, make sure the breed is going to work well with your family.

3) They are like children


Dogs, puppies or adults, are like children. They eat everything, they play, they require a lot of care, and although they obviously do not require the same level of care as a child, I do believe that having a dog, especially a puppy, is like having a child! Like those slippers? You better not leave them about (yes Teddy did eat my slippers).




4) Don't panic

I am not exaggerating when I say we took Teddy to the vets twice a week when we first got Teddy. Every little thing I would worry about and overthink, but really try to stay calm. There is so much to get used to and you can be so unsure about everything but it just takes getting used to- adjusting to the change! For example, it is totally normal for your pup to be a bit off their food because they are also trying to adjust to a new environment with new people. I know that I used to really worry about Teddy when actually he was completely fine. Obviously if there is something to be concerned about and you want to get it checked- DO, but just try to remain calm and think logically. 

Baby Teddy (literally about 12 weeks old)

5) Take pictures

I love looking back at the puppy pictures of Teddy, I wish there was more! Though I took lots there is no such thing as too many, all of those special memories. Puppies really do grow quickly, sometimes I look back and cannot believe how small Teddy was at first. So pictures are  an essential, whenever I am upset  I just look at pictures of Teddy and it honestly cheers me up (which may be quite sad haha but true!).



Thank you for reading, I hope these tips help you out!

Ellie x

Real Talk: The Power Of Makeup

Sunday, 4 November 2018

Makeup is powerful- I think we all know that. Not only can makeup change the way we look but makeup can literally change the way we feel, the way we act, the way we carry ourselves and the way people perceive us. Makeup is more than products you apply to your face, but it can be a reflection of your personality or even a mask that makes you feel more 'able'.

 I love makeup, when I wear makeup I find myself feeling more confident and put together, I can choose what kind of look I want to go for that day, there are so many things I love about wearing makeup.

I see makeup as a form of art. People use makeup to express themselves, to show their individuality, to represent their passions or just to be creative. Sometimes I look at peoples makeup looks that they have shared online and I am honestly astonished by what they have been able to create.


Here is a look I created the other day, shimmery, glowy and fairly natural. I loved applying the makeup and I loved the way wearing it made me feel. I felt glowy, fresh, awake and I looked 1000% 'better' than when I was not wearing makeup. 

Would I have liked this picture without makeup? Honestly, no.
When I looked back at the picture, I realised I liked it because I liked the way my eyeshadow looked, the colour of my lipstick and my 'glow'. 

This worries me: makeup is all of the things I have mentioned, all of the positive feelings it brings and the creativity it gives. However, makeup is also controlling, obviously makeup itself does not control you but the way you feel towards it can. I find myself saying 'I need to do my makeup' 'I have to do my makeup' 'I can't because i'm not wearing makeup'.

But I don't need to, I don't have to and I can...not wearing makeup should not make us feel any less worthy or pretty or confident. 
Makeup is a choice (to an extent), but when we find ourselves saying things like ' I need to do my makeup', is it a choice anymore?
 Because I feel as though it isn't. I sometimes feel like I have to put it on in order to look acceptable. But I don't, this is so wrong!

"We should accept ourselves with and without makeup".

If you already do, that is amazing. But I know so many people don't and it saddens me, including myself.

It is hard because I genuinely love makeup, buying it and applying it, and I will continue to wear makeup, most days. But without makeup, my confidence should not drop, and it does.  I am not going to stop wearing makeup, but I am going to try and be more open to not wearing it.

I want to make sure it really is a choice and not a self imposed obligation, I want to make sure that I have enough confidence within myself to not wear makeup and still feel 'acceptable'.
I would never consider posting a picture without makeup, but why? We weren't born to wear makeup, there is nothing wrong with us without it.



Here is a makeup free selfie. The quality isn't great, there is no filter and not a scrap of makeup on my face. Do I like the picture, no- not particularly, but I think it is important to be able to accept the way we look with and without makeup, and be equally as confident.

I dont think we should all stop wearing makeup, I don't think makeup is bad at all. It is amazing that makeup gives us so much confidence, I believe makeup is a form of art and self expression.
But I do think there should be less pressure to wear makeup.

I would love for you to share with me your makeup free selfies or even just let me know your thoughts ( twitter- @_ellabellax).


Fancy some self care? Follow my pamper routine here.

Ellie x


How To Stay Motivated?

Sunday, 28 October 2018

Motivation is key to success. I am a strong believer that dedication and hard work will make dreams come true. I am a motivated person, it is just a part of my personality, I enjoy being productive!
However there are times where I just cannot be bothered and procrastinate. The dreaded word.
Sound familiar? I have some tips for you!


Exercise



I know, another dreaded word- exercise. Everyone says exercise makes you feel more energised and motivated ... but guess what? IT ACTUALLY DOES!!!

Exercise is incredible for lifting your mood, putting you into a positive mindset. Honestly if you can work out in the morning, I 10/10 recommend because it will leave you in a motivated mindset for the rest of the day.

Exercise= lifting weights, the gym, cardio, treadmill etc... No.  Exercise can be just as mentally effective when less intense, for example going for a 10 minute stroll, or doing 10 minutes of yoga in your room from a youtube video, stretching etc.. 

I love to take my dog (Teddy) for a morning walk every day and I find it wakes me up AND makes me feel more energised. Of course intense exercise works for some people, but if it is not your thing, it does not have to be!

Set *achievable* goals




Setting goals is a really simple task but it can be so effective in terms of motivation, however the goals you set must be achievable, if your goal is unrealistic you will feel demotivated and down when you don't achieve it, if you set realistic goals, you are much more likely to achieve them and therefore feel even more motivated.


Goals can be made in the short term, every day, or in the long term. I like to do a mixture of both. Everyday I like to have a to do list, throughout the day wanting to get all of the tasks done motivates me to work faster and to stop procrastinating. 

However some goals cannot be achieved in a day, for example, I personally want to be more mindful, this will not happen overnight, but maybe if I practice one mindful task everyday, I will slowly become more mindful throughout the year.
Goals are not just for January!

Balance

Being motivated, getting things done, working hard and being productive is great but it is impossible to be productive 24/7- I have learnt that the hard way!  If you try to be productive all the time, you will run out of battery and lose motivation.



It is vital to have a healthy balance between work + life. Rest will increase your productivity, once you have had a break and had time to wind down, you will be more motivated and mentally prepared for the next day.

Take time to watch netflix, to read, to socialise, to paint your nails, to have a pamper night.. whatever YOU want to do for at least an hour every day!

Get inspired


When I really feel like I cannot be bothered I like to get inspired by girl bosses, inspiring stories and even quotes. Be that person who googles 'inspiring quotes' 'motivating quotes'! #Noshamehere

Follow people who inspire you. For motivation when it comes to my blog, taking pictures and writing  posts I love reading other blogs and feeling inspired by all of the creativity and hard work, I love Em Sheldon, she always puts so much detail in her posts, her photos are always such high standard, her videos are edited so well and she is so active on social media- how does she do it? Superwoman!

Whoever that is, whatever that it.  Sometimes we just need a little inspiration you know! 


If you would like more tips on productivity, I have a post all about being a morning person: here



Ellie x

A few things I have been loving:

Sunday, 21 October 2018

 I thought I would share some of the things I have been loving recently as I realised that I had a few new discoveries that I have been using and obsessing over! I always love reading others blog posts which include new discoveries so I thought- why don't I do the same?! 




Cordially Invited- Book



Since Cordially Invited arrived in the post, I have been endlessly reading it and staring at the gorgeous imagery in awe. We all know Zoe has an eye for design and detail but this book expresses that at another level. The pure detail in each image and the effort that has been put into this book is actually unreal. Zoe really does show us how to make an occasion out of everything- as well as sharing some incredible recipes and tips. I have been particularly enjoying the autumn section, of course, it is really getting me in an autumnal mood. I can imagine this book being the perfect coffee table book as you could seriously spend so much time just looking at the images alone.



Buche de Noel- Cleanser 



Lush is one of the brands I absolutely love, their ethics, ingredients, products and even their shops. I especially love Lush in the autumn- a bath bomb is basically an essential aspect of a bath right? Now Buche de Noel is not a bath bomb but is actually a cleanser, apart of Lush's Christmas range *yes the C word already*.  It is basically Angels on Bare Skin with a bit extra. I take a small piece and work it  into my face with water, to create a paste. The ground almonds gently exfoliate, whilst the citrus brightens my skin. I find this cleanser really gentle, whilst also making my skin feel polished and soft. I do not use this to remove makeup, but as a step after removing makeup to make my face feel completely clean, I can see this becoming a staple- what will I do after Christmas!!

 Pumpkin Cupcake- Hand Gel



Whilst in America, NYC, I managed to get to a bath and body works. Which was so exciting, to those who live in America, this will seem so silly, but to those who do not have a bath and body works accessible to them, you will totally get my excitement! Now clearly this hand gel is very fitting for this season, hence why it hasn't left my handbag. It smells incredible, whilst making sure my hands are clean- perfect!


Blistex Med Plus- Lip balm


Possibly the most boring product in this post but a very necessary one, lip balm.

My lips are not loving autumn at all, they felt dry, chapped and sore- already. It hasn't even really become that cold yet! 

Now I love the lip balms that smell incredible and have cute packaging but I really needed a lip balm that was strong and would work, which is why I picked up this more 'medical' lip balm. It smells like medicine but it does the job, it has made my lips feel like lips again, definitely pick this up if you are suffering from dry lips too!










Thank you for reading, I hope you enjoyed this post! Be sure to share your current favourites with me too :)


Ellie x 

5 Quotes That Inspire Me:

Wednesday, 17 October 2018

I am that girl who loves a quote, quotes really help me in so many different ways. They make me feel motivated, happy, understood, they make me laugh... so many feels. I want to share with you the quotes that inspire me, so that hopefully you can feel inspired too.

*I created all of the images*

"Every day may not be good, but there is something good in every day"
I think this quote is extremely helpful because it reminds us that no matter how 'bad' a day has been, there was something good in it. It helps me turn the negative into a positive and also reminds me that a bad morning doesn't have to become a bad day!



"A little progress each day adds up to big results"
I think it is too easy to constantly wish to have your dream now and see results now but what is important is recognising the improvements you have made and how gradually you are achieving your goals. This inspires me to keep on doing what I am doing and eventually I will achieve what I want to achieve!



"They say if you dream something more than once, its sure to come true"
We have all given up on something when we felt it was impossible or never going to happen, but if you keep on reminding yourself that it is in fact possible, you are much more likely to actively achieve your dreams and succeed.



"Success is not final, failure is not fatal"
This quote may be my favourite. I often achieve and then move on to something else, well how about achieving and recognising your achievement and improving further. Perfection does not exist. Furthermore, if you fail at something try again, every failure is a learning curve.



"No act of kindness, no matter how small is ever wasted"
To be kind is one of my priorities in life. Kindness is extremely important, it makes me feel good  as well as possibly making someone else's day.






I am thinking of doing a series, "disney quotes that inspire me", "quotes that make me laugh" etc.., so if you like this one be sure to let me know (either by twitter or in the comments!).

If you would like to save any of the images, please send me a tweet and I will send it too you :)

Ellie x

My Autumn Essentials:

Saturday, 13 October 2018

Autumn is here, I think we all know that now! The blog posts about autumn are live, people are set for blogtober and we are all loving our warm drinks and cosy evenings. I absolutely love autumn, mainly because I love festivities, being cosy and the fashion!

I decided to jump onto the blogging trend of sharing my autumn essentials, basically just a few things I love during autumn.


1) Teddy Coat


When I first saw Teddy Coats I must admit, I was not a fan. I thought they look like a dressing gown and I just wasn't sure, but gradually, the more I have seen teddy coats the more I love them, and I now have one. I have worn it so much already, it is the best because it feels like you are wearing a warm cosy blanket but you look fashionably acceptable- the best bit is that I got my teddy coat from Primark, only £25!!

2) A staple cream knit jumper

Now can you really get through autumn/winter without a cream knit? Leggings, jeans, skirts, trousers, even over a dress... the options are endless. If you haven't purchased a cream jumper yet, I would 100% recommend buying one as it will see you through until the summer (especially if you live in England haha)

Ignore the pineapple garden lights haha defo not autumnal

3) Cosy blankets

I think this is pretty self explanatory, you need a cosy blanket at this time of year. The evenings are chilly, there is not a nicer feeling than being all snuggled up with a blanket whilst it is cold outside- the BEST!

4) Warm drinks

Tea, hot chocolate, coffee, whatever warm drink you want, any will do, is a must! I may sound like I am exaggerating and being dramatic (which I probably am) but seriously, I need a tea in the am. How can I get through a cold day in autumn without a warm drink? It is just a must. Pumpkin spiced lattes are BACK (though I am yet to try one... terrible blogger I know).



5) A good tv series/ youtube binge

I am not one to go out partying or out anywhere past 5pm tbh because I am 81 in an 18 year olds body. But seriously, find yourself a good series or some youtube videos and just chill. Much more cosy and appealing that roaming around in the cold. I have been binge watching Sophia and Cinzias channel recently.


6) Comforting food/snacks

This is in no way specific to autumn because I will say yes to a snack at any time of the year, but biscuits + tea + blanket + youtube= literal heaven. I am very easy to please, haha.

I hope you enjoyed this not so serious post, just sharing a few things I love during autumn! What do you love about autumn? What are your essentials?
Ellie x

6 Ways To Save Money

Sunday, 7 October 2018

I am all about saving money. I think it is so important, no matter how much you have, to try and save some, in any way! Recently, I have realised that I have a few tips and tricks to share when it comes to being careful with money.




1) Shop around- this is one of my top tips, saving money does not have to mean depriving yourself of things you want, but it can mean looking for cheaper alternatives. For example, there was a jumper I wanted in Zara for £40. I did not want to spend that on the jumper. I went into Primark and there was a very similar jumper for £13. The quality of the Primark one is still really good and has washed well! You really can get cheaper alternatives to everything. I am definitely not a brand snob, looking for dupes honestly saves me hundreds.

2) Budget- *sometimes* when I go out shopping I only bring a certain amount of money to spend so that I cannot possibly spend any more, even if I am tempted. This way, I have set a reasonable amount that I am happy to spend and I can not go over that, if I do not spend it all, even better- more to save! This works so well for me, although I do not do this every time I go shopping, because sometimes you just need a crazy spree, right?!

3) Track expenses- keep your receipts, not only so you can see how much you have been spending but if you decide you do not want something, you can get the money back. The amount of times in the past I have bought things and never worn them but could not take them back because I had no receipt. It is the most irritating thing! I like to keep all of my receipts together in a purse so that I do not loose them.

4) Sell- technically not saving but getting money you would not otherwise get back. That top you are about to throw out because you have had you wear out of it, might sell on eBay for £5. Even £3. All of this adds up and you could make hundreds by selling stuff you no longer want. I love to eBay old stuff (and some new stuff that I never wore..ooppss) and I really have made a good amount from it.

5) Save your pounds- literally, put those pound coins, 10ps, 20ps,whatever, that are in your bag, in a money jar.  It is easy to spend £1 thinking its only a £1, but when you save them you realise it adds up!

6) Look for voucher codes- final tip, especially for ordering online, when I am about to order from a website, I will always google "X voucher codes", and sometimes you will find a 10/20 or even 30% off voucher! That can save you money without even really trying, they are easy to find too. Not all of them work but when they do, it is worth it!

Do you have any other money saving tips? I would love to read them in the comments below!

Ellie x

Travel: My Goals and My Fears

Wednesday, 3 October 2018

"Travelling" is not something I have ever wanted to do, I do not have the desire to visit as many countries as possible, though I think it is amazing when people do! However I would definitely love to travel more, there are so many beautiful countries/cities/places that I would love to visit, to experience the culture, to see the sites and to explore. I love exploring and looking around somewhere new, the excitement of discovering new places, but I like to be able to come home at the end of the day- hence why I like visiting new cities or even villages near me.



There is a mixture of limitations that stop me traveling to the places I want to visit, the main obstacle being anxiety. Anxiety has held me back a lot, I mean there are just so many things associated with traveling that trigger my anxiety. I avoid travelling because of anxiety, however, that does not mean I cannot travel.

My biggest traveling accomplishment has to be London > NYC, the flight was the longest flight I had ever been on, it was the furthest I had ever been from home, but I enjoyed every minute (along with my mum!). Since NYC, I have realised that all the times I told myself I 'cant', I actually could- although I must admit, the flight definitely was not enjoyable and though I was completely grateful, there were times I wanted to be at home. Yet that does not take away from the amazing memories and experiences I now hold from visiting NYC. I have a whole post on my trip here.



Now don't get me wrong, I am not willing to hop onto a 8 hour flight any time care free because I have done it once, but if I am lucky enough to have the opportunity to visit NYC again, it would be 10x easier this time than last time because I know I can do it and have done it!

I have so many goals in terms of traveling and anxiety, obviously the ultimate goal is to be able to book holidays without planning every single detail and knowing every step and worrying every night since the day its booked, however I have some shorter term goals that are achievable, to help me take the right steps.

I would like to go on more 1 night city breaks, especially in the UK. There are so many amazing cities in the UK that I am yet to visit but would love to. What cities would you recommend visiting? I would love to visit Edinburgh, especially at Christmas, it looks amazing!

Travelling more of Europe is also a goal of mine, I really want to see more of Europe. I have been to Spain, France and Portugal, but what about Italy, Switzerland, Greece, Croatia, Budapest and of course so many more! Europe holds such amazing countries that are not even far away by plane, it would be incredible to experience all of the different European cultures. What countries in Europe have you visited?

How stunning is Santorini?!
I am not sure when I will visit these places, who with etc.. however I hope that one day I can read this and say "aw I have been there now".  Like I said, I do not have any huge traveling desires, but making memories and experiences in these different cities/countries would be amazing!

Thank you for reading, I would love to hear about your travels
Ellie x
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