Friday, 19 August 2016

I'm going to University

Okay, so things are changing, a lot, and all of a sudden.

As many of you will be aware, yesterday was a big day for A-Level students across the country, awaiting their results from years of very hard work, but also for many, they were finding out if they had got into uni. For some, it can be a tough day, and for some, although terrifying, to begin with, it can become a very very special day.



Tuesday, 9 August 2016

Adventure is out there.

Hello Everybody,

Out of everything that I have learnt whilst I have been growing up, I would have to say that the most important lesson I did learn is to enjoy opportunities handed to me. Or if opportunities aren't simply handed to me on a plate I then need to create adventures for myself. I like to think that although I have my fears like everyone and their neighbour, over time I have also learnt to try new things, and to create more and more experiences and adventures for myself.

When I first started my blog I would agree that although my life was partially interesting I didn't go out and enjoy my time as much as I do now. I think that is why I decided that blogging every day was something that just was no longer going to be compatible with my lifestyle. I love the outdoors, and I love adventures. I'm the kind of person that once hated spontaneity but now thrives on it. I want to see things and I want to have thrilling stories that I can tell friends and family as I get older.

Thursday, 4 August 2016

Summer holiday #ootd

Hello Everybody,

This was supposed to be posted yesterday but life happened and the post never went up. I'm sorry about that. Anyway, this is going to be a real quick post really, but basically it's an outfit post and I considered making it a shop my outfit, until I realised that you can't actually buy any of the items I wore as some of what I was wearing were sale items and then the others were items that I found in the depths of my wardrobe... oops!


Tuesday, 2 August 2016

Benalmádena, Spain

You may have noticed if you have looked on my Instagram recently that some of my pictures were definitely not taken in miserable England. Despite the fairly respectable weather we've been enjoying in our home country recently, I have certainly not been taking pictures of peacocks and turtles in local lakes and parks.

A couple of weeks my family took our annual family holiday, and although we often have staycations we decided that because it was very likely this would be our last family holiday together for while we should treat ourselves to going somewhere with slightly nicer weather and somewhere with a change of scenery.

Benalmádena is situated on the ever so sunny south coast of Spain in the Costa Del Sol, which translates into "Coast of the Sun", which I would agree is a fair statement. It's a coastal town not too far from Malaga and it's airport so certainly makes it a good holiday spot for tourists. If we were to have hired a car then I'm sure we would have also gone a bit further down the coast to investigate why all of the celebrities love Marbella so much and to survey the natural beauty of Gibraltar as well, but maybe I'll just add that to the places that I want to visit.


Monday, 1 August 2016

A fresh(ish) start.

One thing about starting a blog when you are 15 is that eventually, you grow out of it. I believe a large issue I had with my blog was that although I still enjoyed blogging, and I personally have felt like more recently my content has grown with me, the actual design and the whole aesthetic of my blog were becoming a little outdated. It's something that I've been thinking about for some time, and although changing my header is something that I've dabbled with quite a few times, that was only really because that was within my comfort zone.

Since finishing school you may have noticed that I have played around a little more HTML which before now has really freaked me out. I'm not usually very savvy when it comes to using technology, and I certainly am not kitted out with the knowledge let alone equipment that a lot of bloggers have. I wanted my blog to reflect my current personality, and although I am still partial to a small amount of colour, the way my old design looked seemed a bit aged. Hence I've spent many hours experimenting (and if you visited my blog in the last couple of day I'm sorry it was a mess in between) I have finally come up with something I am vaguely happy with. It will take time, and I'm sure more tweaks will be coming in the next few weeks, but there is a definite improvement.


Monday, 25 July 2016

Self-soothing

(Before I start this post I want to apologise for not actually posting yesterday, unfortunately, I had to rush into work and the time that I had set aside to write a blog post then became unavailable and so I had to sacrifice my blog. I will try not to do that again, as I do really want to try my best to write every day, but I'm normal and sometimes everyday things just get in the way.)

We all get it, we all have days where we would rather stay in bed and mope around in the hope that tomorrow will be better. All too often I get myself upset over silly little things and wonder why I'm even bothering with the day. But when I really sit here and think about it I know I have the power to cheer myself up. Sometimes I don't need other people to make my bad day better, I just need to get up and do something that I enjoy and do something that can really turn my day around.
Source: Weheartit


Saturday, 23 July 2016

I'm coming back!

I said I would try to blog every day in July but life somehow got in the way. I'd done so well, I'd even managed to write enough blog posts to last for whilst I was away on holiday. I then got back from holiday and life happened.

When I say life happened I do actually mean I was doing things. Catching up with friends really was on my agenda considering many of my friends were about to go away on their own holidays, but I also just wanted to chill. I guess you could say that I was in full on holiday relaxation mode. Although now, I feel ready to come back to my blog, with a skip in my step and ideas flowing.


For me, my blog is a place where I can be myself and ramble about all things enjoyable, and although today I've actually been having a pretty miserable day (sometimes hormones can just make you have a bad day) I have suddenly snapped out of it and feel quite optimistic. No matter how hard some things can get, and how crappy some things are, there is always something that you can find happiness in. My blog is one of them, and although tomorrow's post will go into more detail about making a bad day better, I want you all to know that no matter what rubbish may be being thrown at you now things always seem to work out.

I will talk to you all tomorrow, but in the mean time what would you like to see on my blog?
Toodles,
Emily x

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

Indirect Tweeting

Hello Everybody,

Today I wanted to have a rant. I'm not 100% sure if this rant is going to completely help me come to any conclusion on what I actually think about indirect tweeting or whether it is just going to leave me more mushed together in my own thoughts. In my opinion, indirect tweeting can have it's positives and negatives, even though in general it is given a bit more of a bad stigma than I personally think is necessary. Here are my reasons why...

Monday, 18 July 2016

24 Good Habits

Hello Everybody,

Habits are often given a bad name. We relate habits to nail biting or thumb sucking, but we forget that we can also have good habits too. Something that I've always thought is that if I have wanted to start doing something good and it only takes 21 days to make a habit (apparently) then surely one by one I can make myself a better person by making myself develop good habits. Besides, a good habit might not only be good for my own health and wellbeing, but it may also be good for the people around me.

For this reason, I wanted to share with you some habits that I would like myself to develop in order for me to enjoy my life more, and to ensure that I am living every moment to it's fullest... as cheesy as I just made that sound.
Source: Weheartit

Sunday, 17 July 2016

Self-care

Sometimes, we as humans have this distinct habit of putting others before ourselves. Most of the time this can be great, as this can make us a caring person, and it is only human nature to take comfort out of making other people feel good. But other times it can mean that we completely sideline ourselves. We forget about current problems and become unproductive when it comes to sorting our own selves out because we haven't saved any time for this.

Self-care is so important because it is the foundations of both a physical and mental being. It is so easy to forget that we (like our pet rabbit) need to be looked after in order to lead a healthy life. Sure it is okay to go out for a "Cheeky Nandos" every once in a while, but what that becomes a habit it can also become unhealthy. In the long term we won't feel good about ourselves, and moreover, we will probably just live to regret our life choices without making any active changes in order to make our lifestyles better.
Source: weheartit

Saturday, 16 July 2016

Summer Evening Routine

Hello Everybody,

The other day I shared with you my summer morning routine, and so I thought it would only be fitting for me to also share with you my summer evening routine as well. I'll be honest and say that it often depends on what I have been doing during the day and evening as to how my evening routine actually pans out. However, I am going to base this routine on how I may get ready for bed in the evening if I have spent the evening inside.

Friday, 15 July 2016

Summer Hairstyles

Hello Everybody,

Today I thought I would share with you three possible hairstyles that I would personally say are perfect for if you are on holiday or just if it is warm outside and you want to keep your hair out of your face. I personally prefer to have my hair out of my face and off of my neck when it is hot out so I thought I would share with you a couple of hairstyles that would enable you to do this.
Source: Weheartit

Thursday, 14 July 2016

What to pack in a carry-on bag!

Hello Everybody,

With holiday season right around the corner I saw it as a perfect opportunity for my to talk about what I believe are the best things to take with you in your carry-on bag when you go on a short-haul flight or even just a road trip. I say short-haul flight for this post because I am talking the bare minimum in terms of what to take, and avoiding anything that could cause a hassle along the way. This means no liquids (unless you are picking up water once you are through customs) and definitely NO sharp objects.

Wednesday, 13 July 2016

Let's talk about: Periods.

Periods.

Periods oddly enough are a bit of a taboo subject, and let's face it not something that are particularly talked about. Today I thought I would talk about periods, my struggles and tips. If you are a girl then I particularly suggest you keep on reading, and maybe we can start a discussion in the comments? If you are a guy and feel awkward about this then just close this page, or better still, keep reading this so that you have a better understanding of what a period is like for the woman in your life.

Let's face it, I don't want to be grim, and I won't be grim. I'm guessing if you've clicked on this you know what a period is so I won't go into the science of it all. But there is more to a period than what is on the tin so to speak, and sometimes it can be a whole lot more complicated than having to buy some tampons and sanitary towels once a month.

Tuesday, 12 July 2016

What I would pack in a picnic!!

Hello Everybody,

At the time of writing this post, the sun has finally made an entrance for July I thought it would only be fitting to make a little post about the things that I might pack for a picnic. So if it's a warm day where you are at the moment and you are unsure what to do with yourself then grab yourself a blanket and some snacks and enjoy the vitamin D while it lasts. Even though I haven't technically been for a proper picnic this year yet, I certainly have spent plenty of times outdoors recently, I may have also accidentally sunburnt my nose (SUNCREAM IS IMPORTANT KIDS!).

Anyway, today I thought I would talk you through some ideas I have for what you could pack for a picnic, as some of you may want some ideas, or may just want different ideas for what you have already. Some of the ideas I have included are things in which would be in my perfect lunch, and others would simply be ideas that may take your fancy as well.

Monday, 11 July 2016

James Bay at Thetford Forest

Hello Everybody,

If you haven't been following me on Instagram then you may not be aware that myself and a few of my friends took a road trip to Norfolk to see one of our favourite artists, James Bay. We went to see James Bay previously in October, which if you remember was the concert whereby Ed Sheeran made a surprise performance and pretty much every girl there had a meltdown. This concert, however, was quite different. Firstly, it was outside which meant that everybody was standing and that there was a larger risk of getting drenched with rain. Secondly, there seemed to be a much larger audience than previously. This concert was a sellout, so, sure enough, I was pretty convinced the James would put on one hell of a show.

This time, quite by accident, my friends and I arrived early. We'd already stopped at ASDA on the way to grab food supplies as we knew we'd be out for most of the day and wanted to keep ourselves hydrated and fed. As we arrived very early we were actually sat outside the gates of the venue in Thetford Forest for quite some time. But, this made the experience a whole lot more exciting, listening to the bustle of fans as they eagerly anticipated the moment the gates opened. Not only that, but we could here the man of the moment doing his soundcheck before his big entrance onto the stage. It was actually slightly strange being able to here James Bay have a normal conversation with his colleagues essentially and realise that he, like most others, is also a perfectionist and wanted to ensure that every one of his songs was right for his fans.


Sunday, 10 July 2016

Sunday Catchup

Hello Everybody,

Much like last week I wanted to write a blog post to let you all in on what I have been up to again this week. Sometimes when I sit here and look back on what I have been up to in a week I completely blank, so you will have to bear with me here. It's honestly so surprising how much time you can spend doing pretty much nothing.

This week I have mostly spent my time with 3 of my closest friends Kerry, Louisa, and Becca, we are honestly inseparable. We are about to spend nearly two weeks apart, however, which is going to be a tough one, but I'm sure we'll survive (as long as wifi is around).

Saturday, 9 July 2016

Leavers Ball "Shop My Outfit!"


Hello Everybody,

More excitement on my road to become a blogging nerd, I have worked out how to do a "Shop this Post" thingymabob, so today rather than just doing my normal OOTD/OOTN posts I thought I would give a bit more coding a whirl. I legit think I am becoming Karlie Kloss *paha, I wish!*.

Anyway, you will be aware from this post that I had a "Leavers Ball" last Thursday, which was a very dressy occasion. I actually loved my outfit, and in particular my dress because it was very bright and summery, yet still had a large amount of formality to the outfit. It was quite different from many peoples' choice of outfit, however I really enjoy wearing bright colours so the dress was right up my alley.

Friday, 8 July 2016

Summer playlist

Hello Everybody,

You will not believe how excited I am for today's blog post because for the first time every I've actually tried my hand at a little bit of coding, and officially feel like a genius. For so long I have wanted to push myself out of my comfort zone when it comes to technology. Considering how much easier this was than I initially anticipated, I feel like I might be getting closer to actually making my blog design a bit better *does a lap of the room high fiving everyone*.

Anyway, today I wanted to share with you some of my favourite songs for this summer, and thus  I have created a playlist on Spotify to share with you, with a mixture of current songs and songs that are major summer throwbacks. Feel free to follow the playlist, and enjoy it!

Thursday, 7 July 2016

The final goodbye

On the evening of Thursday 30th June, it was the moment that many of people in my year group had been looking forward to. A time where we would be able to finally put our hair down after years of hard work finally being complete. Our A Levels were over, as were our school days.

I knew it would be an emotional evening as did I also know it would be an evening in which I would forever remember. It would be an evening where in some cases I would be saying goodbye to many people who have shaped my life for the very last time. People who I have been in education with since preschool, and also a moment for me to finally say goodbye to some teachers who have taught me who I am and who I want to be.

It is hard to put into words the bittersweet feelings that were felt on this special evening, so I thought it would be much easier for me to share my evening through photos. Photos that speak words that I cannot, and portray how special many of the people who were in my year group were to me. I hope this isn't the final goodbye to many of those people who have become more than just a friendly face in the corridor, and I hope this is just the start of the epic journey in which we call life.

Wednesday, 6 July 2016

Embakes// Chocolate Birthday Cake Traybake

Hello Everybody,

The other day I held a poll on my twitter asking people what they liked to see from my blog and it seemed that my baking posts are actually the most enjoyed by many of you. This landed at quite a good time considering I was planning on baking my Dad a cake for his birthday which was last Thursday.

I wanted to keep his cake quite quick and easy but also thoroughly enjoyable, as I had limited time last week to bake and I also knew that as long as the cake contained some chocolate he would enjoy it anyway. This also meant the perfect opportunity for me to share this recipe with you guys, considering as it had become clear to me that you all seem to enjoy my Embakes posts.

So, without further ado, let's get on with the recipe...

Tuesday, 5 July 2016

Reverse bucket list!!

Hi Everybody,

I saw this post quite some time ago on someone else's blog (I can't actually remember whose it is anymore) and I was inspired to create one myself. Quite simply a reverse bucket list is a list of all of the things you have done that would usually be on a bucket list. I'll be honest and say that this list may not actually be too long, as I am unsure at the time of writing this, what sort of things I should include. But I will give it a go, and then hopefully at some point in the future I will be able to extend this list further with even more things that I have achieved and done in my lifetime.

Monday, 4 July 2016

June Favourites!

Hi again!

Today I thought I would do a favourites post, considering I do not actually remember the last time I wrote a favourites post and I thought it would be nice for you to know what I have been lovely recently. I also thought that in this post I would talk about more than just my favourite beauty stuff as I know it's not everybody's cup of tea, and I also don't use a massive variety of beauty stuff myself anyway.

Sunday, 3 July 2016

Sunday Catchup

Hello Everybody,

I know it's fairly late on a Sunday evening, but I feel like this is the time for me where I can best look back on the week with gratitude, about how truly blessed I am to live the life I live. Sometimes, even when you feel like you've had a bad day, to just sit there and think of all of the things that you have done in that single week can make you thankful.

I am the sort of person that gets bored. I am a people person, I hate doing things alone and I most definitely don't like it when people have fun without me. Even though most of the time it's my own fault for not wanting to do something in the first place. So this week I am going to work on enjoying my own company because I think that is highly important, and I will most definitely update you on that in this post next week, and maybe even do a whole post on enjoying your own company at some point, once I have learnt a little more about it myself.

This week, however, I spent a vast majority of my time spent with friends and family, which I for one will certainly not be complaining about.

Saturday, 2 July 2016

My Lazy Summer Morning Routine

I wake up in the morning feeling like P Diddy (just kidding)... grab my glasses, that I actually do.

Hello Everybody,

I cannot fully remember if I've actually done  a morning routine before, but I thought that even if I have it was probably some time ago, seeing as I cannot actually remember when it was. Today, however, rather than showing you what I may do on a school morning, considering my school days are over, I thought I would talk you guys through what a more legitimate morning routine for my summer lazy morning's which are much more common for myself now that my school days are finished with.

Before I start, however, I should say that this is in no way set in stone. Some days I have plans which mean I need to get up earlier in the morning and possibly get ready in a bit more of a rushed manner, and on some days, in fact on more days than some, I simply cannot get out of bed and it feels like my mattress is sucking me into a giant vortex that I will never escape from.


Friday, 1 July 2016

Blood Donation

Hello, Everybody!!

This post idea has been at the back of my mind for a while now and was actually something I was going to post for a long time until I was rather disappointingly kicked in the face with my own act of kindness. I am a blood donor- to some extent. When I made my first donation in October 2015 I managed to donate about 3/4 of what they usually take. The machine was beeping and people were playing around with the needle in my arm because my veins were so small and the blood wasn't coming out quick enough.

In April 2016 I went back to go for my second donation because I heard that this quite often happens on peoples' first donation. When I arrived they did the usual thing, checked my form was completed correctly, did the pin prick test on my finger to check for anaemia and I was away. I got all the way to the donation seat, and then a nurse came up to me and asked for a weight and height. I was a little offended, to be honest, and I told her that I'd been asked that question on my last donation and was fine, but she checked anyway. It was only because I am young and quite "lanky" for the want of a better word. This turned out fine, but when it came to finding a suitable vein I was eventually told that my veins were far too small and that I would be unable to donate blood. So although now I have been told to wait until I am at least 20 and to then try again with blood donation, I decided it is still important for me to talk about why blood donation is so important.

Friday, 24 June 2016

Where have I been and what is to come?...

Hello Everybody,
It's been a while and a rather long hiatus. For once in my life it wasn't because I lacked ideas or because I didn't want to blog, it was because I had bigger things on my mind. A Levels. Yesterday I finished my final exam and my school days are now over. I'm not really entirely sure whether to happy that I have finished my exams or worried that the fate of my future is now no longer in my hands, but I know that I now feel a sense of impending boredom. Not that I am complaining that I no longer have anything to revise, but 3 months of having no final goal is potentially a recipe for wasting a quarter of my year in bed.
Therefore I have made a few plans...

Sunday, 3 April 2016

Cambridge

Hello Everybody,
In spring there is nothing I love more then having little day out with friends or family in the sun visiting my favourite places. One of my favourite cities in the UK is definitely Cambridge. It has a sense of calmness, and always seems so well looked after compared to most cities in the area. Not only that, but even if you are a regular visitor, there is still a nice touristy vibe about the city which means you can whip your camera out and take pictures of the beautiful architecture without looking at all out of place.
I'll be honest I didn't actually take any photos whilst I was in Cambridge on Wednesday (apart from the picture above) as I was actually working on something else that ended up being a little bit of a failure... but I thought I could still talk about my little day out, as well as suggesting places I think you should go when you go to Cambridge.
Whenever I go to Cambridge with my mum we always use the Park and Ride service, I have driven into Cambridge city centre before and parked in the multistory but if you can I highly recommend the Park and Ride. Queuing for the Lions Yard multistory takes friggin' ages and you waste quite a long part of your day whilst waiting to just get a parking space. Plus, the park and ride is quite a bit cheaper than parking in the city centre.
There are also plenty of places to eat in Cambridge, most of which are the larger companies in which we all know, but this is great because it gives us plenty of choice. Not to mention the fact that there are plenty of places to stop and have a coffee. My mum and I however went to Yo Sushi, this was actually the first time I've ever been, but if you love Sushi I HIGHLY RECOMMEND... apart from the usual sushi dishes we had off of the conveyor, I tried the Salmon Teriyaki, and ohmygosh it is fudging wonderful.
I also did a little bit of shopping whilst in Cambridge, however, I thought I should just mention a few places I think you should go in Cambridge:

Kings Parade

This is the little stretch right in front of Kings College, which is probably one of the more famous colleges at Cambridge University. Not only can you sit on the wall and admire the beauty of the great building but there are also some really lovely souvenir shops along the parade. My personal favourite however is definitely Fudge Kitchen, students from the university run this cute little shop whereby they make different flavoured fudge from scratch, and you can actually watch them. This time I had the Salted Caramel Fudge after trying a free sample from a fresh batch that was still warm. It was so creamy and heavenly. I believe however some other university cities also have Fudge Kitchen stores, including Canterbury.

Mill Lane

Mill Lane is such a lovely spot next to the River Cam where you can stop to have a picnic and an ice-cream in the sun, or you can also have a go at punting. If you've never been punting in Cambridge before I would highly recommend getting a guided punting tour with one of the university students, you will see many people advertising these along Kings Parade and around Market Hill. On these tours the students will talk you through the different colleges along the river and the history of some of the colleges and bridges. However, if you have been before or just want a general laugh for yourself and friends you can hire a 6 man boat for yourself to go punting. Just mind the branches along the side of the river because they can knock you off of your feet into the river. That would be hilarious though.

What do you love about Cambridge if you've been? And if you haven't been, would you ever go?
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 27 March 2016

24 things... That make me happy!

Hello Everybody,
I have been writing my 24 things posts for a fair while now and it has recently dawned on me that I am yet to have actually written a list of things that make me happy, and I thought that this would be a great thing for me to share. Particularly as I'm sure many of you will also relate to this somehow, and maybe this will help put a smile on your face too.
I should also quickly say Happy Easter to any of you whom may celebrate it, I know I do, and I am looking forward to spending the next couple of days with my family which I am very excited about.
Anyway, before I start rambling on about board games and Doritos which seem to be at the forefront of my mind today I will start my list of 24 things that make me happy...
Source: Weheartit


  1. Apple Turnovers... need I say more.
  2. Cute little lanes with bunting strung between the small boutiques.
  3. Fairy Lights.
  4. Any cakes and pastries to be honest.
  5. Warm and snuggly slippers.
  6. Macaroni cheese.
  7. Holding printed photos of me and my friends.
  8. Surprising people.
  9. Latte art.
  10. Visiting new places.
  11. The countryside.
  12. The smell of freshly cut grass... even though it does make me sneeze.
  13. Smiles.
  14. Hot water bottles.
  15. Remembering to take my Bag For Life shopping with me... don't laugh, we've all been there!
  16. Fresh sheets.
  17. Light Evenings.
  18. Children laughing.
  19. Chocolate.
  20. Trying a new food and liking it.
  21. Painted nails.
  22. Taking my bra off.
  23. A shower after a good workout.
  24. Ticking a task off of a to-do list.
What makes you happy?
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Saturday, 26 March 2016

Night Out! Outfit and Makeup!

Hello Everybody,
This post comes to you 6 days late... oopsie. But never the less, I have finally managed to get this post written for you, and don't worry there should still be another post going up... hopefully in the next couple of days. I do have an excuse though... A Levels.
For some reason more recently my social life has actually began to increase, and I seem to no longer be that kid that no longer gets no invites to parties. This has come with its drawbacks however, meaning I have spent a lot more money on outfits for nights out recently and I've had to start encouraging myself to outfit repeat, which I by the way, HATE!
I do want to firstly apologise for the lack of fancy background or good lighting in the outfit photo, but lets face it, I'm just a normal 18 year old girl who can't afford to buy a fancy camera or lighting, and doesn't live in a particularly pretty place with any cute houses or artistic landscapes that would create the most beautiful backdrop (which is most likely the reason my outfit posts are few and far between). I have however, tried my best with what I have and I hope that is enough.

Outfit

Dress: Boohoo, £18
Shoes: New Look (Similar), £17.99

Makeup

Brows: Urban Decay Naked Basics (Faint), £23
Eyeshadow: Stila In The Light Palette, £25 (Lid: Bubbly, Outer Corner and Crease: Gilded Gold, Inner Corner and Brow Bone: Kitten)
Eyeliner (I only did my tight line): Stila Waterproof Smudge Stick (Damsel) (This comes with the Stila palette!!)
Highlight: MAC Mineralise Skinfinish (Soft & Gentle), £24
Blush: Bourjois Little Round Pot Cream Blush (03, Rose Tender), £7.99
Bronzer: Bourjois Delice De Poudre (Peaux Claires/Medianes 51), £7.99
Concealer: Collection Lasting Perfection (Fair Shade 1), £3.99
Mascara: Urban Decay Perversion Mascara, £17.50

For my hair I just curled it and swooped it to one side, putting a dutch braid down one side behind my ear. I then accessorized with some simple silver stud earrings and my pandora bracelet.
If you have any questions don't be afraid to comment below or email me at emilybelleblogs@gmail.com.
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x


Monday, 14 March 2016

I WENT SKIING!! (Santa Caterina Valfurva, Italy)

Hello Everybody,
I want to start this post with a quick apology for my short hiatus... life seems to have suddenly sped up and I seem to have 110x more work than I did a few weeks ago all of a sudden. Also, last Sunday I did actually write a post but I wasn't 100% happy with it, and I'm sure if you are a blogger that you'll understand it is very difficult to post something if you are not fully satisfied with it.
Today however I thought I would take you back in time, as a month ago now I went skiing for the first time in my life. I was so excited, but also really scared. I felt like there was quite a lot of pressure on myself to like skiing seeing as I saved up for quite a long time to go on this trip because it certainly was not a cheap trip.


 The journey

The journey was a long one, we were travelling from 40 miles north of London all the way to Santa Caterina Valfurva in Italy, near Bormio by coach. I'd be lying if I said I was excited by this prospect, seeing as I can't stand even short car journeys, let along a long journey on a coach with a fun ferry ride thrown in, just to make my tummy twist a little. 
Of course, along with the apprehension there was quite a bit of excitement. I didn't know what to expect, and I had time to break the ice with people I hadn't met before. Besides, I wanted to make the trip as memorable as possible. In fact, the journey wasn't at all bad, we watched movies, jammed to some throwback songs from our childhood, and gasped at the wonderful sites on our excursion through the Alps.
I did however manage somehow to fall all the way down a flight of stairs on the deck of the ferry before we'd even left the dock, which was hilarious, but also a slight worry that I would never even be able to manage standing up in my skis whilst skiing because of this stunt.
After 28 hours of sitting on a coach whereby our legs had gone numb, we finally arrived. I'm not going to lie, the final few hours felt perilous with the coach squeezing through small gaps between the chalets and skidding along snowy roads along mountain edges, but it was thrilling and exciting all at the same time.

The Hotel

We stayed in a lovely little hotel, called Hotel Santa Caterina. It had loads of space for us all to sit and socialise; lovely little rooms with beautiful views and classic alpine chalet style interiors, and we were even able to ski to and from the hotel once we got good enough- this felt fantastic. Not only that, but we welcomed with open arms the prospect of FREE WIFI! Okay, so the WiFi wasn't brilliant, however it was good enough to keep in contact with back home, which was enough for me, as other than that I was too busy enjoying myself on the slopes.
The only negative I have about the hotel was with the food really. Having pork chops and potato for lunch and dinner everyday can get a little bit annoying. Although, the pasta and salad bar was lovely. As well as the continental breakfast every morning, so I shouldn't complain. Also, I never felt hungry whilst I was there... apart from the odd occasion at the end of my morning lessons.
Overall however, the social area was lovely and cosy. We were able to sit by the bar, listen to some music as a group, and even play some card games around the fire (I say card games, really I mean Irish Snap or Cards Against Humanity).

The Skiing bit...

As mentioned earlier, I had never actually skied before in my life. I was so nervous to begin with, considering I am so clumsy at the best of times. However I picked up the skiing bug pretty quickly. After only spending 2 hours on the nursery slopes the Beginner group and I were headed up the mountain to go on our first blue slope. I was a bit of a speed demon by this point and had a bit of an issue slowing down, so ended up throwing myself on the floor every time I wanted to stop, which is actually quite funny thinking about it now.
On the second day we went back onto the blue slope and continued to practice our "Snow Plow" and control. I was beginning to feel more confident by the end of my 6th hour skiing and therefore ended up staying after the lesson with a few others in the group to continue practicing and going slightly higher up the piste. I quickly came to the realisation however, that I hadn't quite mastered getting off the button lift, and threw myself off multiple times, taking out a number of the people I was with in the process. This was quite amusing. We even ended the day by doing the bottom of a red run, this was so much fun, but speed got the better of me again, and was about inches away from taking out our own ski instructor at one point (good ol' Rolando). I also ended the day going down the blue slopes with one of my best friends Em. We hadn't actually skied with each other before because we were in different skiing groups.
On the third day I finally mastered the red slope without falling, although this did take quite a bit of perseverance, as I seemed to struggle to turn in the more powdery snow. However, we improved even more as the day went on as we managed to actually ski the red slope without any poles... and again, I didn't fall! I then spent the afternoon skiing with Em again, and also mastering how to parallel turn, which I was determined to be able to do. We did have a little bit of scare however when one of our friends fell off the button lift and had to be ski-doo'd to the bottom of the piste.
On day four we went on some slightly different red runs which made the day much more interesting, as we had more views to look at, this also gave us a bit more of a challenge. Even though it was also amazingly fun and enjoyable. We also managed to do our first bit of off piste skiing through the woods, which was so much fun. We even started to do some little jumps which was really funny, and also a little bit frightening... but I managed to land them, and ended up mastering it by the end of the week. We also skied back to the hotel for the first time which was a relief, as climbing back up the hill from the ski school had started to become a little tedious.
On our penultimate day we did a huge red run all the way back down to the bottom of the mountain. As well as myself nearly getting stranding on the mountain when I fell off of the button lift (doh). We then caught the gondola to back up the mountain which was amazing, and felt so wonderful that we'd got to the bottom of the mountain after days of practice. In the afternoon we went to the top to the most beautiful valley... nicknamed Sunny Valley... it was the most amazing afternoon.
On the Thursday we did some more skiing on sunny valley and just had a lovely day of skiing in the most beautiful clear weather. On the final day (Friday) we didn't go up to sunny valley however we did our timed slalom. I was really scared about this prospect at the beginning of the week considering I had never skied before, however by this time I was actually really excited by the idea of doing a slalom and putting everything I had learnt into practice.
In the afternoon and in our final lesson we did the longest red run in the Santa Caterina Resort. It took us most of the lesson, including getting to the slope, however it was the most amazing experience. Turning off piste and jumping back on piste and enjoying every moment of it. I wouldn't have ever imagined doing this at the beginning of the week when I put my skis on for the first time, thus this felt amazing.

Apres-ski

A big part of the ski trip was the apres-ski, which is essentially the time you having after your ski lessons in the evening. This included ice-skating, which was so fun as it was outdoors and it was also snowing whilst we were skating. There was one point when we were racing and I ended up taking a head first dive into the snow because I hadn't seen the end of the rink under the snow. Other apres-ski activities included karaoke and a quiz... as well as, spending more chilled evenings with a drink from the bar and games of cards.
My personal apres-ski favourite however (on day 5 of the trip), and most likely my favourite part of the trip, was the night skiing. A small group of us (shown in the image above), made it up to the top of the slope, pole-less, to get ready for the sun to set on the mountains. We waited in a little alpine restaurant for the sunset: eating panetone and drinking warm drinks, and then when the time had come we were each given a flaming torch. We skied down the red run with no poles and a flaming torch slowly in a line, following other people who had joined the event, including some of our ski instructors. This was the most magical thing... unfortunately, I haven't got any pictures of this right now, but keep an eye out on my instagram for when I do get hold of some.

 Ski Friends

Not only was this the best week of my life, I should also highlight how I made some great friends whilst being there. The trip would have been so different if the group of people whom went were different, and if I'm honest... I wouldn't want to change a thing.

After singing our final lines of Fix You our trip had ended, with memories that would last a life time.
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x



Sunday, 28 February 2016

Update

Hello Everybody,
I'm going to make a real quick apology for my slightly short post today. I have been very busy this past week and I did not want to try and throw what is supposed to be a good post together in minimal time. I hope you all understand this slightly rubbishy post, whereby I will literally be giving you a very short update of my life.
My exams are looming and the coursework load seems to have doubled in just a week. I am almost certain that I spent most of last week on the verge of bursting into tears, yet then making relieved sighs as I completed things. Sometimes it is okay to admit that everything is getting a little too much, and I most certainly think it is okay to admit that in your last leg of high school. I don't often moan about work load, but considering the amount I have and the struggle I am having to motivate myself I think I'm allowed to moan this once.
I have also just come back from the most awesome week of my life... I went skiing last week and I really cannot describe to you how brilliant it actually was. I'm so sad it is over and I wish I could do the whole trip again. Santa Caterina was beautiful, and I can actually ski! I will be making a proper travel type post on this next week.
Finally, I am am 18 year old girl, and sometimes I want to live a little and do normal 18 year old girl things. I've always been quite the busy sort, particularly considering I juggle school, a job, hockey and scouting commitments into my life. But I also want to go out and party and socialise, particularly now I am 18 and I can go out and have a drink or two with my friends. Before recently I didn't really enjoy this, but I will admit now that I want to have a bit of fun and let my hair down every now and again. Plus, I want to enjoy my final few months at home, before I head off to different depths of the country to make new friends.
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 21 February 2016

#Downforone

Hello Everybody,
I was recently scrolling through my Facebook, as you do, when I came across a new concept, campaign type thingy. It was called #downforone. This intrigued me, considering my life is taken over by technology, gadgets and social media... I mean, being a blogger myself must tell you something.
The concept of #downforone is that you should be able to put down you phone/tablet/laptop for one hour a day, and no, work time does not count... I mean in your leisure time. I personally feel as though this is something really good for myself to have a go at. Particularly considering I am refreshing my Instagram and Twitter feeds every 5 seconds at the moment, expecting something to have changed in that time.
I believe it is really important to switch off every now and again. Switching off make you become more aware of what is actually going on around you, and in some cases I believe that can make a more caring person as you have better recognition of what is going on around you.
There are a few things that I plan on doing, however I have decided that to make this #downforone idea work I am going to have to fit it into a routine. Therefore, between 16:30 and 17:30 everyday I am going to switch off my phone.
I am going to use this time either productively, for example, by getting on with any unfinished pieces of work. Or in a way in which I would've enjoyed before smartphones were a thing... whether that be by baking, reading a book/news article/magazine, or by trying my hand at learning how to play the piano again.
Not only do I want to make it a routine to be able to switch off for an hour a day I want to challenge myself further and enable myself to switch off at other times as well. I personally have always seen dinner time to be a time where phones should not be used anyway, it's just table manners at the end of the day. But other situations could also be appropriate times to turn off. For example, when visiting your friend for a coffee and chat, rather than asking for that friends wifi password (which you probably automatically connect to now anyway) and chatting to you other friends, whilst completely ignoring the being sitting in front of you, turn off your phone, and put it in your pocket. Have a proper conversation, look into your friends eyes and watch their lips whilst they are expressing their latest musings. It isn't hard, it is just manners.
Other times I feel as though I personally need to work on putting my phone away, are at parties... it's too easy to get your phone out to avoid any social contact sometimes. Family events, sometimes it is nice to get the board games out... articulate can be fun... and forget that Facebook and Twitter exist for a short while and just enjoy the company around you.
In this post what I am trying to articulate is that our lives do not revolve around our smartphones. We need to begin to see the world in a less parallel way. By having a go at the #downforone trend you may find yourself to be a much more grounded, socialised and aware individual. However, I want to express how important it is to put your phone down in the right situations also... the dinner table is most certainly not the place to be having another group conversation on Whatsapp.
Do you have any environments where you feel the smartphone SHOULD be put down for a short while?
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 14 February 2016

Liz Earle- Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser review

Hello Everybody,
It has been a long time since I have written a review, but as I promised last week I thought I would write a little review on the Liz Earle Cleanse and Polish Hot Cloth Cleanser. You may (or may not) have seen that this product has been quite hyped on the internet due to a lot of sponsorship's with beauty bloggers and vloggers in recent times, and I will be honest and say, their marketing technique has worked on me.
I first heard of Liz Earle on Eve Bennett's channel and have wanted to give it a go myself for a while now. As I was given a Boots voucher from my Nan at Christmas I thought it was the perfect opportunity to try this product out. I was particularly excited by this as I really like to look after my skin and I feel as though it really helps make me feel more confident in my own skin, without hiding behind makeup and filters as much.

Price

*Double checks the Boots website*. The Starter pack for Liz Earle's Hot Cloth Cleanser is £15.50, and yes this is a little more pricey than Simple for example. However, I believe that with any beauty product you get what you pay for. Recently, I have become a bit more of an advocate for saving up my pennies for nicer quality makeup and skincare products, rather than having my regular splurges on cheap makeup and skincare which tends to fall off of your face; not do it's job fully, or go off quickly.
I'm not sure how long this Cleanser will last me at the moment, however I would say that as long as I don't have to repurchase it monthly I would happily continue using it for it's price. Anyway, decent skincare brands such as Clearasil aren't much cheaper in terms of the amount of product you get for the price.

Packaging

I really like the packaging of this product. The product actually came in this cute waterproof, zip-up bag which is perfect for travelling, especially in case the lid falls off and the product leaks, which always makes me feel a little uneasy when travelling. In the zip-up bag came a 100ml bottle of the cleanser, which is in a sleek aqua blue (Liz Earle's standard packaging colour) tube. The tube has a pump on top, which is much easier for use and using the correct amount of product, and it also has a standard lid. The one downside of this packaging is I cannot see how much product I have used, thus I am yet to determine how long it will be before I have to repurchase the product. Inside the bag, also came 2 muslin cloths; seeing as the product is a Hot Cloth Cleanser, I think this is great because it enables me to put them in the wash and yet still have one to use.

Product

The product itself is quite a creamy consistency designed to put on dry skin *not the skin type, I mean not wet* (cleanse), you then rub off the cleanser with a muslin cloth that is damp with hot water (polish). This makes your skin feel very clean and radiant, but also makes my facial skin feel very tight... which is something I really like, because it makes my skin look smooth, and leaves absolutely no lines in it whatsoever. I have seen a noticeable difference in my skin, as it has been glowing more, and also been much more clearer, plus my pores are now much less visible and clogged up.
I would've shown a before and after picture thingy, however, I forgot to take a before picture and I am currently having a hormonal breakout so that plan quickly went down the drain.

I personally really love this skincare product, and hopefully, if it is a product that doesn't need repurchasing too often I am almost certain I will repurchase it. I may also consider purchasing some of Liz Earle's other skincare products.
Do you recommend any skincare products, or more specifically use Liz Earle products?
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 7 February 2016

January Sales Haul

Hello Everybody,
I know it's February now, however I thought you guys would like to see what I actually picked up in the January Sales (most of what I purchased was in the sales anyway). I love a bit of shopping but I have found more recently that I have actually not been on a proper shopping spree for a little while, mostly because I was busy saving money for a ski trip which is now only 5 days away... EEK! However, I thought with the money and vouchers in which I received over my birthday and over Christmas it was only right that I treated myself a little.

River Island

The shop that I went to first was River Island... mainly because I had a voucher for River Island so was prepared for a little shopping spree in here. The first thing in which I picked up was a beautiful sparkly geometric cropped top, with a lace up cleavage area and long flared sleeves. I have really been into more bohemian looks recently, thus I was very excited by this top, particularly when I saw that it was in my size and only £12.
I also picked up a beige *for want of a better word* jumper that has frayed/distressed edges, and is quite a loose fit. It also has this most lovely v-neck, which I don't normally go for as I get quite self-conscious with my little boobs, however it is actually quite flattering. Plus, when I picked up this jumper I thought it had been reduced to £12 from £20, however when it was scanned through it was only £8. I also bought a knitted grey vest top which I think will look really nice in the spring with a pair of black jeans, again this was only £10 I believe, thus an absolute bargain for River Island.
The final item of clothing I bought actually wasn't in the sale, but I kind of fell in love and therefore couldn't help but buy it. It is a beautiful cream colour, and also a very heavy, loose, yet warm material. This jumper again has a lace up cleavage area, and is so up my street, thus I wouldn't be surprised if you guys have an OOTD featuring it sometime soon.

Boots

I also did a spot of shopping in Boots, as I again was given a voucher for Christmas and there were a few bits I had been desperate to purchase for quite some time. The first thing a picked up was the Clinique Chubby Stick in the colour Super Strawberry, I received a sample of this in a magazine ages ago and loved it and haven't been able to purchase the real thing until now. £17 well spent I'll say! I also picked up the Liz Earle Hot Cloth Cleanse and Polish, yep, falling over another recent skincare hype... however, for £15 for a 100ml cleanser and two muslin cloths I didn't see the price being too steep, particularly if I was certain it would work. I will post more details on this next week as I do feel as though this product is deserving of a post on it's own.

Tiger

I've never been to Tiger before but my Auntie recently recommended it too me, and it's like a mini IKEA. It has pretty much everything in it in a little mini compact shop. I love the Swedish, open, clean vibes of the shop and I am sure I will have a little spree in Tiger before I go off to Uni in September. I didn't actually buy much from Tiger, however I did get a little travel pillow as I am going skiing in 5 days, and I'm sure I will need something to rest my heavy head on during our long, long journey.

Hollister

I'm normally not a huge Hollister fan, but true, Hollister is very much my style... bohemian "and all that jazz", however I do often find Hollister to be quite over priced, and often I can find cheaper alternatives of their clothing items in the likes of New Look and H&M. However, I will often find myself treking through the rails of clothes in the dingy lights and clouds of perfumes and body mists into the sale section at the back of the stores. 
I often pride myself on finding little gems hidden into little corners of shops in sales, and this was no exception. This time I found the most wonderful sleeveless swing dress with this beautiful (tribalish?) print on it... I've worn it out once or twice with my favourite cream cardigan, black tights and patent t-bar shoes already, although I am so excited to wear it out and about when I go to spain this summer with my rather over sized black fedora. I can't remember how much I actually bought the dress for in the end, but I can tell you that it wasn't half as pricey as it would've been before the price was reduced. 

Topshop

The final shop I went into on my little shopping trip was Topshop. I wasn't planning on spending loads in Topshop as I do feel like I have plenty of clothes already however I LOVE LOVE LOVE Topshop jeans. I have been searching high and low for some non-ripped slim fit boyfriend jeans for ages *lets just say I want to embrace my inner Karlie Kloss, okay?* but I cannot find them anywhere.
Just when I was on the verge of giving up my mum found them hidden away in the corner... and after trying on the most unflattering MOM jeans in the world, I fell in love with some beautiful slim fit non ripped boyfriend jeans! Yes, it does mean that I am now £37 poorer... however, I would say I am richer in terms finally finding a pair of non-skinny jeans that don't make me look like I am wearing my Dad's old "mowing the lawn" pair from the 90s.

Did you buy anything in the January Sales?
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 31 January 2016

24 things... To do in 2016

Yes it's back, back, back; back again!
My favourite series on this blog has to be my "24 things..." series, most probably because I like lists. Therefore, this year I have decided to write a post on 24 things to do in 2016. These ideas are mostly things that I want to do, and if you want to see the list I made last year, then that post is here. I'll be honest I achieved very little on that list last year, apart from eating sushi, going ice-skating, going to a concert and passing my driving test, so I know I will be working on that also. But this year I thought I would extend on that list, but also include things that you guys could do also, but maybe not have thought of doing.

  1. Make a terrarium, they have become a big thing recently and I think I need to get my creative flair out of hiding.
  2. Go to Yo Sushi... I tried sushi last year and really liked it so now I think it is time for me to lose my Yo Sushi virginity. I've always been afraid to go because I am too scared that I'll have a Miranda moment and get a scarf or something caught in the conveyor belt (comment down below if you get my reference).
  3. Make balloon splatter art. Something about filling balloons up with paint and pinning them to a canvas and popping them pins makes me very happy.
  4. Go to a big farmers market. A few years ago I went to big farmers market with my mum and bought the most delicious cherries for super cheap, and I really want to do that again.
  5. Do an obstacle course colour run... okay... so I didn't do a colour run last year so I thought I would up my game and do an obstacle course one this year.
  6. Go strawberry picking, there is a place near where I live where you can go strawberry picking and now I can drive I really want to drive down there and go strawberry picking (I've said strawberry picking too many times), it'll really bring back some childhood memories.
  7. Go on a hike with my friends. The town where I live is surrounded by beautiful countryside and last year a new walking route was put in, and it goes through all of the local villages. This summer I would love to pack a picnic with some of my friends and walk it.
  8. Go to a horror maze thing at Halloween. Near where I live there is now a Tulley's Horror Farm, although next year I most likely would have moved out, I would love to go to it with my friends, as I think it'll be really funny.
  9. See Finding Dory... enough said.
  10. Go on a roadtrip, with a few friends that can drive now I would really love to go on a roadtrip this year, I think it'll be really fun.
  11. Go to a new city, I'm going to Leeds on Wednesday so I guess that will already count, but I don't seem to go very far in the country at the moment.
  12. Go to Madame Tussaud, I've never been before and I think it'll be such a laugh.
  13. Walk over the O2, how freaking cool does that sound? 
  14. Go banana boating, again, one word... fun!
  15. Go pottery painting, there is something about painting on plates and bowls and ornaments that makes me want to smile. I could do this before I go to uni so I have some more personal crockery to take with me.
  16. Start vlogging, to be honest, I really don't think I'll be very good at this, but maybe in the summer I can give it a shot.
  17. Write more on my blog, I am actually really happy with the fact that I have managed to post once a week on this blog in 2016, and I really feel as though I am getting back into the swing of things.
  18. Eat more cake... because why the hell not?!
  19. Have more girly nights with my friends, whether that is going out for meals, going to the cinema, or even just ordering takeaways round to our houses.
  20. Go to a club, I'm 18 and yet to have been to a club, the prospect scares me a little, because it's sweaty and gross, however I need preparation for freshers week!
  21. Make Tiger Loaf... everybody loves it.
  22. Get a boyfriend... I joke (it would be nice though aha!!)
  23. Go to an outdoor swimming pool, in England. There is one not too far from where I live, but my friends and I have been too chicken to take the plunge into the depths of it's icy cold water in recent years.
  24. Buy a pretty bra for myself, I am not blessed with big boobs, but I don't think that should stop me from buying some prettier underwear.
What is on your list of things to do this year?
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 24 January 2016

Sainsbury's Homeware Haul!

Why hello there peeps!
When the new year came around, there were quite a few things I wanted to change up about my routine and lifestyle in general. I knew I wanted to be a bit more tidier and enjoy the space in which I relax in. For this reason I decided it was about time I made my room feel a bit more homely with a few more decorations. I was excited about doing this, particularly considering I hadn't updated my chilling space since I moved into that room when I was 10 (apart from the occasional moving of furniture), so it was in need of some good ol' TLC. Plus, I see the decorations that I have just bought for my room as an investment for when I go to Uni next year.
The first thing I picked up was some bunting, in which I have draped from my curtain rail. There is some really kitsch about bunting and for me I feel like it really reflects my personality. I love coffee shops and cake, and cute markets strung with bunting, so it brings a nice part of my favourite things into my bedroom which really does make me smile. It is also something that I believe will look really cute and lovely strung across my room when I go to uni.
I also bought some fairy lights, which I have strung around the mirror of my dressing table. They are little wicker love heart shapes and are just so adorable. They are also really bright so are actually really handy to turn on when I am doing my makeup, which is something that I find quite helpful. I also love turning my fairy lights on in the evening as it makes my room seem so much more prettier and tranquil.
Another item I picked up, which is currently sitting on my bedside table is a vase of fake flowers. I'll be honest, I haven't got much of a green finger and I am really rubbish at remembering to water plants, thus having a bouquet of flowers in my room which I do not have to worry about looking after is perfect for me. I also have heard that having plants in your room can create a more peaceful space and there is a sort of special feeling to my room now I have introduced plants into it... I am debating making my own terrarium at some point in the future, as I love cacti so much, I saw a fake one in Sainsbury's too which I nearly picked up, however, I decided that I wanted to be a bit more creative and actually make a real one myself. Besides, I've seen places where you can buy cheap terrarium pots, and there are plenty of garden centres near to where I live.
I also picked up a new duvet which is quite simply a white duvet with a pink floral and butterfly pattern on it. For years now I have had the same duvets, both of which are very dark shades of purple, and I believe neither really reflected me as a person. I believe having a lighter colour duvet has really brightened my room up, and has made it look much more feminine and elegant. Plus, new bed sheets feel so crisp and wonderful that they really do feel as though they were worth the money.
As well as the duvet I picked up a cushion to match. I already have two deep purple cushions in my room, but they are both the same and I wanted to mix things up a bit. This pillow is a more rectangular shape and is a light lilac shade. It also has a white floral detailing on it, thus going more along with the pattern which is on my new duvet. It also makes for a really good head prop, if like me you like to use your laptop in bed.
The final thing I bought was a pinky purple throw. I had a pink blanket which I used to keep on my bed, however it was old and beginning to look a little babyish in my room. Most of the time I like to keep a blanket at the bottom of my bed to keep my feet warm, so I knew I was due an update. It is a knitted throw with fraying around the edges, so it is really pretty and it really matches the colours and vibes of the rest of my room.
Have you bought anything to spruce up your room recently?
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 17 January 2016

Mindfulness

Sometimes, we need peace, a moment to ourselves; a moment away from the chaotic world that is around us. As humans, we don't spend enough time away from the chaos, away from the quandary from others, away from the weight of our work. We take on too much, too much drudgery, too much hardship from others, and too little of our own time, me time; time to stop.
Sometimes stopping in our tracks is a good thing. Stopping to think about all of the things we are grateful for and relishing a moment to breathe in clean, fresh air (where possible with pollution becoming a greater issue- more on that another day maybe?).
I often wonder to myself whether I could spend some more time looking after me personally. I spend so much time consuming myself with other people's problems, or trudging through the internet looking for a new story to read about. But why? I sit here and ask. Why do I spend more time caring about other peoples life stories when I could be writing new chapters of my own?
Source: WeHeartIt
Mindfulness is a fairly new concept, but a popular one. Mindfulness is something that I've wanted to practice more so this year, in order to feel more grounded as an individual, and to feel as if my life is less hurried, but also less stuck in the past.
According to dictionary.com mindfulness is:
  1. The state or quality of being mindful or aware of something.
  2. A technique in which one focuses one's full attention only on the present, experiencing thoughts, feelings, and sensations but not judging them.
The idea of mindfulness can be performed in a number of ways, as long as your key focus is living in the moment; centralizing all your thoughts on that exact moment, how you are feeling and what you are feeling.
Mindfulness can be practiced pretty much everywhere. For example, in the shower you can spend an extra 2 minutes feeling the way in which the water hits your skin, smelling the warm muggy air in which the sweet aromas of your favourite shower gel is filling, and breathing the clean air. It doesn't have to take long, but the more you practice focusing on the now, rather than the then or later, the more at peace you will feel.
Put away your phone for a moment, look around you, see the beauty in your day. Open the window, enjoy that earthy scent that the ground produces when the rain hits soil, enjoy the noise of the water dripping from the gutter and the wind whistling against the window.
Don't just look at your life through your Instagram feed and the photos in which you are taking, put your phone and your camera away, and enjoy the elegance of the Earth, through your own eyes. Feel the breeze sweep across your face until your eyes are streaming, the sensitivity in which you would never feel if your were looking down at your mobile device.
Stop. Breathe. Feel.
Feel the hairs stand up on the back of your neck when aghast from the grace in which you feel when you see a gaggle of geese swoop past your own head. Enjoy the feeling because it is unique, special, a feeling of wonderfulness.
How will I practice mindfulness you might ask?

  • I will bake more, baking for me is something that puts me in a state of presence. When baking I am only in that moment, I am not thinking about the anguish in my past or the angst of my future, I am thinking about what I am doing in that minute. I am thinking about the syrupy scents drifting past the heavy burnt glass doors of the oven into the warm, homely kitchen. I am thinking about every ingredient in which I am pouring into the concoction of sugariness. I'm not worried about what has just happened or what is to come in the future.
  • I will read more, when reading I can concentrate on that one thing, that one plot that is gripping me into that book. I don't care about the sorrow of the day or the world. I am enjoying the emotions in which that book is taking me on a journey through. I am enjoying that very exact moment.
Other methods also work, whether it is just sitting in a quiet room meditating and concentrating on every breath that you inhale, and exhale. Or sitting outside and listening to the birds sing a choir in which you can only relate to as Bruno Mars- Lazy Song. You may want to learn yoga, practicing not only the flexibility involved which holding a position for an extended amount of time, but the breathing techniques and the serenity involved in it.
There are so many ways in which you can practice the globes new phenomenon, and it isn't just limited to the ways in which I have described above. I know I am going to practice it more in 2016, are you?
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Sunday, 10 January 2016

Revision Tips!

Hello Everybody,
I know I have done these types of posts before, whereby I tell you every single revision technique and tip I know, however, normally I time my posts for after exams... which is both pointless and not providing the help that I intend to provide when I am writing those posts. Today, therefore, I have decided to enlighten you with my revision tips now. This will give you time to put together a revision timetable (if you like to use them), buy the supplies you need and give you a head start to getting the best grade you can possibly get...

Don't just read it!!

Okay, fair enough, reading can help a little, but a lot? No! I know I sound like an old, boring teacher telling you this, but once you get to A Level standard at least, there is no way you are going to do as well as you want with just a little bit of reading.By writing down any key facts you are not only processing the information more then once, but you are also ensuring that you understand what you have just read. A lot of the times when we read, we might not actually be taking in the information and you would feel a little bit gutted if you got to the exam and then realised you didn't know how to explain a graph for example.

Use different methods.

It's easy to just sit there and write notes for hours on end- actually, that's a lie, it's not easy to do that for very long at all without getting bored. By trying different methods you can engage yourself for a little bit longer. For example, you might get bored of using flashcards for key words so instead if you go onto Quizlet you can create games with these key words. Although I do like to use flashcards, my other favourite revision technique for key words is to play word match, on Quizlet this is timed and you can try and beat your highscore, thus it is great for competitive people like myself.
I also, like to make posters, with LOTS OF COLOUR, and use colourful post-it notes to simplify information into a small space and stick them in places that I am most likely to look -on the fridge; on the back of the toilet door.
Other techniques that you could use include doing past papers and self-assessing them, this not only allows you to find out where you are most likely to need improvement, but to also get a grips of what the examiner is expecting from you. Also, reading the chief examiners report from the previous years is  really helpful, because you can find out where other candidates went wrong in previous years, so you do not make that mistake again.

My favourite methods:

  • Making posters with lots of colour.
  • Highlighting key points and then writing them into notes, followed by condensing those notes further.
  • Using mnemonics and acronyms to help me remember key concepts... rhyming and making songs also helps if you are a creative type.
  • Sticking post-its up around the house with the facts that I am most likely to forget.
  • Making even BIGGER posters, when I feel like an A4 sheet just isn't cutting it anymore I often revert to using A3 paper.
  • Using flashcards, I don't only use these for keywords I also use them for writing factors that I shouldn't be forgetting down.
  • Chew gum. I like to do this because it stops me from getting distracted by the thought of snacking, because you can't snack with a piece of gum in your mouth.
  • Listen to music. This isn't to everyone's taste, but for me putting my sound blocking headphones in and listening to fast paced music really helps me to switch off from the outside world and actually get some work done.

Did you know:

You can use whiteboard pens on mirrors, and they clean off perfectly fine? I often write on my mirrors information that I think I am going to forget. For me this works really well as I am quite a vain person, so whenever I want to look in a mirror I am faced with the information that I would have previously forgotten instead.

I hope these tips helped, and if you have any revision tips that myself or my readers may find helpful, then comment them down below.
Toodles,
EmilyBelleBlogs x

Tuesday, 5 January 2016

Dear 2015

This is the time of year where we reflect; end a chapter; turn a page. Normally we speak of our year with clichés, and I'm not going to lie... so will I. I speak for a year full of finding who I used to be, for year of friendship, and a year for a LOT of hard work. Yes, there were quite a few tears in the past year also, but we wouldn't enjoy the good parts of our life without sorrowful parts.
I sense that 2015 isn't going to be an easy year to reflect upon. It felt like everyday was a sprint; so much happened, yet it only feels like yesterday that the clock struck 00:00 on 1st January 2015, yet it's been a whole year and a bit since then. A lot of learning happened in 2015, and I sat back a bit, but I am not regretful, I am not ashamed, because I grew to become much more of the person I wanted to be in 2015.

January

I started off the year the same way in which I have started this year. Revising to mock exams, shopping, and generally recovering for Christmas. I didn't set any New Year Resolutions for this year, and I didn't mind. Sometimes, it's okay to say that you feel quite happy with the way in which you live your day to day life. My diet was good, I drank plenty of water and I had a good skincare routine.
I did something quite big in January however, I applied to be one the school's head students. The application process was grueling, and I spent many hours deciding whether what I had written on my letter of application was enough. Before this I didn't feel like I had anything to be proud of myself for, yes my grades were okay, but they weren't any better then average. Reflecting on what I had already achieved in my life made me realise that I might not achieve straight As, but that didn't matter. We had group interviews, which I made a right fool of myself in, probably because I'm a bit clumsy at the best of times, but that's me, and some how, people find that endearing. I also told the best joke, so maybe I am funny? We then had an interview with the head teacher... it was one of the scariest things I had to do, but it actually went much better then I ever thought it would. Anyway, they must have liked me because I did get the role as head student, and I've had the best year with the rest of the team... it makes me kind of sad that our year as head students is coming to an end, but I have become great friends with people because of it, learnt how to speak in a proper manner to adults, and do proper public speaking. 

February

This was a really fun month. It started off with me spending the day in Milton Keynes on a trade fair for my Young Enterprise's final product. We didn't achieve much on this day, but all of the same it was a good day, and I learnt a lot from it.
I also spent the day at Centreparcs with my family, auntie, uncle and cousins. We had such a lovely day cycling around the forest, getting all too competitive playing Table Tennis ("around the world" gets a little intense in my family) and stuffing our faces with huge stacks of pancakes! We then spent an excited few hours in the swimming pool... you never getting too old for water flumes. Followed by a lovely evening enjoying a meal together. Seeing my cousins is always a happy time for me, we all get on so well, and we always leave each other having pulled muscles in our faces and stomachs cramping from all of the laughter and smiles.

March

I made a decision in March which has changed not only the past year, but I believe will have changed the rest of my life. I decided that I would actually apply for University, and stay there. This was a big decision for me, as for many years I have been pretty adamant I did not want to go. Obviously, I didn't really realise at the time of making this decision it would have such a significant impact on my year, but I'm glad that I did. 
I also spent some great evenings with my friends. First of all we had our schools Easter Social, our school events are never a let down, and I had a fun few hours boogieing with some of my closest friends. And then my 4th year of playing senior hockey came to an end... which meant my hockey teams end of season do. This was a great evening, which again meant enduring in quite a bit of dancing, and food. My hockey team also won Ladies Team of the Year and it felt so good to be awarded this as we all really gelled as a team in 2015.

April

April was another busy month. It started off with me doing my practice Silver Duke of Edinburgh expedition, it was great to get to know some new people, but it was also one of the most challenging weekends in my life. Having to put up with broken equipment, getting drenched to the bones and being hungry can be very tough when you don't know the people that you are with all that way. I knew I had to be the strong one, as I had done many expeditions before. But carrying a almost 2 tents on my own at some parts was more then I could physically handle, and ended up injuring my knee quite badly and putting me out of hockey for a little while. Luckily it was during off-season but I couldn't take part in summer events and my fitness dropped to a new low, and it was very hard for me to handle, also considering I was walking like a pirate with a peg leg for quite a while.
Even though I spent much of April pretending not to be in pain, and walking very, very slowly it was still a good month, and I don't want to dwell too much on the negatives (but lets be real... we all have them.). I went on my annual bowling and shopping trip with my friends, as well as spending a lovely evening with my closest friends celebrating one of their birthdays.

May

In May I again enjoyed a bit of time with my friends. It was also a very stressful and busy beginning to the month as I had a Young Enterprise competition where lots of reports had to be written and a pitch for our product had to be rehearsed, ready for the county finals. We didn't win overall at this competition, but even so it was a great evening, and we also won Best Presentation and received a fancy looking trophy for our achievement. I was so proud of everybody, especially considering public speaking was something not many of the people in the company wanted to do.
A lot of revision was also entailed in May 2015 as well as me AS Level exams, it was a tough month, which also meant a time appropriate to treat myself. For this reason, with the ladies of the family on my mum's side we decided to indulge in a day with chocolate at ChoccyWoccyDooDah's secret room in London. It was soooo lovely, but I wasn't really hungry enough to enjoy much chocolate. 
I also started physio for my knee, which made a whole lot of difference for me and quickly saw me getting back into hockey. As well as finding the time to celebrate my blogs 2nd birthday.

June

Before heading back to school to start studying for my A2 levels I spent some time relaxing with my own company. Spending time outside and baking, both things that I know I need to make more time for in 2016. This was a particularly quiet month for me, as it really only included winding down from exams and getting my head into A2s and controlled assessements.
I also completed my real DofE expedition (which my knee was fixed for) and it was such a great weekend, and very hilarious. We were definitely in better spirits on this weekend.

July

July was a little more busier. Before school was out for the summer I volunteered in a local vineyard for the day. It was a weird day in terms of weather. To start with it was a sunny, hot day and then, within minutes it was torrential rain... it was still a really fun day with my friends though, and it certainly felt good to do something in the community.
I then did my annual Gilwell 24 challenge, which involved 24 hours of running around, playing games and partying. It's such an exhausting weekend, but it was worth every minute of being awake, and I hope I am around again this year to go one last time. 
On the last day of school I enjoyed a huge picnic with my friends, and we consumed A LOT of food, it's funny how little things like picnics can become a little tradition. 
Oh! And another HUUUUUGEEE thing! I PASSED MY DRIVING TEST! I passed first time as well, so it was a very good and happy month for me.

August

In August I enjoyed my summer with my friends, we had sleepovers, beach trips and just fun in each others company. It seemed to rain quite a lot throughout August, but on the sunny days we certainly made the most of it. 
We spent days going on walks, enjoying the outdoors, it's funny that when you step back you can discover a whole new  beauty just outside your doorstep. I guess another thing I want to achieve in 2016 is to spend more time outside, enjoying natural beauty... I also really want to go strawberry picking this year, but maybe that's for another post?
I also went to a large hockey event in London, in which I bought my Dad tickets for to go and see England Ladies play in, which they later went on to win. It was such a lovely warm day, and the atmosphere was incredible... I'm still debating splurging on tickets for this years hockey event?

September

In September before heading back to school my family and I headed to Staffordshire. The long weekend began with my family heading to Alton Towers. We had a lovely time there, but seeing as I had been there many times before, and it was very quiet considering the unfortunate events that had occurred there earlier on in the year, the waterpark was the most fun... mostly because we hadn't experienced it before. We also had a really fun game of crazy golf there. We then stayed in a small log cabin for a few nights, where we had a few trips out... this also entailed in me drinking the voted "Best Hot Chocolate in the UK", it definitely lived up to my expectations.
In this month my fifth season of hockey also began, which I was very excited for, but knew I needed to train hard for considering I hadn't done much exercise after injuring my knee. I also had a little boogie around my friend Heather's for her 18th birthday.

October

This month I went to see James Bay at Cambridge Corn Exchange. I was so excited, but also a little apprehensive considering I hadn't been to a concert in a long time. It was literally the best night of my life, and FREAKING ED SHEERAN WAS THERE! I was standing at the barrier and I practically couldn't touched him. My legs literally went to jelly, I have never had that feeling in my life, and I am so glad I stuck at my guns and went.

November 

This was a bit more of a quiet month in terms of life. I went to see my friend I hadn't seen in a while to celebrate her birthday... "Hi Charlie!" and I gave blood... which by the way, you should all do if you can because it is soooo flipping rewarding, and really isn't as horrible and as scary as it seems when you first walk in. 

December

The month I became an adult... partied hard and celebrated Christmas. It was a really jam packed month, full of work, revision, parties and festivities. I had some amazing moments with my friends, and will never forget how special everyone made me feel. I went ice-skating with a great bunch of people, and the best 18th party. As well as spending a lovely Christmas with family, and New Year with friends. 

I would like to thank everyone that was involved in my 2015; true, it did have it's peaks and troughs, ups and downs, but I wouldn't change it for the world. I learnt a lot about myself in 2015, and I am ready for a bigger and better year this years.
Goodbye 2015.
Hello 2016,