Friday, 31 January 2014

The New Year Project : Reflection


So this is it, my final New Year Project post. I actually completed the challenge, yay! I would like to thank the lovely Toni from One Chocolate Box for coming up with this brilliant idea and being so amazing to all the participants throughout this month. I had so much fun doing this challenge and feel that I have learnt so much from it as well.
The challenge touched a lot on goals and resolutions. It made me think so much more about my resolutions and be some much more motivated to keep going because I had written about some of them and written about failure etc. Hopefully I will be able to continue with my resolutions successfully.
The New Year Project also made me think a lot about happiness. I thought about all the things that make me happy, how I need to take responsibility for my own happiness and so many other things that were really valuable.
This project also allowed me to think a lot about myself with out feeling guilty and self involved. I learnt a lot about what I want to achieve and be proud of, the effect others have on me and my whole outlook on who I want to be, what will help me find it and things that I need to work out in terms of being more comfortable with myself. 
This year, I am looking forward to so many things and dreading others. I am looking forward to achieving goals and learning new things about myself. However I am dreading the new level stress that exams is introducing into my life. I am also looking forward to many amazing adventures that I plan on having this year and I hope to do many things that will go outside my comfort zone.
What are you looking forward to for the rest of the year?
<3 Ellen xxx

Thursday, 30 January 2014

The New Year Project : Dear Future Child.....

Dear future child,
I don't know much about happiness. I know how it feels when you are happy, and how it feels when you are not but there is not too much that I know after that. I have worked out that happiness ca. Be quite subjective. There will be times that you feel like you are the happiest that you can ever be, but then something else happens that makes you happier; the same goes for not being happy as well.
I have also come to learn that the things you do, the way you feel and your outlook on life affects your happiness and even though loved ones make you happy, in the end it's down to you.
I have also learned that if you look for happiness too hard than it stops you from living life, which is the thing that most likely does make you happy. As much as it is good to surround yourselves with postivity and inspirational things and think about all the ways to make yourself happier, it is not good to obsess over it. Ironically, that can stop you from being happy. You find the best inspiration when you are not looking for happiness. Your idea of happiness may be different to what it will feel like when you are most happy, so don't focus your life on finding out how to be happy. Focus your life on choosing to be happy, don't think in to it too much. Harry Potter taught me a lot about happiness and love, but when I read it I wasn't searching for that I was just looking for a good story. 
Finally, the most important thing is this:
Don't give up in happiness. 
<3 Ellen xxx

Wednesday, 29 January 2014

The new Year Project : Who brings out the best in me?

I have no idea what my answer to this question is. I know that there are many people who bring out a lot of good in me, but I cannot pinpoint one person who brings out the absolute best in me. I think one this is because I don't know when I am being the best version of myself. There are some people, who may bring out a more outgoing and cheerful side of me, people who bring out a more caring side and there are people who will bring out a will to work hard and achieve my goals; but not, per say someone who brings all these things out to the best of it. And at times, the people who bring out the best in me in some ways, can also bring out the worst. I think instead of looking for that one person who brings out the best, I will spend time with the many different people who bring out aspects of myself that are good qualities and be thankful for that. I am extremely grateful that I have many people who have potential to bring out these qualities and I will take joy in that fact rather than focusing on one person. I am thankful for all these people I have in my life, and hope I bring out good qualities in them as well.
Do you have one person who brings out the best in you, or do you share my opinion?
<3 Ellen xxx

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

The New Year Project : I think I would be better at...if I....

I am constantly comparing myself to other people. I am always aware of how well other people have
done in something/ what they are like and thinking about myself because of them
If they are better than me, I will put myself down. Obviously, this means that I end up doing this a lot, as there will always be someone better than me- someone who is more talented, better personality, prettier, cleverer, or achieves more- which make a my constant over-analysis of other people unhelpful and pointless. I have no clue why I always feel the need to do it, I am not the, I am me. I don't need to care about who everyone else is (in that sense), just worry about who I am because that's what matters.
So to answer the question:  I think that I would be better at being proud of myself and comfortable with who I am if I didn't compare myself to others. 
What would your answer to the question be? 
<3 Ellen 

Monday, 27 January 2014

The New Year Project : Keep Going

Losing track and giving up on resolutions is something that occurs basically every year for me; not this year. Yes,  I know what your thinking, we say that every year but does it ever happen? No. However, this time I am determined to keep going.
 I found this picture on Pinterest and just thought it was so cute and had to include it in my post. I think that it will remind me of everything what I have accomplished so far in terms of my goals and resolutions. It will be so much more fulfilling and beneficiall to keep going, instead of giving up- that would just leave me with disappointment. When I'm losing track of my goals I will remember how amazing it'll feel when I reach the end, when I accomplish what I set out to do. I will think about all the good that will come from it. 
Another thing I will do when I am losing track or beginning to fail at one of my resolutions, is to take a step-back and reevaluate: assess where it is going and how I will go about it. If the way I am managing it is not working, I will try some thing new. Kind of like doing a progress report, refreshing the situation and trying again. I will try not to feel disparaged by the feeling of failure I might come across, but instead persevere.
What are something's you would do if you felt like you were losing track of your resolutions?
<3 Ellen xxx

Sunday, 26 January 2014

Getting Organised

The time has arrived where I have to start revision (ugggghhh), so it meant that today I had a wonderful day of getting all organised and planning out what I need to do. To be honest, I find it all pretty exciting- as sad as it sounds- because the whole idea of notebooks and lists and timetables and fancy bits and bobs feels so satisfying. Does anyone else know what I mean?

(Sorry about the terrible photos, bad lighting and camera) 

Something I absolutley love to use is my planner. It's personalised and so beautiful. Phots on the cover, dates, notepaper and even sudokus. I created it at amd there are so many different ways you can make it your own. It's so brilliant and I am able to put everything I need in it. It is a great place to for all my important dates, to-do lists and homework/blogging things I need to do; it is just great to have it all in one place. I don't think I would be sane without it!

I also have a (life-saving) Pukka Pad project book for my revision. It's a brilliant size: A4 and  a good thickness. This makes it so much easier to write notes etc in, and is not too bad to carry around (as long as you have a good-sized bag) so are so good to revise from. It also has page dividers in so that you can split up your revision and it just makes everything so much easier and better to find what you need. Another thing which is brilliant is that it pockets in it so you can store any sheets and bits that you need. I definitely recommend one! 
This post was a bit random and different. I did sit down intending to write a review on my too-faced eyeshadow collection (I promise I will write that soon), but I just got so excited about being organised and my notebooks that I just ended up writing about this instead. Woops! Anyway I hope you found this maybe slightly useful or you could maybe relate to the excitement of organisation. Hope you all had a good weekend! What are some of the things you like to do to keep organised?
<3 Ellen xxx

Friday, 24 January 2014

The New Year Project : taking charge of your own happiness

I think we forget that ourself is the thing that will make us happy. Obviously, loved ones, jobs and activities can make you happy but those things make you happy because of what you make of them, of how you feel about them. In the end it is all down to you. You are the one who is responsible for making your own happiness. You can't sit around waiting for someone else to do it for you, or waiting for it all to sort itself out because that's not going to happen unless you do something to help it along.
There will be times in your life when you are unhappy. Sometimes this could be because of something that you have to power to change. If that is the case, then change it. Do the necassary things for your own happiness. If you can, fix the thing that is making you unhappy. 
Sometimes you won't have the power to fix/change the cause of your unhappiness. At times like this, you own thoughts and feelings can make it easier until that thing has passed over and doesn't seem as hard. Do something to help you relax, do other things that will make you happier during this time or even seek out some therapy or counselling. Take charge of your own happiness.
The simple answer to happiness is you. 
<3 Ellen xxx

Thursday, 23 January 2014

The New Year Project : Resolution Progress

I chose this quote because I think it is a simple but great few words to remember whenever we feel like we should give up. It tells you not to stop, remember what you might achieve and what your goal might help you become. 
At the beginning of this challenge (and this month) I made a post about a few of my resolutions and obstacles. Three weeks into the year, and it's time to think about how I have been doing with them.
I shared three of my resolutions with you, though I did have a few more. 
The first one was to worry less. So far this has been going okay, my worrying definitely hasn't stopped, but I haven't done quote as much of it. Whenever I have felt stressed, I have taken a step back and just focused in having a little bit of relaxation time which has been working so far and I hope it will also work in the future as well.
Another resolution I wrote about was blogging more. I have definitely done this, seeing as I have put up a post every weekday because of this challenge, which I am proud to say I have completed so far. I have also done two other posts which I uploaded at different weekends and plan to upload another post this weekend as well. After this challenge I won't continue to blog almost everyday, but I will definitely try and blog once or twice a week. I am very glad at how this resolution is going so far.
The final resolution I shared was to read more. This has also been going well, I re-read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows this month, have read Boy meets Boy by David Levithan (which was excellent) and am nearing the end of Pride and Prejudice which is also brilliant. I have really enjoyed reading a lot because it feels much more relaxing and a great change to watching films and tv and is so much better most of the time! 
My other resolutions which I didn't write about in my previous post are not going too well. However, I have a while, so hopefully I will be able to achieve them.
How are your resolutions/goals going?
<3 Ellen xxx

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The New Year Project : Body image

For today's post, the questions asked were: what don't you like about your body? What steps can you take towards accepting and maybe loving your body? 
It is quite hard for me to write about I guess. There are so many things I don't like about my appearance. I hate that my body isn't "feminine" enough. I hate that my eyebrows are too thick, my nose, the fact that I have chubby cheeks, my eyes, my chin, my skin. I really don't like my thighs or my feet. I either avoid mirrors or spend hours staring at myself and picking out the parts of myself that I hate and I can't leave the house without makeup on. But these aren't things that anyone should do. 
 We only have one life, one body and it's not going to change. The best thing for us to do is to embrace the parts that we like about ourselves and focus our attention more on what we are like as person rather than what we look like. Worrying about appearance and admitting that it's a big deal make me feel liked there might perceive me as being vain, but it's more than that. It's about not feeling comfortable in your own body, not feeling comfortable with who you are. It's about constantly thinking that your appearance can reflect your own self and that people will judge you because of it. Its even more than that but I don't really know how to put it in words.

This quote really stood out for me as I think it speaks so much truth. Accepting your imperfections (which everyone has it is perfectly normal) seem impossible to me because I do to know where to begin, I don't know how I would do it. It's as if every time you stand on front of the mirror you can see big bold writing scribbled across it reading UGLY. But it's not the mirror that's telling you that, it's not other people that show you what you see, it's yourself. Your own self is the one who is responsible for making you feel so insecure and low, yet you are the only one who has the power to realise how to love and accept your body. I, personally find it so difficult. Whenever I get close to it, it slips alway and I'm left with this feeling of guilt for doing it. I make myself feel like an idiot for thinking for one second that I would be okay with how I look. No one should have to feel that because it is pointless and doesn't do any good. Being happy is the best thing to be, because it will make you beautiful.
<3 Ellen xxx

Tuesday, 21 January 2014

The New Year Project : Feel good music and films

For today's new year project, I will be sharing my feel good musoc and films- the ones that make me really happy!

For films, any brilliant and fun musical will always make me feel happy but lots of others! Films such as Hairspray, Wizard of Oz or Sunshine on Leith, which is coming out in DVD on the 27th of January- so excited! 
Most Animated disney and Pixar films are feel good films for me. A lot of them bring back good memories and remind me of when I was little, while others are a fun, and also hilarious way to realise that I a still young at heart (sounds weird I know but...who cares?). Tangled is brilliant, as is Finding Nemo, Aladin and so many more!
I also love to watch a good ol' rom-com. They are so funny and cute and everyone loves them. I couldn't even begin to pick a favourite, but everyone has their own. Watch one of them when you feels bit down and it will work wonders!
I always watch Harry Potter when I'm feeling ill or not my usual self. They always cheer me up, I normally watch the first one because it's the least "dark" and it all feels so magical and wonderful to remember being introduced to Harry and the wizarding world for the first time, though that might not be the same for everyone because not everyone will love it to the same level as I might do.

Songs that make me happy are:
Explosions   Ellie Goulding
Teach me how to be loved   Rebecca Ferguson
Old pine   Ben Howard
Time Warp   The Rocky Horrow Show 
Nun   I am Arrows
Move   Little Mix
Walking on Sunshine    (Originally by...) Katrina and the Waves
What are some of your feel good films and music?
 <3 Ellen 

Monday, 20 January 2014

The New Year Project : next year I want to look back and be proud that I.....

I am writing this pretty late because I completely forgot until now that I needed to write this post. I've been managing this challenge pretty well so far, but it is really hard to remember sometimes!
This time next year, there a lot of things that I want to look back at and be proud of.
I want to have improved my blogging and blogged a lot more than I have done.
I also want to look back and be proud that I have reduced the amount of worrying I do.
I want to be proud of how hard I have worked at school, and proud of the grades that I will hopefully achieve because of it.
I hope that I will have gained more confidence and boosted my self-esteem.
I would like to look back and see that I had really good times with my friends.
There are a lot more things that I want to be proud of, but those are just a few of them. It will be very strange to look back next year and see if I am proud of all these things, have accomplished all the things I want to and how I might have changed as a person.
What are aome things you want to be proud of? 
<3 Ellen xxx

Friday, 17 January 2014

The New Year Project : Making. Others Happy

The topic for today is share your fool-proof ways to make others happy. I wouldn't say that I have any fool-proof ways because everyone is different and because sometimes the little things you are able to do don't always help as much as they need to. However I saw this quote and thought it was really cute and sounds like a pretty great thing. The idea that by you being happy, you have the ability to make others happy as well. I think this can be something as simple as a smile. A smile shared with a friend, or one offered to a stranger can do wonders and really cheer up someone's day. Making someone laugh is also often a brilliant way to make someone happier. Sometimes there is nothing better than seeing a friend laugh when they have been feeling sad or a bit down in the dumps, and a laugh can really go a long way. 

I really loved this quote as well. It suggests something that I have always believed and I already have a lot of quotes similar to this on one of my pinterest boards and saved to my photo album. It's the idea that by making someone else happy, and seeing that you are responsible for that, it can bring happiness in to your own life. It makes a person so happy to know that your loved ones, and even people you barely know have been cheered up because of you and it's such a brilliant feeling. 
I think it is really important to aim to bring happiness in to other peoples lives. Sharing happiness makes it even more valued; the more the merrier I think!
<3 Ellen xxx

Thursday, 16 January 2014

The New Year Project : Simply Be

The question for todays post is when was the last time you stopped, soaked in your surroundings and let yourself simply be?
I have to say, this stumped me a little. I can not remember exactly when I did this, however I do remember where and how. I went for a walk by myself in the wooded dene area near my house. It was such a beautiful day and I remember feeling happy to be alive, I remember it feeling like the beginning of something. That was the last time that something happened at could answer the question. And I don't know why it was, I just remember it happened. 
I haven't let myself simply be for a very long time. Everything always feels so frantic, rushed and stressed. There is always a fragment of worry at the back of my mind wherever I go so I never feel able to let my self simply be. I think I would feel almost guilty if I did. Worried that time was wasted and that I should have been focusing on other things, however I think that soaking in your surroundings and letting yourself simply be is probably I really good thing to do from time to time. A way to really  appreciate and be grateful for life and every good that surrounds you. It seems like such a simple but important thing to do, yet no one ever makes time for it anymore. 
<3 Ellen xxx

Wednesday, 15 January 2014

The. New Year Project: Taking Care of Yourself

Taking care of yourself is obviously important. Somtimes you need to put yourself before others so to be happy, and because taking care of yourself gives you the ability to take care of/help your friends and family.
I never think about the kinds of things I do to take care of myself. The things I do for myself are always for another reason. However when I think about it, everything good that you do for yourself is a way to take care of yourself, a way to make yourself happier.
I think exercise is a great way to take care of yourself. It makes me feel so much healthier and physically fit and is really good for you. Moreover, scientifically speaking, exercise generally makes you feel happier because exercise releases endorphins which basically are hormones that have a happy effect on you. Not only that, but exercising also makes me feel good about myself afterwards and there is a sort of accomplishment when I know I have worked hard and improved my fitness. It's a good feeling to know you have done it for yourself.
I also like to have some "me-time" in order to take care of myself. This is where I will just relax and indulge myself, allowing me some time to be free from worry and away from the busy and stressful outside-world life. I might read a book, have a bath, pamper myself, listen to music, eat delicious treats and do other things that relax and comfort me. It's just a nice ways to take a break from responsibility and important things I have to do. I feel it's a way to release stress and de-clutter my mind. I like to do it when I am having a mind-block, can't think clearly or am finding something in paticular difficult; I always return to task at hand after with a much clearer mind and feeling more fresh and calm. 
What are some things you do to take care of yourself?
<3 Ellen xxx

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

The New Year Project : Putting More Happiness into Life

This quote really caught my eye because it is something I have always believed and I think that is something really important to think about. We spend huge chunks of our lives focusing on behaving in a way so that we seem normal and never let our true side out. I think it's so much better to be yourself and be happy while behaving like a complete and utter goon (which I find myself doing on several occasions) than to act reserved and "normal", how boring would life be then? 
Behave in the way that will make you happy, because if you don't then later in life you may come to regret it. You might as well live life to the fullest while you have the chance. Appreciate what you have, what you are and the little quirks you can act on to make you happy. Grasp the opportunity. Use up every day of potential happiness doing what you want to be doing (within reason obviously-don't go vandalising or being violent or something just because you want to), not what you think everyone else expects you to do. Most people probably don't expect anything but you being yourself, and the minority who might judge you or who might want you to act in a certain way really don't matter. Caring about those people who judge you is pointless because you only need those in your life that accept you for who you are.
I think this is a really key way to put more, or keep happiness in your life. The message, in short, is be whoever you want to be, be whatever makes you happy.
What are some of your thoughts on this? Do you agree with my opinions?
<3 Ellen xxx

Monday, 13 January 2014

The New Year Project : the little things that make me happy

Write in a stream of consciousness about the things that make you happy. Only write about things/sensations/experiences.
That is what I have been given the task of doing today, and I think it is a really good idea. I found the quote shown above in Pinterest and I thought it woul be nice to include it because I think it is very inspiring. By finding joy in the simple things on life, the everyday things it means that you will find something to be happy about everyday and therefore are more likely to live a happier and fufilled life. So I am going to write in a stream of consciousness (meaning no planning, no editing just writing freely) all the everyday things that makes me happy.

The atmosphere and thrill of a thunderstorm. The sound of rain against my roof as I snuggle up in bed. Laughing with friends and family. The comforting experience of a bookshop. Sunshine on a lazy day. Tea and cake. Singing without caring whether it is in tune or not. Reading books on a rainy day. Baking delicious treats..and then eating them of course. That feel-good buzz you get after exercise. Brunch after a lie-in. Long relaxing baths with candles and bubbles. Curled up in your pyjamas watching a film. Days with friends you feel comfortable around so you dont even have to try. Delicious, mouth watering food. Blogging and reading comment on my blog. Writing lists. Finding makeup or clothes that you love. Cuddles with your cat. Receiving a funny text (we all love that moment-don't deny it). The refreshing feel after a long shower. The smell of spring rain. Rainbows. Hugs. The day when you realise everything is going to be okay.

There are many more things I could mention but I had to stop somewhere. I have so much to be grateful for and thinking about it makes me realise how lucky I am. What are you grateful for? What are the little things that make you happy?
<3 Ellen 

Sunday, 12 January 2014

This or That Tag

I decided to do the this or That tag - I got the questions from

Blush or bronzer? Blush
Lip gloss or lipstick? Lipstick 
Eyeliner or mascara? Mascara
Foundation or concealer? Foundation 
Neutral or colour eyeshadow? Neutral
Pressed or loose eyeshadow? Pressed 
Brushes or sponges? Brushes

Long or short? Short
Acrylic or natural? Natural
Brights or darks? Brights
Flowers or no flowers? No flowers

Perfume or body spray? Perfume
Lotion or body butter? Body butter
Body wash or soap? Body wash
Lush or other bath company? Lush

Jeans or sweatpants? Jeans
Long sleeves or short? Short
Dresses or skirts? Dresses
Stripes or plaid? Stripes
Flip-flops or sandals? Sandals 
Scarves or hats? Hats
Studs or dangly earrings? Studs
Necklace or bracelet? Necklace
Heels or flats? Flats
Jacket or hoodie? Hoodie 
Abercrombie or hollister? Abercrombie

Curly or straight? Curly
Bun or ponytail? Bun
Bobby ions or butterfly clips? Bobby pins
Hairspray or gel? Hairspray
Long or short? Long
Light or dark? Dark
Side or full fringe? Side
Up or down? Down

Rain or shine? Shine
Winter or summer? Summer
Autumn or spring? Spring
Chocolate or vanilla? Chocolate 

I hope you enjoyed my first ever tag post, I tag anyone who wants to do this!
<3 Ellen xxx

Friday, 10 January 2014

The New Year Project : 5 things you love about yourself

 I've been putting it off all evening because I still have no idea what I'm going to say or where it is even going. I have honestly no idea what I love about myself, I'm hope there is something but I can't think, and I am scared of even trying to think about it properly. I'm afraid of what I won't find so I can't even grasp the idea of what it would take to even think about finding something that would fit into the category of love.

However, now is the time for me to turn into the a massive hypocrite. There problem with our society is that people have got it into their heads that it is wrong to love themselves, it is wrong to be happy about who you are. They worry that they will seem over-confident and boastful if they let people know they love themselves, so by default many people end up not loving themselves, even disliking who they are. To all the people who actually love themselves, I raise my glass to you. As a master of fact I envy you because being happy with who you are makes you a happier person. Being confident is a brilliant thing to be and to those people, good for you! The people who aren't confident, who don't love themselves- the quote above says it all. However, I also think that not only are you allowed to love yourself, but you deserve to love yourself.
The question I wish I knew the answer to is why it is so hard? 
<3 Ellen xxx

Thursday, 9 January 2014

The New Year Project : Inner peace

To me, the term inner-peace always seemed a bit "hippy-dippy" even though I knew it was probably important. I've never thought much about inner peace, or what it takes to find it. However, I think you have to be content with your life and who you are to really understand what it means to find inner-peace. That is why I chose the quote above. I think a free mind is how you find inner-peace, and you need to be completely happy to experience this. I haven't found inner peace, my mind is way to full or worries and random mess for it to feel free-I'm still happy, but not to the extent where my mind is free and I have found that inner peace. It is something I hope to achieve one day, the feeling of being truly peaceful and happy with your life and yourself sounds like a great one. It gives someone the ability to appreciate what's around them more than others do. I catch glimpses of it at times while I'm with my friends when we are just having fun and feel really comfortable around each other, I sometimes see it on the days I really feel fufilled- you know the days where the things we have done and love have gone to plan and you could only imagine what it be like if the rest of your life went the way that day went. 
Some people never find inner peace, but still live very happy lives. I think that inner peace isn't necessarily always what someone needs, but a very subjective feeling and that is important to remember. 
<3 Ellen xxx

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

The New Year Project : Change

Change is often a really good thing, it helps a person grow and develop. Saying that however, I'm not the biggest fan of it because I like to hang on to things that I don't necessarily want or need purely for nostalgic reasons. We want to hold on to the old parts of our life because we are afraid; afraid of growing up, moving on and changing as a person. We don't want I admit to ourselves that a part of our life is over.
Despite all this, I think that change is essential. How else can we (cheesy as it sounds) find ourselves and mature? I think that if there is a moment in life where change is on the cards, try and embrace it -no matter how hard it might be. A lot of good could come from it, sometimes you need to let go of an old part to let a new part of life in.
<3 Ellen xxx

Tuesday, 7 January 2014

The New Year Project : What would you attempt if you knew you couldn't fail?

I think this is a really interesting topic. I have no idea what I would attempt if I knew I could not fail, but it would definitely be something that would a risk otherwise, daring and something I've always wanted to do but am too scared. Then I found this quote (above) on Pinterest and thought it was very relevant and inspiring. If there is something you really want to to but are afraid you will fail, then think about this quote. Stop thinking you won't be able to do it, because then you definitely won't and start believing that you can. Turn that dream that seems so impossible and far away in to a plan that is coming as soon as you are ready. If you don't, you will always regret it. You will always have that question in your mind, that question full of wonder, regret and missed chances: What if? 

After thinking about the top quote, this one popped in to my mind -obviously having a whole library in my mind of Harry Potter and J K Rowling quotes. This quote is quite special to me because I think it speaks a lot of meaning and is a reassurance. I have a bit or a worry/fear (whatever you want to call it) about failure of meeting the expectations I set myself. However, I always thing about what J K Rowling once said. It shows what we all know but don't admit to ourselves, that everyone fails at something. You can not succeed in all that you do, because life doesn't work that way and how would we learn from our mistakes. As much as failing is hard for everyone, there is no way to avoid it and sometimes you have to accept that. As long as it's not a life-or-death thing, try it! See what happens, if you fail either walk away or try again. Otherwise, you would feel you have failed by default by not trying at all.

So those are just a few things to think about and keep in mind. You might barely understand my ramblings, it might seem like complete gobbledygook, or it make a lot of sense and really help (unlikely but fingers crossed...)!
<3 Ellen xxx

Monday, 6 January 2014

The New Year Project: Do more of what makes you happy

The saying "do more of what makes you happy" is really important in my opinion. By doing more of what makes you happy- whether it is work, hobbies, or the people you spend time with- it will naturally make you a happier person. It sounds simple enough, however it is not something everyone does. They get caught up in other things, perhaps for other reasons apart from happiness, perhaps because they dont know how to escape; it makes them feel unhappy, stressed and trapped. Sometimes by changing one small thing in your life, it can transform it. 
Do work that you enjoy, make time for your hobbies and "happiness triggers" and spend time with the people you love. Obviously, happiness isn't always as simple as this but using that saying as guidance can help. 
After thinking about this, I thought about the things that make me happy: spending good times with my friends and family, blogging, baking, reading, netball etc. I realised that all these things were quite simple things, yet something I should not take for granted. They make me happier, and they make up a part of who I am as a person and that is something I need to always remember. 
Do you do the things that make you happy? What are those things?
<3 Ellen xxx

Sunday, 5 January 2014

December favourites

I haven't done a favourites post in a while, so I thought the time had come to do another one. There wasn't that many new things that Stood out in December, but here are the few things that I both loved and discovered/rediscovered last month.

This month, I have really enjoyed using the Brighton Rock lipstick from TopShop. I had wanted this lipstick for ages so I was delighted when I discovered it in my secret santa present from my lovely friend. I really like TopShop makeup; it's all really pretty, is good-quality, and not too expensive which is always a plus. This lipstick is no exception. It is a gorgeous and bright, matte pink colour, that can be layered on to make your lips really stand out, or dabbed on for a more subtle look. It is super creamy, pigmented and stays on all day- I love it!

Another thing I have really liked this month is my Orla Kiely notebook that I got for christmas. I do love a good notebook and this one is great. It has a really pretty but simple design on the front and the edges of the pages are yellow which is always exciting. It is a good size- not to thick (but big enough) so I will be able to fit it in my bag easily, and the paper is good quality. All in all it makes it a lovely experience for writing many lists etc. which is what I love to do and is very useful for a blogger and worrier.. So it is a brilliant little thing. 

I have also really enjoyed burning this little Yankee candle called Christmas Eve. It smells exactly like christmas. It is spicy and fruity and and has the scent of cinnamon, which are all the perfect ingredients for burning over the festive season... It really got me on the Christmas mood. Strange how a scent or smell can change the atmosphere and your feelings. 

The final thing on my favourites list is the CD Freedom by Rebecca Ferguson. Rebecca Ferguson is one of my favourite artists, she has an amazing voice and I thought her first album Heaven was so beautiful and soulful (probably my favourite album ever). This album is quite different to her first, as it goes down a more modern R&B route rather than soul. Although I don't like it as much as her first, it is still brilliant and I have loved listening to it while reading a book and relaxing. My favourite song is probably either...actually I can't decide, I love them all.

I hope you enjoyed reading my December favourites. Sorry for the bad picture quality, that will hopefully all stop soon I just need to find my camera as I am currently taking pictures on my iPad which isn't ideal. I've got posts going up every weekday in January (hopefully) because of the New Year Project blogging challenge that I am taking part in, however I am going to try to do a post each weekend as well to add a little diversity and so it's not to full of the New Year Project. For readers who might want something different or are not enjoying the other posts.
<3 Ellen xxx

Friday, 3 January 2014

The New Year Project : Strengths

I have always thought that it is important to know your strengths because it will help you through hard times and help you succeed in achieving the life that you want, however when I came to do this post I realised that I had no idea what my strengths are. Strengths are not necessarily what you are good at, but aspects of your personality that you feel make you a stronger and better person. I had a long think about this and about myself and chose a few traits that I see as my strengths.
Outspoken (not afraid to express opinions)
I have some very strong opinions about some things (e.g I am very "pro-equality") and I am not afraid to express my opinion. If someone says something I think is wrong, or I disagree with I will tell them, whether they are a close friend or someone I don't know. If it means they think differently of me, it doesn't matter. My opinions are a part of who I am, so if they don't like it, who cares. Being opiniated, makes me feel a little strong-minded and I personally think it is a strength and makes me a better person.
I think that I can be a very hard-working person. I try my hardest in almost everything I do and feel discontent if I haven't. I think that good things do not and should not come easily and that hard work is very important and always needed, no matter how talented someone may be. This is a strength of mine because it means that I do better in things, achieve good results and always strive to improve.
Loyal and caring
I think that I am quite a loyal and caring person. I stand up for my friends and family and will help them, offer advice and look after them when they need it. My friends and family are the most important things to me and I try to always be there for them. I see this as a strength because it makes me feel like a better person and means that I have the ability to put ither peoples needs before mine which makes me feel stronger.

Strengths are are really important thing to think about; they help you believe in yourself and know what the right thing to do is. Someone once said success is achieved by development of our strengths, not by elimination of our weakness. I think that is something really important to keep in mind, your strengths will help you more than your weakness will hinder you.
What are your strengths?
<3 Ellen xxx

Thursday, 2 January 2014

The New Year Project : Resolutions and Obstacles (day 1 and 2)

Personally, I don't buy in to that whole "new year, new me" thing, simply because the fact that it is now 2014 rather than 2013 doesn't change much, and becoming another person as suggested by the statement is both unrealistic and pointless. However, I do believe that a new year is a great starting point to set yourself goals and make resolutions. 
One of my new year resolutions is to stop worrying as much. Worrying is pointless, you end up spending more time worrying then you spend on the thing you are worrying about. It gets you no where and makes you stressed and anxious. This is a resolution I will find very difficult, especially this year because exams are starting and time will fly by, making me even more worried. However, if this happens I will take a step back, relax and try again. 
My second resolution is to blog more, I started my blog about 7 months ago, but since them I have not been very consistent. Hopefully this challenge will be a great way to get me started and back in to the blogging routine. School work is something that could get in a way of blogging, but that is why I plan to organise and structure my time well, as well as "mass-producing" blog posts when I do have time, to go up at different points. Procastination will be a massive obstacle as well, but it is way to early in the morning to think about how I could overcome that, I'll deal with that when it comes.
Finally, I would like to read more this year because reading improves your intelligence, nurtures the imagination and really helps me relax. Also, I want to do this because the BBC book list challenge looks interesting, but there 100 books on the list and I have only read 7 of them so far, so I need to get started if I ever want to finish it. The only obstacles that might get in the way of reading is not feeling like it, not making time for it or letting Harry Potter get in the way which admittedly is very easy, but I will push past all those things.
Fingers crossed that these resolutions are successful! Have you got any resolutions for 2014? 
<3 Ellen xxx

The New Year Project

(Sorry about picture quality)

Happy new year everyone! This month I have decided to take part in a challenge/project called the New Year project created by the lovely Toni from One Chocolate Box. This is a one month long (weekends excluded) blogging challenge that aims to help people set themselves goals, and appreciate ourselves more as well. I think that this is a great way to start 2014 off as I am hoping that this year will bring new and exciting things, and hopefully it will help myself and others, so I am very excited about it. 

Unfortunatley, I have missed the first day, but I am going to do both day 1 and 2 in the same post to make up for it!

Here are the topics/questions for the month:

Jan 1 What are your resolutions this year? How do plan to achieve your goals?

Jan 2 What are the possible obstacles to your goal? How do you plan to overcome them?

Jan 3 What are your strengths? What are the things you are good at?

Jan 6 "Do more of what makes you happy". What are those activities?

Jan 7 What would you attempt of you knew you could not fail?

Jan 8 How do you feel about change? How do you cope/adjust to change?

Jan 9 How do you find your inner peace?

Jan 10 5 things I love about myself

Jan 13 Write in a stream of consciousness about the things that make you happy. Only write about things/sensations/experiences.

Jan 14 How can you put more happiness into your life?

Jan 15 What are the things you do to take care of yourself?

Jan 16 When was the last time you stopped, soaked in your surroundings and let yourself simply be?

Jan 17 Share your fool-proof ways to make others happy.

Jan 20 Next year, I want to look back and be proud that I ____.

Jan 21 Share your feel good songs/movies.

Jan 22 What don't you like about your body? What steps can you take towards accepting, and maybe loving, your body?

Jan 23 How are you doing with your resolutions so far?

Jan 24 "Your happiness should depend on nobody but yourself." How can you take charge of your own happiness?

Jan 27 When I feel like I'm losing track on my resolutions, I will...

Jan 28  I think I would be better at _____ if I _____.

Jan 29  Who brings out the best in you? Have you told them of their influence on you?.

Jan 30  Write a letter to a child on what you've learned about happiness.

Jan 31 "Here's to a fantastic rest of the year!" What have you learned this month? What are you 

looking forward to for the rest of the year?

I am really looking forward to doing this challenge, although some of the topics scare me a bit to have to write about, but hopefully, if I'm lucky it could help other people and that's what is important. I hope 2014 brings exciting prospects to everyone, and that we can all try and make this year a good one!

<3 Ellen xxx