Sunday, 30 December 2012

Reflecting on 2012

Every new years eve, for five years, I have made a New Years Resolution list (I love lists, if you haven't already guessed from my previous posts). It's funny looking back on the lists I made when I was much younger which mainly consisted of 'be nicer to your brother', 'don't be so weird', 'work hard', and 'exercise more'.
I've made my list already for 2013, and also included a list of things that I would love to have achieved by the end of the year (which I will include in another post soon!).

I thought I would spice it up a bit and dedicate this post to the things I have achieved this year, and reflect on what I have done and what has made me happy...
(This may be of no interest to you, but I hope it at least inspires you to reflect on your own 2012 and be proud of yourself for what you have achieved!)

  1. I concluded what I wanted to do with my life after sixth form, what course I would like to take at university and which universitie I would like to apply for.
  2. I chose my A-Levels and am relatively happy which my decisions. 
  3. I have improved a lot of my friendships with people, however also drifted away from some as well
  4. I turned 16
  5. I saw The Wanted, Lawson, BigKids and The Suburbians (whom I got a signiature and kiss on the cheek from!) in concert (separatly)
  6. I did my GCSEs and achieved decent results!
  7. I got an A* in my GCSE art!
  8. I went on holiday with a large group of friends to a friend's country house in Lancaster for her birthday
  9. I did work experience with one of the nicest people I've ever met at a place that I would love to work at when I'm older
  10. I realised I'm capable of liking a guy that's not a complete douchebag
  11. I went to the London 2012 Olympics
  12. I lost weight (...and then gained it on again this month, but at least I now know I'm capable of losing it if I want to! :P)
  13. I went to Mauritius and Norfolk with my family
  14. I went to Brijuni (a tiny island off Croatia, absolutely beautiful!)
  15. I broke my record for shopping with two of my friends - 9 hours non-stop :) (not really an achievement to many, but it is to me, haha)
  16. I tried lots of new foods
  17. I've achieved A's in the bits of biology coursework I have already done
  18. I finally finished the massive notebook that I've been using at my diary for the past 3 years and started a new one
I admit this year hasn't exactly been extremely eventful, I haven't done anything that major or done many good deeds, but it was generally a very good year and an extreme improvement on last year. 

How was your year and what have been some of your best achievements?

Lots of love, 
Ellay xxx 

P.S I can't wait until NYE!

                            




*photos taken by me*

Saturday, 29 December 2012

Spontaneity + travelling


Do you ever feel like packing up your camera, a notebook and some tasty snacks and escaping for the day? Or dragging a friend along with you to a remote beach in a not-too-near place, or a forest, or empty field, just to get away from the normal routine of life?
I love spontaneity with all my heart. I’m all for impulsiveness and sudden plans. As much as I love the anticipation of an exciting event, or to buy something, or see someone, etc. I’m an extremely impatient person and I much prefer doing things then and there. Recently, with school looming in the not-so-distant/not-distant-enough future and the thought of the boring repetitiveness of life in the New Year, I’ve had a craving to travel,  go somewhere new or do something unpredictable. I live in the south of England and with easy access to many different trains and buses, I find it quite difficult to resist hopping on one and getting off somewhere I’ve never been and exploring. However, despite this strong hunger for ‘newness’ and exploration, I don’t think I’m brave enough just yet to face the world (or rather, a little city/village nearby) on my own. And annoyingly, with this fear of independence, comes having to make plans with a friend that I’ve managed to convince to join me, meaning that I have to wait.
I don’t like waiting.

Brighton and Paris have been on my mind a lot recently. I would happily call them two of my favourite cities (is Brighton a city?) that I’ve visited and I’ve been longing for the touristy, beachy, fish-and-chippy feel of Brighton, and the elegant and classy atmosphere of Paris for a while now.
I’ve only been to Brighton twice and Paris once, but I knew instantly when I visited them that they were going to be places that I repetitively return to during my life, and of which lots of memories will be created around. I would say I have quite a reliable gut-feeling, in that when I feel like something is a bit dodgy/something bad is going to happen/something amazing is going to happen/etc., it usually does. I had a really strong gut-feeling when I visited both of these places that I was going to fall in love with them, and I have. 

the rather beautiful ruins of an old pier that burnt down years ago in Brighton 


 birdies on Brighton pier!


the pier - it's sooo beautiful. 








France...
 Pariiiiiiiiiis


 a view from one of the tall buildings in Paris :P (can't quite remember which - probably the Eiffel Tower)


 another stunning view


I also have an unbelievable amount of love for Iceland. It's probably one of the most stunning countries that I have ever visited, and I’ve been incredibly lucky enough to have travelled quite a lot with my family and seen many cities and sites. But Iceland was one of the countries that completely took my breath away, literally. It is visually beautiful, the people are so kind and the general ambiance of the country is just so peaceful and serene.
I went with my school on a geography trip to Iceland last October (2011) and some of the scenery that I saw will be some that I will remember for the rest of my life. 

Strokkur Geysir


lava field covered in mossy plants (it's bouncy when you walk on it!)





Glymur waterfall


Svartifoss waterfall - my favourite


a glacier and some snow-topped mountains


we saw so many vibrant rainbows!



(If anyone would like to see more pictures or know anything more about my trip/recommendations for places to go for any reason, let me know! :) ) 

Have you visited anywhere that you felt a special connection to and felt inspired by?



Lotsa love,
Ellay xxx

Friday, 28 December 2012

Goals & Ambitions


I love setting myself goals. I love giving purpose to the amount of effort I put into things, in hope that it will all pay off. It makes the work and time I spend on whatever it is I'm doing more worthwhile, and it also motivates me to work harder in the future.
I have a fair amount of ambitions/goals/things I want to do before I die, and with 2013 just around the corner, I’ve been thinking about the resolutions I’m going to make for the upcoming year…

   Stop biting my nails
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had this nasty habit and every year I’ve vowed to stop, but alas no success. However this year, with such a massive selection of nail polishes and techniques to decorate our ‘claws’ everywhere, I’m desperate to grow them long enough for me to actually paint!

*image from weheartit.com*


  Exercise more/eat healthier food
In short, I'm a lazy arse. I've never found that inner sporty passion and I'm more likely to be found sitting in front of the TV with a jar of peanut butter/crate of chocolate that working up a sweat in the gym. I envy the people that enjoy waking up early on a Saturday morning to go jogging for an hour, and those who actually want to go to the gym. But I'm determined to make 2013 the year that I become this person! 
I also have a deadly sweet tooth - I really think I could live on chocolate for the rest of my life. Another resolution of mine is to cut down on the sweets and junk food and stock up on the dreaded fruit + veg (although it doesn't help that I've just recieved a pile of sweet treats for Christmas!) 


  Stop stressing
I'm naturally an extremely nervous person and I tend to stress about the smallest thing - I'm convinced I'm going to die early from a heart attack! My friends and family are constantly telling me to relax and not freak out about so much about everything, but I put it down to my genes - my mother's just as nervous. I'm going to try much harder next year to 'chill out' and not overexaggerate situations in my head so much. I'm also going to try and think a lot more positively as well (I'm way too pessimistic most of the time...)


♛  Do more photography
When I realised that I actually enjoying snapping photos and wasn't just 'following the indie crowd', I became a lot more interested in the art of photography. Earlier this year, I used my money (that I'd saved for over a year, may I add!) on a wonderful Canon EOS 1100D, but if I'm completely honest, I don't feel like I've really embraced this passion as much as I could have and don't think I've got as much use out of the camera as I had first intended. 2013 will be the year I become that annoying girl at the party whose constantly in people's faces with a big camera lense, asking for poses and cheesy smiles, and taking those embarassing-moment shots! 

*image from weheartit.com*



   Have more confidence/self-belief

I have a tendency to put myself down a lot of the time and it's getting to the point where people are actually getting irritated about how negative I am about myself and what I do. I'm a pessimist in every sense of the word - I always expecting the worst-case scenario but I use it as preparation in case it does actually happen! However, next year I'm going to try a lot harder to have a bit more confidence in the things I do and have more self-belief, especially with my AS Level exams coming up in May - hopefully this confidence will lead to more positivity, resulting in better exam results! It's worth a try...


What are some of your resolutions?

Lots of love,

Ellay xxx

Thursday, 27 December 2012

Defining a style.


To my lovely readers,

I have really come to envy those who have their personal ‘style’ and way of living defined to every detail. I envy those who know exactly what they enjoy doing, what sort of movies they like to watch and books they like to read. I’m especially jealous of those who can express their particular style and personality with the way they dress. You can look at them and know immediately that they’re the sort of country-kid that enjoys reading and writing. They’re the sort of person that you can imagine siting at their desk for hours on end, a steaming cup of tea next to them and soft music playing in the background as they scribble down their thoughts and feelings 

I’ve always longed to have a style and have spent many years experimenting in the hope that one would stick, but alas, none have.

I began actually caring about what I wore when I was about 9/10 years old (in year 5). I decided I wanted to be a goth, so every non-uniform day I would come dressed in all black, wearing silver lipstick with heavily rimmed black-eyeliner-d eyes and my hair slicked back into a ponytail. I looked awful.

Then when I finally realised that this look didn’t work too well for me, I moved onto my neon phase. This involved wearing extremely brightly coloured, patterned clothes that clashed and made people squint when they looked at me. Not too great either.

me a couple of years ago during my 'neon phase' - what was I thinking??


After that phase, I went onto the ‘I don’t really give a crap but I do’ phase which I feel like I’m still stuck in now. It mainly consists of wearing massive woolly jumpers and t-shirts over a pair of jeans almost every day. It’s not too bad – you could definitely call it an improvement from the other phases I've been through, but I still don’t feel completely satisfied.

At heart, I’m quite a girly-girl. I love pampering myself, putting on make up, pink, pretty objects and watching romantic movies in my pyjamas. But I wouldn’t really fancy dressing in frilly skirts, pink vests and high heels every day. But of course, there are elements of this style that I adore.

You could also say I’m a bit of a tomboy as well though – I love getting muddy and messy, I quite like the ‘dragged-through-a-bush-backwards’ look and I live for jeans and Converses. But again, I wouldn’t define myself as a ‘tomboy’.

I also combine elements of the ‘sophisticated, classy, smart/posh’ style when I want to. I love to wear sharp blazers, shirts, chiffon and high-waisted skirts and trousers in pastel colours. However, I definitely would not class myself as a ‘sophisticate’.

this is the sort of thing I wear nowadays - shirts, leggings, jeans, big t-shirts, jumpers - not the most flattering clothes I must admit.


This is my dilemma! For so long, I’ve been desperate to pinpoint my exact style. However, I’m yet to have my fashion-epiphany, so until then, I’ll just have to accept my love for mud, jumpers, white chiffon, silk and obscene amounts of black eyeliner and embrace this ‘individuality’ that I have seem to adopted. 


Lots of love,

Ellay xxx

Wednesday, 26 December 2012

Christmas Time!

Hello lovely people,
I hope you all had an amazing Christmas/holiday with lots of happiness and celebration!
I thought I'd share with you little snippets from my great day! 

My brother and I were up at the crack-of-dawn (well... 9:30am) ready to open our presents! After an hour or so, we drove down to my granny's, who lives about an hour away from us and opened yet more presents and had an AMAZING Christmas lunch :D
Then we spent the afternoon watching movies and playing with our gifts.
Overall, it was a brilliant day and I thought I'd show you some of the snaps...

 My lovely doggy snuggled on my brother's lap in the car


 That was good grub... (the turkey's hidden!)


 Chocolate tart... heaven.

And the presents...
I'm honestly so so cherished to have such an amazing family. 

 Chiffon top from New Look, black velvet shorts from Topshop


 Some art books I've been desperate for, Submarine (one of my all time favourite movies!) and The Perks of Being A Wallflower book (another of my absolute favourite movies - I had to get the book to go with it)


 Some beauty gifts! 
Soap&Glory products, Umberto Giannini hair products (came in a gorgeous wash bag), bath fizzers, Moroccan oil shampoo and conditioner and some Lush goodies


 2 sets of 'Sneezums' earrings from my lovely Grandma and an ear cuff from Topshop


 bareMinerals primer and eyeshadows in Rapture, Tiger's Eye and Cream Soda, and 'Studio' smokey eye make up set


 Fairy Dust candle (www.lily-flame.co.uk) that smells incredible, and Taylor Swift's Wonderstruck perfume and handcream that I've been lusting after for so long


 Some amazing food!!! Is it bad that I've already eaten half of the sea salt caramels, marshmallows and Terry's chocolate orange? Oops :D


And my shoes from www.boohoo.com! My mum gave me them early for a dinner I went to at the beginning of December and they're so comfortable! 

I also got a couple of other goodies and some money and vouchers. I'm so grateful for all the wonderful gifts I recieved, I've been so lucky!

I'd love to know what you all got for Christmas! 



Lots of love,


Ellay xxx