Monday, 29 February 2016

Getting Ready for Spring

Each season brings its own style and its own trends. If you're anything like me and I doubt you are, you love winter. No matter how cold it really is, you know that spring is on it's way and next time you open your eyes, you'll be wondering what to do with what you have in your wardrobe. In reality, a season change is a good thing because it allows you to have fun fashion wise.

And if you love fashion as much as I do, just thinking about planning what you're going to be wearing is something you're looking forward to as at times it's a way to unwind from something, and definitely works as a mood booster. I love spring because it's sort of a mixture between winter and summer - and in terms of fashion, anything goes. Except it's better. You get to wear more colours, scroll through fashion blogs to get inspired by anything and everything, and you can adjust your wardrobe by looking for things you can wear again.

Personally, I'm seeing pastels all over the air. But I understand how finding new ideas for new outfits when you're still stuck in winter can be pretty difficult. I mean, it's scary how fast this year is going by, and next thing we know, it'll be summer again. And that isn't a nice thought at all.

It's pretty safe to say that we all have alot of things in our closets that we don't remember to pair up. Or maybe it's just me who oftens forgets that there are two great pieces which will looking amazingly beautiful together. I mean, you can wear boots with skirts, boots with shorts, dungarees, sweaters as outwewear, crop sweaters, teas, lighter jackets, and it's always something we can layer and it'll still end up looking pretty decent. 

Honestly, shopping is not actually something I enjoy. First, because I'm not a fan of spending too much money, second because it's always crowded, and third because I'm quite indecisive when it comes to chosing what I want to buy. But it's still something I like doing every once in a while, and the beauty of online shopping or online browing has been tremendous in that sense.

I don't yet know what I'm going to buy for spring, but I do know that this year I want to completely revamp my closet. I want to finally make that step into wearing the things I truly want, and so, while I was just searching my life away, I decided to do a round up of things I find essential for spring, I want for myself, or even items I see myself using this spring.

Let me know which one is your favourite.




From left to right // Knit Sweater; T-shirt; Street Top; Cropped Sweater;



Anything you're looking forward to wearing this Spring? What do you find to be essential in your wardrobe that works for different seasons?

Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.
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Friday, 26 February 2016

18 Things I wish I knew before I started blogging



If you're anything like me, when you started your blog, you didn't really know you were entering into a brand new world. And no matter how much you thought you knew, it doesn't even come close. Honestly, I had so many questions, so many 'how's' and 'why's', that there are still things I haven't figured out how to do. 

Thankfully, I found alot of help out there. Seriously, just google it and something will come up. There are thousands of blogging tips from thousands of bloggers, and each has their own way of blogging, has their own daily tips. As human beings, we have the tendency to over complicate things for ourselves and at times, finding an answer is actually so much easier than we think. Still, while I know you can find anything you want online, I'm also aware how overwhelming all of this information can get. Especially when there are so many things to take into consideration: a blog layout, widgets to use, SEO, your style of writing, what kind of themes you want to write about - among many others. Overwhelming, I know. 

When I first started this blog, it was mainly as a way for me to unwind and to write what I was feeling, when I was feeling it. But I did want other people to read what I was thinking, and I started realizing how much work needed to be done, how much I want to get better at this, and how much I enjoyed it. 

I don't consider myself an expert (I feel like I say this too much), but there are alot of things I've learnt and I see myself progressing right infront of my own eyes. I'm proud of where I am and where I'm going with my blog. For that reason, I decided to create my own list of things I wish I had known before.

There's one thing well have in common, and that's passion for what we're doing.



What I wish I knew before I started blogging


#1. Blogging is hard work. And it takes time. Alot of it; 
#2. Quality of Quantity. Always; 
#3. There's always something to blog about. The possibilities are endless;
#4. There's more to the blog than well, the blog itself. Networking is just as important;
#5. Seriously, be active on social media and engage with everyone;
#6. The good thing about having a blog is that you're never alone;
#7. Consistency is the key;
#8. Comparison will only make you feel worse;
#9. You don't have to be an expert in order to have something to offer;
#10. It's not as easy as it looks.
#11. It's important to show support for other bloggers;
#12. Push yourself. Get out there and get inspired;
#13. Don't skip on research;
#14. It takes time. Rome wasn't built in a day either;
#15. We learn from our own experiences;
#16. You define your own success;
#17. Planning is your bestfriend;
#18. Be yourself, everyone else is taken;


_____________________________________

What are your best tips for blogging? What have you learnt since you started your blog? Or are you thinking about making one?

Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.
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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The Girl Behind the Blog // Liebster Award

 

I realized the other day that while I post quite alot on here, and have shared things I didn't think I'd ever do, I've not really introduced myself. When Sally from DiagonSally nominated me in her Liebster Award post, I was stuck for a few days wondering how I'd fit that onto my blog. But I was also beyond grateful for her and for having had the pleasure of having her as a friend. 

If you actually think about it, the questions she was asked, as well as the answers she provided us to answer, are questions one doesn't actually talk about that often. Not even with your friends. Really, think about it - when was the last time a friend of your asked you what are you most proud of in your life? 

To give you a better context into my life and who I am, I am 23 years of age, was born and raised in Portugal, I collect books and mugs, and happen to eat more chocolate than I probably should. I have a Tourism Information BA degree, which is basically a fancy way of saying I speak far too many languages and am too much of a nerd to do anything else other than study my own country and other cultures. 

If I had to be in a Hogwarts house, Pottermore claims I'd be in Slytherin. This isn't to say I'm cunning or would be what many know as 'Death Eater'. I honestly just think this has alot to do with the fact that I'm a Scorpio: I'm a sweetheart at heart really, but I have to admit I never trust too easily and rely more on myself than other people because of that.

I also just signed up on Tinder last week, which has alot to do with how hilarious Vix's stories have been for the past couple of weeks. I just thought, why not? Safe to say I wasn't as ready as I thought and I'm constantly print screening things and sending them out to my friends. 

When I'm not blogging or writing, I'm probably reading or going to the gym. Both relax me and increase my capacity of being able to handle certain things in my life I'm not entirely comfortable with. 

I like to be inspired as much as I like to inspire. But let's get on with, shall we?



Rules associated with the Liebster Award:


1. Thank the person who nominated you and post a link to their blog in your post.
2. Show the award on your blog or in your post.
3. Answer the 11 questions asked by the person who nominated you.
4. Write 11 random facts about yourself.
5. Nominate 5 -11 bloggers that you feel deserve the award.
6. Create a list of new questions for your nominees to answer.
7. Once your blog is published, let your nominees know that they have been nominated and link them to your post for more details.

Who am I?


1. What song/album do you currently have on repeat? // This past week I've had Charles & Eddit "Would I lie to you?" song on repeat. I'm currently listening to it and getting distracted every few seconds because I'm singing to it.

2. What are you wearing right now? //  Zara Body Curve Jeggings, black fitted turtle neck shirt and a working out hoodie on top because it's so cold in my house.

3. If you could only wear one make up brand, what would that brand be? // This is quite a hard question to answer because I don't feel I've tried alot of brands, or atleast as many as I should to be able to claim I'd wear that and only that for the rest of my life. Maybe Estée Lauder. Maybe Laura Mercier too. This is hard.

4. What was the last dream you remember? // I kid you not, I don't actually remember my dreams as often as I wish, but it was probably something Harry Potter related.

5. What are you allergic to/dislike eating? // This is quite a boring answer but I'm not actually allergic to anything that I know of, and if I had to say I dislike eating anything, I'd have to say I'm not the biggest fan of eating Rabbit meat. I don't like the smell, or even just thinking about anyone close to me eating it.

6. What is your dream job? Are you living it? // As difficult as it is for me to say this, I don't think I've yet discovered what my dream job might be. Especially because I love a variety of things. If anything, I'd love to do something that involves being a Tourism Critic, because I get to travel, write and give my opinion on different matters. But I'd also love turning this blog into a job as I absolute adore giving everything I have into it.

7. Where would you like to travel next? // My dream country is England. I'd love to visit London - I often joke around that I was born in the wrong country even though I love mine to bits. But I've also been thinking that I want to do an interrail before I turn 25, which basically means I'd love to be travelling around Europe for a whole month without having to worry about anything other than seeing, experiencing and living.

8. What's your current favourite perfume? // Recently I discovered that my mother used to wear the same perfume I've been using for a few years now. It was pure coincidence, and I don't remember who told me, but it's made me want to hold onto it even more. I'm talking about Amor Amor and I love the whole scent - it was a discovery for me and it's one I consider to be my scent.

9. Are you an apple/samsung/nokia ect? // I'm Apple all the way. Seriously, I bond with people over their Iphones or Mac books and I mean it when I say I'm not going to change brands anytime soon.

10. What book are you currently reading? // 1984 by George Orwell.

11. What are you watching on Netflix/Youtube? // At the moment I haven't been watching either of them as much as I wish because I haven't had time. I don't have Netflix (What a shocker I know) because I can't justify spending that much money when I find everything for free online, but I'm anxious for Blindspot to come back. And if or when I do have time, I've been watching alot of 1Million Dance Studio videos, and whatever is on my subscription box on youtube (I follow 388 accounts so it's never the same).

12. Coffee or Tea? Cola or Pepsi? Chocolate or Strawberry? //  Coffee and Tea (I drink both everyday). Neither, I only drink water or squeezed juicies. Chocolate all the way, I'm addicted.

13. What do you look for in a person? // Relationship wise I'm looking for a friend. I'm looking for someone who makes me love who I am further, someone who allows me to be myself. I'm just looking for someone who allows me to make them as happy as they make me.

14. How has blogging changed you as a person? // It's made me appreciate who I am more, and shown me a side of myself I hadn't discovered yet. It's also helped me alot with my confidence, which is something I'd been trying to work on for a while. It helped me make that step, and realize/put to work my true passion.

15. Are you a listener or a talker? Introvert or Extrovert? // I'm all of those in one. Does that make sense? I like to listen to what other people have to say because I like to be listened when I talk too. Plus, I just like paying attention and making other people feel welcome and happy. Also, I'm shy when I first meet people, but then I make a U-turn and end up being too loud and too happy and talk too much.

Who am I nominating?


Cate at Catesbliss;
Olivia at OliviaCheryl;
Anne at Annesmiles;
Stella at Looksandtravels;
Pam at PamScalfi;


My questions 


1. What do you think makes your blog special?
2. How long did it take you to muster the courage to start a blog?
3. Have you ever been somewhere that did not live up to your expectations?
4. What's one thing on your "To-do before (...)"?
5. How would you define yourself in 5 words?
6. If you could learn another language what would it be and why?
7. What book has had the biggest impact on you?
8. If you had to pick one Marauder to be friends with, who would it be and why? If you haven't read Harry Potter and have no idea what this means, what book have you been meaning to read for a while, and haven't as of yet?
9. What is a quote you go by?
10. What makes you smile when you're having a bad day?
11. What's your favourite dessert?

Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.
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Monday, 22 February 2016

Look of the Day // Body Curve Zara Jeggings


It's pretty easy to get lost in the world of fashion when you always find something you love and you weren't even looking for it in the first place.

I think one of the biggest issues girls have is finding the perfect pair of basic jeans when there are so many options: colored, moto, paneled, ripped, among others. Then there's the whole situation where you think you found the perfect pair, you try them on and it either looks pretty lose on your stomach, and too tight on your legs, or the other way around - seriously, am I the only one who has these issues?

I mean, there's always things you should take into consideration when buying a good pair of jeans: will they fit? Will they be flattering on your body (most importantly, your ass)? Are they comfortable enough? How will you style them once you purchase a pair? Is it worth the money?

Funnily enough, these pretty much fit into all the characteristics I'm looking for in jeans. Leave it to Zara to somehow always work up the the most beautiful items. Yeah, they've always been one of my favourite clothing brands: they're always on trend, and the quality is over the top. The only issue I have with them is how expensive they truly are. But really, everytime I walk into one of their stores, I instantly find something I'll become obsessed with until I can buy it for myself. And these? They were worth every penny.

They are known as the 'Body Curve Jeggings' (£22.99), and you might have seen them in previous posts: LOF Casual or LOD Last Minute Date Night (in a different colour). But I didn't think I had shown them enough love, so I decided to feature them once again.


I remember the first time I went into a Zara store, me being more on the chubby side, I was completely amazed at everything, and worried nothing was going to fit me. To this day, that still plays a big part of wether or not I'm going to give in into trying out their jeans to see if they fit as well as I wish they did. I'm always worried they're not going to fit correctly. But they (almost) always do.

Sometime around last year, my bestfriend (she has a blog too, go check her out) bought a pair from their 'Body Curve' line for herself, and I remember loving the way they fit onto her body. how comfortable they looked and how soft to the touch they were. The thought of needing to buy them for myself was stuck into my head until I completely gave in and told my family I need a few pairs for my birthday.

I know what you're thinking "Wait, she's talking about jeans and yet these are called jeggings". If I'm pretty honest with you. I don't notice any difference between these particular jeggings and jeans. They feel like jeans, fit like jeans, and look like jeans.

If it looks like a duck, quacks like a duck, then it's a duck. Right?

Pretty much everything I thought was correct. Anything goes with these, and you can pair them with anything depending on how you're feeling or on the occasion. Here I paired them with a basic black turtle neck (similar here), as well as a Zara green jacket (similar here). Being high waisted is another plus as it helps accentuate the best part of your body (personally, it's what I love most). They're also super skinny fit, and have a good amount of stretch which fits your body shape and stick to it like no other jeans (yeah, yeah - jeggings) I've ever worn. I think they're pretty much perfect for all year round. 

Seriously - you've probably already noticed I haven't stopped wearing them since I first got them last year on my birthday. When I truly buy something I love, I have the tendency to over wear until they're not wearable anymore - and this works beauty wise as well. There's no need in spending money when you're not certain if it's something you're going to use in the first place. I'm also pretty certain that I don't own anything else as comfortable as these.

I think need more pairs of these. Just because.




Have you ever tried these out? What are your favourite pair of jeans to wear on a daily basis?

Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.
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Friday, 19 February 2016

Kiko Cosmetics // Crystal Sheer and Luscious Cream Lipsticks Review





Kiko has been a brand I've been raving about since, I'm sure, I started this blog. Truthfully, it's not a brand I've explored in depth - being obsessed with their lipsticks, it's the first thing I look for when I go into one of their stores, and then I have the tendency to lose myself. Nonetheless, everything I've tried so far I always end up falling in love with. 

Incase you're not yet aware, this italian company was founded in 1997 and their main purpose is to allow all beauty lovers to treat themselves to whatever they please, without having to worry how long they're (I say they, I mean me) going to have to save money for to be able to buy that gorgeous palette they've had their eyes set on for a while. One of the main things I love about Kiko, is how much it showcases the fact that you don't need to sell an arm to have good quality products. This is not to say everything is perfect - far from it. We all know how there's always a disappointing product, and how that goes for every brand out there.

Seriously, I'm starting to believe Kiko cannot create a lipstick I won't become obsessed with. Their formulas, pigmentation and colours are perfect and exactly what I'm always looking for. Even if I go into the store looking for something else.

As pink and red have been my shades for these past months, and are probably going to continue on being so throughout the summer, these had to be the colours I bought last time I was in. It seems as everytime I review a product, do a make up post, or comment on any of your blog posts, I always claim to have a certain favourite lipstick. And they're always different. And always from Kiko. 

I've always said I'm not an expert when it comes to make up, but I've always been a lipstick kind of girl. Even if before venturing into this world, I only did so at home. I've tried alot of brands, alot of different formulas, and I find that these particular lipsticks always make my lips feel entirely smooth and beautiful.


// From left to right, we have the Crystal Sheer Lipstick in 409 (Dark Pink Flamingo), in 414 (Mauve), 417 (Pink Flamingo) and Luscious Cream Lipstick in 509 (Sensual red) //

I picked them up for different reasons, but especially because I instantly fell in love with the glossiness of the formula when I tried it on. As well as the packaging. I mean, yeah, it took me a good minute to understand how they work (the top pops down to open), but it's also what differs them from other lipsticks from the same range (that I'm aware of).

Additionally, they keep my lips moisturized, even on those days where I forget to apply a balm beforehand. The formula is not particularly long lasting, but it stayed on for about 4 hours after I applied (Alot of swipes. I went full out with all of them), but the texture is quite smooth and feels very comfortable on the lips. Not to mention they look even better on the lips than they do on their own. 

Don't get me wrong, they sit between a balm, gloss, stain and lipstick. But that has alot to do how you apply it, and how much you apply. Seriously, they're not called 'matte' for a reason. 

The first in the colour 409, I fell in love with after one use: what I like about this lipstick is how natural sheer-like my lips look after applying just a tiny amount. You can basically go from a bit of colour on the lips, to very pigmented in a matter of seconds. It depends on how comfortable you are with wearing certain shades. Being that 414 is a very dark burgandy type of lipstick, it's also very buildable, and the one I'd suggest if you're undecided on wether or not you can rock a red lipstick. Only because it's not a bright red lipstick at all, and you can either wear this with a single swipe, or build up the opacity once you feel more comfortable wearing brighter colours on. Another blessing for dry lips and brighter lipsticks, is the colour 417, but I won't go much into it - you already know that it was calling my name before I even opened to check if it was as pink as I thought. 509 *** - I already owned a matte bight red lipstick from Kiko, but matte isn't always my go-to on the days I'm feeling more lazy, so I thought to myself "one more red lipstick won't hurt". And I don't regret one single thing.

*** If you're wondering how this looks on this lips, I did a makeup look on it for Valentine's Day






// From left to right 509, 414, 417 and 409 //

Have you ever tried any of these lipsticks? Or tried any Kiko ones at all? What are your favourites?

Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.
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Wednesday, 17 February 2016

A Purifying and Mattifying Mask that actually works // Sephora Mud Mask Review


I'm an enthusiast when it comes to proper skincare and out of all different face masks that exist, mud masks have to be my absolute favourite. When I got this as a Christmas present last year, I was over the moon as I had always heard this was considered a Glam Glow Tingle Exfoliate Mud Mask dupe - and honestly, as much as I want to try it out, the downside of it is the price tag that comes attached. 

I know I'm not the only one who is more than happy to combine both efficiency, affordability or quality in just one product. And for a drugstore item, let me tell you that the quality is over the top, essentially because it's a mask that has a bit of an oomph to it. I don't know how to explain it other than its luxury look and luxury feel, makes all the difference from others I've tried previously. 

Basically, if you want to compare both, the Sephora mask is at least 4 times less the price and you get quite alot of product (nearly 2 ounces). Its texture is heavy, thick, gray (although it does look kinda blue when it dries) and slightly chunky. It dries off faster than most face products as well, and the only thing I have to say that I know other people won't like, is its smell. It reminds me of a spa like smell, with a medicinal touch to it. The packaging? Beautiful.



I know you're probably thinking: "okay, but I'm not going to buy a product just because it looks luxurious". I get what you mean - I usually don't as well. I prefer quality over 'prettiness', but I also am aware that packaging plays an important factor when someone is wondering wether or not it should be bought.

First - it contains copper and zinc, and that by itself should be a plus in your book. They are both known for their healing and drying properties as they are the kind of ingredients that don't make your skin feel or look completely dried out and stripped of the essentials oils on the face. Because it is a 'mud mask', it's quite gentle and claims to help you by removing its impurities, unclogging your pores and reducing the appearance of blemishes. 

The question is, does it do exactly that? My answer to you is mostly, yeah. For me, it gives me more of a mild cleanse than anything else, but that's because my skin has a life of its own. After using it once, I instantly saw a big difference in the redness of my face and it felt silky smooth. I think this has alot to do with the fact that this mask relies on pure kaolin and china clay that help with that. Also, compared to other face masks - it doesn't cause me to break out afterwards.

My T-zone has the tendency to get more oily, and although I'm aware that this should be used on people with rather dry skin, I won't stop using it as it did wonders for me. It's certainly perfect for a middle of the week usage, and has become a staple for me.

I have to say though, if you want to use this to 100%, use it after you completely 'open' your pores - try going old school and steaming your face with a stainless steel bowl with hot water, and put a towel over your head. You'll see a really big difference. 

There's something that needs to be said: I weirdly felt like I was in a spa when I put it on - but I do blame that on the fact that when I first opened it, the smell reminded me of a spa, so the mind could have played me  and I wouldn't have known. 



Have you ever tried this mask? Do you see a big difference on your face when you do? If not, what's a face mask you can't ever part ways with? Let me know what you think in the comments. 

Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.
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Monday, 15 February 2016

10 Blog Organization Tips


You know those days when you're trying to chose an outfit, or you just got home and you're so tired that you throw your clothes everywhere, and when you put them away you realize there are more things on the floor than you remembered? I think this is also how every blogger feels when they have so much to do and so little time to do it. Atleast I know that's how I feel.

I was recently in a chat (@fashbeautylife) where the subject was blogging tips as well as how one organizes their life within their blog. That's when I realized I'm not the only one who struggles with keeping everything in check, doing everything on time and still being able to handle everything else in their life.

There was a common theme: "I need to get better at" or "Still trying to figure out how to do this".

With blogging becoming more and more of a content marketing activity, it's really important to have it working efficiently, in order to keep producing work, and seeing a result out of it. Truth is, many bloggers struggle with being able to do everything at once. Additionally, being organized really isn't as easy as it looks. Sometimes, even to do lists get muddled, messy and overwhelming. 

I imagine those who don't own a blog think all a blogger does is put up posts whenever they want, and everything else magically appears. Except that's not exactly how it works: the more you blog, the more you have to do and the more you need to plan. 

Going back to the beginning: having a cluttered bedroom is alot like having a cluttered blog life. There's always something to do and when you think you've finished, turns out there are still a million things to be done. Be that replying to comments, taking blog photos, reading other blogs, participating in chats, being active on Pinterest as well as on every other social media. Let's not forget: conneting with fellow bloggers, writing blog posts, checking for spelling mistakes. And most important of it all: living.

Just like your personal life, your blog will run much more smoothly if you declutter the mess and get organized.

         How I stay organized:         


#1 A Good Filing System // An organized filing system means your documents are in a safe place and you're able to find what you're looking for quite easily and faster than if you had to go searching everywhere. Look at it this way: filed documents are key for being pratical. It basically allows you to be precise, methodical and efficient. And it saves many a moon.

Bare in mind that the way I file might not be what works for you. Here's how my blogging files look like:
  • Blog // Ella Pinto
    • 2015 (the same as 2016)
    • 2016
      • Blog Posts (PDF Documents on those posted, Word on those I'm still editing)
      • Blog Stock Photos (Photos I took but didn't use)
      • Featured Images (Photos that I used on posts)
      • Others (Research, random things)
  • More Photos (See the picture below)
  • 2016 Planner
  • To-do Lists (I have a shortcut to OneNote)


#2 Carrying a notebook everywhere // If you're anything like me, at the worst times is when you have your best ideas and you always end up forgetting them a few hours later. Carrying a notebook will help you in ways you can't even imagine.

Ever since I started, it's made my life much easier: I have somewhere to write what comes to mind at the most random times. Basically I write whatever I want, and then when I get home I'm able to organize all of my thoughts and process everything more efficiently. Be that to-do lists, topic ideas, personal experiences, thoughts from each day. As everything is in one place, things are easier accessed and run smoother.

Everytime I think about something I want to do in the future, I write it down. It's also all unified, and allows me look back and compare notes when everything is all in one place. Moreover, it helps me remember things more easily when they're written down.

#3 Create a system to organize your own ideas // "What do you mean a system?", "What makes a good system?", "This already sounds like too much work when I'm trying to find something simple". Systems are quite tricky if you come to think about it. I mean, everyone works differently and has ideas at different times. Basically, no one works the same.

I'm also aware everyone has a different definition of organization. Only one thought comes to mind: "It's organized within my own mess" and not everone understands. Really, a solution is more of a possibility than it is a rule exactly because of this. 

The thing is, you'll find your own system by finding out what works best for you and through errors.

Basically, I write alot of random ideas on papers, notepads, then I organize my thoughts and transfer those to a notebook. When I'm planning blog posts, I go back and it makes my life much easier. When it comes to writing, because I've already written down what I want to mention (bullet points are so important), everything else comes to mind much easier.

#4 Plan week by week // Seriously, this takes me about 5 to 10 minutes. Every other day, I like to sit down and plan what I'm going to do the upcoming week blogging wise. While I plan what I'm posting on the blog two weeks ahead, sometimes things change and I only know if I have any other plans the week before. Truth be told I often already know what I'm posting weeks in advance, but I'm able to move the goods around if any other ideas turned up, or these are most suited for another day because everything is basically, already planned. (I try to do this every Saturday).

#5 A calendar // I do that by writing everything down on the Microsoft Office Outlook Calendar. I jot down everything: yellow is for blog posts, blue is work, green is "fun times" (things planned), purple is blog related work, red are chats on Twitter, and orange is gym time.

I usually participate in more chats over the week, but I don't think I was able to that particular week, but if you want to know which ones I go for the most, just let me know.

This is how the first week of February was for me:



#6 A Checklist for each blog post // Why is this so effective? Because if you can just jump into whatever you need to do as opposed to wasting time thinking what you've already done, checked, or written, the process can be accelarated. Let's face it: there's always something you forget. So, this allows you to use your energy on something else.
How do you figure out your own checklist, you may ask. This is how mine basically looks:

  • Blog Title
    • Category (so you know which labels you'll be posting it under)
    • Bullet Points (things you want to make sure are mentioned)
    • Draft (I always write one previous to going really into it another day)
    • Research (If you need it)
    • Post Itself
    • Photos Taken
      • Featured Images
    • Question(s) for the end of the post
    • Links (throughout the whole post)
    • Social Media Links 
    • Spell Check
    • Scheduled
    • Final Spel Checking

#7 Scheduling ahead of time // Wether you're on blogger or wordpress, you have the option to schedule your posts. I have to be honest and say that I only figured out how to do this maybe, last week. As I do alot of spell checks, I only do this the day before. But that makes life much easier because you can schedule how many days or weeks in advance as you wish.

Know what else you can schedule ahead of time? Social media. You can about schedule whatever you want whenever you want. And let's be honest, social media management plays a really impotant key in blogging and helps drive traffic to your blog. My favourite has to be Hootsuite, because you can use it for almost anything. I use it for twitter only, but that's me. 

#8 Make reasonable to-do lists // These can be pretty life savers: like when something turns up that you can't walk away from, and when you come back and you don't remember what you had left to do because you're so stressed out.  

Admitedly, my to-do lists are crazy. But like I said before, not everyone works the same. And maybe 'reasonable' has a different meaning to me as it basically just means 'don't go too crazy Ella'. I always have two: one on my notepad, for things to do throughout the day (the crazy one), and one on the computer of the most important points.

My advice is to try and write down what's most important you do on this list. Then, for an hour or two, don't listen to any music**, or TV, and keep your phone away and just do it. Without realizing, you're going to end up being more productive than you thought you would. 

** When I listen to music, I often get distracted pulling out dance moves and choreographing in my head (I can't dance), hence why I mention this one. Come on, I'm not the only one, am I?

This is how mine generally looks (I used to do it on Excel until I found OneNote last week):



#9 Prioritize // I know this is a hard one, but any part of knowing what you have to do, and actually doing it, has to do with the commitment you give to certain priorities of yours. Do regular 'check ups' on things you've done to make sure you didn't rush anything. Personally, I always do what I find most difficult first, so that I don't leave everything to the last minute because 'it's too hard' or 'I don't know how'. When it's done, it's done.

#10 Set out goals // I think this has to be the most important one out of the bunch. If you don't know where you want to take your blog (or your life really) then how can you know what to do with it? Determine where you see yourself in 6 months, a year. Figure out what you really want out of this. And when you reach that goal, you set another one. But be realistic.

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What are your best tips for having an organized blog? Is this something you're able to do, or do you find everrything is often a mess? Anything on here you do?

Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.
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Friday, 12 February 2016

Look of the Day // Last Minute Date Night (Staples)



Chosing an outfit can be a hassle. Furthermore when they're last minute and you're freaking out thinking you have nothing left in your closet to wear. Wether you've been married for 5 or 10 years, you're celebrating an event, you just started seeing someone new, or you're going out with your group of friends, you will freak out. End of story.

Alright, it's not really the end of it, but we all know how annoying it is to have about ten outfits you love and when time rolls around, nothing looks like you expected it to look. You're starting to lose confidence in yourself, and wondering if you really should go. Honestly, getting dressed for a day or a night out is a challenge in itself. And trying to look like you're not trying too hard can be strenuous and troublesome. This happened to me last week, so I figured, why not make a post on this?

At times like these, you don't have much time to chose what you want to wear, or to go out and buy anything at all, which is where staples come into play. I have a really bad habit of wearing what I love most, instead of going back to an item I've only worn once or twice. I'm aware that confidence is the sexiest outfit you can wear on a date night - no matter who you're with. Which is probably why I do it in the first place.

If it's last minute, chances are you don't have something new to rock on.



Dates: I've never been much of a dater, but I'm pretty certain they're not about only wearing dresses, that might be bodycon or more on the loose side (ok, a dress is what I first put on but I hated seeing me with it, which is when I went into the whole 'I have nothing to put on' phase), or having alot of skin on show, or even about looking nothing like yourself. It's about what makes you feel good, and about being and feeling comfortable in yourself and what you're wearing. 

There's alot of things that should be taken into consideration when you're getting ready for a night out. For example, are you going to the movies? A fancy restaurant? A pub? A group date? Or is it a surprise? Whatever style it is, and whatever season you're in, it's probably an evening you want to remember for days to come.

This was a group friends type of date, nothing out of the ordinary, but something I wanted to still look good for.

This is what I went with:


#1 I have my beloved Zara Body Curve Five Pocket Jeggings, that are the most comfortable and pretty pair of pants I've ever owned, and honestly - they make my ass look incredible (not pictured because well, I wasn't gonna do that). I chose these instead of the classic coloured jeans because I thought they would match with my lipstick, and go well with black.

#2 Although it is winter, and it was a bit cold, I decided to put on one of my favourite tops (Similar here: (1)), because it makes me feel fun, and flirty, but still maintains a touch of classy look to it.

#3 Then there's the famous Tiffosi Jacket. I mean, it's been my go-to in this really undecisive weather. I feel like it's all I've been wearing - but I promise you I own more coats/jackets.

#4 I've never been much of a heels type of girl. I mean, I like heels, but to be fair I have pretty big feet for a short girl - which means not everything looks good on my feet. Last year, I couldn't resist the chelsea heeled boots trend, so whilst in Primark, I saw these and went for it. They were my first pair of this kind, and while I'll be replacing them soon, they'll always be a bit special (I'm sentimental, I know). They were also in sales and cost me about 6€. Bargain.

#5 We all know how much I've been trying to change the fact that I carry too much inside a bag. Things I don't need, things I forget that I have, but things I can't seem to get rid of because "I might need them". So I've been trying to go for the whole small bag type of thing, and went for a Mango bag that I bought last year. Here are similar ones to it: (1) (2) one, that I bought last year.

#6 I have a pretty crafty grandmother, and she made me this necklace to take to a wedding last year and I haven't parted ways with it ever since. Absolutely in love with it.



What are your go to staples when you have a last minute date and you think you have nothing to wear? Has this ever happened to you, or is it only with me?

Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.
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Wednesday, 10 February 2016

How to get over being single on Valentine's Day


This is the time of the year where love is in the air. Being single doesn't mean you need to find this week or this month, depressing. Honestly, having been single on every Valentine's Day means that I'm pretty used to it by now, so it's pretty much like any other day for me.

I mean, ok, I am going to buy my favourite chocolate (M&M's incase you were wondering). I am using this as an excuse to eat as much as I want. For being my favourite chocolate, I haven't actually any in a while. Anyway, I truly believe that we shouldn't wait all year around to spread the love. Love is a great thing. Love brings positivity. And positivity is a step closer to being happy.

I do understand that it's hard to see what everyone has to offer someone else, and to see what other people are doing on such a romantic day, and being bombarded with romantic comedies (or dramas) on TV, and "what you should buy for your loved one on Valentine's Day" posts and the never ending advertisements basically, everywhere.

Believe me when I say, there are many things you can do - just celebrate in in your own way. Make it your day, do whatever you want. Be like me and stay at home watching movies and munching on alot of M&M's, or go out with your friends and do something you enjoy. 


Here's what you can do:

#1 Get some perspective. Honestly. Just because you're single, doesn't mean you're going to be alone for the rest of your life. Just as alone, doesn't mean you're lonely. Not everyone that actually has a date and something planned for the big old 14th of February is happy. 

#2 Remember why being single is a good thing. You don't have to make any compromises to anyone, and as hard as it may be at times, you get to chose what you do and when you do it without needing to explain why or how to anyone. Seriously, what's better than you time? Go on a you date. Reconnect with yourself.

#3 Treat yourself.  If you're actually sad about the fact that you don't have anything special planned, it's pretty easy to find a solution. Actually plan something. Pamper yourself. Gather up whoever else is single in your life and go to the movies, buy your favourite food, stay at home and read a book, plan a spa day with family or friends. Have a foodie night. Go out to see a new play, a new comedy or a drama if that's what you're into. Cook for yourself and spend time on you. Use your favourite ingredients, and dance around in the kitchen to that song you're loving so much. Get your nails done. Do stuff that matters and is most important for you. 

Make yourself feel special because guess what? You are special. And beautiful. Who says you need someone else to feel like this?

#4 Dress to impress. Not for anyone else, but for yourself. Just feel good. If you need, challenge yourself and go out to a bar and chat someone up. Meet new people. Personally, bars aren't really my scene. And I'm a bit shy when it comes to chatting people up first, but not everyone is like me. So take a chance for yourself, there's nothing better than believing you can. 

#5 Remember how much money you're saving with this. There's not much to this. Seriously, I know giving someone you love, something they love, is the best feeling ever. But we all know that saving money feels pretty good at the end of the month. Save up to go on a trip later on. Or to buy that palette you've been wanting for so long.

#6 Challenge yourself. Do something you've always wanted to do, but have been afraid to for a while. Personally, the first I'd do would be Sky diving. That's on my top list of things to do before I die. Who knows, maybe I will. 

Volunteering is also something I'd suggest - soup kitchen, food banks, pet shelters, anything really. I'm not saying "only do this on this particular day", but all year around. Spreading this kind of positivity and love on people who need it the most will make you much happier and fullfilled than you think. Volunteer and try to change someone's else life, as opposed to obsessing wether or not you have someone to make out with. Some people spend most of the year alone, and this is a scary thought in itself.

#7 Appreciate your life. Find yourself. Be productive. Turn your phone off, get off social media, take some time off.

#8 Share the love. Fall in love. Tell the people you love, that you love them. Show love to the important people in your life. Don't spend time on the people you don't actually feel anything for, because that will be time you will never get back. And fall in love with everything surrounding you. Pick out a new hobby, find a new passion. Love is great.

#9 If everything else fails, turn to Netflix. I get the whole 'Netflix and chill' is much better if you have someone else to share that experience with. But really, Netflix by itself is good experience anyway. 

#10 You got 99 problems, and stressing about romantic gestures ain't one of them.

Do you have anything planned? Are you celebrating love with someone you love, or by loving yourself on your own? Let me know what you're doing, maybe we can chat on twitter about how fun it is to be single.

Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.
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Monday, 8 February 2016

If I could only try 7 brands in 2016 // Beauty

Seeing as I don't have as much makeup in my stash as one would think, I thought it was the perfect time to lavish and give some attention to a few products I have had my eyes on for a while. I was actually tempted to do a 'Wishlist' type of post on every product I want to try in 2016, when I realized that it would have ended up being far too long, and no one would actually read it til the end. We all know how much I like to babble.

If you asked me if the ones I'm about to mention are the only ones I want to try, I would immediately tell you that no, they aren't. But as it is, there are quite specific products that I want to try from very specific brands. I was surprised by how one of everything this is.

I thought to myself - "If I could only really try 7 brands this year, which ones would I pick?". It was actually harder to pick than I thought.

Individually, these are items I've read on quite alot, and know for certain they'll allow me to step out of my comfort zone. It's also a perfect excuse for me to pamper myself - and I know you're probably going "What? You haven't tried this brand yet? What kind of beauty blogger are you?". Don't worry, the itch to try new products is here and I'm very much getting better at discovering new brands and trying out new looks.

Also - I think they'd look perfectly on my very tiny (but lovely) makeup collection.



// TARTE // 

I've always wanted to own a Tarte cosmetic, and I've been itching to get my hands on a few of their products for a while now. Not having had the chance to do it yet, I'm not worried, because I know exactly what I'm going to buy when given the chance.

Applying makeup with the correct tools is just as important as the makeup itself - I'd love to try the Tarte Powder Brush (£26) as well as either the Smooth Operator Amazonian Clay Pressed Finishing Powder (£24) or the Amazonian Clay Full Coverage Airbrush Foundation Powder (£25)- one to use with the other, because why not?

The Amazonian Clay 12 Hour Blush (£21) has also been one of their most talked about products, well, simply everywhere. Having read everywhere how pigmented these are - and having seen the packaging (they match the colour of the blush itself, like, how?), they already have me at the palm of their hands without having to do much work.

Then, let's not forget the Gifted Amazonian Clay Mascara (£17) - I'm completely sold, and I don't even know how this happened.



// CHARLOTTE TILBURY //  

How I've not yet tried anything by Charlotte Tilbury is beyond me. It's no secret that Charlotte Tilbury knows what she's doing. It feels like anywhere in the blogging world, there's always someone with a CT product in their daily routine.

There are several products of them I'd like to try, such as the Light Wonder Foundation SPF 15 (£32), having read over and over again that this brings a special glow to your face and looks natural throughout the whole day, as opposed to having to retouch every few hours. I'd also have to say that I'd absolutely love to try the Filmstar Bronze & Glow Palette (£49), a palette that will allow me to get more of a natural definition on my face. And last but not least, The Uptown Girl Luxury Eyeshadow Quad (£38).

Then of course, there's the K.I.S.S.I.N.G Lipsticks (£23 each, £220 the whole box) , and I'm not certain if it's because they look absolutely delicious on the lips, or because of the rose gold plastic packaging. I mean, I don't think I can resist them. Plus, from all I've read - they seem to be very creamy and hydrating on the lips.



// LAURA MERCIER // 

Can you blame bloggers for going absolutely crazy with this brand? I know alot of you have already probably tried products from Laura Mercier, but I couldn't just not mention it, when all I think about is trying anything and everything by her.

First on list would have to be the Secret Camouflage Concealer (£27.50). Second would must likely end up being the Oil Free Tinted Moisturizer (£34), which claims to smoothe our the skin and reduce the redness, while still hydrating it.

One of the latest beauty finds was the Foundation Primer (£29) - I've noticed that it's on alot of Holy Grail lists on beauty blogs. Alot of people claim it feels like silk on the skin, helps to make the foundation last longer, and helps cover some blemishes and redness. What else can I ask for on a primer? I cannot wait to get my hands on this. Seriously, I'm getting tingles just thinking about it. 

Let's also not forget the Flawless Contouring Palette (£35) - I feel like this palette was designed to work on all types of skin tones, enhacing the natural look of your cheekbones, rather than mask them or make you look like a major countouring fail. Its creamy texture makes me think that they're best applied with a brush, to make them more blendable than if you used your own hands.



// ORIGINS // 

I know this this a massive blogger favourite, and probably something everyone already incorporates onto their daily routine. After reading so much on their moisturizers, and masks, and serums, and basically, everything, I think it's safe to say I'm become slowly addicted to reading on it.

Without wanting to go into too much detail, there are quite a few products I wouldn't mind introducting to my daily routine. Among those products are the GinZing Refreshing Eye Cream (£20) - I seriously need a massive eye treatment as I feel that I'm lacking in this department, so this is the one I'd go and will go to first when possible. The Mega Mushroom Skin Relief Face Serum (£62), the Origins Clear Improvement Mask (£23) and last but not certainly not least, the Origins Super Spot Remover Blemish Treatment Gel (£15) - I am absolutely dying to get my hands on since I first read about it.

I'm usualy skeptical when it comes to skincare because I've honestly tried so many products over the years and most of them end up not working as well as I hope they do, but I want to try every product by Origins. I won't rest until I do.



// ANASTASIA // 

As most of you may know, I don't have my eyebrow game on fleek. I usually wear (is that a term when it comes to eyebrows?) them pretty naturally, using the Gimme Brow by Benefit, and while I'm okay with that because that's how I feel most comfortable, I'd like to up my game. I'd like to be better and progress. And we all know that Anastasia Berverly Hills is the Queen of eyebrow makeup, do we not?

Obviously, the product on my to-buy list would have to be the Brow Wiz (£15.50) - the pencil that made waves and became one of the best selling products of all time. It was a changing twist in the makeup world, and I can't believe that I still haven't had the guts to buy it and try it out. I might scream 'Hellellujah' when I do. Then I might spend too much time in my room by myself just playing with it.

I mean, practice makes perfect, right?  



// NARS // 

As a blogger does, I was delving in the blogging world, when I came across a review of the Pro Prime Smudge Proof Eyeshadow Base (£19.50). I feel that this is quite a favourite amongst the makeup world - personally, I have quite oily eyelids and I've read that this is the perfect primer for people like me.

Just when I thought I'd have enough lipsticks and lipglosses, I come across the Matte Lip Pencils (£19), and for someone that loves red and pinks as much as I do, I feel that the shades Square and Cruella would be the perfect ones. The fact that their formula speaks out as very long lasting, despite the fact that they're quite matte, worked its way into my heart.

I don't know how long I can go without these in my bag. So they're available at hand whenever I please.



// ZOEVA // 

I basically want every brush available by Zoeva. I know there are quite alot of brushes brands, and I've always been indecisive and torn between Real Techniques and this one, and while I want both, the first that always comes to mind is Zoeva.

I know it's a thing for certain products to become quite popular, and when you buy them, it turns out that they're not exactly what you expected them to be, but the fact that they have reasonable pricing and a wide variety of brushes and brush shapes, has me at "Zoooo". Also, every review, such as Lauren's, is in favour of them.

If I had to buy any, I think I'd go for the Rose Golden Luxury Set (£59) and the Rose Golden Complete Eye Set (£59) for how pretty they are. Too cute not to.

_______________________________


Are there any new beands you're hoping to try this year? What would you recommend I add to my list? Would love to hear your guys's suggestions.


Ella x

Don't forget to check me out on my social media my loves.
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