Thursday, 16 April 2015

10 THINGS TO START DOING TODAY THAT YOUR FUTURE SELF WILL THANK YOU FOR

This post is kind of a tips post - state the obvious love... - and if I'm being totally honest, I'm always a bit hesitant producing tips post. You see, I love reading them, I love coming away from a post with knowledge and feeling like I know the writer a little more. But when I make them myself? Despite the fact that I love writing them and sharing some completely pointless useful tips, I kinda' feel like a bit of tit at times. I think it's the fact that I'm not very confident/have the self esteem of a pea (anybody else look in the mirror and see Princess Fiona Shrek staring back at them?) and have an ingrained lack of self confidence that makes me feel like no one will give a shit care about what I have to say. And they probably don't, but here's the thing... I feel like a lot of blogs have become all about what they think their readers want to see, or what will become popular on the Bloglovin page, rather than what they actually want to talk about. And whilst I love making posts that my readers will love - any special requests Mum, just let me know... - I also think it's important to think about why you started in the first place, to share information/photo's/knowledge/[insert your own random blog post preference here] that you want to share.

Jesus Christ, move over Oprah!

So today I'm growing some balls and writing about little changes or choices that you can make, that your future self will thank you for. Because whilst I'm all about living in the moment - "I am eating this Kebab and I am thinking about nothing else" ;) - I also think it's important to invest in the future, because there is no better time to make a change than now.

Let's move on to the post before you all gag from the level of cheesiness in the above preaching shall we? Yes you say? Great, here goes...
1. Exercise - I thought I'd start with the obvious/slightly boring one, and that is to start exercising. Anyone that knows me will probably spit their tea out with laughter reading this point because I am notoriously fat, lazy, sloth-like loathing of exercise. In fact, I don't loathe exercise... I just don't do it. At all. And this needs to change because a) I will not have this metabolism forever and eventually thrice weekly Indian takeaways are going to start sticking (preferably to my arse #MoveOverKimmyK) and b) more importantly, exercise isn't about "looks", it's about health. I am incredibly unfit and can just about make it upstairs without keeling over... so very recently, I made a pact to start getting into this fitness thing. I started with Yoga - and more specifically Yoga with Adrienne - and I finally get Yoga. It's so relaxing, it's fantastic for people with overactive minds that struggle to shut off, it's brilliant for zoning out of day to day stresses... basically, it's something that I will continue to do for the foreseeable future, alongside introducing some form of Cardio (that doesn't include shopping) because I know that my future self will really thank me for being flexible, able to zone out/switch off, and able to actually make it to the top of the stairs without having a heart attack.

2. Healthy Eating - Along the same (slightly boring, soz) line as exercise, is to start making better choices food wise. Having been diagnosed with coeliac disease 5 years ago, I do actually have quite a lot of knowledge about good nutrition. The problem is, it's hard to chose kale upon kale upon avocado upon some more Kale when at the moment my metabolism can more than handle multiple takeaways and outrageous portion sizes. Recently I had a bit of a breakthrough with this mindset however. My health isn't amazing, and hasn't been for over 7 years now.... and I can't control that. There's nothing I can do about that whatsoeve. But what I can do, is feed my body with goodness and give myself the best chance at good health that is possible for me. This doesn't mean no junk ever - I am all about "Exercise? I thought you said extra fries" - it's just about making better choices for the majority of the time.
3. Read - on the subject of reading; did you know that according to the NHS, those that read regularly are at a much lower risk of developing dementia. Incredible, right? This is why we should all be reading more. Not only does it broaden your horizons, keep your mind healthy... but it's also an amazing feeling to get lost in a book, taking you away from your daily worries. If only for a little moment.

4. Save your money - If you are anything like me i.e love all the clothes, all the makeup, all the homeware etc. then I know that this will be hard for you too. I'm not saying don't spend anything, I'm just saying maybe don't buy that pink lipstick that is almost identical to 15 others that you already have. [insert guilty face emoji here] One day you'll need a deposit for a house, or savings for rainy days, or a baby to provide for (#ShitABrickTimes) and having that little pot of money saved can really relieve the pressure at those times.

5. Make time for fun - This is something that I definitely need to "practice what I preach" in. I'm a freelancer (full time Blogger, occasional TV Producer and writer) so while I have the option to chose my hours, to go out and have fun whenever I want, I don't. I wake up at 6:30am and I pretty much work through to 10pm. Which is fine, I love my work and I'm used to working hard... but this isn't sustainable, and eventually you will burn out. I now make an effort to take one whole day off per week, and odd hours in the week to go and see friends, or go shopping, or just go to a park and read (Sometimes I am just far too rock 'n' roll for my own good ;) #Granny) and I feel so much happier and relaxed for it.
6. Take a leap of faith, follow your dreams - Can we just take a moment to appreciate just how cheesy that phrase was? 'End of a Ryan Gosling movie' eat your heart out. You know that hobby that you can't stop thinking about, the one that you're constantly dreaming about but doesn't seem very achievable so maybe you'll just leave it? Stop right there girlfriend. There is nothing that you can't achieve if you put your mind to it and work your bloody arse butt off. Dream it, plan it, work for it, make it happen. Not happy in your current job? Leave. Save some money to keep you going for a few months to follow your passion. That's actually exactly what I did at the end of last year and I genuinely couldn't be happier!

7. Don't compare yourself to others, be exactly who you are - For me, this is probably the most important lesson I learnt/thing that I changed am attempting to change. Growing up, I constantly felt like I never "fit in". There were so many things that I wanted to do, clothes that I wanted to wear... but was filled with embarrassment and the lack of confidence to just be me. I think this is definitely something that comes with age and at the grand age of 22, I finally feel like I know exactly who I am. (A bit of a twat? A complete granny, loser?) A deep thinker, an over-analyser... but someone who chased a dream. I'm really proud of that. That doesn't mean to say that I've got this "Yo, I'm me, I'm happy, I never compare myself to anyone" [*insert yoga "om" sound effect here*] thing down... because I haven't. I constantly compare myself to others and in the process, am generally left feeling pretty shit. But another thing I've learned with age - Hi, I'm, Elle and I'm officialy old - is that it is so time consuming and quite frankly, exhausting to compare yourself to other people. So what, if someone has better hair than you, so what if someone's prettier than you, so what if someone has more followers than you... put things into perspective; you're alive, you're well and you're loved. Surely that's all that matters right?

That's not to say that if a fairy godmother plopped on to earth and offered to transform me into Rosie Huntington Whitely that I wouldn't happily oblige... but small steps eventually make a big difference and all that ;)
8. Start each day with a grateful, positive heart - Okay, don't worry, I haven't gone all Hippy/Tree hugger on you, what with this and the yoga and all... but I do think it's so important to put life into perspective. It's so easy to stress over trivial things - I am a perfect example of this "I feel so down about my blog today" Get over yourself you pathetic bitch - but keeping things in perspective, realising how lucky you are and starting the day with gratitude and positive thoughts, really does make a huge difference to your mindset, and generally just your day.

9. Travel - This is the one thing that I am really falling short on. (Well, in reality I probably fall short on a lot of these things but especially this one). I haven't seen anywhere near enough of the world... and this eventually needs to change. Over the last 6months or so I really pushed this "goal' and explored Dubai - stunning - Cyprus - unbelievably relaxing - and New York - mind blowing, don't even get me started - and I can't wait to expand that list. Travel is expensive, but experience is priceless (... so I tell my seriously pissed off bank account)

10. And finally, the most important of them all... buy the shoes. Because nothing haunts you lke the clothes you didn't buy. And because YOLO, and absolutely no other reason is necessary ;)
I'm going to wrap up this beast of a post here, because I am clearly not doing so well with my "Don't bore your readers to death you boring bitch" New years resolution. This is a different post for me so I really hope you enjoyed it. I would love to know which changes you think you could make that your future self would thank you for? Are there any points in this post you agree with? I would love to hear your thoughts :)

As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!

xx

Monday, 13 April 2015

SPRING DRESSING, THE #SLBLOGGERBASH & TIPS FOR ATTENDING BLOGGING EVENTS

Yeah, so I've pretty much packed everything into that title, and subsequently into this post - you lucky little things, you... - but don't worry, despite my best attempts to "go hard of go home" (maybe I should just go home after these shocking jokes just a paragraph into the post?) I promise to keep this as concise and to the point as I possibly can.

Which basically means you'll have to get through 3 paragraphs of shit rambling instead of 5 today. [insert sarcastic happy face and a thumbs emoji here]

A momentous occasion happened on Friday. Nope, I didn't manage to go a whole day without eating chocolate. Nope, I didn't get through the morning without stalking Instagram/twitter/pinterest/all the social media. Nope, I didn't do cardio for the first time in 7 years...

... I shaved my legs. For what felt like the first time in months (but probably looked like the first time in years) and then I got those pasty bad boys out for all to see. Well, everyone at the #SLBloggerBash anyway (I seriously apologise for any offence caused ladies)

Said - terrifyingly leg bearing - outfit.
That surgically attached leather jacket: Stradivarius
Cropped top that expertly displays my distinct lack of abs: New Look
Cullottes that are so comfortable I really don't want to take them off of my legs: Primark
Silver loafers ever so kindly referred to as my Tin man shoes from my brother: Forever 21

Pasty legs and - slightly overzealous with the texturising hair spray - hair aside, it's time for the #SLBloggersBash. For those unaware of what the hell I'm talking about (that'll probably be all of you then, all of the time, reading every single one of my posts.. ) it is an event put on by the lovely Scarlett - alongside Search Laboratory this time - who has run many blog events before and is quite frankly bloody brilliant at it. With amazing brands - Hello Urban outfitters - plenty of food, competitions galore and a laid back atmosphere perfect for mingling and getting to know other bloggers... the day was just as fab as every other event Scarlett has put on. Girl, you did so good. Again!

Onto the event, first up - let there be cake...
Once I managed to pull myself away from the amazing cakes baked by some very talented bloggers - what can I say, I am a sucker for food photography and a fat bitch - it was time for some Bowls with the gorgeous Polly, who may or may not have beaten me.*

*Let's cut the crap... she beat me!
Action shots over - let's just take a second to appreciate that technique shall we? ;) - fancy a little wander around with me, checking out the clothes, brands, wine and general goings on? (totally not a thing but we can totally make it one) Great, let's go...
Apologies Ally for the ridiculously stalker-ish/in your face photo here, but I think every blogger can appreciate that camera, phone and bowls ball multi-tasking you got going on there girl ;) If you haven't checked out Ally's blog by the way, then you really should. Because it's amazingly well written with some stunning photography to boot. Also she's just as lovely in "real life" as she is online.

Whilst on the subject of meeting other bloggers, without getting all soppy/drippy/sentimental/cheesy etc. I just wanted to take a moment to say a huge thank you to all of the gorgeous ladies that came over to say Hi and said you liked my blog. I genuinely, genuinely felt so overwhelmed; not only by the fact that apparently my Mum isn't the only person who reads my blog - who knew?! Not me, that's for sure - but by your extremely kind words. You totally made my day! 

I met so many stunning/lovely/friendly/[insert your own choice of lovely adjective here] ladies, so I sincerely apologise if I've missed any of you out. But here are a few of the girls that I met who I can't wait to catch up with again soon :) - Sarah, Thalia, Kayla, Arianna, Georgia, Renata, Alina, Lauren, Sofie and so many more*

*Totally means I can't remember everyone's name right at this moment. Again, sincere apologies [and probably a good time to insert awkward emoji's here!]

Major fan girl done, here are some miscellaneous others from the event.
Now that I've completely bombarded you with photo's, it's probably time to bore you with words - I can't imagine why people tell me I need to market myself better ;) - Now, I am no expert when it comes to blogging events (and I am also conscious of sounding like a know it all/"why are you giving us tips when you have barely any followers and your mum is the only person reading your blog" twat) but so many girls that I spoke to said that it was their first event and that they were really nervous, so I thought I'd mention a few tips that helped me when I started attending events, and even help me now actually.

1. Step out of your comfort zone and just go over and talk to people. This is so incredibly hard if you're quite shy/introverted... but I promise you, you won't regret it. 99% of the girls in the room will be feeling exactly the same as you are and will be so grateful that you've made the first move because they are probably wanting to do the same thing but are too nervous to. This is definitely something that comes with time, but I always make sure I do this now and have recently came away with so many new friends/blogs to stalk read as a result.

2. Plan ahead - decide on your outfit in advance to avoid the "Oh fuck balls, I have nothing to wear and 10 minutes left before I have to leave". Plan your route, or at least look into where the venue is to avoid being that girl who looks like a major tourist, asking all the locals if they've ever heard of Stupid Street. For me, i.e the world's biggest over-thinker/worrier, I always feel much less stressed and nervous (yep, still get nervous after attending events for over 2years) if I plan ahead and generally feel "prepared" for the day.

3. Follow up email - Whether it's a brand event or a blogger that's put on her own event, I always follow up with a thank you email - I happen to be meeting Scarlett this week so I will of course bore her to death and tell her in person - and a link to a post if I've done one. Apart from it just being good manners, the fact that you've taken the time to thank them will mean a lot to the organisers after they've put so much effort into making it all come together. Manners don't cost a thing, and yet a simple thank you, just two words, can mean the world to somebody else.

4. If you don't know anyone attending the event and you're really nervous, generally the event will have a hashtag which is perfect for helping you find out who else is going. Tweet them, have a chat, make some connections first... it'll put your mind at rest knowing that you have someone a little familiar that you can go and chat to. Especially useful if you find approaching people that you've never spoken to before tough.

5. Finally, have fun. Just remember that these events are there for your entertainment and enjoyment, not to be fretted over. Yes they're great fun and present you with the opportunity to meet amazing bloggers/brands.. but they're not saving lives, they'e not changing the world. Relax and enjoy it, because once you've been to one and know vaguely what to expect, the rest will be a breeze!

If you're still with me at this point and haven't face planted your keyboard through boredom - you got some stealthy patience there girlfriend - then thank you, I really hope you enjoyed this post. Thanks again to Scarlett and Search Labs for a brilliant event, I had a great time meeting other bloggers and finding new procrastination/stalking material in the form of their blogs in the process. ;)

What are your top tips for attending events? Are you preparing your wardrobe for a Spring overhaul? If you made it along to the event I would love to know what you made of the day (and of course, don't forget to leave any links below, I would love to check out your blogs) :) 

As always, thanks so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!

xx

Friday, 10 April 2015

UTILITY X SNAKESKIN

There are times in life when I see an item of clothing; I can't imagine how on earth I'd style it, or where on earth I'd wear it... but I just cannot walk away without it in my shopping bag. The beautiful H&M jumpsuit in this post today is a prime example of just that. It was the first thing I noticed when entering the store and it literally had a shining beacon with the words "Buy me now bitch Elle, buy me now!" on it*

*Before you think I'm a raving lunatic; this is me trying to justify the purchase to myself/my severely pissed off bank account, and not me heading towards hallucinations and schizophrenia. I'm not at that stage quite yet.

On an entirely contradicting note, the shoes in this post are something that I fell in love with at the very first sight. I saw - my new favourite shoe shop - Linzi tweet about them, I professed my love for them via twitter (as is obligatory in life, right?) and a few minutes later I very, very kindly received an email in my inbox from Linzi offering to send me a pair to style for my blog.

And you say you don't believe in fairy godmother's? Think again sister, think again...
Whilst yes, the overall vibe of this jumpsuit is undeniably park ranger/Steve Irwin-esque - According to my brother, the same one that said my silver loafers made me look like the tin man. Cheers bro, cheers... (also, RIP Steve!) - I really, really do love it. It's comfortable - because jumpsuits are glorified onesies and I am more than OK with that - it's so versatile and can dressed up or down, it's great camouflage for when you're hunting in the jungle and it's just one of those items you can chuck on, pair with some heels and that's it, outfit done. *Insert Simon Cowell voice here* It's a yes from me...
If sexiness were a shoe, it would be these babies. For me, I think there is nothing more classic than a black pointed court heel. But sometimes you want a little more than just a classic, and that's where these Georgina heels come in. The subtle - but ridiculously gorgeous - snakeskin strap just adds that somethin' somethin' taking you from day to night. Classic to slightly edgy, but totally wearable.
Pretty bloody sexy, right? They almost make me feel a little like a Kardashian (... just minus the million dollar bank account, Louboutin shoes and completely ghetto arse!) Either way, they make me feel good, and it takes a lot to do that.

I can honestly say that Linzi are probably my favourite store for shoes right now - and I am not being sponsored to say this FYI - whether it's work out trainers that are genuinely fashionable and so versatile, metallic loafers, or strappy heels... Linzi are just absolutely killing it. With amazing styles/cuts and a great range of colours in every style, they have been my go to of late and that's not about to change any time soon!

So I guess that brings me to the end of today's post. I have to say that heading down the road to Greenwich on a beautifully sunny day, dressed in an outfit I really love - oh yeah, I am all about those park ranger vibes - made me feel especially excited and inspired blog wise. It is so ridiculously easy to compare yourself to other bloggers - and in the process, christen your own blog as shite inadequate - but days like this (plus endless Pinterest/Instagram quote stalking) remind me that not only is comparison the thief of joy - and girlfriend ain't ready to have her joy taken away - but you also can't compare your beginning to someone else's middle. There is room for all of us in this little community and I really should just get a grip and continue to work my arse off hard on this little corner of mine, without focusing on where everybody else is with it.

Oh, one second, my phone's ringing *insert ring tone sound here*... it was Peter Andre calling, he wanted his cheesy quotes back... ;)

What are your thoughts on the Utilitarian trend? What are your classic go-to heels? And what is your favourite quote for when you're feeling down? I would love to hear your thoughts!

As always, thank you so much for reading. I hope you enjoyed this post!

xx
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