Sunday, 25 September 2016

Things I'd Tell My 14 Year Old Self


Letter to my teenage self

FYI these two images were taken in the exact same spot in my bedroom 10 years apart

As you probably know, if you've taken a look at my sidebar, I'm 24, which means it's been a full decade since I was 14. How has it been 10 years since Chad Michael Murray was my main celebrity crush (there were many) and I was listening to JoJo, Danity Kane and the High School Musical soundtrack on my iPod Mini? Can you tell I spend a lot of my time procrastinating on Buzzfeed?

Even though many things are the same; I still live at home, my wardrobes and drawers are bursting at the seams and there's still no sign of a boyfriend, so many other things have changed, particularly how I treat and see myself. Here is what I would tell my 14 year old self;

You are not fat...
For years I allowed this very thought to rule my life. I was never bigger than a size 12 but for some reason I felt like an absolute whale. It probably had something to do with the fact that my body was changing. I got stretch marks. I had cellulite. But instead of just viewing this as something that basically everyone has, especially as their body changes and curves emerge, I reiterated over and over again that I was 'so fat!' I never felt as pretty or as thin as my friends. When boys let it be known that they 'fancied' me, I thought to myself, surely this must be some kind of Ashton Kutcher style Punk'd kind of thing. Who could like someone like me? Who could like someone that looked like me? It's sad really because I never felt good about myself during those years and as a result I said no to almost everything. It also didn't help that everyone I watched on TV and read about in magazines (Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Nicole Richie, Mischa Barton, etc.) were basically skeletal.

I know you hate PE and just fainted in the gym (twice) but...
Exercise is important. This year I had the misfortune of having an issue with the nerves in my feet, something that is still ongoing but for several weeks at the start of the year I struggled to walk any kind of distance without my feet being in agony. In just a couple of weeks, I experienced muscle weakness in my legs as a result. It got so bad that I was referred to a physiotherapist who then had to retrain the muscles in my legs whilst my feet recovered. Now my legs have never been stronger and my fitness is better than ever. I've never been particularly fit and hated things like athletics and cross country running at school but to be able to walk for miles and miles without getting out of breath or having tired legs is a big difference for me. I actually push myself to hit certain targets now, something 14 year old me would never have done.

Please pay a bit more attention in computing...
When I first started my blog I completely customised my free template but that took a lot of time and countless pages of Google being open, to do so. HTML is definitely something that you end up having to wrap your head around at various points in your blogging journey and it would certainly be a lot easier to understand had I truly listened in certain lessons.

You will meet people with similar interests...
In school basically everyone was obsessed with getting drunk and going to the 'unders' nightclubs in town. Neither of these appealed to me in the slightest and as a result I ended up making acquaintances rather than lifelong friends in those years, as more and more I would say no thanks to one of those nights or weekends. What a difference it makes when you meet or interact with individuals who get you and what you like, who also have similar interests. Through blogging that's exactly who I've met. Even just having a conversation on Twitter about what we've been buying in the Topshop sale or what movie or TV show we've just watched and loved, is a big deal when you've felt for years that no-one quite likes what you do.

Stop stressing about exams/tests...
If only 14 year old me had had access to inspirational quotes like 24 year old me does thanks to Pinterest. I always make sure to repin any variation of the 'worrying solves nothing' quote because honestly, it doesn't.

There will be a day when you're no longer shy...
I was the kind of child who hid behind the legs of their parents when meeting new people and even when I was at school I would get so nervous about the smallest things. Doing anything new or going places I'd never been before would leave me with butterflies in my stomach but like all of the time. To think that I now regularly go new places, meet new people and try new things, all thanks to this little blog of mine is something that would have blown my 14 year old mind.

Print out or back up your photographs...
When I was in my early teens, digital cameras and camera phones were just starting to become a thing and more importantly, an affordable thing. The amount of photographs I took that never made their way onto Bebo or sat in a folder named 'Ellis' Pics' on our big family desktop, back when the monitor was literally the same size as a microwave, if not bigger, all of which I now no longer have. I wish I had printed some of those photographs out or at least put them onto a USB to reminisce nowadays.

Stop straightening your hair to within an inch of it's life...
I must have been about 14 years old, or maybe even a little bit younger, when I received my very first pair of ghds for Christmas. As someone with naturally curly hair that can get a little frizzy, the fact that I could achieve poker straight hair at home was a very big deal. Only now can I look back and laugh about how obsessive I was when it came to my hair and having it straight. If my hair had the slightest kink in it it would seriously bother me. I couldn't leave the house, even just to pop to Asda or somewhere like that, without having my hair sitting perfectly. When I think about it now, it seems so silly but I would straight up get upset if it wasn't sleek and straight.

So there you have it. What would you tell your 14 year old or teenage self? And what kind of teenager were you?

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Wednesday, 21 September 2016

My US Fashion & Miscellaneous Wishlist


US shopping wishlist 2016


1. Fitbit Flex 2  | 2. Disney Cats Pin Set | 3. Nike Tennis Shoes | 4. Kate Spade New York Watch | 5. Copper Birkenstock Arizonas | 6. The Mindy Project Season 3 DVD | 7. Bath & Body Works Candle | 8. Halloween Candy | 9. Parks and Recreation T-Shirt

Following on from Sunday's US Beauty Buys Weekly Wishlist, I'm sharing what else I'm hoping to pick up when I'm in the US this month. As you might be able to tell, I'm certainly a girl of eclectic tastes. Right at the top of my wishlist this year, however, are three pretty practical purchases; a new watch, a new pair of trainers and a new pair of sandals.

Ever since I took the plunge and bought my Kate Spade New York Cedar Maise handbag and Stacy wallet, I've been lusting after all things Kate Spade related and as soon as I saw this adorable little timepiece appear on the UK site, I haven't been able to get it out of my head. I'll definitely be frequenting the department stores and the Kate Spade Outlet store at the International Drive Outlets and whilst I'm there I'll also be making a pit-stop at Nike to look for a new pair of trainers. How beautiful are these dotted tennis shoes? I'm also not giving up hope of finding a pair of copper/rose gold Birkenstocks on my travels either, even though they seem to be sold out pretty much everywhere. Keep your fingers and toes crossed for me.

When I'm not filling my basket with PocketBacs and beauty bits in Bath & Body Works, I'll certainly be perusing and hopefully purchasing a couple of their infamous candles. How gorgeous does this one sound? And when I'm at the supermarkets I'll also be adding the latest season of my beloved The Mindy Project (which still isn't out here), and as many bags of Halloween candy as I can physically carry to my shopping basket.

A FitBit is another item that I've been saving for what feels like years now and they're so much cheaper to buy in the US, compared to how much they are here in the UK. I love the look of this lilac Flex 2.

And last but not least, how could I not add these cat pins to my wishlist, especially when they're from some of my absolute favourite Disney movies. I don't trade pins or anything like that when I'm at WDW but this set is just far too cute to ignore. And I have a feeling that I finally need to bite the bullet and buy a 'I Met Li'l Sebastian At The Pawnee Harvest Festival' t-shirt! Am I right fellow Parks & Rec fans?

What do you think of my picks? Would you be picking up any of these pieces? And what would be on your US wishlist, especially if you were heading to Orlando, Florida?

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Sunday, 18 September 2016

My US Beauty Buys Wishlist


US Beauty Products Wishlist

1. Kat Von D everlasting liquid lipstick | 2. Elizabeth and James Nirvana Rose 3. Sephora lip mask | 4. Bath & Body Works hand soap 5. Makeup Eraser | 6. Kat Von D lock-it concealer creme | 7. Tarte Rainforest of the Sea aquacealer concealer | 8. eos shimmer lip balm

As you may be well aware, if you've been reading Ellis Tuesday for more than about five minutes, I'll be heading back to one of my favourite places in the whole world; Orlando, Florida, very soon. As a result, I've been browsing the sites of some of my favourite American stores, namely Sephora, Ulta and Bath & Body Works which is how today's post and this week's wishlist came to be.

I have to admit, this is a pretty reserved list of what I'm hoping to pick up beauty-wise when I'm in the States. I will inevitably gravitate towards other beauty bits and as long as I can cram them into my suitcase, they'll probably be making their way home with me.

Right at the top of my beauty wishlist is a new concealer and there are two that have really caught my eye. Whilst I'm in Sephora, for the purposes of buying a new concealer of course, I might just have to wander the aisles to check out the latest and greatest from Sephora. This includes the latest Nirvana scent from Elizabeth and James and Sephora's own brand lip mask. I'm also planning on finally adding a couple of products that I've wanted to try for years now to my makeup collection as well as quite a few bits from Bath & Body Works. What are the bets that I'll be very close, if not over, my suitcase weight allowance?

And as if that wasn't enough to fill my suitcase with, I'll be sharing what I'm hoping to pick up fashion/miscellaneous-wise when I'm there too. So be sure to look out for that Weekly Wishlist this upcoming Wednesday.

What do you think of my picks? Have you tried any of the products mentioned in this week's Weekly Wishlist? If so, what are your thoughts on them? And do you have any tips when it comes to products to look out for when I'm in Sephora, Bath & Body Works or the American drugstores?

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Wednesday, 14 September 2016

Charlotte Tilbury Arrives In Glasgow


Charlotte Tilbury Glasgow

Yesterday I was invited along to House Of Fraser Glasgow to visit the newly opened Charlotte Tilbury counter and to receive a Tilbury Transformation. As someone who's wanted to try Charlotte's range of makeup and skincare for years and years now, I had been anticipating this arrival for quite some time and was absolutely over the moon when it was announced that it would be housed in House Of Fraser Glasgow. 

And as soon as I stepped through the iconic House Of Fraser doors, ones that normally take you straight into to the beauty hall, I was instantly blown away by how much of a boutique feel the Charlotte Tilbury counter had to it.

Charlotte Tilbury Looks

When I saw what instantly reminded me of the mirror from Ru Paul's Drag Race, I felt like I was in heaven and things only got better from there.

Charlotte Tilbury House Of Fraser Glasgow

My idea of heaven when it comes to interior design btw; stunning and opulent plum velvet pieces, golden and gilded palm trees, a bounty of feathers and Hollywood style light bulbs. Is there any way I could move in?

Charlotte Tilbury Glasgow Launch

I was greeted and treated to a glass of champagne (10:30am certainly isn't too early to pop open a bottle of champagne now is it?) and a cascading tower of tasty macarons.

Charlotte Tilbury The Sophisticate Quad

After having a good look through the ten different and distinct makeup looks, I went for the one that instantly stood out to me and my makeup tastes; The Sophisticate.

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup

The whole process started with Charlotte's three hero products; the Goddess Skin Clay Mask, Charlotte's Magic Cream and WonderglowThese are the products that can be used on any individual, regardless of their skin type or colour, before applying any makeup to the face.

I'd heard incredible things about these three products, from fellow bloggers, magazines and celebrities alike and they certainly lived up to the hype.

Charlotte Tilbury The Sophisticate Look

What I really love about the idea of different looks is the fact that you don't need to worry about which eye or lip products go together or what shades will work well with one another. 

The Sophisticate also comes with the unique selling point that it's the only look to contain a matte eyeshadow palette, something I was certainly overjoyed to realise, especially as I'm such a fan of matte shadows. 

Essentially, if anyone's wondering what to get me for Christmas this year, I direct you to this very photograph.

Charlotte Tilbury The Sophisticate

I had a feeling that the Tilbury Transformation would be out of this world but I still can't quite get over how much of a transformation it was. For years I've struggled to find base and brow products that match me and my skin tone/hair colour. As soon as the Light Wonder Liquid Foundation was applied it really was like a second skin. If anyone was going to know how to cater for us pale redheads it was going to be Charlotte, now wasn't it? And even though I was wearing the most makeup I've ever worn at one time before, it honestly felt like I had nothing on.

My eyes have never looked bluer, my lips have never looked better and my contour has never been more on point. I felt like a new woman, something that I have never said about a full makeup look on me before. I'm so used to dabbing on a spot of concealer, popping on some mascara and slick a lip balm, when I'm rushing out the door, that to finally find a fail safe makeup look has just blown me away. I have a feeling I'm going to be quite the regular at the Charlotte Tilbury counter.

Charlotte Tilbury Makeup Tutorial

So what do you think? Charlotte Tilbury has certainly made her arrival in Glasgow!

Charlotte Tilbury House Of Fraser Glasgow

Have you tried Charlotte Tilbury before? If so, which product or products are your favourite? Which look would you have went for? And what do you think of The Sophisticate look on me?
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Sunday, 11 September 2016

The Berry Good Pieces Edit



Today marks the start of a brand new series on Ellis Tuesday; Weekly Wishlist. Each week I'll be sharing what I've been loving and lusting after that week. This will include everything from fashion to beauty to things like homeware, stationery and tech. 

So here's what I've got my eye on this week;

1. Topshop jeans 2. Topshop shirt | 3. Oliver bonas Scarf | 4. Topshop hat  | 5. Rebecca Minkoff bag  | 6. Forever 21 choker  | 7. River Island boots  | 8. Dorothy Perkins pinafore

As soon as it starts to get that bit darker and inevitably colder, berry is one colour that I can't get enough of, as you might be able to tell from today's wishlist. If money were no object I would most definitely be carrying this beautiful Rebecca Minkoff handbag around with on a daily basis this Autumn/Winter. I also feel like I might need to jump on the choker bandwagon with this simple but stunning velvet one from Forever 21. I also stumbled across that great pinafore from Dorothy Perkins when I took a trip into House Of Fraser to take shelter from a rain shower this week. There were quite a few dresses that caught my eye but this one was too good not to share.

I also really need to treat myself to a pair of new boots for the colder months, especially as my current ones really need to go in the bin. The only question is, do I go for practical or pretty?

What's been topping your wishlist recently? What do you think of this weeks' picks? And are you looking forward to weekly wishlists?

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Friday, 9 September 2016

The August Degustabox (With £7 Off Discount)


Degustabox August 2016

This month's Degustabox is jam-packed full of products and as with every Degustabox review that I do, I have a fantastic and exclusive discount code for you to use to take a massive £7 off the £12.99 price tag. All you have to do is enter the code BLDEG15 when you register

So what exactly does the August BBQ box comprise of, well let's see;


Degustabox Review

Sauces and pastes like these are always welcome additions to the Degustabox for me and my family and we were over the moon to see some tasty Indian treats courtesy of Geeta's and a brilliant new barbecue sauce. We've discovered so many brilliant barbecue sauces over the years thanks to Degustabox. The brazilian cook sauce was another winner this month. Products like these really do come in handy on evenings when you're not sure what to have for dinner, as well as in terms of inspiring different dinner ideas.

Degustabox UK

The Snackers mini crackers are a big hit with me and make for a great snack throughout the day/night. They're nice with a little bit of cheese (what isn't?) and you don't feel too naughty having a couple of these as the day/night progresses. 

Apple cider vinegar popcorn might sound like a bit of a strange concept and I'm not sure if I'm entirely sold on them. My Mum did enjoy the bag though so maybe it's an acquired taste, one that I simply don't have. None of us are big olive fans so the Oloves haven't got much love from us this month but I'll certainly be passing these onto my Gran and I'll be sure to let you know how she gets on with them. My Mum also thoroughly enjoyed the raspberry and blackcurrant bircher muesli mix.

Degustabox Code

Much like whenever a bottle of beer appears in one of my Degustaboxes, my Dad made sure to put this to the test. It gets a resounding thumbs up from him. My brother, on the other hand, really enjoyed the Clipper lime and ginger green tea and the Get More Multivitamins sparkling lemon and lime. According to him the Get More Multivitamins offering tasted just like Sprite or 7up but obviously it's not quite as bad for you as those. There was yet more lime in the Fentimans drink which was really refreshing. It's certainly made me want to try out more from the brand.

NutriPot Review

The two NutriPots were great and were so quick and easy to make. I also really liked the fact that both of these contain 50% of your daily vitamin and mineral levels. This is particularly handy if you naturally lack vitamins and minerals in your diet ordinarily.

What do you think of this month's box? Have you tried any of the products featured in June's box before? If so, what do you think of them? And have you had a BBQ yet this year?

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Wednesday, 7 September 2016

How To Survive The Orlando Theme Parks


Orlando Theme Parks

The theme parks in Orlando are amazing, there’s no doubt about that. With countless rides perfect for all ages and all types of adrenaline junkies, we know that no matter what, you’ll have an unforgettable time at the Orlando theme parks. However, sometimes things just don’t go as you've planned. Here are a few tips to help you survive the Orlando theme parks and avoid any disasters;

Get there early

Check what times the parks open at because many people like to have a lie in on holiday (I'm definitely guilty of this), which results in the parks being practically empty. This means less time queuing. Many of the parks open at 8am, so be sure to get up bright and early and make the most of the limited time you have in Orlando.

Watch out for the sun

This may seem like an obvious tip but Orlando can get very, very hot. When you’re walking around all day and meeting lots of different characters, it’s very easy to forget about staying hydrated. Top up on your sun tan lotion throughout the day and be sure to keep hydrated as well. Heat stroke is the last thing you want on your unforgettable holiday to Orlando.

Best water rides in Orlando Florida

Enjoy getting wet

Orlando is the Sunshine State; you can get onto a water ride, cool off and you’ll be dry in a matter of minutes, if not seconds. There are plenty of water rides at Walt Disney World, Universal Studios and other theme parks in the area so you won’t be far from an opportunity to cool off.

Don’t wait in line

Disney offers a fantastic FastPass+ program which is completely FREE to use. Why wouldn’t you want to make the most of it? It enables you to reserve your space for three rides per day, where you can wave to everyone in the queue as you stroll on by right to the front. We recommend booking these passes for the busiest and most popular rides as they’re likely to have the longest wait time. Universal also have a similar scheme called Universal Express.

Child Swap

Now we’re not talking about swapping your child for someone else’s in the park. I don’t think your little one would appreciate that. If the entire family queue together and the child wishes not to ride, one adult can stay with the child at the front whilst the others ride. Then they can swap so the adult waiting with the child gets to have a go too and they don’t have to wait twice!

Walt Disney World Wishes Fireworks Tips

Don’t leave the parks too early

So many people leave the parks early and miss out on some of the most spectacular night shows. Our favourite is the famous Wishes Firework display at Magic Kingdom! The atmosphere is incredible; you’ll definitely leave with goosebumps and a magical feeling.

Memory Makers

Nobody wants to be that person who has to take the photo and results in having no photos with their family at Disney so you definitely want to make the most of the Memory Makers. It is essentially a staff member from Disney who will follow you around and take any photos of you and your family for a set fee. You will also have digital copies sent to you which you can then download for free.

Don’t over-schedule

There are so many theme parks to see that if you want to be organised, it is very easy to over-schedule. You will be exhausted and as a result, won't make the most of your holiday all because you're worrying about being at a certain place at a certain time. Be laid back and just know what parks you definitely want to go to and enjoy your holiday.

These tips should help you avoid any stressful situations and enable you to enjoy your once-in-a-lifetime holiday away.

What tip or tips would you put into practice on your holiday to Orlando? Have you done any of these in the past? And which rides would you be sure to use FastPass+ or Universal Express for?


Written in collaboration with Holiday Genie.

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Sunday, 4 September 2016

Essential Makeup Brushes From Spectrum


Spectrum Brush Set

Even though I'm a big fan of Real Techniques and Sephora, when it comes to their makeup brushes, I've never put a full range of brushes from either to the test. So when Spectrum asked if I'd like to try out some of their makeup brushes I was definitely keen to.

First of all, the price of this set really impressed me. At £39.99 for 10 brushes this works out at just £4 a brush. I certainly wouldn't be able to get some of these brushes, particularly the face ones, for anywhere near that price at the drugstore or Sephora. Secondly, they're stunning! I mean, how beautiful are these? A quick browse on Spectrum's site and I have a feeling that you'll find yourself seriously lusting after some, if not all, of their collections. I really love the look of the Marbleous brushes and the Glam Clam set looks absolutely unreal too. But let's get onto the set in question, the 10 piece essential set*.

Spectrum Brushes Review

This set contains everything that you would need for your eyes, face and lips. Some of my personal favourites have to be the flat top buffer brush and the angled brow brush, as well as the rest of the angled brushes. The quality really is superb. They are so so soft and I now find myself reaching for these above and beyond any others in my current collection. Another big plus point; each and every Spectrum brush is cruelty free.

If you're just starting out when it comes to makeup or like me, haven't really amassed a proper collection of brushes that you can actually rely on, then this is the set for you.

You can find Spectrum brushes on their on site and on Beauty Bay, Cloud 10 Beauty and on Birchbox.

Have you heard of Spectrum before? What do you think of the look and sound of these brushes? And what makeup brush brand is your absolute favourite?

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Thursday, 1 September 2016

10 Things We Were Obsessed With 10 Years Ago


10 things we were obsessed with 10 years ago 2006

The year was 2006. I was fourteen years old and could honestly have worked for the E! network, I was that obsessed with all things celebrity. As someone who spends quite a bit of time endlessly scrolling through Buzzfeed, any time I see a throwback, particularly one which takes us back to the 2000's, I can't help but click onto it. So that's what inspired me to write today's post, that and the fact that this doesn't technically feel like procrastinating.

The Hills: Whilst my many hours spent on Buzzfeed certainly inspired this list, watching The Hills: That Was Then, This Is Now is really the reason that I sat down to write this blog post today. If you put aside the soul destroying fact that much of it wasn't exactly 'reality', The Hills was must-see viewing. I mean who can forget the cast of brilliant 'characters' such Lauren, Audrina, Whitney, Speidi, Jen Bunney and Justin Bobby? All I can say is; 'feel the rain on your skin!'

All things Timbaland: Was it really 2006 if you weren't listening to Promiscuous, SexyBack, The Way I Are and Give It To Me on a loop?

The Motorola RAZR: As someone who owned this very phone, after circling it in the Argos catalogue, of course, I remember how big of a deal it was to me and my friends. I mean, who didn't want one?

Chad Michael Murray: Oh Lucas Scott... Since Chad Michael Murray was basically my dream guy for most of the 2000's, I like many others, was rather obsessed. Aside from One Tree Hill, he also starred in noughties classics Freaky Friday, A Cinderella Story and House Of Wax. I might even have watched all three this weekend, for research obviously.

Fall Out Boy/Panic At The Disco!/All American Rejects: 2006 was the year of Sugar We're Going Down, Dance, Dance, I Write Sins Not Tragedies and Dirty Little Secret. Enough said.

The Simple Life/Paris Hilton: Waking up early on a Sunday morning to watch an episode or two of The Simple Life on C4 was my idea of happiness at the age of fourteen. From admiring Paris and Nicole's Von Dutch trucker hats and velour Juicy Couture tracksuits to actually uttering the words 'that's hot!', these two were the epitome of cool to me. Oh to be a naive fourteen year old again. On the other hand, maybe not. I also have a feeling that this show was why I was as enamoured with celebrity culture and Paris Hilton in general, as I was. Hands up if you bought her debut album 'Paris', as well as her memoirs 'Confessions Of An Heiress' and her perfume, aptly named Paris Hilton. Duh! Just me?

Charity Wristbands: One word; LIVESTRONG!

High School Musical: Now whether you want to openly admit to this one or not, High School Musical, or HSM for short, was like the millennial's version of Grease, in a way I guess. I wonder how many times I watched it when it was on TV and it very nearly overtook Cadet Kelly (who else remembers that gem of a film?) as my favourite Disney Channel original movie. It also introduced us to Zac Efron.

Nicky Lachey: Oh you mean I'm the only one who actually liked Lachey's What's Left Of Me?

Bad DayOkay, so maybe you weren't obsessed with it after hearing it more than about three times but Daniel Powter's Bad Day was pretty much inescapable in 2006. Fun fact: I actually bought that single on CD from Woolworth's to then burn onto my computer so I could upload it onto my non-brand MP3 player along with other classics such as You're Beautiful, London Bridge and Smack That. I think that sentence sums up 2006 quite nicely.

How many of these do you remember? Were you obsessed with any of them? And what was your 2006 like?

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