Friday, 28 August 2015

Link Love #4

This past week One Direction released their video for 'Drag Me Down' (which they actually filmed at NASA), and J K Rowling added her take on a new Harry Potter fan theory. Autumn is now well and truly on the way so it's time to get excited about the return of a certain spiced beverage and spending weekends curled up with our favourite chick flicks... or the links below! 
  1. How to arrange flowers in a teapot, because why wouldn't you want to know this? {via Brit + Co}

  2. A hilarious article about what it's like to watch the Teen Choice Awards when you're thirty-one {via Glamour}

  3. The infamous Pumpkin Spiced Latte will soon have one very errrr... 'special' ingredient {via Self}

  4. Ten films you have to watch while in your twenties. Numbers 2, 4 and 8 are musts! {via Career Girl Daily}

  5. Some of the greatest things The Great British Bake Off presenters have said so far. Who doesn't love this show?! {via Buzzfeed}

  6. What the English subtitles on a Chinese Harry Potter DVD really say. I'm not quite sure I remember these lines in the books... {via Hello U}

  7. A couple announced the adoption of their new puppy by spoofing a newborn photoshoot. Adorable! {via Mashable}

  8. A video of the day in the life of Marc Jacobs' hard working pooch, Neville. I know, I'm a bit obsessed with him at the moment... {via The New York Times}

  9. Ten foods that are good for the old noggin'. I'm impressed with how many of these I already eat. Just call me Einstein!... {via The New Potato}

  10. What advice would you give to your younger self? How about some of these... {via CBC}
Sunbathe while you still can, amigos!
~ Eleanor xo

Wednesday, 26 August 2015

A New Beginning...

Greetings, loved ones, let's take a journey... to Windsor! My new playground! I mean, work place. That's right, you don't need to adjust your television sets, I am in fact an employed person! Wahooooo! *releases confetti canon and twirls in circles*. As you can tell, it's still very early days, hence the continued excitement. Give me a month or two and I'll be dragging my heels and ruing the day I ever decided a 9-5:30 job was a good idea.

Officially, I am a 'Digital Marketing Account Executive'. I know, that probably means absolutely nothing and I've spent the last week attempting to explain what it is to various family members. It means I'm badass. Basically, my soul purpose is to help manage the digital marketing of a certain French car manufacturer (and at times, a few other brands). And it's super exciting!

I'm actually not sure how much I'm allowed to say because I've signed so many confidentiality and 'non disclosure' agreements that I'm a bit scared to open my mouth at all. One said NDA was for a little known company called 'Apple Inc.'; maybe you've heard of it? There's a lot of super cool and top secret stuff happening in the three-story townhouse conversion I now call my office, and I can't wait to see what's in store.

I've had a whirlwind first week of production meetings, agreement signing, team introductions, welcome emails, business trips, client meetings, software training, celebratory lunches and "no, I don't shorten my name to Ellie"; and I couldn't imagine anywhere more perfect to work than beautiful Windsor.

Here's to this exciting next chapter!
~ Eleanor xo

{Keep your eyes peeled for lots of fun job related content coming soon!}

Friday, 21 August 2015

Champagne Afternoon Tea | The Aviator Hotel, Farnborough

First of all, do not eat for at least four days before you indulge in this afternoon tea. Sure, it may not look like much in the photos (my family and I all fell into that trap too) but oh my word will you waddle out of the building thanking all kinds of Gods that you wore a skirt with an elastic waist. But of course, even when you start to feel yourself getting a bit full (midway through scone number two) you simply can't stop.

We spent a little over two hours in the hotel's Sky Bar; chatting, eating, drinking, lounging, eating, eating and yes, eating some more. They make you feel totally at home in the hotel; when you arrive, you are invited to relax and get comfortable while they fetch the perfectly chilled (and totally legit) Champagne which they then pour into your glass like a total pro. Everything runs seamlessly; after the champagne, the host then returns to offer you hot beverages and gives detailed explanations of the vast variety of the Jing loose leaf tea on offer. Once you place your order (I went for Darjeeling) you are given your own cafetiere full of your chosen tea that you can drink at your own leisure. And then, and then, the cake stand arrives. Lord have mercy on my waistline.

For each person in the party, the 'starter pack' includes: four finger sandwiches, two scones, three cakes, one macaroon and one panna cotta. Absolutely everything, right down to the jam and clotted cream for your scones, is made by hand at the hotel just for you. I say 'starter pack' because as it turns out, you can order extra of anything you like and they'll (freshly make) and supply it for you. I have no shame in admitting we ordered extra sandwiches because they were so unbelievably tasty. Who knew cucumber, cream cheese and mint would be so good?!

An afternoon tea was the perfect way to round off a birthday (the chef's even surprised me with a plate of chocolate truffles!) and I would absolutely recommend choosing The Aviator for pretty much any occasion.

~ Eleanor xo
Address: The Aviator Hotel, 55 Farnborough Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 6EL

Thursday, 20 August 2015

What I got for my Birthday

Disclaimer: This post is in no way boastful (that aint me) but it's purely here because I love reading posts like this. Please don't hate me.

Marc by Marc Jacobs - Classic Q Fran bag | Nails Inc Gift Set | True Grace 'Seashore' Scented Candle [here] | iPhone Windshield Mount | Novelty 21 Champagne Glass | Bottle of Cava | 'Better Latte Than Never' Mug | Cadbury's Chocolate Fingers | Ray Ban Light Ray Wayfarers (Blue Mirror) [here] | Accessorize Elephant Friendship Bracelet | Personalised Photo Squares | Starbucks Vanilla Coffee Syrup | Selfie Stick (Pink) | Lindt Chocolate | 'Shea Butter' Yankee Candle | Sterling Silver T-Bone Necklace | Global Escape Tahiti Shower Cream | Stella & Dot wishing bracelet | Interflora Bouquet [picture]

Birthdays! What glorious things they are; a whole twenty-four hours dedicated to you and the fact that people are so thrilled that you exist that they buy you things and write you heartfelt messages. Kudos to whichever greetings card company came up with that idea.

I was well and truly spoilt this year; my parents gave me a laughable mix of gifts which all made me smile like a chesire cat. An in-car mount for my iPhone (necessary), a selfie stick (more for their enjoyment, I think), a scented candle I've been lusting over for far too long, and Wayfarer Light Ray's that I fell in love with the moment I saw them. My sister really threw the boat out and surprised me this absolutely beautiful Marc Jacobs Classic Q Fran shoulder bag that I am uhhhhbsessed with (this colour is bae).

My university friends each made me super emotional by proving how well they know me (like, spookily well) and I am still so moved by how sweet they all are - that mug though: me summed up in four words. Hilare.

And a special shout-out to my neighbours for giving me a pound for all the years I've been alive. Pounds as in British money, not pounds as in weight. Can you imagine gaining twenty-one pounds on your birthday? Well... if you follow me on Instagram, you'll see that I practically almost did...

~ Eleanor xo

Friday, 14 August 2015

Link Love #3

This last week I discovered that Cara Delevingne and I share a birthday and it excited me massively. Us supermodels have gotta stick together, after all! The world went bat-shit cray over the unmasking of the notorious 'A'; The Great British Bake Off returned to BBC1; and youths around the country received their A Level results and tweeted about getting accepted into the University I've just graduated from. Huge Sigh.
  1. An infographic about the most popular coffees to Instagram. Although I drink a lottttt of lattes, I'm more of a cappuccino Instagrammer. Just in case you cared... {via Huffington Post}

  2. I was totally not drooling while reading this recipe... Sourdough has became a huge obsession of mine as of late and what better way to enjoy it? {via How Sweet It Is}

  3. Staples in a modern girl's smoothie and why they're all good choices (mmm almond milk and avocados) {via Chalkboard}

  4. The tale of an orphaned baby kangaroo, Doodlebug, and his favourite stuffed animal. SO MUCH ADORABLE. {via Huffington Post}

  5. I discovered Marc Jacobs' dog, Neville, has an Instagram page and I am a teeny bit obsessed... #FollowForever {via Instagram}

  6. Anyone have $2.3 million floating around? Fancy buying Ashley Tisdale's custom built house? Well, obvs. {via Refinery29}

  7. 23 things Karlie Kloss learnt in 23 years. God I love her! {via YouTube}

  8. Can you guess the season of Friends based only on Rachel's hairstyle? {via Buzzfeed}

  9. Scientists can make a pretty good guess about where you're headed next, just by the geotag on your photos. Creepy or genius? {via National Geographic}

  10. A whole 47 questions we still need answering on Pretty Little Liars. Season of answers, you aint {via Buzzfeed}
Keep it real
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 13 August 2015

Twenty One

Hola amigos! I am officially twenty-one years of age and I one-hundred-and-twenty-one per cent refuse to believe it. I will forever be twenty. Or nineteen. Or just plain sixteen. This whole adult thing just isn't for me so I'm going to have to decline your offer. In the words of Deborah Meaden, "I'm out".

But let's rewind. My day began with me throwing open my laptop at 8am sharp, poised, ready and frankly pooing myself over what was to be the anti-climatic 'A' reveal. All my fellow PLLers know what I'm saying. Still, I knew the day could only get better. Which it did, with my mum appearing with a pink velvet cake (yes, really) which she decreed I could eat for breakfast as I drank my coffee and opened my presents. So exhilarating.

I was so overwhelmed by the generosity and thoughtfulness of the gifts and cards I received (I'm a bit of a sap like that). And to top it all off, that afternoon, my possey my parents, my sister and I headed to the Aviator Hotel in Farnborough for what was to be the most beastly champagne afternoon tea ever created. It was insanely good; the food was gorgeous, the champagne extra bubbly and the tea expertly picked... but I probably won't need to eat again until at least November. Actual #FoodComa.

Even though old age is terrifying, I had the best day celebrating and I'm super excited for the future and what the next year has in store. Here's to twenty-one!
~ Eleanor xo

More birthday themed posts (and lots of afternoon tea pics) will be up soon. 
In the meantime, here's what I've learnt during my twenty-one years so far...

Tuesday, 11 August 2015

Adventures in Wonderland | RHS Garden Wisley

This post comes to you as I attempt to nurse my 'back of neck' sunburn. I kind of feel like an eighty year old man, but I think I'm working it. I can't say I'll be venturing out in a top knot and a low back vest top again while the sun still insists of making a mockery of me, though.

The realisation that I should've SPFed up came while I was wandering through the orchards and vineyards (pretending I was on set of the Lindsay Lohan classic, The Parent Trap) of RHS Garden Wisley, and in my euphoria I began to sizzle. And my top knot seemed to attract wasps. But I marched on, after all, I was in my happy place. Because yes, I am an eighty year old trapped inside a twenty year old's body. Like, you know it's bad when your own parents make fun of you for it. Ah, love them.

Wisley has always been one of my favourite places, so naturally, when I heard they were paying homage to Alice in Wonderland, I was excited. We didn't visit purely for that reason, but it was a nice surprise to see the Gardens transformed into a near Wonderland with colourful flowerbeds and miniature statues of the characters. They even set up a Mad Hatter's Tea Party, though I think that was purely for the children, which was, as you can imagine, deeply upsetting.

We also took time to peruse the huge collection of sunflowers currently growing, enjoyed a coffee break where the air was filled with the piercing yells of several children, and then looked on in awe as we witnessed people feeding pieces of bread to the fish in the lake. Yep, definitely fell down a rabbit hole somewhere...

~ Eleanor xo

Friday, 7 August 2015

Photo Diary: The July Round Up

My grandma has a saweeeeeet view from her back garden @ Elmstead Market
Salmon and prawn salad served with garlic bread? Interesting mix, but one I can totally roll with @ The Black Boy Pub, Weeley
These freshly picked organic cherries from our local farm shop didn't last long @ Secretts Farm Shop, Milford
Celebrating my university results with not one, but three beautiful bouquets of flowers
Witnessing the Windsor Castle Guards doing their thang @ High Street, Windsor
The architecture in Windsor is all kinds of goals *heart eye emoji* @ Market Street, Windsor
Sipping a rather pricey latte and enjoying the fact I was wearing a skirt @ Peascod Street, Windsor
Well, it would've been rude to make my sister holiday shop alone... @ Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth
Sunflowers are bae. And then some. And then some more. God I love sunflowers.
Wasn't so keen on the addition of pumpkin seeds but everything else was top notch @ Bill's Restaurant, Guildford
Leveling up on skincare (it's possible I've been reading too many beauty blogs)
I'm convinced that "July" means "the muggiest month in existence" in Swahili because goodness me it has been unhappily warm. My make up has taken on the accidental aesthetic of what I can only describe as the "melted face" look, and this whole 'switching from trousers to shorts, to trousers' thing is really quite difficult to maneuver. Am I dancing the hokey-cokey? Is this really what it's all about?! Knowing my luck, probably.

Still, there were brief interludes of sunshine where the world and his wife catapulted outside, fired up barbecues and drank Pimms until they could no longer work out if they were sucking a slice of cucumber or a slice of lemon; and it was all very joyful. My dad and I even threw together our own take on paella, basing it loosely on this Jamie Oliver recipe -- we are far too rebellious to follow the rules!

All the British schools broke up for summer, which meant helping my sister move her current classroom into storage ready for her new start in September. While I am very proud of her for not only got a new job, but also an amazing promotion, the most exciting part was how much of a Pretty Little Liar I felt carting things through a huge, eerie storage facility. No dead bodies in barrels unfortunately, but it was fun to fantasize about nonetheless. That sounded creepier than I intended... Soz.

Oh Autumn, please come quickly.
~ Sweaty Eleanor xo

I found myself getting ever more frustrated with Pretty Little Liars; fangirled over the new Mockingjay Part 2 trailer (and loudly wished it was November already); started a new series on the blog, and I finalllllly said goodbye to my split ends!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

21 Things I've Learnt in Twenty-One Years

My twenty-first birthday is rapidly approaching (in seven days, to be precise) but I kind of don't feel old enough to be carrying around that burden. It was only a few months ago that a lady in Sainsbury's informed me that I couldn't purchase the cold and flu tablets I was trying to buy because "you have to be a certain age". She looked positively aghast when I informed her that actually, I'm twenty. She was mortified. I told her it happens all the time. It does happen all the time. But I think it'll be more ego-wounding if it happens when I'm twenty-one.

So apart from the important lesson of always carrying a piece of ID with me, here are twenty-one of the biggest life lessons I've acquired so far...

The word 'bitch' is tossed around waaay too much these days; you voice your opinion, you're a bitch, you make a suggestion, you're a bitch, you make out with your friend's boyfriend, you're a bitch. I'm kidding about that last one, if you have done that... well you aren't a very nice person. But, if you know who you are, trust in your abilities and what you can achieve, honesty and perseverance will get you there.

If there's one thing I want my children to learn from me, it's to never have a backup plan. If you have a plan B then you might as well not bother with plan A.

Potentially the most cliché proverb (is it a proverb?... I feel like it's not...) but it is something I absolutely and whole-heartedly believe in. So life's got you down? Get up. Move on. Keep going. The world will keep turning whether you sit in bed all day and cry or not.

Who doesn't suffer from FOMO these days? It's insane. Pretty much every morning I look down at my soggy cereal and pout because my breakfast does not look like this. My time in restaurants is doubled because I spend so long trying to photograph my dish perfectly. Why?! Why must I do this, and why can't I stop!?

It makes you smart. When we were cavemen, back in the day, all hairy and grunting at one another, if you saw a mammoth and you didn't have a spear in your hand ready to gut it to death, then my god did you up and leg it as fast as possible. It's survival of the fittest out there, that much I know for sure.

And telling yourself otherwise is kind of silly. Someone's always going to have something to say, and if everyone liked everyone, then the world would be a pretty boring place.

Nobody stays with you forever, either you drift apart or something drastically bad happens, it is what it is. There isn't a cure for the hole a person leaves in your life, but you get used to the fact they're no longer around.

'Gut' could also be substituted for 'heart', whatever makes you feel more comfortable. In my experience, it will not steer you wrong.

It's like if you're playing a game of poker, do you show everyone you're playing with the cards you have? No, because that'd be stupid.

We all know that my life's dream is to run off to Holland and have my own tulip farm. However, right now I'll settle for simply filling my surroundings with beautiful, fresh scentful flowers.

And avoid anyone who says they're solely motivated by love or something equally strange. They could be dangerous.

The days of Bebo are long past, but we will always remember them. God I wish we wouldn't always remember them.

One day you're standing in Woolworths (yes, that's how old I am) looking at Barbie dolls and thinking to yourself "oh I can't wait until I'm a grown up and I can buy Barbies whenever I want!" and the next you're crippling under the pressure of having to figure out your own finances. Just ride the wave and enjoy the journey!

Or simply 'dress for the life you want to have'. It's impossible to believe in yourself all the time, but if you act like you do, someone else certainly will.

You will not be young and beautiful forever, your looks will fade and your skin will sag, that's just a fact of life. It's so important to treat your skin with genuine, nurturing care. Not concealer. I don't believe money can ever be wasted on good skincare.

I feel like this would be the one liner I'd use in the titles of a Real Housewives show. Being a teenager is hard. Really hard. Anyone who says differently is kidding themselves. By all means don your armour, but don't be the person to raise their sword.

Giving up is not an option; good things come to those who get up, kick ass and refuse to take crap from anyone else.

Keep it real, girl. No one can deny you that.

That should probably say 'love', not 'laugh', but it's not always possible to love them, even though they are part of who you are. So what, I say dumb things like "swaggy", "ghetto", "yolo" and a bunch of other ridiculous youth slang words, but I like that, it's funny, it's me. If Justin Bieber can do it, why can't I?

So often I see people totally unable to live their lives without another individual beside them. It's not sexy, it's not romantic, it's unhealthy and I find it a little creepy. You are not broken, you do not need to be saved, you're doing just fine.

Always, always, always. On good days and on bad days. Be grateful for what you learnt, what you gained and what you lost. No matter what happens, someone out there is fighting for the life you have. I hope I never lose sight of that.

~ Eleanor xo

Monday, 3 August 2015

July Favourites

This month's proudest accomplishment is a toss up between:
A) Getting totally addicted to watching Millionaire Matchmaker re-runs on ITV (oh my gosh I could binge watch this show all day) or
B) Becoming the proud (self-proclaimed and totally unofficial) adoptive parent of a wild hedgehog.
As you can tell, it's a close call, so I'll let you decide.

July has been a whirlwind month and time seems to be flying by (is this what life is like when you're old?), next thing you know, it'll be Christmas *internal happy dance*. Anyhoo, this month I've been loving:
  1. Gaining graduate status!
    I woke up bleary eyed on the 13th day of July, pulled open my laptop and, partaking in what I presume to be an out-of-body experience, witnessed myself burst into full on tears after reading "graduating with first class honours" written after my name. Yes, after three crazy years, I am an advertising graduate! Three bouquets of flowers, one helium balloon and a selection of congratulatory cards arrived just for me that week and even now, it is the best feeling ever.

  2. The Waterlogged iPhone app
    This month I decided to challenge myself to see if I could drink the recommended two litres of water each day. As I am not usually a huge water drinker (I know, I'm a disgrace), I wasn't so sure I'd be able to stick to it. However, thanks to my trusty iPhone, I found a free app (my fave) that I could use to log how much water I consumed each day and chart how it changed over a period of time. It's easy to use, it's a beautiful interface and most importantly, it actually kept me motivated to drink as much water as I could. Genius!

  3. Rituals Hamman Hot Scrub
    People who dislike salt scrubs are the eighth wonder of the world - I mean, what's not to love!? This Rituals scrub was a new find for me this month and I really like the results; I use it every Sunday and I find it totally takes the week off and sets me up for what's to come. My skin feels so smooth and completely exfoliated after using it and the scent lasts for such a long time afterwards, which is of course, in my opinion, a very important bonus.

  4. Looking after our resident garden hedgehog
    Having spent the last three years living in a city where the closest thing you get to wildlife is an oversized rat in the local park, I am loving being back in suburbia. A few years ago we spotted a tiny round hedgehog nosing around our garden and this month we discovered that he's a) still here and b) a long running resident. How could we not rush out and purchase these adorable vitamin and mineral filled hedgehog bites? French too, no less. #ImsoFancy #YouAlreadyKnowwwww

  5. Homemade Apricot and Almond Bread
    My parent's new Panasonic bread maker is my new favourite thing and even better, its instruction booklet came with a bunch of fun and tasty recipes to try out. Muchas excitement por moi. I was one very happy camper curling up on a Sunday evening watching the new series of Dragons' Den, munching on slices of fresh, warm white bread with pieces of apricot and almonds baked inside, topped with Bonne Maman blackcurrant jam. Delish!

  6. Zara Organic Cotton - basic striped shirt
    I am obsessed with Zara's organic cotton range and even though I already own three shirts (one in white, one in grey and this striped one), I feel I need more. They are so unbelievably comfortable to wear and because they're not fitted, they compliment your figure and hang really well (score!). They are amazing to just throw on over some skinny jeans and I think I'll just continue live in these forever.
This next month, August (duh), is in my opinion, the best of the year (December is a close second) and it's totally not because it's the month of my birth. All my fellow Leo's put your hands up! I'm looking forward to all the fun in store... and to some exciting changes!
~ Eleanor xo

Bonus: Favourite Track: War Paint by Fletcher