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I Did It... I Made A YouTube Video

1 May 2016
So I finally gathered my courage and did it. I made a YouTube video. I'm guilty to admit t that YouTube was my first love but watching beauty and fashion videos is what introduced me to the beautiful world of blogging. But despite this I've always been scared to take the leap and make videos myself until now. 

This video is my way of testing the water, trying it out to see if I like it before I take a plunge and commit to YouTube as well as blogging (YouTube will never be a substitute for my blog, only an addition to it). It was a bit awkward and nerve wracking sitting in my bedroom on my own and talking to my camera and I'm sure that will probably come across a little in the video. This is only my first video though and I know that it is in no way perfect, not even by a mile, but if I keep at this I can only improve.

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Now that little explanation is out of the way you're probably wondering what I decided to do for my first ever video? Well I decided to do a haul showing some clothes and other bits that I've picked up recently. If you follow me on Twitter or Instagram you will have seen me mention that there was a student night on at my local shopping centre this week and I was lucky enough to pick up a few things. 

As I learned while editing the video it was not possible to edit in cut away's to show me trying on the clothes so I thought I'd do a try on blog post so that you could see what everything I bought looked like on. I won't be talking about any of the things I bought though in this post, so if you want to hear that check out the video, but I will leave links for everything down below.

Boohoo Sarah Lingerie Style Lacey Cami - £14

Topshop Petite Stripe Top - £20

River Island Black Velvet Choker - £5

Vans Leather Old Skool Zip Shoes - £65


I'd love to hear your feedback and opinion on whether I should film more videos, let me know down below!

Eleanor xx

Should You Have Separate Social Media Accounts For Your Blog?

27 April 2016
Blogging is not just about blogging anymore. With lots of people competing to become the next Zoella, social media is becoming more and more crucial to not only growing your following but also forming friendships and starting conversations. Brands also don't want bloggers with just high readership but also mass followings on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram or anywhere that you can promote them and yourself. But the question is, when trying to turn your blog into a brand and appear professional, should you have separate social media accounts for your blog?

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For a long time I pondered over whether to change the name of my Twitter and Instagram accounts to that of my blog, so people could easily find me and they'd be along the same theme as my blog. Changing my Twitter account would be easy, I already used it to participate in blogger chats but changing my instagram would require me to not only change my name but my theme from black and white personal photos but to bright white fashion, beauty and lifestyle photos. 

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But I liked my personal photos, the pictures of me and my sister before a night out or those of me at various concerts or the throwback Thursday's from when I'd perform in dance shows. These were snippets of my life that I wanted to share with my family and friends (who make up the majority of my followers), and I couldn't sacrifice that. 

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So after a quick Twitter poll my mind was made up. I'd keep my old Instagram and start a new Instagram account for my blog which would have a different theme, more similar to that of my favourite fashion and beauty accounts and matching the theme of my blog photos. I decided that I'd post photos from my latest blog posts so that I could use original Instagram to promote my latest posts but also other photos from my daily life. My old Instagram would also be kept up to date with lifestyle photos rather than posting about beauty and fashion that didn't interest a lot of my followers on my personal account.

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While I have to say it's been tough building up a following on my new account I'm so pleased that I did it. I post more regularly on that account about the things that interest me without annoying people who only want to hear about my life, and don't confuse people who want to see blog photos with photos of me and my friends. It sounds weird but I also love how my Instagram widget looks on the side bar of my blog now as the photos are consistent with those on my blog. As for Twitter, for now I'm keeping it the same as I think people don't really care as much about what you say there. 

I don't really think there is a right or wrong answer as to whether you should have separate social media accounts for your blog, while it does look professional it is a lot more work managing double the number of accounts. If you do decide to make a separate accounts you also have to remember not to use your blog accounts for spamming links to your blog posts, remember to still maintain a personal touch by communicating with your audience and posting extra content.

What are your opinions on social media and your blog? Also feel free to leave your social media links below for me to check out!

Eleanor xx

A Grey Day

23 April 2016
A grey day. How ironic considering it's been a lovely week weather wise and anything but grey. Grey and silver are often viewed as cold and unfriendly colours because of their cool undertone but as the weather warms I find myself venturing more into crisp whites and cool greys. Some may argue that grey is merely just a paler shade of black and perhaps that is why I love it so and have made it the focal point of my outfit today.  

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GET THE LOOK | Topshop Leather Jacket (similar), Vintage Ben Sherman Shirt (similar), H&M Wrap Skirt, Office Shoes, Ebay Necklace, TK Maxx Bag

I adore wrap skirts and dresses for spring and summer and this grey H&M skirt is a perfect example of why. Drawing on the cross over detail from the skirt I paired it with my beloved lace up flats inspired by last years must have Aquazzura shoes. 
The top half of my outfit was also designed to compliment the wrap skirt through this statement coin necklace from ebay. People can never quite believe that I bought this necklace from ebay for under a fiver because it doesn't look or feel cheap. It's quite a weighty necklaces and the metal doesn't look like plastic, making it one of my favourite ever ebay purchases.

Eleanor xx

A Day In The Life Of The Girl : Record Store Day 2016

19 April 2016
As well as having a passion for fashion and beauty, I also have a soft spot for music. When I met my boyfriend one thing we immediately bonded over was our shared taste in music and as we got to know each other he inspired my love for music even more. A passion that falls alongside loving music is collecting vinyl and we spend a lot of time together exploring independent record stores looking for vinyl to add to his collection. 

Record Store Day is a day that celebrates independent record stores by releasing exclusive and limited edition records only to those independent stores. Not all stores will get the same records from a long list of RSD exclusives and sometimes a shop may only get one or two copies of a record. This explains why on on Saturday 16th April or Record Store Day 2016 as many may know it, I started my day at 8am. 

Waking up at 8am gave me an hour to get ready before me and my boyfriend Karl walked to our favourite record stores in Birmingham: Ignite and Swordfish. Record Store Day is notorious for people queuing for hours outside record stores all over the world, so we decided to leave at 9am to try and get the right balance between not being too far back in the queue and not waiting for hours in the cold. 

The plan was that Karl would go queue outside Swordfish which opened at 9.30am and try to grab as many records off his list as he could before coming and to join me in the queue at Ignite which opened at 10am. Knowing I'd be waiting outside on my own for at least an hour I decided to make myself a hot chocolate to take with me.

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After lots of waiting, panic and excitement Karl managed to pick up the majority of records off his list including The Weeknd The Hills Remixes as you can see below, there is a more in depth haul up on his blog now if you want to see what else he picked up. The atmosphere in Ignite was great and it was lovely getting to talk to other people and find out what they were hoping to get. The friends we made in the queue also managed to get most of the things that wanted and it was nice change to see people so excited and happy over something.

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It was now about 11.30 and we'd worked up quite a hunger, so headed to Boston Tea Party on Corporation Street for a late brunch seeing as we were too late for a McDonald's breakfast. I've been to various branches of the Boston Tea Party and everytime received great service, drinks and food. If I ever have breakfast there I always have a bacon roll just because it is incredible and the bacon is baked not fried, making it slightly healthier and a lot less greasy than your traditional bacon roll. 

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Unfortunately our afternoon was not quite as exciting as our morning because when we got back to Uni we did a couple of hours of revision. With exams looming at the beginning May, I'm trying to cram in revision any spare moment I have even if that means revising on a Saturday.

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After a couple of hours of revision we popped to Tesco on campus to pick up some bits and bobs for tea and then made our way back to the flat for a very chilled evening. For my dinner I made myself a quick and easy bacon, pea and rocket risotto, which is one of my absolute favourite meals at the moment. It's a very light and summery meal despite being a rice based dish and is quite a healthy meal to have if you're craving bacon (can you tell I love bacon?).

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We then sat down for a quiet night in front of the telly watching crap Saturday night games shows and reality TV, the perfect round off to a lovely day. 
I'd love to know what you guys did this weekend, did you pick up anything on Record Store Day?

P.S I'd also love to know what you think of this style of lifestyle post as it's something a bit new and different for me!

Eleanor xx

I'll Stop Wearing Black When They Invent A Darker Colour

13 April 2016
I've never been one to plan my outfits for the weather, so when I looked outside and saw that it was an unusually beautiful sunny day here in Birmingham I didn't give a second thought to changing out of my all black ensemble. While I may have looked like the queen of darkness walking around with my black sunglasses, black shirt... well black everything, I wasn't boiling hot. I think by wearing a combination of thin layers, light materials and this gorgeous pair of strappy sandals I've cracked the age old problem of how to wear all black in these awkward transitioning months.

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What I'm Wearing - Céline Sunglasses, New Look Jacket, Missguided Shirt, Missguided Lace Bralet, Topshop Jeans, Public Desire Shoes and TK Maxx Bag 

I'm also so glad I've finally got a chance to style my new heels from Public Desire as I think they're the perfect transition piece! I love how they look with jeans and trousers but they'd also look great styled with a playsuit or skirt in summer.

How do you transition your style from season to season?

Eleanor xx

How To Revive Your Old White Trainers

10 April 2016
Having always worked in shoe shops the whole of my working life, I happen to know a thing or two about shoes. I can measure feet, check the fit of shoes, offer style advice as well as giving advice on how to care for your precious purchase. But despite this I found myself not taking my own advice and wrecking all of my favourite shoes because I'm too impatient to spray them with protector before I wear them. 

An example of this is my beloved Adidas Superstars, that after having been worn practically everyday for a couple of months and on a few nights out (sticky floors, spilt drinks and white trainers do not mix) were left looking dirty and brown. This is a far cry from the crisp white leather they were when I bought them and before buying a new pair I thought I'd try restore them to their former glory and share the process with you.
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The first thing to note when cleaning leather trainers is that unlike canvas trainers (like converse) they cannot be put in the washing machine, I repeat DO NOT PUT THEM IN THE WASHING MACHINE!!! Putting leather trainers in the washing machine will ruin the leather and can result in holes, then if you try to return them to the shop because they are 'faulty' they will not give you a refund. What you can machine wash however is the laces, so your first step is to remove the laces and chuck them in the washing machine, or hand wash them in hot soapy water.

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To clean the actual trainers I used a clean soft brush and Kiwi Whitener.

I then slightly wet the clean soft brush and started scrubbing the outside of the trainers to get all the dirt off of them and then wiped them down with a clean cloth. I also found that using a brush was better than using a baby wipe as the brush got in all of the nooks and crannies. As you can see from the picture above this made quite a dramatic difference on it's own but they still weren't a perfect white and there were a few grey marks around the front and on some of the stitching. 

Still with the laces removed I went onto use Kiwi's whitener white is basically a fast drying white paint for your trainers. It's just pigmented enough to brighten the trainers without looking patchy in places and the triangle sponge applicator means application is easy. Just make sure to avoid all of the black and gold details on the trainers as you don't want them ending up white. I made sure to use the whitener all over the shoe, including the tongue, front and outer sole. When your trainers and laces are dry (the whitener dries pretty much immediately) lace up your trainers and you're done!

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This has made such a difference to my trainers and from the outside look practically brand new, so if you love your trainers looking white and want to save a bit of money this may be the perfect solution for you! My trainers are a bit worn on the inside at the back (I shouldn't of been so lazy and unlaced them properly everytime I took them off) so eventually I will need a new pair but they won't need throwing away just yet. I also used the same process on the white soles of my vans and it worked just as well on them so don't be hesitant to this use on other trainers.

What do you think of my revived trainers? Have you ever tried doing this with your shoes?

Eleanor xx

My Top Travel Essentials

4 April 2016
Whether I'm going for a quiet weekend away in England, a long holiday abroad or just visiting my boyfriend there a few products that I just cannot bear to leave home without; my travel essentials. Initially this post was going to comprise all of beauty related products but I changed my mind and included a few non beauty essentials at the end for those of you wondering what else I cannot live without when traveling. 

Also just a little disclaimer, not all of the products were photographed because I just couldn't get them all to look 'pretty' together (pathetic I know) but don't worry I've included links for everything so you can see what I'm talking about.

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Batiste Dry Shampoo
Let's be honest when you're traveling you don't always have time to wash your hair. I often have a jam packed schedule when I go away and with a little bit of dry shampoo spritzed on my roots I know I can hold out an extra day until I was my hair. It's not a substitute for washing your hair but a beauty aid on those days when your roots are looking a little bit greasy. I've used Batiste for years and because of their great range there is a product for everyone no matter your hair colour or type.

A Lip Balm
This may be a habit that I picked up when I was on Isotretinoin (or Roaccutane as it's more commonly known) as it made my lips incredibly dry, but I cannot leave the house without a lip balm. Whether that be a Burt's Bee's Lip Balm or just good old Vaseline, anything is better than having dry and crusty lips. Dry lips can often be caused by air conditioning when you travel, so if you remember anything on this list I beg that you remember lip balm.

Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade 
Even if I'm not wearing any other makeup I immediately feel more myself if I have my brows filled in as naturally my brows are quite sparse. Since trying Anastasia Beverly Hills Dip Brow Pomade (wow that was a mouth full) I could never be converted back to my old ways of brow pencils or powders as nothing else lasts like this. When I use this product my brows never smudge or fade as it is waterproof so it will last through practically anything. This product is so worth the hype that it has to come with me everywhere I travel.

My Favourite Mascara
Like filling in my brows putting on even just a little bit of mascara will make me feel more myself even if I'm extremely tired or jet lagged. Mascara instantly brightens and widens my eyes by distracting from my sometimes terrible under eye bags and enhancing my natural features. While there are lots of excellent mascaras out there on the market my current favourite is the L'Oreal Paris Telescopic Mascara which you can read a full review of here.

Gillette Venus Snap Portable Razor 
For me shaving is an absolute must and I cannot go away anywhere without having a razor with me. But packing a razor always used to be a nightmare, the flimsy plastic cap would fall off and I'd end up cutting myself rummaging around my wash bag searching for it, that was until I discovered Venus' Snap Portable Razor. The razor is very small, discrete and fits perfectly in it's own little travel pot that can be neatly popped into your wash bag. With 5 blades it does an excellent job and the handle interchangeable with Venus Embrace refills so you don't have to worry if it goes blunt.

Céline New Audrey Sunglasses
Since I bought these sunglasses they have practically been glued to my face and it is rare that you will spot me without them. Perfect not only for a holiday in hot, sunny country but those rare occasions we get a bit of sun in the UK. They're also the perfect way to hide your lack of sleep if you've had to set off early for your travels. If you're not convinced about my Céline sunglasses I will let my review and unboxing convince you of their perfection.

Ipad Air
As I do not currently own a car, if I'm making a long journey on my own it is most often, if not always, by train. If I'm traveling home from uni the journey is an hour and a half, or if I'm visiting my boyfriend two and a half hours long; I could not survive these long journeys without some headphones and my iPad. Not only can I use it to listen to music or do uni work, but I can download shows to watch throughout my journey even though I don't have internet access. If you're in the UK both the BBC Iplayer App and 4OD App have features to download shows for free for a certain amount of time, so I can binge watch First Dates or Eastenders to my hearts content.

I'd love to know what your travel essentials are, whether that be beauty or fashion essentials or things that ease your journey!

Eleanor xx

Clean Cut

30 March 2016
One thing I miss when I'm in Birmingham is the architecture of the buildings in my home cities of Bath and Bristol. As you will know if you have visited either Bath or Bristol, a lot of the older buildings and houses are built from Bath Stone and the houses have very traditional black iron railings separating them from the pavement. This makes them not only very beautiful architecturally but also a great backdrop for outfit of the day photography. I had to take advantage of this while I'm home from Uni, so while showing my boyfriend round Bristol I persuaded him to also be my photographer.

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What I'm Wearing - Missguided Coat, Primark Jumper, Missguided Trousers, Vans Shoes, Céline Sunglasses, M&S Bag 

We spent most of the day exploring the area around Park Street and climbing up Cabot Tower. The views from Cabot Tower are some of the best in Bristol, and it is only from here that you begin to grasp the size of the city. Park Street is also a lovely part of the city, filled to burst with quirky independent stores and cafes such as Rise Records (honestly the best record store I've ever been to) but the street is on a massive hill so prepare for lots of walking. Luckily this outfit was perfect for exploring the city as my Vans provided comfort and my small M&S bag didn't weigh me down or give me back pains unlike my usual handbag.

Eleanor xx

5 Reasons Why People Aren't Returning To Your Blog

25 March 2016
With it being a four day weekend I'm sure many of you will be taking the time off to not only spend time with family or scoff hundreds of Easter Eggs but also to spend time working on your blog. While you could spend hours writing and photographing posts, you might find yourself wondering "What's the point when people aren't returning to my blog?" After reading this similar post about the issue by Corinne from skinnedcartree (an amazing blog with really great blogging advice and tips) it got me thinking about reasons why I will follow a blog and reasons why I will immediately exit. 

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They Can't Figure How To Follow Your Blog
Getting people to follow your blog on a site such as Bloglovin or on social media, is almost a guaranteed way to get people to return to your site, but if they can't follow your blog then they're likely to forget about it and never return. The best way to combat this is to make sure your follow buttons are all clearly displayed together on your blog and that all of the links work. As you can see all of the buttons to follow my blog on various sites are clearly displayed both at the top of my site and also on the right side bar, you could also add a widget like my instagram widget to give a taste of what else you offer.

It's Hard To Leave A Comment
I like to interact with the blogs I read regularly and that often involves leaving a comment and disusing the subject of the blog post. But there have been so many times when I read a really great blog post and want to comment on it, only to either struggle to find where to comment or for it to be complicated to comment. If commenting takes more than a couple of minutes to do the likelihood is that I won't and I will immediately leave your blog. So if it's not clear on your blog where to comment (at the end of a blog post is always a good place) or your commenting system is timely asking readers to enter their name, email address and website every time they want to comment, then maybe you should consider a change. I personally like to use Disqus, a commenting system that is very popular among bloggers as it's very easy to use, install and have conversations.

Your Layout Makes Your Posts Difficult To Read
We live in a world where we have become accustomed to getting our information in easy to consume bites, 6 second vines and 140 character tweets. In comparison big chunks of text can be scary, so cater to your audience by separating your writing into easy to consume paragraphs.  

Photography Is Everything
Similar to my last point but with Instagram and Tumblr being so popular these days we are obsessed with photography. The sad but true fact is that the majority of people will skim read your text and mainly look at your photography, so if it's not up to scratch you will fail to engage your audience. Don't be fooled into thinking that you need a fancy camera to take good photos though, all you need is good lighting and the right set up. If you want to see how I take and edit my blog photos I've done a post on that here and also another post on the best blog photography props.

Your Content Is Not Engaging
You may be posting seven days a week but you may only be gaining views from new readers as people aren't returning to your site, the reason for that may be that your content just isn't engaging. I believe strongly in quality over quantity, so spend time on your posts and ask yourself whether your post would be something you would want to read. If you're still not sure what your readers want to see perhaps run a poll on Twitter or look at your most and least popular posts in the past, to help you see what may be popular in the future.

Please take this kind of post with a pinch of salt and bare in mind that I'm not claiming to be the Holy Mother of Blogging, one I may like may not be someone else's cup of tea. I like to think though that there's always room to improve and in all honesty I could probably use some of these tips myself. I'd love to know your thoughts and tips, even if you stumble upon my blog and decide to never come back I'd be intrigued to hear why.

Have a lovely Easter!

Eleanor xx

NEW IN - Missguided and Public Desire

21 March 2016
I haven't done a haul type post in what seems like forever and I think that's partly due to the fact that I am trying my very best to save my money but also because I often spread out my spending rather than going on one big binge. But this week I had two very exciting deliveries of items that I have been eyeing up for a really long time.

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I must admit the first thing in this post was not bought with my own money as I was lucky enough to win a competition on Public Desire's Instagram. I never ever win anything, so I was over the moon when Public Desire contacted me on Monday to tell me I'd won their competition and that I could pick whatever I liked from their Spring collection!

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I immediately knew which shoes I wanted and asked if I could have a pair of their Julia Heels in Black. After seeing bloggers such as Hannah Crosskey from A Fashion Fix wearing the Julia Heels I knew I had to have them. They're the perfect height so that you can dress them down during the day but also wear them on a night out, the chunky heel and ankle straps also make them a dream to walk in.

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So as you may know the internet nearly broke last Monday when Missguided announced that they were doing 50% off and their website went into meltdown. With Missguided being one of my favourite brands and there being a few items I wanted, I knew this was an opportunity I couldn't afford to pass up and I sat refreshing my laptop all day in an attempt to get onto the website. Finally I got onto the website and while a few of the things I wanted were out of stock I managed to grab this pair of trousers for only £12.50!

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I've wanted a pair of cigarette trousers for ages, after seeing Victoria Beckham wearing a pair with some Stan Smiths and a polo neck jumper and these are the perfect pair for me. They're high waisted, tailored but still casual with the simple zip detail at the ankle. I was worried they wouldn't fit as I often find that trousers are too big in the waist and tight around the hips, but they're just right around the waist and there is still room to move my hips.

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Did you manage to pick up anything in Missguided's crazy sale? I'd love to hear what you picked up or bought recently!

Eleanor xx