Tuesday, 31 May 2016

One Whole Year

Huzzah huzzah! Today officially marks a complete 365 days since I opened my laptop and published this blog post. You don't have to click the link, it basically just says some weird, largely incoherent stuff about how I've forgotten how to be a human being after completing my final year of uni and that I was now, with my new found free-time, super committed to like blogging and stuff. Words. I'm great at them.

Obviously, I ten-thousand percent was all like "yeah, this is going to last for about five minutes and then I'm going to run out of inspiration and give up". But alas, this was not to be a repeat of the Professor Layton Nintendo DS game which I gave up on after I couldn't complete level five, this was to be different. Mucho mucho different.

And lo-and-behold, 113 blog posts later, here we are. Happy unofficial first birthday, Life as Eleanor! What, if the Queen's allowed to do it, why can't I? So, to mark this exciting day, I've complied a list of some of my favourite blog posts from the last year. Some of them even make sense.

  1. That time I announced my comeback tour (and 100% did not believe a word I wrote about sticking to it)

  2. That time my two best pals and I explored Albufeira, in the sunny sub-continent of Portugal

  3. That time I went to Bill's for breakfast and ate pumpkin seeds on eggs benedict 

  4. That time I contemplated what I'd learnt in my twenty-one years of life

  5. That time I had a birthday

  6. That time I had a monstrous afternoon tea and almost passed out

  7. That time I got a job and kickstarted my career *dances*

  8. That time I admitted I'd become middle-aged

  9. That time I graduated while wearing sky high heels 

  10. One of those times where I shared a sneak-peak into my daily working life

  11. That time Windsor dressed up in its Christmas finery

  12. That time I decided to make some resolutions for the new year

  13. That time I admitted that I am so totally not a morning person

  14. That time I went to the London Coffee Festival

  15. That time the Queen of England turned ninety and let everyone know about it

  16. That time we all realised I have a thing with Wisteria

Happy birthday, Life as Eleanor. Time to drink champagne and dance on the table!
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 26 May 2016

Email Jargon Decoded

AKA "what I say versus what I mean"

Account handling is about 95% writing, receiving, categorising, refreshing and reading emails. The other 5% includes stuff like: meetings, serious discussions, phone calls, briefing documents, squealing over engagement announcements and running around and chasing things*. Not literally chasing things, metaphorically chasing things.

*this probably is in no way accurate but you get what I'm saying.

In a world where people would rather cut off their own arm than pick up the phone to discuss things ear to ear, email writing has become an art form. And by 'art form' I mean, where what you type on your keyboard is probably much more diplomatic than what your brain wants you to say. And by 'probably' I mean, almost definitely. And that's where #EmailJargon comes in...

1. "Please let me know if you require anything further on this"
I'm really hoping you won't require anything further on this, and that if you do, next-to-no effort is needed from me.

2. "Thanks for sending this through" / "Thanks for the feedback"
Right so now we've got the British pleasantries out of the way, let me tell you a thing that you probably aint gon like in a follow up three paragraphs.

3. "Hope this all makes sense. Please let me know if you have any questions"
There's a high chance I won't know how to answer them, but you're certainly welcome to try.

4. "Thanks for flagging"
I'm glad one of us is awake.

5. "So sorry, this seems to have been trapped in my outbox"
You and I both know that this is a ginormous lie, but we've all been there, so let's do as we do and act like this is totally what happened.

6. "That’s no problem [I'll do this/sort this/whatever else this now]"
It is a problem, but I'll still do this/sort this/whatever else this now.

7. "I look forward to catching up with you then"
Sometimes I mean this, sometimes I don't.

8. "Apologies for any confusion!"
I'm not one-hundred percent sure what I'm apologising for, but at least this way you won't think I'm a ginormous dick.

9. "Hope that’s ok!"
It better bloody be!

10. "Hope this helps"
I know this will help. Please don't act like it won't.

11. "As discussed previously [...]"
We both know that neither you nor I can properly recall the discussion I'm referring to, but I want you to know that I remembered because for some reason that feels important.

12. "I look forward to hearing your thoughts"
Only if they're good thoughts. Please don't let them be bad thoughts. Please also don't let them be bad thoughts that you'd like me to rectify at 5:29pm on Friday.

~ Eleanor xo
Disclaimer: The above is all totally satirical and I in no way mean to offend or make myself look like an ass to work with. I love my job and what I do.

Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Springtime in Windsor

Other potential titles include: 'Wisteria Tour of Windsor', or the delightfully more fun, 'Windsor Wisteria Hysteria'. Try saying it out loud. Ah, so satisfying.

Ok, so I don't know all that much about cults, but I'm beginning to think that the most notorious cult in Windsor requires its members to pledge their allegiance in the form of wisteria creeping up the front of their house and draping over their doorway. I mean, what other explanation could there be for all the wisteria? Aside from the fact it looks HELLA CUTE AND ADORABLE OMG. Not to mention the scent, am I right?

Also, please appreciate these photos because I think I may've got myself on the Windsor's Most Wanted list for lurking outside all these beautiful properties and taking photos of them. Sometimes I just wanna grab all those passersby and residents by the collar and say "I'm not planning a burglary, I swear, this house is just too pretty not to put all over the internet, do you get what I'm saying??????". But then I realise that doing so would probably make the situation even weirder so I put my head down and hurry off. Looking even more guilty.

~ Eleanor xo

Friday, 20 May 2016

Link Love #21

  1. The history of mobile phones, as told by Paris Hilton {via BuzzFeed} 

  2. So Oreo bagels are a thing {via Glamour}

  3. TIME has devised a quiz to help you find out what country you sleep like. Apparently I sleep like a Belgian woman... {via TIME}

  4. What parents think their kids do for a living. Oh how I empathize {via Food52}

  5. Exactly what Jessica Alba eats in a day {via Delish}

  6. How to use your time wisely {via TIME} 

  7. What life is like on three hours of sleep {via Refinery29}

  8. A recipe for a delicious looking caprese salad {via Hello Glow}

  9. The all-natural ingredients that can make you prettier {via Byrdie}

  10. Twenty-four hours in Cannes with Kendall Jenner {via Glamour}
Keep it real, amigos.
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 19 May 2016

Three things I wish I knew when I started out

I've been an account handler for just over nine months now (my first thought when I realised this was, "wow, that's long enough to carry a pregnancy to full term" because you know, I'm totally normal like that). Every day I learn something new, and when I look back at those first few weeks and months, I can see such a huge difference in myself, both personally and professionally. I've come quite a way in that time, but of course, there are a couple of things I wish I'd known sooner...

I feel like this is true for most things, but you never fully realise the extent until you take a step back and reflect. It's like when I first started learning to drive and the idea of 'clutch control' and 'finding the biting point' seemed like things I would never ever be able to master, but lo-and-behold, look at me now, hill-starting like a pro. It's the same with account handling, or any job I guess; my job is by no means easier, but I've just got better at it. Better at knowing what a situation requires, what protocol should be followed, when things get done, who gets them done, what I write in an email, how I approach difficult topics; you know, all those now regular day-to-day activities that this time last year seemed massively daunting. It's like 'Meet the Robinsons' always said, "keep moving forward".

I am so bad at this; I have been for as long as I can remember. I hold onto things. And not good things, it's always the bad things. That's why I've been able to hold a grudge since primary school (though now I think about it, I could probs let that go...). All it takes is for one thing to go slightly wrong or not quite how I expected and suddenly the whole day is ruined and I let it sit within me and simmer for the rest of the day. Sometimes longer. All day I'll just keep replaying it over and over again, I'll be thinking of nothing else while I walk back to my car and while I drive home. It's redonk, but I'm slowly learning to let things go and not let them fester; because the reality is that if something really truly bad has happened, you'll know about it, so otherwise, brush it off and move on. Here's a little musical number to really hammer the message home.

I spent so long thinking that if I said a certain thing a certain way or chased for something too many times or asked for something that seemed like a bother, people would be like "whatevzzzz you're annoying so we can't be friends". But actually, that's so far from true it's almost laughable. In reality, everyone is here to get stuff done, and sometimes, things go awry, or something isn't quite right or there's a disagreement and things are a bit touch and go for a second; but really we've all got two common goals:
1) make cool shit that clients love (and deliver it on time and in budget)
2) get paid
Only lameos set out to make enemies and cause people distress, so really there's nothing to worry about.

~ Eleanor xo

Tuesday, 17 May 2016

What Next

I had an epiphany one evening last week while driving through Windsor Great Park. It's been a while since I had a really thought-provoking epiphany so it felt kind of nice to know that my subconscious mind is doing something other than replaying the latest Once Upon a Time episode over and over again and making me feel massively sad about the whole CaptainSwan storyline. But I digress. This epiphany came to me as I approached a set of traffic lights where two teenage girls were crossing the road on their horses. I know, typical Windsor. But it got me thinking, I need to get me some of that.

I then attempted to play out quite how I, a twenty-one year old female who's only ever sat on a horse a handful of times at a farm ground and didn't enjoy it one bit (I think it's my total lack of balance) would somehow learn to overcome these insecurities and become a jodhpur wearing babe. Not to mention that I've no idea how much funding that as a hobby would cost. Or if I could stomach being surrounded by Berkshire-bred teens. I'd be all, "kale, am I right?" and they'd be all, "why are you talking to me?". And then I'd cry.

Still, garish reality check aside, there are still a bunch of other hobbies and/or extracurricular activities I could try out to enrich myself. I mean, I'm hopeless at a lot of hobby-esque type things (hands up anyone else who managed to get hit in the eye by a rounders ball during PE! Just me then...) but I am very determined, and oh god so stubborn so I'm thinking perhaps those traits may work in my favour.

Aside from the fact I've already listed all the potential cons to this, there is still a small part of me that's like "yaaaaaassss". Windsor, what on God's green earth have you done to me?

This I feel is a potentially attainable goal. The fact that I'm the least flexible person on the planet does set some alarm bells ringing though.

I'm really not very gifted when it comes to all these kind of hands-on creative activities (I still remember the moment I realised I'd managed to cut a hole in my GCSE exam piece) but I spend so much time in front of a screen that getting stuck into something totally different might be a nice change.

This one I'm really down with. I've got super into food lately so I feel like now could be the time to really learn the ins-and-outs of meal creation. I am slightly nervous it'll turn out to be like Masterchef though...

This one I would love to do. Like, honestly love. Sadly though, my brain just isn't wired that way. Even though I did manage to (after several sobbing fits) scrape my way into getting a GCSE in Spanish, I'm so far off fluency it's unreal.

I took a class in this once about seven or eight years ago so I've already got a head start. Also, it could help me get one step closer to my dutch tulip farm dream.

I tried this back in my first year of university while I was going through one of those phases. We've all been there, let's not judge. However, thanks to the age of technology, I now have the attention span of a gnat which makes sitting still for a prolonged period of time potentially problematic.

Oh god I cannot tell you how much I wish this could be my hobby but oh god I have absolutely no hand-eye co-ordination and it makes me so sad everyday to know that I've been given a lopsided brain.

I work in digital marketing so that alone says it all. Also, blogging. I've tinkered with HTML and coding since I started my first Piczo website way back when. Plus, if Karlie Kloss is doing it, why shouldn't I?

I read a study recently that suggests that walking just twenty minutes each day helps prolong your life (and has a bunch of other great health benefits) and ever since I got my FitBit, I've become super aware of how active I am each day. Not to mention that there's always something pretty to Instagram out in the wide world.

Or perhaps I'll just start with switching up the books I read to include all those classic novels I've never found time to try. Well, I've gotta start somewhere...
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 12 May 2016

Newest Fragrance Find

The Néroli & Orchidée Collection from L’Occitane

I was planning to include this in next months favourites post but then I realised that a paragraph just wouldn't do it justice.

I stumbled upon this purely by accident; while searching for a new tube of toothpaste, in fact. What can I say, life as Eleanor is the epitome of glamour. Seeing L'Occitane on a label instantly catches my attention in any scenario, so I halted my toothpaste search (toothpaste was later found for those of you who may be on the edge of your seat awaiting the outcome), and opened up the tiny box.

The box is arguably small, however this once formed part of the 'collection', which meant it also came with a soap and a body lotion. And in all honesty, the soap smells even dreamier.

Obviously the packaging, as is customary for L'Occitane, is all kinds of beautiful. The ampersand embossed on the perfume bottle is the perfect mix between minimal and chic, and I just adore it.

The scent itself really is something else. I'm very susceptible to smell, I always have been (hence my vast scented candle collection), but with perfumes or colognes, it takes something really special to get me to fall in love so quickly. From the moment I caught the scent of this orange blossom and orchid fragrance, I was hooked. Like properly, properly hooked. As in, already planning my next trip to the L'Occitane store in Windsor to pick up a full size bottle, hooked.

I like my perfumes to be a little more on the floral side, so this massively hits the mark. It's so fresh, so light, so feminine and so calming; the subtle mix of fruits and florals makes it so easy to wear everyday and even more perfect for this time of year. Sadly it doesn't have the strongest staying power, but I dig it nonetheless.

~ Eleanor xo

Tuesday, 10 May 2016

Five Things

After what feels like months of bookmarking delicious looking recipes, it's finally asparagus season once again! *sets off confetti canons*. Grilled asparagus with chunks of Spanish chorizo made one pretty tasty weekend lunch. Not only that, of course, as so many other of my favourite veggies are ripe and ready for the picking (including our homegrown rhubarb which I totally just cut, stewed up with orange juice and brown sugar and enjoyed with some seriously smooth custard - thanks to a tiny bit of help from my dad, obviously...).

Virtual reality, as I'm sure all you hip kids about town know, is the new big thing. It's not 360 filming, and if people catch you thinking it is, you'll be eaten alive. #VR, as it's known by the in-crowd at work, is not only filming something from 360 degrees, but actually capturing the depth and sound as a human eye and ear would. I had a two-hour long briefing last week (featuring a play around on a Samsung headset) and I walked out feeling super buzzed and wanting to tell every single soul about it. The stuff the agency I work for has captured so far is borderline insane and I can't wait to see what happens next! #NerdAlert.

I first spotted these on Ray Ban's Facebook page a little over a year ago, and then unwrapped them in August, but I am still so obsessed with them. They are the most beautiful sunglasses in the world and I still can't get over how lightweight and flattering they are. I wear sunglasses a lot of the time, but I'm rarely able to opt for these because the lens are so strong; I mean, you could probably look directly at the sun and not get blinded*, so it's always a special day when I can. Especially when the blue mirror matches my outfit. #Blessed.

*please do not try this at home

It kind of feels like spring has, for want of a better word, "sprung" out of nowhere. Suddenly everywhere I look there are enormous trees practically falling over fences with fragrant pink blossoms all begging to be instagrammed (I know, I have no self control). As much as I love watching the leaves fall from the trees in Autumn, there's something really calming about strolling past a tree as a breeze carries stray petals. But maybe that's just because I secretly wish I was Pocahontas... 

I mean, is there anything more fantabulatory than a new Justin Timberlake track? The answer, of course, is no (all my fellow millennials know what I'm saying). And yes, I did just make up a whole new word to describe how psyched I am for this. Admittedly I'm slightly disappointed that it's actually for the soundtrack of a new Dreamworks film, but I was truly loving life when this came on Captial FM as I cruised through the streets, sunglasses on, basking in the sun with my air-con turned all the way up. You still got it, JT, you still got it.

~ Eleanor xo

Friday, 6 May 2016

Link Love #20

  1. Watch an adorable seventy year old lady experience Tesla self drive for the first time {via NY Mag}

  2. Turns out flowers really can improve your health and well-being. Score! {via Elle Decor}

  3. Why your twenties are not like the movies, and why it's totally a-okay {via The Haute Mess}

  4. What does your 'go-to' flavour say about you? {via Pure Wow}

  5. The biggest misconceptions about perfume and cologne {via The Independent} 

  6. A round-up of some of the best post-dental-surgery viral videos {via Teen Vogue}

  7. Tips and tricks to keep fresh produce going for longer {via Cosmopolitan}

  8. In-keeping with a lasting longer theme, tips to prolong the life of cut flowers {via Lark & Linen}

  9. An interesting article on what sugar-free substitutes really do to our bodies {via Darling Magazine}

  10. A note on why you should be risk taking this year {via Career Girl Daily}
Se realista, friends.
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 5 May 2016

Photo Diary: April Round Up

Always a fan of slow sundays
I strongly advise having Finnish neighbours
Daffodils in the office hell yeah @ High Street, Windsor
The colour of this juice just screams 'earthy' @ Borough Market, London
Hands down the greatest sourdough I've ever tasted
Stumbled upon this beaut cottage overlooking the Great Park @ Kings Road, Windsor
This month's farm shop finds
Maxin' relaxin' on a Sunday
Windsor looking fabulous with flags
Toast, almond butter, banana slices and sunflower seeds because #health

In the words of our lord, Justin Timberlake, "IT'S GONNA BE MAY". I am aware that it has been May for a few days now but not including that reference just seems disrespectful.

By some miracle, I'm writing this while the sun shines through my open windows (which is obviously super great because #Spring but also not super great because it's distorting my screen. Life, am I right?). I've also got some kind of viral illness (shock!!!!) and my nose is running and I've only just painted my nails. Why do bad things happen to good people????

So, aside from all of the above AND my laptop battery scoring 'Poor' for the first time ever, here's some other noteworthy occurrences from the past month:
  • April showers? 100% a thing.
  • And so are April snow showers, apparently.
  • One of the daily 'Changing of the Guards' routines at Windsor Castle featured a dog wearing the guards uniform and I freaked out a bit #DOGINACOAT.
  • I challenged myself to hit my daily FitBit step count every weekday...it was hard, but somehow I managed it.
  • I challenged myself to use my FitBit app to help myself drink the recommended two litres of water a day. I gave up after three days because I felt like I was drowning internally and I basically needed to pee all the time. Is this what it's like to be pregnant?
  • The London Coffee Festival rolled around so that was fun.
  • Byron Burger has taken over the lease of the property which once held Starbucks. You cannot fathom how un-okay this is.
  • The traffic on my drive to and from work has reached a new level of REDONK so occasionally I take a scenic back route through quaint countryside villages where the houses are not only the things of beauty, but also worth more than seventy-five jumbo jet areoplanes.
  • Speaking of redonk, I had a dream where I invented the work 'Rebonk', which is appaz a mash-up between redonk and bollocks, because why wouldn't you need a word to sum that up?
  • I've watched this video on repeat ever since it was released. I still cry with laughter every time.
  • I started using Snapchat way more. Not to keep up with my friends, to watch what my fave celebs and brands are up to. Eva Longoria is just A+++++.
  • I bought new clothes for Spring and I'm mucho excited about it. Goodbye Winter!
  • We had a photoshoot at the office for our new company website and it was really stressful and I'm probably going to end up looking like a serial killer. NBD.
  • I got really into daffodils.
  • I went to Borough Market for the first time and enjoyed a tremendously healthy juice filled with apple, kiwi, acia and banana. It tasted like compost.
  • Though, the fresh organic free range pumpkin tortellini we purchased from another stall at Borough Market made a rather tasty midweek meal.
  • Petrol prices went up. *sobs forever*
  • It's got to that really annoying time of the year where you get in your car and turn the heat up in the morning and crank up the A/C in the afternoon. 
  • The Queen threw an epic birthday celebration in Windsor. You can read all about it here.
  • I discovered that adding Marmite to avocado on toast is the stuff of dreams. Is this what taking cocaine is like? I mean, wait, what?
  • Clearly a lot of food related things went down this month...
  • My pet hedgehog has come out of hibernation and was spotted out and about with a lady friend. Fingers crossed for mating season (whenever that is).
  • I learnt that if you accidentally refer to LinkedIn connections as 'friends', you'll never live it down.
All so noteworthy, I know.
~ Eleanor xo

Tuesday, 3 May 2016

April Favourites

If there are any crazy typos or sentences that don't make sense in this we can blame either:
a) the fact I'm also attempting to paint my nails (when will I learn that this is not a good idea?)
b) the fact that I have been struck down by yet another illness *swoon*. Feeling super pumped that my multivitamin popping, Actimel drinking and copious fresh fruit and vegetable consuming has worked wonders. oh. WAIT.

Still, you know me, never one to complain. *tumbleweed*. Anyhoo, let's not dwell, let's chat about my favourite thangs from the last few weeks:
  1. Super Seeds Pumpkin Original Lift 9 Bar
  2. Is my car footwell now sporting what I would like to call 'birdcage chic'? And by that I mean, is my car footwell now covered in seeds? Yes, yes it is. Because these bars are so darn delicious but incredibly difficult to chow down on while attempting to maneuver traffic. I've been a fan of snacking on nuts and seeds for a while, but I can't just grab a handful and scoff them, I prefer them in bars, a la Nature Valley or Special K. However, those bars tend to include a lot of other not-so-healthy ingredients which sort of defeats the point, whereas 9 Bars are literally just seeds stuck together with some kind of healthy oil type thing. Really should've read the ingredient list before attempting to describe it... Either way, these are super healthy, super yummy and an instant filler-upper. Also, slight pumpkin obsession forming over here...

  3. Revlon PhotoReady 3D Volume Mascara
  4. This favourite is more of a re-discovery. I loved this mascara when I first tried it way back in 2014 and I used the tube I had to death and I'm feeling no different this time around. What it does to my lashes is so subtle (is there anything worse than a mascara that makes you look like a terrifying doll?), it opens out my eyes and makes my eyelashes just that little bit longer, with zero clumps. It's so long lasting and just a dream to apply. Oh Revlon, how do you do it?

  5. Snapchat
  6. Before we all start throwing shade, I'm not so beyond my years that I've only just discovered the joy that is Snapchat. Hell no. My university years were taken to a whole new height by the introduction of this app, where sending 10 second clips of yourself pulling the most embarrassing faces to show how bored you were of writing an essay was all the rage. God knows what monstrous faces are still saved on the Snapchat servers. But I digress; this month Snapchat has windled its way into my favourites because I've discovered that you can actually follow celebrities and brands. Every morning and evening I'm clicking through various snap stories, seeing what's going down on the PLL set thanks to Shay Mitchell, learning all about Eva Longoria's turtles, the flawless make up looks of Rosie Huntington-Whiteley, experiencing what it's like to shop like Paris Hilton and so much more. It's riveting.

  7. Home Fires
  8. I saw the commercial for the second season of this show the week before Easter, so naturally, I jumped on NowTV and marathoned the entire first season over the four day weekend, just in time to settle down on Sunday evenings with many other middle-aged Brits to indulge in some wartime drama. For real though, this show is great; I'm definitely preferring the second season to the first, but the characters and plot lines are so well written and every detail has been thought through. If wartime drama is your thing, you should definitely give this a try.

  9. Artisan Grains Chia Seeds
  10. I mean, clearly getting all this extra Omega 3, protein, iron and antioxidants has worked wonders on my defunct immune system. Or not. Still, I suppose stuff like this can never be fullproof and I'm sure that all this extra goodness has done something to help me in some way... But if we push aside my failing health, I really like these seeds; I picked up this box a week or two into April at my local farm shop and each morning I sprinkle about a teaspoon on top of my cereal and blueberries (or into smoothies whenever I find the time to make one) and off we go. Because they're so tiny, there's no taste to pick up, they're really just there to be consumed as part of your meal and once inside, that's where the magic happens. Adding superseeds to my diet is basically a no-brainer nowadays. 
And in case anyone had any doubts, tulips are still my all time number one favourite thing ever. Closely followed by peanut butter, obviously.
~ Eleanor xo