Thursday, 30 June 2016

Five Things

Up until about five minutes ago, I was unaware that there were strawberries growing in our garden. I'm slowly learning that my parents seem to have cultivated a fruit and vegetable growing garden while I was away at uni, so each season I discover there's something new to pick. Admittedly, the slugs tend to get in there first, but the fruits we do manage to get our hands on always taste good. And I quite enjoy the sensation of pretending I'm Martha Stewart, picking organic homegrown produce and using it to make exotic dishes to serve at a dinner party for all my affluent friends. The reality, of course, is rather different...

The love, care, kindness and comfort I've received from basically every person who's heard about my idiocy is so overwhelmingly lovely that it's made me weepy. Things like this really show who has your back and who you can count on and knowing that is a real cheerer-upper.

As you probably know by now, buying greetings cards is one of my favourite hobbies, and discovering new designers is utterly joyous. While on the hunt for a Father's Day card, I found the 'A Colourful Mind' collection by Will McPhail and my brain instantly went "yes". His cards are so well designed and so relatable it hurts; I had such a hard task trying to choose just one. But needless to say, I know where I'm heading the next time I need to buy a card.

I loved my Zara ripped jeans as soon as I bought them (about two years ago), but sadly, jeans with rips in them aren't exactly office appropriate so I rarely get to dig them out. But that's all changed over the last week because if slouching around at home feeling sorry for yourself isn't ripped-jean-wearing worthy, then I don't know what is. Also I think they help show off my rebellious side.

5. ADJUSTING TO LIFE AS A #OneHandedBandit
The number of things I'm now going to be able to add to my CV is humongous. I shall title the section: "skills I've mastered by using only one hand". But while my 'putting on freshly laundered skinny jeans' still needs a bit of work, I'm happy to report that 'cracking eggs' is near perfect. Oh and I'm slowly getting the hang of Instagram flatlay photo taking. Sort of.

~ Eleanor xo

Tuesday, 28 June 2016

Post-Surgery Eats

All about the foods that'll help you get back on your feet

Ok, I know what you're thinking, "Eleanor, don't be overdramatic, you didn't have real surgery" and to be honest, you'd be correct. I didn't have 'you'll feel a sharp scratch, fall asleep for about six hours and then wake up with zero recollection of where you are and wholeheartedly believing you are in fact Hannah Montana' type surgery, but I did spend a Sunday evening in an operating theatre while my left hand was thoroughly beaten up (and then patched up) by a surgeon. I had local anaesthetic, took antibiotics three times a day for a week and currently have a finger the size of a golf ball, featuring stitches reminiscent of #FrankensteinChic.

Either way, when I realised quite what a state I had got myself into, and quite how long (and how much hard work) it would take to rectify and get me back to dual handedness, I jumped straight on the 'food cures everything' bandwagon and started searching out what sorts of foods promote healing and basically help the body to do its thang.

As ever, the internet did not disappoint. It was surprisingly easy to find foods that are accessible, tasty, and full of everything your body could ever need; so here's what I've been chowing down on lately...

for: Vitamin E
Almonds are a great source of Vitamin E, which not only helps to encourage wound healing and building up scar tissue (so we can all be Harry Potter), it's also a key player in antioxidant defence, helping to protect you from anything nasty that could be lurking in any tissues or cells.

Also found in: sunflower seeds, peanuts, kale, vegetable oils and olives

for: Iron
Iron is pretty vital at all times, let alone when you've had surgery, because it helps create new red blood cells that store and carry oxygen in your blood. #Science. This in turn encourages the wound to heal and boosts your energy levels, getting you back on your feet and full of beans. Sorry, couldn't resist...

Also found in: meat and poultry, dried fruit, leafy vegetables, eggs and whole grains

for: Protein
Foods that are high in protein are a no-brainer after surgery because muscle tissue is likely to have been moved or damaged, meaning your body will be quick to try and repair itself (it's pretty great like that). Therefore, giving your body an extra dose of protein (feat. amino acids) will help boost its ability to heal, repair and regenerate tissue. Plus it'll help you feel stronger and more energised.

Also found in: seafood, eggs, nuts, dairy and beans

for: Vitamin C
Ah, our trusty friend, Vitamin C. He's always there when we're feeling under the weather (which makes sense because he's great at protecting cells and keeping them healthy). In this instance, Vitamin C also helps heal up wounds and repair collagen. There's also speculation that Vitamin C can minimise the chance of over sensitising your nerves, so that's a pro.

Also found in: peppers, strawberries, blackcurrants, broccoli, brussels sprouts and potatoes

for: Zinc
Zinc is yet another speedy healer of wounds, but it is also well-known for helping to make new cells and enzymes. Not only that, but it helps us process and break down carbohydrates, fats and proteins in food which is, you know, pretty helpful.

Also found in: meat, cheese, bread and wheat germ

for: Vitamin A
Vitamin A is a mighty chap; just a small dose of Vitamin A enables your body to keep your immune system in tip-top condition so it can continue to fight against infections (always a worry after surgery). However, any Vitamin A not needed for immediate use is stored away by your body for the future, so you don't need it every day. Nifty!

Also found in: dairy, eggs, oily fish and leafy vegetables

for: Fibre
I hope it's fairly self explanatory why fibre is a pretty important part of this list; basically so your body keeps working like it should and allows you to feel totally cool and chill. Getting fibre from high-carb foods will also help increase your energy levels.

Also found in: fruits, vegetables, beans, bread and porridge

for: Probiotics
Anaesthetics, antibiotics, and painkillers are notorious for messing you up and can deplete your supply of good bacteria. Therefore, eating foods high in probiotics will help keep your gut healthy and well balanced, as well as replenishing any 'friendly' bacteria lost.

Also found in: fermented foods and dairy

for: Hydration
It's so important to keep your fluid levels up. Personally I don't love water, but I know that it's the surefire way to prevent nausea, fatigue, and just not feeling all that peachy. As well as the fact that getting your eight glasses of H2O promotes healing, it also helps your body absorb medications and metabolise vitamins and nutrients.

Turns out you really are what you eat...
~ Eleanor xo

Friday, 17 June 2016

Link Love #23

  1. Ten things you probably didn't know about sunscreen {via Well + Good}

  2. The Rich Kids of Instagram, London edition {via Town & Country}

  3. Seven storylines in 'The Hills' that were totally fake *sob* {via Glamour}

  4. A sneaky trick to help prevent blisters. I've yet to pluck up the courage to try it {via PureWow}

  5. Move over Humans of New York, the Millennials of New York have got something to say {via My Modern Met}

  6. Ten foods that will help keep you hydrated all summer long {via Domino}

  7. This french Château is just too much {via This is Glamourous}

  8. A piece on why we'll marry the wrong person, and why it's ok {via New York Times}

  9. One of the most motivational things I've ever read {via Instagram}

  10. Wanderlust worthy road trip photos {via NY Mag}
Keep it real
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 16 June 2016

Current Wishlist

1. This vegan suede jacket from Anthropologie
2. A shower gel from the Rhubarb & Rose collection from Molton Brown
3. A pack of 'thank you' note cards from John Lewis
4. A way to motivate myself to drink more water from Kate Spade
5. Warm weather appropriate pyjama shorts from Oysho
6. A perfect Eugenia Kim sun hat dupe from Mango
7. The prettiest trainers from Anthropologie
8. An effortless chambray shirt from Fat Face
9. This rose gold bangle from Fossil
10. This light and easy Jasmin & Bergamote Eau de Toilette from L'Occitane
11. A pair of nautical espadrilles from Jack Wills

~ Eleanor xo

Wednesday, 15 June 2016

A Bump in the Road

As I type this, slowly and rather halfheartedly, I should be lying on a sun lounger, engrossed in a cheesy romance novel, dipping my perfectly painted toes in a swimming pool, eating paella and attempting to string together Spanish words (potentially all at the same time, but unlikely). Instead, I am sitting on my sofa, in Britain, sweating my way through this rainforest weather, wondering when this throbbing pain in my finger will stop.

Yes friends, 'Accident Prone Eleanor' has struck again. Quite spectacularly, if I may say so myself.

The first Saturday of June started tremendously well; my car passed its mini health check with flying colours (and the guy even discounted me a whole ninety pence so that was exciting), I then spent three hours sitting in a hair salon getting blonde highlights put in my hair... Only for disaster to strike fifteen minutes after hair flipping my way home.

Eleven days ago I had zilch idea what a tendon was, but today, I not only know what they are, but also that they hurt like a biatch if you accidentally cut through them with a sharp knife. That's the most un-grusome way of saying, "I was trying to remove the pit from an avocado and the knife slipped". My left index finger never saw what was coming.

I spent four hours in A&E on that Saturday afternoon, sobbing on my mum's shoulder like a real adult does. After plenty of poking, prodding and bleeding (on my part), the nurses told me that I'd need to be referred to a specialist plastic surgery hospital so they could properly check out the damage I'd done. So the next day, my parents and I travelled almost two hours to East Grinstead for more poking, more prodding and ultimately, a five hour wait for reconstructive surgery.

Even now, I can't say I ever envisioned spending a Sunday evening lying on an operating table, while a renowned plastic surgeon stitched one of my tendons back together (with just a tiny part of my hand anaesthetised). As I was awake for all of this, the surgeon generously offered to give me a tour of the inside of my hand; but needless to say, I declined. I may've been running off adrenaline for the full seventy-five minutes, but I'm not sure my stomach could've withstood such a sight... (And shout out to the other member of staff in the theatre who held my good other hand while this all went down; I feel we're now bonded for life).

A week and a half later, I'm one-hand down and slowly losing my patience. I was in the beastly post-surgery plaster cast with strict "do not move your fingers at all" instructions for three days until an Occupational Therapist cut me out and replaced it with a not-at-all fetching hand splint and new instructions to use my left hand only to do a bunch of physiotherapy excercises four times a day for the next four weeks to get the tendon back in working order. (This also meant I was unable to fly out to Alicante this weekend for my two week trip to España).

I'm not entirely sure what happens after the first four weeks are up; but I do know that I can't drive until week nine and that even though tendons generally return to 'full strength' after twelve weeks, the stitches are permanent. So for the next three months I'm taking baths with one hand dangling over the side of the tub, awkwardly shimmying into skinny jeans, cutting all my food up into cubes before I can eat it and trying not to tell gawking strangers in the street that severed tendons aren't contagious.

And the worst part of all this? I still really crave avocado.
~ Eleanor xo


Thursday, 9 June 2016

Photo Diary: May Round Up

Oh to live in one of these townhouses @ Kings Road, Windsor
Baked up these oat cookies using spelt flakes and they were ahhhmazing
Our summer house is all set up and ready for business! Now all we need is the weather...
Black tulips not only exist, but also grow in our garden. Obsessed!
When someone has a birthday, GBK burgers are not optional @ GBK, Windsor
A little celebratory glass of prosecco... or two @ Prezzo Restaurant, Guildford
Kinda wanted to buy the whole vase @ Secretts Farm Shop, Milford
This amazingly tasty artisan spelt, honey and oat loaf seriously hit the spot
Breakfast meetings are the ONE. Hello brioche! @ High Street, Windsor
Oh hey Mr Wisteria, you are looking mega fine @ Kings Road, Windsor
May managed to bring with it, not only a bought of super lovely weather, but also, TWO bank holiday weekends! I wish all months offered that; three days is just the perfect amount of time to tick all those little things off your to-do list and then round it off with a marathon of your favourite show. Am I right or am I right? It also rolled into summer holiday season at work which meant holiday envy aplenty and everyone trying to get bikini body ready in about a week by drinking copious amounts of infused water and trying strange detox diets. #ItsANoFromMe.
  • I finally got around to watching Disney's Zootopia and I have to say, I have mixed feelings. The soundtrack is banging though. #ShakiraShakiraaaa
  • Still not managaged to get the hang of functioning at work after a bank holiday weekend.
  • The weather got SUPER HUMID AND IT WAS GROSS.
  • I was ill (yet again) and it totally messed me up because I started craving tea rather than my usual Nespresso. 
  • I experienced virtual reality first hand and I was all like woaaaaaaah.
  • Once Upon a Time got waaaaay too emotional. I mean, I'm not usually one to weep at TV shows but my god I was balling when CaptainSwan parted ways.
  • The Royal Windsor Horse Show rolled around and while that sounds like a super cool event, which I'm sure it is, it's not so much fun when you're stuck behind a horse box driving at 30mph on a 50mph road. *eye twitches*
  • #WisteriaHysteria went down on my Instagram. And everyone elses.
  • I one-hundred percent have found the street I want to live on for the rest of my life.
  • It was someone's birthday so things got totally wild with a team lunch to GBK (chargrilled chicken burger say whaat) and some hefty slices of Colin the Caterpillar birthday cake.
  • For a while it was just generally 'unhealthy snack' central in the office. I blame M&S food.
  • Someone bet one of the developers that he couldn't eat an entire lime in one go with the waxed skin still on the outside. Said developer is now £20 richer.
  • Bagpipes are now included in the orchestra of the Changing of the Guards ceremony and it's starting to get a bit much.
  • The most joyous of family celebrations was had after some very good news was shared. Obviously, prosecco was non-negotiable.
  • I was slightly disappointed by the lack of craziness that went down at this year's Eurovision.
  • Though I'm still unsure why Justin Timberlake was there...
  • Our homegrown rhubarb ripened up.
  • I went for a wander around Eton for a change and I swear to God stepping over the Eton border is like stepping into another world.
  • A Thursday afternoon game of 'rate all the Kardashian sisters by looks' unearthed some interesting viewpoints.
  • We had someone from a digital publishing agency come in to present and he brought us all umbrellas and I have never seen a room of people light up so quickly.
  • ITV cancelled Home Fires and I've never been so distraught in my life.
  • Now TV announced it was stopping streaming Disney Channel so what is the point of living. How will I find out how Liv & Maddie ends??
  • My university sent me my printed dissertation and it was the weirdest feeling ever to hold it in my hands again.
  • I bought a basil plant. And quickly decided that Basil would be a great name for a greyhound.
  • I had my first eye test since I was a child and it turns out I have 99% perfect eyes. *mic drop*
  • Chrome Bentleys? A thing.
~ Eleanor xo

Tuesday, 7 June 2016

May Favourites

You know what was great about May? Summer rolled around and it was warm and sunny and my arms were out and I started using moisturiser with SPF in it, and then, kapow, we were back in Autumn. So I hope everyone took the opportunity to enjoy the summer while it lasted because I feel like that may be all we get. Has anyone else noticed how difficult life is when the weather is going through some kind of midlife crisis? Do I short sleeve, do I long sleeve, do I ankle boot, do I pump? THE STRESS!

Anyway, here's what I totally digged during Mayo:
  1. Twinings Earl Grey Tea
    Yes hello, is that MI5? Yes, I need to speak to someone about what I think is the apocalypse. Why? Well because I've taken a distinct liking to a daily cup of Earl Grey Tea. Errr.... Hello... Hello? Whatevs. The apocalypse has well and truly fallen, maybe not in the cataclysmic way we all anticipated, but all I know is this: one day I woke up with a cough/cold/illness thing (as is so often the case) and wham, I got to work, not fancying my usual Nespresso, but a cup of tea! Tea!? Of all the illness cravings in the world, mine is tea. And since then, I've been having a cup each afternoon. The whole 'lemon and bergamot' thing just really does it for me, ya know?

  2. Let the Road, Rixton
    A music favourite to spice things up a bit! So I heard 'Hotel Ceiling' from this album yonks ago when those Spotify Discover playlists first came about and totally digged it, but I never really thought about trying out the whole album. Well, let me tell you a thing. That was a huge mistake. This album is ahhhmazing. I played nothing but this one album on repeat for about a week (and this may seem like no big deal but I spend about two and a bit hours in my car each day so that is a lot of playing). These guys are so awesome and every song hits the spot. My personal fave is Speakerphone because it's perfecto to belt out while zooming through the classy as heck streets of Ascot.

  3. Jo Malone, Amber & Lavender Bath oil
    What is it with Jo Malone and her just knowing what works? I have yet to find a product from JML that I don't love with a passion. The bath oils are such amazing quality; you need only the teeny tiniest amount in your bath and you smell of the floral scents FOR DAYS (or until you next wash), they're so soothing and relaxing and don't irritate my skin in any way (which has been known to happen in the past with other brands). I feel like with every product I try, I love Jo Malone even more... which understandably makes my bank card shiver in its boots.

  4. Showfield Street, Nails Inc London
    I plough through nail polish like it's nobodies business, and I rarely find a shade that I love so completely that I want to repaint it over and over again (unless it's L'Oreal), but this colour is just doing it for me right now. Nails Inc polishes are a great quality; I wore this for an entire week with the most minimal of chips appearing. It's not the easiest to paint on because the round lids can be kind of tricky to manoeuvre (or is that just me), but it's all worth it in the end, even if you do look like you've painted your nails with your eyes closed...

  5. Light Wash Gap Jeans
    It's no secret that I L.O.V.E Gap in general, but fun fact, the first thing I ever bought from Gap was a pair of denim jeans (and an even more fun fact, that was about 8 years ago and I still have that pair, very much in working order). Gap jeans are an amazing quality and their new resolution range makes them so comfortable to wear because they fit to your body shape. Meaning all of the 'skin tight' and none of the 'stiff as a board'. And as the weather is, theoretically heating up and the sun is beginning to shine, this light wash pair are beyond perfect! I've been living in these the past few weeks and picking them up for £20 instead of £49.95, makes it an even sweeter victory.
~ Eleanor xo

Friday, 3 June 2016

Link Love #22

  1. This spoof of MTV Cribs by Hostelworld (featuring 50 Cent) is an amazing piece of advertising {via Campaign}

  2. The Boden A/W 2016 press day in numbers {via Boden}

  3. What happened when American Eagle stopped photoshopping its Aerie models {via Us Weekly}

  4. Three ways to use honey in your skincare routine {via Darling Magazine}

  5. This amazing bathroom {via Architectural Digest}

  6. Are you living for the weekend? {via Free People}

  7. These brilliant wallpapers for your phone to remind you to unplug {via Innocent}

  8. Five ways to improve your skin using food {via Food and Wine}

  9. The most colourful moments from this year's Chelsea Flower Show {via TIME}

  10. All the juicy secrets from 'The Hills', shared by the people who know it best {via InStyle}
Until next time,
~ Eleanor xo

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Five Things

Not sure why I made that sound like I'm a member of Downton Abbey, but, you know, keeping things fresh. In the age of social media, emailing, texting, iMessaging and whatsapping, nobody ever seems to put pen to paper, which I genuinely feel is a real shame. So imagine my surprise and sheer joy when I found a hand-written card waiting on my doormat from none other than one of my university gal pals, sent all the way for the subcontinent of Devon. I mean, obvs we all keep up with each other via our phones and the internet, but there's something extra special and personal about someone taking the time to sit down and write something to you. Needless to say, I ran out the next day and purchased this '#Bestie' card from Marks and Spencer to send as a reply. Seriously, greetings card shopping is one of my favourite kinds of shopping.

Fat Face pajamas are the one. The real life, one-hundred percent one. I just love them. They're made of the softest cotton, they're so comfortable to snuggle up in and they generally have the cutest prints on them. As the warm weather's rolling around, spotting these ultra thin cotton bottoms couldn't have come at a better time. I know, it's like fate. The print made me dance a little inside (because middle aged Eleanor was wide awake) and even though they're £30, I couldn't muster the courage to put them back on the rack. I know I'll get so much wear out of them and I'm just very excited.

I won't lie, I have mixed feelings about the film 'Zootopia'. I watched it about three weeks ago, and even now, I find myself taking time to really think about my differing viewpoints. I mean, the premise and 'underlying theme', if you will, are great; super love all that 'fall down seven times, stand up eight stuff' Disney, really I do. But there are points in the film where you're like, wait, is this really child friendly? At present, I'm still undecided, but what I'm not undecided about is how banging the theme song is. Nothing can ever beat a Shakira song, especially when she's included in the film as a swinging, sassy, singing gazelle.

I feel like these products kind of scream "Summer is coming and old age is approaching!". And that's probably not a bad thing because that's why I've started using them. My skincare regime consists of two things: cleansing gel and moisturiser. I like to have sparklingly clean skin that's thoroughly hydrated. NBD. This Clarins Daily Energizer cleansing gel is so refreshing and so easy on the skin (plus it smells divine) and when paired with this Olay Total Effects day moisturiser (with added SPF, muchas important at this time of year), my skin is all like "yasssssssss".

So my parents had a fun old Staycation last week and travelled somewhere south-easternwards. They probably told me where it was they stayed but I actually can't remember. It was somewhere near the Eden Project though. Maybe. I mean, they may've driven hours to see it. Who knows. Still, they returned from what I can only describe as a thoroughly British getaway, and by that I mean, it rained almost constantly and I received a lot of text messages telling me so. As is expected of loving parents, they returned laden with gifts! For the other members of our family! Just kidding, while they did splash out on Christmas gifts for people (nothing like being prepared...) they did buy me an adorable flamingo key-ring from Paignton Zoo (flamingos are my FAVE) and some tasty looking ground coffee (with chocolate in it, my favourite kind!) from the Eden Project. It's the small things.

~ Eleanor xo