Friday, 26 February 2016

Link Love #16

  1. What classic books look like with only punctuation {via Wired}

  2. A great piece on why you should be fearless in your twenties {via The Haute Mess}

  3. A list of words you're probably pronouncing wrong. I don't care what anyone says, it's 100% pronounced "GIF" {via Pure Wow}

  4. An article on how hard it is to give up coffee {via Refinery 29}

  5. A DIY for colorful egg candles {via Hello Glow}

  6. The real world locations that inspired Disney Movies {via Condé Nast Traveler}

  7. 50 totally delicious sounding cookie recipes *drools* {via Town and Country}

  8. Simple ways to alkalize your body each day, keeping it ship shape and shiny (apparently) {via Chalkboard} 

  9. Sweet (and sound) relationship advice from a couple who have been happily married for seventy-two years {via TIME}

  10. Great time saving tips we all need to get on {via Cupcakes + Cashmere}
Keep it real.
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 25 February 2016

The Journey to Becoming A Morning Person: Six Months On

I have a confession to make. I sleep on a bed of lies. You may remember (you and I both know you don't remember, but that's ok) a few months ago I wrote a brilliant self help guide on finding and channeling your inner morning person. I truly believed in everything I was typing. Until I realised I was totally and utterly kidding myself.

I have never and will never be a morning person. Yes, I am now conscious (to put it loosely) during many more hours of the morning than I was back during my days as a student, but I do not enjoy it. Not even one iota of pleasure comes to me from being awake before the sun is up. Some people find it very spiritual and like to tell the world about it via any means possible. But in reality, I'm all: "the sky is not awake, therefore I should not be awake".

I'm not denying that utilising my mornings gives me time to be somewhat more productive and complete a few more thangs on my never-ending to-do list, but at what cost? AT WHAT COST?! Let me unravel some of my feelings for you:

1. Prepare the night before
Technically I still do this, but not quite how I'd once envisioned. My 'preparation' mostly involves throwing together a meager sandwich using a filling that requires the least amount of effort in the world (and then regretting it at lunchtime the next day when I have to scoff yet another Marmite sandwich - see honest food diary) and then throwing on some kind of outfit that probably doesn't match in a hurry each morning based on the weather report I checked before going to sleep...

2. Replace your alarm clock with Sleep Cycle
The sound of waves now makes me grimace and I swear I hear my alarm faintly during the course of the day. Plus, nothing sets you up for a long and mucho busy day quite like discovering that your sleep quality the previous night was a less than desirable percentage score. OH WAIT. I still love the app though so...

3. Let the light in
In the depths of winter, there is no light to 'let in'. Unless you count car headlights, which I don't...

4. Get that H2O and O2

5. Know your schedule
Knowing my schedule means I'm not so likely to turn up to work looking scruffy as hell so I suppose this is still a valid point.

6. Make time for breakfast
'Having breakfast' and 'making time for breakfast' are two very different things, I have learnt. Most mornings become a fun old game of 'how many Bitesize Shredded Wheat can I shove in my gob at one time so I can hurry this process up and ensure I'm not massively late?'. Not nearly as many as I'd like, is usually the answer.

7. All about that coffee
Oh coffee, you are the only constant thing in my life that I can depend on. Until it's a freezing day and my gloves mean the travel mug you are safely concealed inside slips from my hands and you are dropped all over the floor. A minute's silence for all the caffeine NEEDLESSLY LOST BECAUSE OF WINTER.

8. Pump some tunes
If I hear Jess Glynn's 'Don't be so hard on yourself' one more time I swear I am going to commit. Morning radio stations need to learn to mix it up, there's only so many times a girl can listen to 'Hotline Bling' before things get weird.

I'll tell you what is fun though: voluntarily waking up at 6:30am ON. A. SUNDAY.
~ Eleanor xo

Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The 'My Incredibly Generous Sister Went To New York' Haul

I'm really great at titles, I know. But I mean, at least you can't say I lie to you. This is a haul featuring all the goodies my big sister bought me all the way from NYC. And I can't deny that that doesn't make her mucho generous. Though she got a beautiful new Ralph Lauren handbag out of it, so make of that what you will. JK.

Onto the haul!

1. Reese's Peanut Butter Cups - The Party Bag
TEARS OF JOY. That is all that needs to be said. These should keep me quiet for a while. But I'll probably inhale them all in one go. I mean, wait, what?

2. New York Starbucks Mug
How pretty is this mug? I love the simple design, and the bright yellow taxi and the Starbucks logo on the skyline are super cute features. It also says "New York City" inside the rim, just in case the outter visual clues weren't doing it for you.

3. Chips Ahoy with Reese's Peanut Butter Cups
Chips Ahoy cookies are the bee's literal knees. They are hands down the greatest cookies in existence (and we only just got them in the UK) and these have the tasty peanut butter treats inside them too?! It's all too much to take in. Whatever will America think of next?

4. Statue of Liberty Mug
This thing is humongous. I'm talking, the kind of size you want when you're either super sleep deprived or super thirsty. It's also super heavy because the design's all 3D and stuff. I also love the fact my sister bought one for each of us in a different colour. Nothing says "happy family" like a matching touristy mug set!

5. Almost four pounds of different flavoured M&Ms
She called me while I was at work to ask which flavours I'd like her to buy me. Naive as I am, I expected her to pick up some of those teeny tiny snack packs of M&Ms you get in the grab & go section of the supermarket so I innocently replied "almond or mint". She replied "got those two as well as peanut butter, pretzel and crispy". I should've seen that as a warning sign because this MONUMENTAL bag of M&Ms is now begging to be devoured. Lord have mercy.

6. Starbucks Broadway Travel Mug
How beautiful is this thing? It's so glamourous I almost can't stand it! My current Starbucks travel mug is looking a little worse for wear so this couldn't have appeared at a better time. Also, the one I use each morning is made from plastic so I'm intrigued to see if a stainless steel mug helps to keep the contents warmer for longer.

7. NYPD Hoodie
I have wanted one of these for as long as I can remember. Ever since I first started watching CSI: NY and realised how super awesome cool people look when they wear them. It's also really nice to know that some of the proceeds made from the sale of each hoodie go towards a foundation that helps the NYPD keep the city safe.

And of course, muchas gracias to my sister (again) for being so giving!
~ Eleanor xo

Wednesday, 17 February 2016

The Working Gal's Honest Food Diary

Welcome to the working girl's honest food diary. I kept a food diary for the whole of the last week (you can tell I didn't plan this in advance because it was the week of both pancake day AND valentine's day so let's not judge too harshly...)

I feel like there are so many healthy food blogs out there where they encourage you to recreate recipes using healthy ingredients (but what they don't tell you is that coconut oil costs £8 per pot and where the eff am I supposed to find almond flour????) that they seem to forget that most average working women simply don't have the time to be healthy twenty-four seven. So you know what, this is me kicking all those health guru's in the face and proudly telling the world that a couple of weeks ago I woke up with a Ferraro Roche sticker stuck to my face.

I'm owning it. Here's how a real working girl eats:

a full work day

  • 7:05am Bitesize Honey Nut Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk and blueberries
  • 8:15am Douwe Egberts with skimmed milk and vanilla syrup in a to-go cup. I'm so super fancy that I drink this in my car
  • 12:30pm A banana 
  • 1:35pm Homemade sourdough bread sandwich with a filling of what can only be described as plastic ham
  • 2pm 500ml water
  • 2:30pm Grande skinny peppermint latte from the mothership (AKA Starbucks)
  • 4:30pm 3x Kallo blueberry and vanilla rice cakes. First time trying them and I'm feeling undecided.
  • 7:00pm A jacket potato with cheddar cheese, slices of chorizo and tomatoes 
  • 7:30pm Some grapes
  • 8:45pm My last Christmas Ferraro Roche 

a full work day + Pancake Day

  • 7:05am Bitesize Honey Nut Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk and overripe blueberries 
  • 8:10am Drops about a quarter of to-go cup coffee on the floor. Drinks what remains.
  • 10:15am 500ml water + pain relief tablet 
  • 12:35pm A banana 
  • 1:45pm Sandwich of homemade sourdough bread and Marmite because yesterday's plastic ham wasn't very joyous and Marmite is my soul mate 
  • 2pm 500ml water
  • 4pm 3x Kallo blueberry and vanilla rice cakes. Why must they be purple and yellow?
  • 7:10pm Homemade cottage pie made with buffalo mince and green beans
  • 8pm 2x Sainsbury's ready made pancakes plus a huge scooping of Nutella

a full work day feat business trip

  • 7:05am Bitesize Honey Nut Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk and about 3 blueberries because I suck at portion size 
  • 11am A much needed frothy latte. Headache is cured
  • 2:15pm Mozzarella, pesto and tomato baguette from 'Tossed' at a service station on the M40
  • 2:15pm 500ml sparkling water
  • 4:30pm A banana
  • 7:45pm Spanish style chicken, homemade ratatouille and roast potatoes
  • 8:30pm Some grapes

a full work day

  • 7:05am Bitesize Honey Nut Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk (blueberries have run out by this point in the week)
  • 8:20am Coffee that after yesterday's caffeine withdrawal headache is consumed with gusto
  • 10:40am 500ml water 
  • 12:50pm A banana
  • 1:45pm Waitrose tiger bread with plastic ham. That's right, we're back on the plastic ham
  • 2:45pm Grande pistachio and rose mocha from Starbucks that was frankly vile
  • 3:15pm 500ml water
  • 7:10pm 1x Kallo blueberry and vanilla rice cake because desperate times 
  • 8pm Chicken pie and tomatoes because tomatoes are life

a half work, half vegetating day

  • 7:05am Bitesize Honey Nut Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk and blueberries from a new punnet that aren't yet overly ripe
  • 8:15am Coffee consumed while sat in standstill traffic
  • 12:25pm A banana
  • 2:45pm Fresh carrot & coriander soup with Sainsbury's giraffe bread
  • 4:20pm Coffee with Monin blackberry syrup mmm yeah
  • 4:30pm Gingerbread heart
  • 7pm Lasagna with two slices of garlic ciabatta bread (self control at its finest)

weekend, duh

  • 9:30am First cup of coffee (consumed in a bubble bath while catching up on Real Housewives)
  • 10:30am Bitesize Honey Nut Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk and blueberries that've somehow over-rippened overnight #life
  • 11am Second cup of coffee. What a luxury it is to drink it at leisure out of a mug
  • 2:30pm Remaining half of carrot & coriander soup with not-so-fresh giraffe bread (that's code for: really sort of stale)
  • 4:30pm Four squares of Lindt chocolate. Feel massively sick afterwards. Self loathing ensues.
  • 7:15pm Jacket potato with tuna mayonnaise and tomatoes because if it wasn't already obvious, tomatoes are everything

Valentine's day

  • 8:30am Coffee (consumed while watching K.C Undercover on Disney Channel. Zendaya is life)
  • 9:45am Bitesize Honey Nut Shredded Wheat with skimmed milk and blueberries that mostly seem a good ripeness
  • 1:45pm Roast beef with roast potatoes, veggies and yorkshire puddings *drools*
  • 4pm 2x Stroopwafels that I may've given as a valentine's gift
  • 6:30pm Homemade waffle, vanilla ice cream and hazelnut syrup coffee because that's what St Valentine would've wanted

As you can tell, the state of a blueberry can really make or break a day. If you're encountering the same over-ripening issue, stay strong, it'll be ok.
~ Eleanor xo

Friday, 12 February 2016

Link Love #15

  1. A sneaky look inside Lauren Conrad's pink penthouse {via Glamour}

  2. Ummm healthy recipes for peanut butter lovers can I get a hell yeah {via Carrots N Cake}

  3. Twelve ways to mix up the culinary delight that is toasted bread {via Shutter Bean}

  4. The husbands of Instagram have their own Tumblr account and it's hilarious {via Tumblr}

  5. How flirty emojis are used around the world {via Glamour}

  6. Eight ways to eat avocado toast. As we all know, I love me some toast and I love me some avocado {via XOBENZO}

  7. This hella true quote {via Pinterest}

  8. The candles you'll want to burn to help improve your mood and boost productivity. Candles are great like that {via My Domaine} 

  9. The most Instagrammed restaurants in London {via Refinery 29}

  10. Apparently there's a juice recipe to suit every star-sign. Whodda thunk it? {via Brit + Co}
Keep it real, amigos.
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 11 February 2016

Five Things

Up until a few years ago, I rarely ever consumed hot beverages (apart from the odd disappointing hot chocolate) so I had no need of a mug, let alone an entire collection. Now however, life is mucho differente and a collection is what I possess. All of the mugs I own have their own stories attached to them, and I really love that. Because who wants to buy a boring matching tea cup set when you can drink syrupy lattes from a mug you transported yourself from another country?

The video for this song is so perfecto that whoever produced it must go to sleep at night feeling like they are a legitimate God. I am busting out to this song so much right now. I'm talking full on lip-syncing, air grabbing, throwing my arms out in front of me; I truly madly deeply commit. And that's all while sitting in traffic while attempting to cross the M3. My fellow road users may not dig it so much. I choose to pretend otherwise.

When is gingerbread not acceptable to eat? That's a trick question. It's always acceptable eat. (If you think otherwise I may have to ask you to CHECK YOURSELF).

This is one of my all-time favourite past times during February. I LOVE funny Valentine's cards; I mean, if you're more of a traditionalist who goes for soppy cards, I'm down with that, but personally, I just love puns. Don't get me wrong, they're not mean puns, they're mostly cute or relate to some kind of inside joke because why be serious in your relationship, am I right?

As we all know, tulips are my one true love and I'm so happy they're finally back in season. I spent a good five minutes attempting to choose which colour I wanted, and I feel like you can never beat a warming yellow. #ISoundInsane.

~ Eleanor xo

Tuesday, 9 February 2016

The Best in Valentine's Humour

I was going to write a post about how I really don't understand why people hate on Valentine's day, but I realised that it would probably just end up being me chatting about how much I like having an excuse to eat chocolate... and just any kind of food in general (because what else do couples on on Valentine's Day, am I right?).

But actually, the thing I love the most about February 14th is being able to buy a hilarious greetings card. I know some people prefer to be super serious and hella soppy when picking their cards but that's not my scene; give me all the cheesy (and borderline inappropriate) puns.

1. I love you even when I'm hungry from DoodleLove
2. Hayfever from Paper Planes
3. I dig you from Amy Beth Designs
4. Madly into bed from Paperchase
5. Let's Bone from Newton And the Apple
6. I fancy the pants off you from Bombus
7. Wanna French? from The Dandy Lion Designs
8. Get your Goat from Word Play Designs
9. Fan of your face from Philly + Brit
Or if you're feeling fancy, anything with 'Netflix & chill' on it will work too. #Yolo.
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 4 February 2016

Photo Diary: January Round Up

Look how intellectual I am
Making friends with swans and remembering that time my sister was traumatised by an almost attack @ Windsor Riverside
Name tags are so fetch @ ArenaMK, Milton Keynes
Goodbye embassingly damaged and ruined hair!
Coconut hot chocolate is an interesting mix. Also fruit scones are hard to eat @ Secretts Rendezvous, Milford
Anthropologie replaced the mug that turned up with a massive chunk missing!
So as you can tell, this isn't much of a 'photo diary' and that is because a) January is massively unphotogenic and I've realised how awful and dull winter is sans beautiful Christmas wreaths and b) it's been one of those months where life does that thing where it sort of pokes you every so often and you're like "leave me alone I'm trying to be chill" but it clearly doesn't understand English at all so it keeps poking you so you know it's there and you kind of just want to drink your peppermint latte without wanting to sob but sometimes it's hard, you know? That's an appalling metaphor/shoddy explanation but I hope you get the jist. January = no bueno.

So instead of actually attempting to write coherent sentences, here's a bullet pointed list of some of the things that happened in the last thirty-one days:
  • I discovered Starbucks offer both peppermint and almond syrups and that is proof that there is always good in the world.
  • I was under the weather for a bit.
  • I've started drinking sparkling water daily.
  • I thought I'd managed to accidentally shred my tyre so I panic bought RAC breakdown cover.
  • I wore a lot of stripes.
  • I discovered Russian chocolate is supes tasty.
  • The #HSM10 anniversary made me massively emotional.
  • It snowed lightly one night and everything evaporated by mid-morning. There was no time for a picture.
  • I read two whole books. I'm proud.
  • I finally had my Rapunzel (and hella damaged) hair cut.
  • I'm already losing my shit over the new Pretty Little Liars plotline. I'm sorry but Spencer and Caleb?????
  • I realised that my FitBit is going to rule my life forevermore.
  • I forced myself into liking rice cakes #health.
  • It was cold a lot. And then it was stormy. And then it was cold again. And then it was just mostly windy.
  • I discovered where Milton Keynes is. And that it's roundabout central.
  • I miss my university friends a whole lot.
  • I discovered that signing "Congratulations on your engagement" cards is now where I am at with my life.
  • There's a lot of talk about weddings and babies and getting preggo and I'm like nahhhhhh.
  • I played Watchdogs on PS4 for the first time and it was amazingly fun. And obviously, I'm awful at it.
  • My search for the perfect pair of winter boots continues.
  • I tried out some new candles. I have mixed reviews.
  • I'm looking forward to tulip season.
And on Saturday, I was asleep at 9:30pm. Wow January, stop with the craziness!
~ Eleanor xo

Wednesday, 3 February 2016

January Favourites

Can you believe the first month of 2016 is finetoed? Me either. I also can't quite believe the plethora of weather we have suffered through. Winter I am D-O-N-E with your shenanigans. Bring back the warmth. Though I will say that I love wearing striped shirts and I feel like they're more of a winter staple than a summer staple so maybe you can hang around for a bit longer while I wear my stripes to death. If you think I'm talking crazy, you should know that I have the same striped top in four colours. And I wish I'd bought more.
  1. Leftover Christmas chocolate
  2. Because screw this whole "Christmas is over I need to lose ten pounds IMMEDIATELY" bullshit. No. Just no. In every language. Isn't the fact that it's January torture enough, without depriving yourself of the tasty nutritional goodness* of chocolate? I love getting home from work and knowing I can drown my sorrows in a reindeer shaped bundle of goodness. Look, it's either that or alcohol and I think we know we'd all rather be obese than constantly hungover.

    *nutritional goodness not guaranteed.

  3. Dickensian
  4. At first I was all "what is this?" and then I was all "I'm obsessed with this". A drama series centred around all the characters from Charles Dickens' novels? What a totally genius idea! Of course after realising I was totally into watching this I had to spend a Saturday afternoon reading all the plot summaries from each book so I knew what the deal with each character was, but it was worth it! And the fact that each episode is 30 minutes long means they're easy viewing and we get two episodes a week so the party lasts even longer!

  5. Nescafé Mint mochas
  6. These have "limited edition" literally written all over them but I'm hoping that's just part of a sly marketing ploy and in reality, they're here to stay. Because they are suuuper tasty, massively easy to make and perfecto for evenings wallowing in the bath while marathoning Brooklyn Nine-Nine. Need I say more?

  7. Ren Vita Mineral Daily Supplement Moisturising Cream
  8. This smells suspiciously herby. Almost too herby. I feel I smell like an over-seasoned soup when I massage this into my face, but then I realise that it's actually an amazing moisturiser and I am somehow able to overcome my woes. Obviously, it being the dreary depths of winter, my skin starts to dry up like a desert and is not in the best of conditions, but once I apply this, it's happy once again - like, you can visibly see what it does to the skin on your face. Remarkable. Hydrating. Smell takes a bit of getting used to. But amazing nonetheless.

  9. Ugg Australia Classic Mini boots
  10. So I got the official staple of the #BasicBitch for Christmas this year and I could not have been more thrilled. Everyone knows I'm the laziest person going, and now I have the footwear to match. They are more comfortable than I could possibly have imagine they'd be and ugh I just love them so much. Running out to the supermarket? Uggs. Running out to get petrol? Uggs. Not really feeling anything? Uggs. Life is complete. And hella cosy.
Happy leap-day month, y'all!
~ Eleanor xo