Tuesday, 31 March 2015

WELCOME TO NEW YORK


Last weekend my Mum and I were lucky enough to spend some time in New York. We'd never been to America before and so had absolutely no idea what to expect. It was incredibly foggy when we arrived, and so we missed the initial celebrated view of the skyline on the way into Manhattan. Although there were sighs from almost everyone on the coach, in retrospect I'm actually glad we didn't get to see it just then. Not having a clue what to expect made the arrival into the city so much more of a surprise. I think it took me about 30 seconds of being surrounded by buildings disappearing endlessly upward into the fog to fall in love with the place.




I think it's easy to have preconceptions about big cities, and before arriving both my Mum and I were slightly intimidated by the idea of the place. The typical stereotype of New York is as a loud, fast paced metropolis that never sleeps. For us, two reasonably quiet people from a seaside town in South East England, this was understandably a scary prospect.



Despite this, and despite everything being absolutely huge, we both felt there was such a sense of community to the place. Everyone was so friendly and helpful! The pace of life wasn't actually as fast as we thought, and in fact it was actually comfortably slow compared to that of London. People actually spoke to eachother, cared about eachother even. For once in our lives, we didn't actually feel afraid to speak to people. If I'm honest, the scale of everything didn't make me feel small, it made me feel included.



I think one of the reasons the city appeals to me personally is the wealth of artistic history behind it. It is home to some of the most famed contemporary art in the world, as well as boasting some incredible architecture. New York saw the birth of the consumer culture that was so inspiring to Pop Artists, and the rise of the real life 'Mad Men'. As the setting for numerous films throughout the years, the city really does evoke a sense of being partly in another era. I guess this nostalgia, the idea of it as a city trapped partly in screens and on canvas, is a reason why it intrigued me so much.





If I had to pick a highlight, for me it has to be Times Square. There's something about those bright lights that is totally hypnotising and I fell under their spell immediately. Everything was just so big, and you can't put into words the feeling of those huge buildings and billboards surrounding you from every side.


I've spent my whole life listening to songs portraying the city as a place where 'anything is possible', a city where all your wildest dreams can come true. Be being me, I'd always passed it off as just a cliched romantic vision. After visiting, however, I can totally understand why New York has this reputation. There is something magical about it. However cringey it sounds, this place does have the power to touch people. There is no doubt that whether it's because of the bright lights, the huge buildings or the sense of belonging to another era, Manhattan is both hypnotising and inspiring.


I've been to so many wonderful places in my life, and I really hope to go to many more. They've all touched me in different ways, but no place has opened my eyes quite as much as New York has. If there was ever an advert for travel, it would be this place. If you haven't been, I recommend it.

Where is your favourite place in the world?
Elly xxx

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Saturday, 28 March 2015

OUTFIT OF THE DAY: SPOT PRINT SHIRT









Spot Print Swing Shirt - Topshop (£29.00)
Lubiana A Line White Mini Skirt - Missguided (£12.99)
Griffin Mabel Shoes - Clarks (£50.00)
Bag - TKMaxx
Glasses - Rayban Clubmaster Optics

Elly xxx

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Saturday, 21 March 2015

HAUL: IMPULSE BUYS



As someone who (contrary to popular belief) finds it very hard to part with money, I did my fair share of impulse buying this week. Although I often plan what I'm going to buy, sometimes things just jump out at me and I just have to get them. It always results in (and I'm sure you're all familiar with this) an hour long conversation with myself in which I try to justify all my purchases. I was lucky enough to receive a couple of things as early birthday presents from my Mum, too, so thank you! I've been saving up all term to shop for Spring/Summer, and so you can expect a few more hauls before I go back to university in April.

1. Purple Pointed Crossover Strap Flats - Primark (£6.00)
2. Paul Costelloe Long Yellow Purse - TKMaxx (£19.99)
3. Seventeen Nail Varnishes in , all reduced to 50p each in my local Boots!
4. Dune Bag in Black Croc - TKMaxx (Couldn't find it online!) (£24.99)
5. 2 Pack of Non-wired Lace Bras - H&M (£12.99)

Are you excited for Spring?
Elly xxx
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Thursday, 19 March 2015

WHO'S YOUR STRIPE ICON?

I think it's fair to say that stripes will probably never go out of style. They seem to pop up in every decade, at every fashion week and in all of our high street stores. Most of us have got at least one striped piece in our wardrobe (I posted about my latest purchase only a couple of weeks ago!) and so I've teamed up with the luxury online store Farfetch to share with you their latest campaign - Who's Your Stripe Icon? Whether you're bold like Cyndi Lauper or classic like Audrey Hepburn, there's a stripe for you.
Who

As a luxury store, Farfetch's designer pieces are absolutely to die for, but some of them might be a little out of our price range. If you love yet unfortunately can't afford the designer brands, I've provided a high street alternative for each girl below:

Fran├žoise Hardy:




Cyndi Lauper (I can't get over this Valentino skirt!!):



Audrey Hepburn: 

Who's your stripe icon? I'm finding it hard to choose, but I guess Audrey always wins in the end.
Elly xxx

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Sunday, 15 March 2015

HOW TO: EASY AND TASTY 'DETOX' WATER


With spring and summer finally approaching, I thought it would be nice to share one of my favourite "recipes" for a refreshing summer drink. I have to own up and say that this wasn't completely my idea - it was inspired by one of my old flatmates who used to make it a lot (so thanks Holly!). I think a lot of people can be put off by recipes like this because they feel they scream "health-freak-gym-30-times-a-week-raw-eggs-for-breakfast", but honestly - don't be frightened! I wouldn't describe myself as the definition of health either, but we have to start somewhere. This recipe is so quick and easy and is a really healthy and cheap alternative to buying flavoured waters and fizzy drinks. Plus, if you drink it out of a pretentious vintage mason jar like I tend to it can look super-professional too! So let's get started. 

All you really need to make this is a variety of fruit/vegetables that you think will go well together, and a water bottle or glass to put your drink in. I've chosen cucumber, lemon and lime for my drink, as I know they compliment each other well and I love the taste! You can also add mint to this combination if you like, but I'm not the biggest fan so I'm leaving that out. All of these ingredients are great antioxidants, providing loads of vitamins and keeping you hydrated at the same time. Drinking a water like this has loads health benefits that you just don't get from caffeinated drinks - it can aid digestion, boost your immune system and give you an extra boost of energy. 



All you need to do now is slice them up according to taste. Decide which flavours you want to dominate (bit of a 50 Shades word choice but you get me), and then slice your chosen ingredients proportionately to that.  Lemon can be quite overpowering if you put too much in so bear that in mind if you don't like really bitter lemon!


Once you've sliced up your ingredients (make sure they're cut up small enough that they fit into your water bottle or glass), just pop them into your chosen container.


Now all you need to do is add water and pop your drink in the fridge. I usually leave mine overnight to make a really fruity flavour to match my personality, but if you don't have time for that a few hours will do. You can, of course, drink it straight away and it will still taste good, but I would advise leaving it in the fridge for at least a little while if you want it to be really tasty and refreshing.

And there you have it! Quick, healthy, tasty and really refreshing. The best part is that you can reuse the fruit a couple of times, so it's really cost effective.

What do you think? Let me know if you love these drinks as much as I do!
Elly xxx

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Sunday, 8 March 2015

NEW MUSIC LOVE: VAULTS






Whilst using Spotify's 'Indie Electronica' playlist as background music whilst cleaning my bathroom last week (I wish the discovery had been more glamorous too but we can't have it all), I came across a song that I absolutely loved. Despite being elbow deep in the toilet, I found myself really "getting down" to the beat of this mystery band. So, putting down my J-cloth for a minute, I returned to my laptop to find out "who this lot are." Turns out they're a London based band called Vaults, and now I just can't get enough.



According to the BBC, Vaults describe their sound as "a mixture of lyricism, electronics and strings delivered with ‘a labyrinthine quality’," and their music is just as beautiful as their description of it. Their strong female vocal layered on an electronic backdrop is really reminiscent of the likes of London Grammar and Chvrches, so if you like that sound then I'd recommend giving Vaults a go. Just like with Oh Wonder last month (read my post here), I've had this band on repeat since I discovered them and I can't wait for their album release. My favourite track so far has to be Lifespan, which you can listen to here:



Turns our they're on the Fifty Shades soundtrack, too, but again we really can't have it all.
Who are you loving at the moment?
Elly xxx

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photos: Facebook and huhmagazine 

Thursday, 5 March 2015

TWO NEW TOPS






SPOT PRINT SWING SHIRT - TOPSHOP (£29.00)
MONKI LEILA TOP - MONKI (£8)

As a student, I don't really get the chance to do a lot of clothes shopping during term time. Whenever I do get something new it's always really exciting, and this term I've bought myself two new tops. The first is a shirt from Topshop that I picked up this weekend in St Albans when I was visiting a friend. I am absolutely in love with the ugly but cute 60s/70s print! This piece is a bit of a departure for me - mainly because it actually has some colour... I genuinely really like the gross colours and although the print is a bit funky I reckon it'll go with a lot of things. I think this newfound love for vintage patterns has come from my recent binge watching of Call the Midwife, which I am not ashamed to admit! I had one of those incredible moments at the till where I thought it was going to be really expensive (it said £36 on the tag) and they charged me a tenner less and I truly felt as if I'd been touched by a higher power. 

The second top is from Monki. I've been looking for a striped high neck top for a while now, and just haven't been able to find the perfect one. When I saw this on the Monki website for £8 I couldn't say no! It fits me perfectly and I couldn't be happier with the quality for such a low price. This is such a staple piece which goes with everything and probably won't go out of style for a long time. I've included outfit snippets of both tops from my Instagram above, and I'll be doing outfit posts with these new bits in a couple of weeks. 

Have you bought anything new recently?
Elly xxx
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Tuesday, 3 March 2015

GET TO KNOW ME A LITTLE BETTER: THE VERY INSPIRING BLOGGER AWARD & THE SISTERHOOD OF WORLD BLOGGERS AWARD

Hey everyone! I've been lucky enough to be tagged in two blogger award posts this month (and I've been rubbish at getting round to doing them), so I thought I'd combine them both into one post. I love these blogger-made awards because they're a great chance for new bloggers to get to know each other a little bit better, and for us all to network a little more. 


The first award I've been tagged in is "The Very Inspiring Blogger Award" (although I don't think I'd ever class myself as inspiring), and I was tagged by the lovely Jessie from Taylor Mayed. For this tag I just have to tell you seven random facts about myself, so here goes:

1. My bathroom is decorated completely with fish stickers/fish themed stuff. We call it "Fish Palace". Please don't unfollow me.

2. I study History of Art/English Literature at the University of York, and it's pretty great.

3. I have a drawer in my room devoted to chocolate (don't we all?).

4. I have two black cats called Caspar and Cleo. 

5. My favourite game is repeatedly asking my friends "What would you do if *insert bizarre situation here*?" for hours on end.



The amazing Laura from Lace on Lipstick tagged me in the second award, which is called "The Sisterhood of World Bloggers Award". For this award you have to answer ten questions set by the blogger who nominated you. Laura's questions are as follows:

Favourite beauty hack?

Homemade lip scrub! I did this a few weeks ago and it's so good if you love wearing lipstick but have really dry/chapped lips. Just mix sugar, honey and a little bit of oil and you're good to go!

Favourite genre of book/film?

Probably something lighthearted. It's just nice to be able to sit down and relax with something that isn't too heavy, and I love a good laugh. I also enjoy films that are historically accurate/biopics, just because I like learning. You will often find me watching art documentaries because I'm a huge nerd.

Do you believe in ghosts?

I'm still undecided, but I definitely think there's something spooky going on out there.

Do you prefer to be in front or behind the camera?
I like both! I've always been interested in photography but it's also really fun to pose in front of the camera from time to time. Having this blog means I have to admit that I like having my photo taken really, doesn't it?

What was your first concert?

I was lucky enough to go to Live Earth at Wembley all the way back in 2007. Seeing so many amazing acts in one place was pretty insane for a first concert, so thanks mum.

Any other hobby apart from blogging?

I do a lot of drawing and artwork in my spare time, and I've danced since I was 4 years old, despite having the coordination of a blind sloth.

Favourite food?

This is so hard! I go through phases with having obsessions with certain foods, but I have to say that pasta is the one food that has remained my favourite ever since I was young (this is beginning to sound like an oscar acceptance speech.). Pasta sounds so boring, but my flatmates will tell you that it's pretty much the only thing I eat besides Maryland cookies.

Name one item on your bucket list.

This is hard! I just want to travel the world and see loads of amazing things. The more I learn about the world the more I want to travel! 

If you could live in any country for the rest of your life, what country would you pick?

Honestly, I'd probably pick Britain. Travelling really inspires me, but I don't know that I'd actually want to live anywhere else permanently. No other nation is as socially awkward, or as devoted to queuing. 

You’re stressed and you need to relax and unwind. What do you do?

Make myself a hot chocolate, get myself some chocolate/cake/biscuits (a KitKat Chunky is my choice of the moment) and watch some iPlayer. I'm loving cuddling up in bed with my toy cat and watching Call the Midwife at the moment (don't judge me.)

My Questions:
What's your guilty pleasure?
What is the most embarrassing thing you've ever done?
What's your life motto?
Where in the world would you most like to travel?
What are you a massive geek over?
Do you like Marmite?
Is there a fashion trend you really can't stand?
Who is your celebrity crush?
Do you have a favourite band/singer?
What made you start blogging?

I'm going to nominate a few of my favourite bloggers, and feel free to pick one (or do both) of these tags if you want to!
Little Miss Fii
Infinity of Fashion
A Boom of Bitterns
Grandiose Days
The Lipstick, The Girl and Her Wardrobe
ROSALINDIS
Millie Loves

Thank you for reading and thanks again to Laura and Jessie!
Elly xxx