Thursday, 28 January 2016

What I like about being an Adult

I talk about being an adult a lot, I know. I'm not one-hundred-percent sure why that is; maybe because I've lived such a sheltered life up until this point and I'm slowly discovering the world and it's all a bit overwhelming, but who can be sure. It's almost definitely because of that.

But I'm enjoying myself nonetheless. And here's a list as to why (because I also like a good list):
  1. I can paint my nails without asking my mum's permission. I was never allowed to have painted nails while I was at school...
  2. I don't always have to eat my vegetables. And no, dear parents, I shall not go to bed hungry, I shall scoff my face with coco-pops when you've gone to bed.
  3. I have a savings account with actual money in it. I've no idea what I'm saving for but I'm sure I'll be pleased as punch when I find out what it is.
  4. I can wear as little or as much make up each day as I so choose. Choosing to wear none and look like I'm at deaths door is sometimes a decision I regret.
  5. WEEKENDS. Now I live an adult life I can enjoy that weird concept of a weekend where you can go out and do whatever the hell you want hells yeah because essays and homework and a thing of the past!
  6. The thing where you drive to meetings that are over a hundred miles away and getting to make it all back via expenses.
  7. I can do whatever I want with and/or to my hair. My mum always tells me that I look "much more grown up" with shorter hair, but I absolutely despise having it shorter than shoulder length so we on a non-stop train to rebellious-hood.
  8. CANDLES. ALL OF THE CANDLES ALL OF THE TIME. And if I happen to burn down the house, then the fault rests solely on my shoulders...
  9. Knowing I could buy any kind of travel ticket and run off somewhere. Not that I have. But I can.
  10. Knowing that I possess the power to actively choose a gluten free lifestyle. And equally knowing that that's a ridiculous and totally stupid idea.
  11. Having the ability to drink an alcoholic beverage to 'take the edge off' after a hard day. 
  12. Drinking caffeine and having no fear that your heart might explode (unlike when I tried Pepsi for the first time as a kid and I thought I was dying).
  13. You can buy a diary and fill it full of actual real life appointments and events.
Here's to paying bills and getting drunk!
~ Eleanor xo

Tuesday, 26 January 2016

Gratituesday // 26.01.16

January is notorious for being the most depressing month of the year (I mean, it even has a Monday dedicated to blueness). Christmas is over, only the stuff no-one wants is left on the sales racks and you've got leftover food and chocolates coming out of your ears even though your New Years resolution was to lose ten pounds. THE INTERNAL CONFLICT! So in the spirit of keeping things as light, happy, positive and peppy as possible, let us observe another edition of #Gratituesday.
  1. That warm, fuzzy feeling you get when you reach optimum toastiness in your car after it takes an age to heat up each morning.
  2. Collectively deciding with your colleagues to rebel against 'Blue Monday' and mark it instead by gorging on numerous chocolate biscuits.
  3. Those odd days when it's actually above zero degrees and you don't need to scrape frost off your windscreen. REJOICE GRILLED CHEESUS.
  4. Hanging out with some strangely friendly swans by the River Thames. And unknowingly photobombing tourists pictures.
  5. Meetings that run over lunch, but have M&S food included. Carrot sticks and hummus get at me.
  6. Finding a stray Starbucks gift card from a few Christmases ago and getting a (sort of) free peppermint latte.
  7. Not yet failing at my New Years resolutions.
  8. That feeling when you get after you've scrubbed your face clean at the end of the day and you feel like you've just been reborn.
  9. The return of one of my favourite period dramas, Call the Midwife. Sunday nights are DOPE once again.
  10. Having colleagues from all over the world and getting to experience the chocolatey delights of their home countries. Russian chocolate is balling.
~ Eleanor xo

Friday, 22 January 2016

Link Love #14

  1. The winter morning struggle is real. And here's twenty-one totally honest coffee mugs to get you through {via Huffington Post}

  2. Those immense times when J K Rowling totally won at Twitter, and frankly, life {via Pure Wow}

  3. The top slang words we were all guilty of using in 2015 {via Vogue}

  4. This quote {via Clementine Daily}

  5. The six stages of cancelling plans. The accuracy is astonishing {via The Every Girl}

  6. Five ways to be productive before 9am {via Glitter Guide}

  7. Thirteen easy ways to quickly improve your mood {via Thirteen Thoughts}

  8. Twelve bakeries across Europe that everyone needs to visit {via World of Wanderlust}

  9. Seven ways to de-stress after work {via Because I'm Addicted}

  10. I mean, of course you've already seen the wonder that is Carpool Karaoke with Adele. I feel like it's our duty to get James Corden and Adele their own show {via Youtube}
Keep it real
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 21 January 2016

Things to get excited about in 2016

Welcome, dear ones, to the year MMXVI. The year, according to Chinese zodiac, of the Monkey. Better known to us mortals as '2016'. Though that weird 'M' code thing is really kind of cool, so let's roll with it. Gonna start planning meetings for 22/01/MMXVI. Because that's how cool I am.

But before we all lose ourselves in the Georgian calendar and the traits of the zodiac (I was born in the Year of the Dog, if you're wondering), let us observe the fun festivities that are to come:
  1. Pretty Little Liars is back. A is gone, time for B to step up.
  2. That British guy in space. You know, the one who dialed a wrong number from the Space Station.
  3. The Queen turns 90. I'm hoping that means party time in Windsor.
  4. The first movie from the greatest film franchise of all time, High School Musical, celebrates turning ten with a live telecast on Disney Channel.
  5. The fiftieth SuperBowl. Though the team I root for always seems to lose...
  6. The Summer Olympics in Rio.
  7. Leaaaaap day. Happy birthday to all you guys born on February 29th. I hope it's balling.
  8. Getting to upgrade my iPhone. Fingers crossed for an iPhone 7 release.
  9. My sister goes to New York and I will disinherit her if she doesn't return with a suitcase full of gifts.
  10. America will get a new president. Which kind of sucks because Obama seems like a fun guy.
  11. I'm hitting up the London Coffee Festival.
  12. The Harry Potter universe is back. With a stage production AND a film involving beautiful majestic Eddie Redmayne.
  13. Shakespeare's 400th anniversary. #ShallICompareTheeToASummersDay
  14. An all female Ghostbusters line up. Basically because I just love Melissa McCarthy.
  15. Russia is apaz going to launch a 'space hotel' for tourists. For a mere $100,000 per ticket. 
  16. Finding Dory. I have mixed feelings about this but I'll probably watch it anyway.
  17. Eurovision Song Contest in Sweden. Something to look forward to EVERY year.
  18. NASA's space craft will land on the exotic distant planet of Jupiter. I like that it's called Juno.
  19. I turn twenty-two. I only care about this because it means I can sing T-Swift for at least three-hundred and sixty-four days.
  20. The world's longest railway tunnel will officially open in Switzerland. Big news.
We also might get hit by a meteor and wiped out like the dinosaurs but who wants to be a Negative Nancy?
~ Eleanor xo

Tuesday, 19 January 2016

Combating The Winter Blues

It's officially been winter for what feels like a thousand years. Obviously, it's only been about two weeks but oh my lord, I am totally over it. I was not bred to be able to survive such low temperatures, let alone actually pull myself out of bed and out into the open air at seven in the morning. *Groan*

So, how does one find the courage, you ask? Well, by telling myself that I won't get paid if I don't, *ehem*, I mean, by doing some of these handy things:

1. Find your staple outfit
You know, so when it's horrendously dark and cold and it's the middle of the week and Saturday is so far away and you're just like "ughhh I have nothing to wear", in actuality, you can throw on your staple outfit and life is swell once again. Personally I'm down with skinny jeans, a long sleeve shirt, a blanket scarf, fringed ankle boots (and the mightiest duffle coat in existence, thanks Ralph Lauren).

2. Know how to take care of your skin
Moisturize your face within an inch of its life and be sure to carry hand cream and lip balm on your person at ALL TIMES. This is not a drill, you guys. This is serious.

3. Mentally prepare yourself for manually de-icing your car
If that's even possible. Which I have found it's largely not. Mostly it just makes me even later leaving my house and air-go, later leaving for work.

4. Find a good TV series to watch
Personally, I'm hooked on the new BBC drama 'Dickensian'. There always seems to be a lot of crime dramas floating around at this time of year and I am down with it. I love a good murder mystery on a cold winters night. Sometimes, if I'm really lucky, I get nightmares. #THRILLING.

5. Keep motivated
Potentially the most difficult thing to do (besides point #3), but definitely worth it in the end. Like my FitBit challenge, for example. It's so hard to keep myself from shoving my hands in my coat pockets to keep warm and not swinging my arm to count my steps, but when I do get my steps counted, and the number is high, I feel good! If not lacking in fingers because of frostbite...

6. Drink all the signature winter drinks
Hands down my favourite thing about this time of year. I mean, I'm a lover of iced lattes and frappuccinos and all that jazz that happens during the summer, of course I am! What kind of #BasicBitch would I be if I wasn't?! But winter drinks are it. I've enjoyed the delights of Crème Brûlée lattes, Praline Lattes, Winter Berry lattes, Spiced Orange lattes, Peppermint lattes.... Ok I have a thing for lattes... Either way, splashing out on a warming wintery treat just makes sense.

7. Plan for a less brutally cold time
There's a reason that travel companies have such good sales going on at this time of year, because they know that no Brit can deal with this sort of climate. It's called science, duh.

8. Make the most of feeling cozy
I'm talking bubble baths, nights in, blanket cuddles, Saturday evening casseroles, the whole shebang. Because before you know it, you'll be complaining that it's way too hot outside and you'll have to shower thirty times a day because how else do you stop sweating?

9. Burn a good candle
You know, something uplifting and spiritually fulfilling. I'm not sure what scent that translates into for you, but for me it's got to be something like Yankee Candle's 'Fluffy Towels' or 'Seashore' from True Grace.

10. Always assume it's going to be blustery, rainy and freezing 
That way you will never be disappointed, or alternatively, you'll be pleasantly surprised when you stumble upon a day that isn't so soul crushing.

Or alternatively, stay inside for the next three months and claim you're being at one with the animals and 'hibernating'.
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 14 January 2016

Cool stuff that went down in 2015

While 2016 is already a grand fourteen days old, I couldn't resist putting together a post about some of my highlights from the past twelve months. Half because there were some really low points during the year and I feel it's important not to let that cloud my memory, and half because I do in fact have a really bad memory so it was quite nice to trawl back through all my photos and social media to find out what actually went down.

This list is in date order, rather than by highlight preference (so fret not, my number one highlight was not that I started drinking copious amounts of caffeine each day...):
  1. I developed a huge coffee habit.
  2. While working on university assignments, I watched the Chronicles of Narnia films everyday, repeatedly, for weeks.
  3. I tried peaches for the first time. I discovered they have furry skins. My life was changed.
  4. Katy Perry played the half time show at the Super Bowl and it was everything.
  5. It actually snowed. A teeny bit.
  6. I became wholly obsessed with One Direction.
  7. I had my first experience with jump starting a car.
  8. I sat on a rooftop in London with my best pals and took this picture.
  9. We were on said rooftop in London because we were visiting a super cool advertising agency.
  10. I also went to London (solo) to conduct interviews for my dissertation. One interview featured my first experience with pulled pork (it was amazing), the other featured my hand gushing blood. It was an eventful day.
  11. I won at Mother's Day by sending my mum a gorge 100 stem bouquet of flowers from M&S.
  12. My dad bought me a Marmite Easter Egg and it was PHENOMENAL.
  13. I took a picture next to a huge inflatable Lindt bunny because obvs.
  14. Occasionally the people at Starbucks spelled my name correctly.
  15. I pretended to be Pocahontas whenever blossom blew off the trees around me.
  16. Stephen Hawking made my life with this comment about Zayn leaving One Direction.
  17. My friends and I threw caution to the wind and dressed up like stereotypical students for a pitch.
  18. Princess Charlotte was born and it was swell.
  19. I discovered Buffalo milk ice cream and nothing has been the same since.
  20. 'Revenge' finished and it was a brill (and totally emotional) finale.
  21. I actually started, completed, printed, bound and submitted a HUGE dissertation.
  22. I presented a live brief to a real advertising agency. And then ate pastries.
  23. I celebrated completing university with my best pals by buying loads of 2-for-1 cocktails and then playing on a dance mat.
  24. On my last night in my university house, I was awoken by a guy throwing rocks at my window. Didn't take him long to realise he'd got the wrong room.
  25. Pitch Perfect 2 was released and it was crack-a-lackin'.
  26. I started to drink tea on occasion.
  27. I went to Portugal with my two favourite gals. Lots of sunbathing, lots of uno playing, lots of crazy fun times, and most importantly: lots of ice cream. And also some strange hayfever type allergic reaction.
  28. Justin Bieber sort of got his life back together. His new album is dopeeeee.
  29. I was awarded a First Class degree in Advertising.
  30. Celebrating everyone's twenty-first birthdays. Including my own. With cake. Lots of cake.
  31. I got myself a real life job in digital marketing.
  32. I accidentally impulse bought a Fiat 500.
  33. The Muppets got their own show and I've been watching it on repeat ever since.
  34. Starbucks released coffee cups with autumn designs on them and they were super cute.
  35. I spent the afternoon at Wembley watching American Football. And worrying that I'd get uneven sunburn from the angle of the sun over the stadium.
  36. I took up baking. So far so good.
  37. I have my own business cards. I have no idea what to do with them.
  38. I tried a lot of American candy. Reese's are saaaaa good.
  39. I attended my own graduation ceremony. And looked kind of like a drowned rat while doing it. #ThanksStormBarney
  40. Later that week I returned to Southampton for the day with my pals to attend a Great Gatsby themed Graduation Ball. The party itself was kind of a flop, but the Hoedown Throwdown pre-ball dancing was excellente.
  41. I got to experience the perks of working with automotive clients. Attending events, test driving cars and eating and drinking everything (including a load of Christmas lunches).
  42. I put my name on a Marmite jar.
  43. Attended my first Christmas party, complete with a secret Santa gift, a board of directors gift, a trip around Windsor castle, a champagne breakfast, a free bar, beer pong, a photobooth, so much food and so. much. fun.
  44. And after the craziest year imaginable, I enjoyed a restful and relaxing Christmas break.
  45. I decided to actually write thank you cards. I felt like a bit of a sap. But it was worth it.
Here's to 2016. And even more craziness.
~ Eleanor xo

Wednesday, 13 January 2016

My New Years Resolutions: 2016

I am notoriously awful at making, keeping, fulfilling and actually remembering my New Years Resolutions. I haven't bothered to attempt to make any for the last two years (that is, if we don't count the small mental note I always seem to make to myself to try and eat a little less. "Think of biscuits as drugs, Eleanor. JUST SAY NO").

Still, this year, the big twenty-sixteen, I am entering January as the dictionary definition of 'adult'. I'm probably totally incorrect here because I've never actually looked up the dictionary definition of adult, but I digress. In Eleanor's Dictionary (available at all good make-believe bookstores), an adult is an individual who:
a) Remembers running headlong down the middle of a road on the night of the last millennium
b) Is fulled by caffeine
c) Walks through a park when it's dark and is certain they're going to get mugged by youths
d) Is in the process of replacing every polyester blouse in their wardrobe with 100% cotton shirts
e) Talks about the weather constantly
f) Has an actual real life job and enjoys reminding people of the fact as often as possible
g) Wonders why their car isn't locking as they continually press the 'unlock' button on their keys

So, as a real life adult, here are my adult-proof resolutions:

1. Learn to talk slower
(Sub note: learn how to pronounce my own name correctly)
Talking fast is a habit I picked up after watching a large number of American teen shows and movies. At first I was all "this is so cool no one can keep up with what I'm saying and I look awesome", now I'm all "how many times do I need to repeat this ONE SENTENCE SO YOU UNDERSTAND WHAT I'M SAYING JESUS CHRIST". So I figure it's probably best to train myself to talk slower and then I won't have to repeat myself twenty times and everybody wins. Huzzah.

2. Read more
It's been three years of forcing myself to read through ginormous textbooks on everything from advertising, to market research to the psychology of a brand. AKA soul destroying stuff. Now I actually have my life back, I'm going to use my time to indulge in fun fictional reading. Also, I spend a large amount of my time each day sat in front of a mahoosive iMac screen, so being able to do something other than that is probs good for my health, eyesight and general well being.

3. Have a proper clear out of all my shit
When you spend three years with essentially two homes, you accumulate a hell of a lot of crap. I've been back home for just over seven months now and I still have half my stuff in boxes/stowed somewhere it shouldn't be. I need to fix that. Probably by stopping myself being a hoarder and actually keeping what I need and dumping what I don't. Famous last words.

4. Get my #GirlBoss on 
I'm the kind of person who wants everyone to like them so much that I try not to upset the peace by demanding stuff from people. However, I am paid to get shit done. Therefore I must make sure I am not afraid to do whatever is necessary to get said shit done.

Wishing you all a totally swagalicious 2016 (definition of which can be found on page 743 of Eleanor's Dictionary). Keep it real.
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 7 January 2016

Photo Diary: December Round Up

A sunny December day @ Eton High Street, Eton
I think the chocolate in this calendar was glued to the plastic packaging #NotSwaggy
This light display was really something @ Windsor Castle, Windsor
When ice-skating counts as working @ Westfield Shopping Centre, London
Annual Christmas Carols with the whole neighbourhood
I actually got to see inside the castle as part of my work's Christmas party @ Windsor Castle, Windsor
Bread is bae @ Tunsgate Square, Guildford
I can never get enough of real Christmas trees @ RHS Garden Wisley
The least likely person in the world to own a Fitbit, now owns a Fitbit
Happy New Year, amigos! You find me writing this post while chowing down on some freshly baked banana bread, because if there's one thing my house definitely does not need, it's more cake. Or food in general. If I see one more Twiglet, I might lose my mind. But mmmm Twiglets. I love how all these posts seem to start with my eating some kind of food.

How is everyone doing? I hope you've had a splendid few weeks and also put on fifty-pounds after enjoying days of monumental Christmas feasts. But let's rewind; December has been 'busy' with a capital bee-yew-ess-why. Yes, every single letter is capital. Also, please don't hate me for the incorrect use of the phonic alphabet, I don't really know how it works so I just figured I'd sound out the letters. I'm so wild.

Pretty much everything stepped up a gear this month and I found myself getting a little on the stressed side (but secretly digged it because it meant stuff was actually happening). There were to-do lists a-plenty and a plethora of "what should I get this person for Christmas?". Lots of meetings and presentations in preparation for 2016, lots of Christmas lunches (so much Turkey mmm), lots of schmoozing, lots of trying out festive caffeinated beverages for no apparent reason, a Christmas party to end all Christmas parties and a partriiiiiiidge in a peaaaaar treeeeeeeeee.

Nothing makes a month go faster than driving past a sign everyday that counts down the number of sleeps left till Christmas...
~ Eleanor xo

Wednesday, 6 January 2016

December Favourites

I can't quite believe that it's the last of these for 2015, or that it was so surprisingly difficult to find things I deemed as 'favourites' for this month. Not because I've suddenly become very cynical, but because the days have whizzed past so quickly that I never had time to realise what happened or what I quite liked. And here we are at the end... Advent calendar chocolate didn't even make the list...
  1. Nescafe Dulce Gusto coffee machine
  2. If you read my post about Black Friday, you'll know that my family and I fell into the inevitable trap of discounted electronics. But can I just say, we're all pretty pleased about it. This machine is great! A frothy latte each Saturday morning is just what the doctor ordered. It's also super handy that the coffee comes out at exactly the right temperature for immediate drinkage.

  3. The Twilight Saga Books
  4. Now, before we all go ahead and judge me, I know. I know these books are awful and the plotline is diabolical and yarda yarda yarda. But I couldn't help myself. I read these books countless times back when I was a young fifteen year old desiring only the love of a handsome protective God. But now things are different, I understand these books a lot more, and while some of the themes running through now make me question certain things, they were still kind of fun (and easy) to read when I needed to shut off from digital life. I'm also making a conscious effort to read more and this seemed like a good place to start...

  5. American Eagle fringed booties [here]
  6. Another Black Friday splurge, naturally. I'm going to go out on a whim here and say that they aren't exactly the most comfortable, but I'm putting that down to the fact that American shoe sizes aren't quite designed for the awkward Brit with hugely long but seriously narrow feet (see Exhibit A). But because I am a woman, I struggle through the god-awful pain of underfoot blisters and love them (and how truly beautiful they are) nonetheless. I know, I'm an inspiration.

  7. Christmas Wreaths
  8. This Christmas has turned me into a serious decoration lover. My phone (and Instagram) are now filled with pictures of every kind of wreath hanging on every kind of door throughout Windsor. I genuinely might have to start a petition to make wreaths a year round thing because they are so gorge and make my lunchtime mooch around the town way prettier. Except when people look at me as though I'm taking pictures to show my fellow bandits which houses to rob...

  9. Lazy Oaf burger print hat
  10. Because nothing says "please take me seriously" quite like walking into a jewelers wearing a woolly hat with a print of a burger on it. Let us take a moment to applaud my life choices. Let me also add onto that little factoid that while in said jewelers, while wearing said hat, the sentence "my battery needs a new watch" genuinely left my mouth. Had I escaped from a mental institution, I felt the sales assistant ask himself. My consequent laugh probably allowed him to conclude the answer as "yes". Still, at least my head is toasty warm.
Now, when does hibernation begin? I could really do with a good sleep (and an avoidance of January blues)...
~ Eleanor xo

Friday, 1 January 2016

Link Love #13

Happy January 1st, and hola to the first Link Love installment of 2016! May your coming year be filled with love, laughter and links!
  1. Whether you call them 'journals' or 'notebooks', here's ten super cute receptacles for all your deepest thoughts {via My Domaine}

  2. The ten most popular recipes searched for in 2015, according to Google {via Country Living}

  3. The whole 411 (do people still say that?) on how to wash your jeans. And I thought I didn't wash mine enough... {via Pure Wow}

  4. The sixteen top reaction gifs from the last year. Because obviously, this is something we all need to know {via Brit + Co}

  5. A recipe for frozen hot chocolate with sea salt. I feel like I need to be in Iceland or something to drink this... {via Lexi's Clean Kitchen} 

  6. Sixteen tricks to getting beautiful clear skin from people who know {via Mind Body Green}

  7. The ten worst songs of 2015. I'm so glad I'm not the only one who isn't down with 'Hotline Bling' {via Helene in Between}

  8. Three of the Downton Abbey cast members play Cards Against Humanity {via Entertainment Weekly}

  9. The most popular holiday drinks at Starbucks by US state. I know I'm not from America, but I'm lame enough that I find this interesting {via Refinery29}

  10. Center Parcs new TV ad featuring a family of bears is just too much *wipes away tear* {via Youtube}
Que sera, sera amigos!
~ Eleanor xo