Thursday, 31 July 2014

A graduate's view on the world

Hi everyone. You may have noticed I've been pretty absent from my blog in the last month or so. I just haven't felt like I've had the time to just sit down and do a few posts. Although this is something I've wanted to write about for a while..

 It's been a bit of a roller coaster recently, as at the end of June I left my student life in Southampton, and moved back in with my mum in Somerset. 

The pros:
This was a huge change for me, full of positives though. I get to live with my mum again (I sometimes missed her lots when living away!) and after 3 years of living apart, my boyfriend and I live just 10 minutes away, and I'm very lucky to have such great people in my life that look after me, and I'm so happy I'm closer to them. Home comforts are great too, always plenty of food in the house, and It's nice to just have all my bits at home instead of living out of a suitcase.  My washing also gets done even though I don't ask it to be (cheers mum). The sink is always clean (something that is a major luxury for me after living in a student house) and I have lots of space to cook/bake when I want which is lovely.

The cons:
Having lived in a city for the last 3 years of my life and now moved back into the country, it's a very strange thing I'm not used to. I'm not even within walking distance of my nearest shop, and I don't even own a car (and can no way afford one right now). When everyone else is busy, I'm usually sat on my todd at home having to entertain myself which is slowly but surley becoming slightly tedious. But hey, can't complain. I am starting to miss my student lifestyle and friends too. I've been quite busy with bits and bobs over the last month, and have lots of plans over the next few months to make sure I see everyone. But the uni life seems far behind me now, especially when I'm usually in bed by 11, and my hangovers seem to be 200x worse because I don't drink anymore.

The Big Question:
I'm not sure if anyone else has experienced this, but as a graduate, anyone who asks me 'So, what are you doing now?' I actually want to punch in the face*. Yep, I'm usually a very calm, smiley and happy girl, however this question is forever grating on me and the pressure to be getting a job. I've come to the conclusion it's just easier to tell them that I'm going to move to the USA and become a dolphin trainer and live in a beach hut. Actually that sounds pretty great... But please stop asking me.
(*Apologies to any friends/family who have recently asked me this, I love you really.)

Truth is.. even I don't know. I'm totally lost. I've spent the last 3 years in a steady education structure surrounded by friends, knowing what's coming next, and now I've just been thrown into the real world on my own and have to sort myself out. And the thing is, it's pretty frightening. I have some days where I wonder if I even want to get into fashion anymore.. if I should spend my days doing unpaid internships.. or try to get into graduate schemes, or just give up altogether. I've currently been looking left right and center for a job. Any job. In London, and even just locally to get me some part time work so I can get by. Even leaving university with savings doesn't cover your back when your unemployed and have a clothes/shoe/makeup/overall shopping obsession.

The Dream
I have a vision of myself in the future, amazing apartment, a couple of little dogs, me and the boyfriend living together. We'll have great jobs that we enjoy and live the high life, and I'll have a wardrobe full of amazing clothes.. but that all seems so far away. And turning 22 in a week is adding the pressure to me. Aren't I supposed to be married and having babies by now according to my 15 year old self?! I'm starting to really want my own place (a cute little place I can decorate myself with home bits and bobs of course) but this all seems in the way way distant future right now.

The Interview 
And the thing is, even when you get past the application stage with any job, there's the dreaded interview. Now if you're like me, you find the interview the most daunting thing of your life. I mean, you're sat in a room, with one (or even worse, 2 or more people) looking at you, judging you, listening intently to every single word, whilst you have to sit there and basically big yourself up. I tend to get very anxious about things like this, let nerves get to me, and I end up a mumbling wreck who they wouldn't even think about hiring. Then that's it, you've blown it. No more chances. 

Last week recently got an email for an interview for basically, my dream job. I couldn't even believe it when I saw it, and ended up jumping around the room in disbelief. A fashion brand, wanted me, Ellen, to come and see them, for a job that had exactly everything I wanted. I was determined to do well, and determined to get this job that I so badly wanted. I spent all week doing the most prep I'd ever done for anything. I had to do a presentation for them, which I spent hours preparing and practicing and spent money getting professional looking boards printed out, and even bought a carry case to take them all in. I went over main interview questions, over and over in my head so thoroughly where I'd memorized the answers - just so I didn't go blank. I spent a whole day shopping to get the perfect outfit together and bought things especially. On the day I had to buy a train ticket to reading, got there a couple of hours before just so I could get some more practice in. It was the best interview I'd ever had, and I was brimming with confidence (unlike me really!). It couldn't have gone any better. The people were lovely, my presentation went great, and I felt like they really liked me.  Time and money well spent. I left feeling amazing, and couldn't wait to hear from them.
That's until this week when I got the automated 'We will not be taking your application any further' email. My heart literally broke. What did I do wrong?! I spent all this time and money.. are you joking? I'd be perfect for this job! Did I not have enough experience? Thoughts went through my head non-stop.  I burst into tears, my whole ideal life plan was suddenly gone within seconds.

I asked for feedback, apparently the main thing that let me down was my maths test I was given. I hadn't done a maths test in about 5 years, numbers have never been my strong point, so I wasn't really surprised about that. Fair does. I know I'd gotten my hopes up a little, but it's impossible to keep calm when you've just have a brilliant interview for your dream job. I'm very critical of myself, so it's taken a couple of days for me just to come to terms with the news, draw a line under it, and move on. There's nothing more I could have possibly done. It may not have been the best interview they'd had that day, but it was for sure the best experience I'd had. I guess I just have to take that forward to the next thing I do, and hopefully I'm a little more confident then I used to be. But I have a feeling this is something I'm going to come across more than once.


Keep your head up
I've applied for 10 jobs today alone, anywhere and everywhere for a variety of positions. I'm applying for everything left right and center. Stuff I don't even really want, but what's the worst that can happen, I get nothing back? I feel incredibly disheartened by the whole thing, but it's important to pick yourself back up. Something else will come along. Perhaps it just wasn't meant to be for me. I find this time so difficult because you're just stuck in a limbo. I have no idea where I'm going to be in a months, six months, or a year's time, and that's pretty scary. I could be settled with a job in London, or working part time at a supermarket, or even traveling.

I'm very lucky to have my boyfriend - he's been a wonderful support to me through uni and after, and has been the main constant in my life. We're enjoying spending time together without the stresses of uni, and are just doing our best to work things out for ourselves, and that's okay.

So, for now I'll be job hunting day and night until something else comes up. I have positive productive days, and days I just want to scream because I'm stuck in the house watching Jeremy kyle for the 14millionth time and feel as if I'm getting nowhere. I may stumble into something completley different, who knows. We'll just have to see. And for now, it's still okay if I'm still in my PJS at 3pm on a Thursday about watching the breaking bad box set for the second time. I'm not sure if anyone feels (or has felt) there's a tremendous amount of pressure on graduates to sail straight into your dream job with ease. I'm not even sure where this pressure comes from, but I think you just have to allow yourself to go with whatever happens. But with the world and his dog asking about your career, it doesn't help.

I'll enjoy being unemployed for now whilst everyone else is moaning about their full time job, but I feel as if as long as I'm doing as much as I can to get myself to a better destination, you may aswell enjoy the journey.

Ellen xxxxxxxx

Wednesday, 18 June 2014

Missguided Playsuit - OOTN

Hi all! The last couple weeks have been crazy busy, I've been keeping blogging in mind and been taking photos and bits, but haven't actually had the time to sit down and write a post. My student lifestyle is nearly at an end, and I'm moving out of our student house next week! It's all come round very quickly, but we've been making the most of our last days here. It's great that the weather has been holding out, and this means on a night out you can trott off in your new tropical print playsuit and heels and not need to worry about being cold staggering home at 3am!

I had been waiting to wear this gorgeous playsuit since I ordered it, and I wore it on a night out a couple of weeks ago. Due to it's colouful nature, I teamed it with my minimal black stilettos and holographic clutch bag to add a bit of a twist. 

The fit and length on this playsuit is so lovely, I can see myself wearing it alot over the summer :) It was one of our last girls nights out and we had a blast!

Ellen xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 31 May 2014

DIY White ripped jeans

I'm loving how white jeans have come back in style, and a great summer alternative to black or blue jeans. I'd been lusting over Topshop/Missguided/Boohoo ripped white jeans for a while and really wanted some. With my new graduate saving scheme in place (eg: no more clothes, I need to save for important things in life) I refused to pay upwards of £40 for some! I managed to create some jeans I like even better than the pricier ones I was after, and for a fraction of the price. Here's how I did it..

1. Get yer jeans out. I ended up picking nicely fitting (and surprisingly not see through) white skinny jeans in primark, for the bargain price of £10 and ripped them myself! I wanted them to look similar to the ones above with just the knee cut out.

 2. Mark out where you want to rip. I popped my jeans on and lightly marked my knees out in pencil so it didn't make too much of a mark.

3. Roll up and cut. I rolled up the hems as I do with all my jeans anyway to make them look a bit trendier, and just went for it with the scissors. I started by making two small cuts above and below the knee and made them bigger once I was happy. I found it helped if I cut dead straight across the threads, for the next bit..

4. Pull out threads. This took  a good few minutes, but I found it really theraputic! I made some cuts inbetween the two main cuts which made it alot easier. I used tweezers to pull out the vertical threads of the jeans, leaving the vertical. I then cut out a small section from the middle, leaving a slash for the knees.

...and Voila! This was the end result (nice tanned knees). 

I frayed the edges of the fabric a little more and pulled and made it look messy. I was so surprised how well it worked, I'll definitely be ripping more jeans some time soon! And so easy to do without paying the expensive price tag :)

Ellen xxxxxxxxxxxx

OOTD Slogan Tee

Bank holiday weekend I was invited up to my sister's house in Andover along with my mum to visit for a couple of days. I LOVE styling up new clothes, and went for a casual look as I was travelling and spending the day relaxing.
 I practically live in these ripped jeans now from Primark I got last summer, they're perfect and comfy, and have ripped even more over time. I wore my 'sucker for love' slogan tee I got from BANK in the sale, I love the slogan and it's a really nice quality t-shirt I'll be able to throw on. I teamed it with my new mini bag from Primark, which is just perfect for all my essentials. My new white sandals from Boohoo are amazing, I'm so glad I bought them! They're slightly spongy so are dead comfy, I even wore them on a day trip to London the other day and my feet were fine.. which is amazing considering even in flats I usually end up with painful feet after a day running off and on tubes.
 Having finished uni I was really excited to see her.. and even more so that her boyfriend let us in on a secret. It turned out to be a very special day where her boyfriend proposed to her! She was completley shocked, and I got it all on camera. I'm over the moon for her and her boyfriend and not to mention dead excited. I've never had a wedding in the family and cannot wait for all the festivities to celebrate! On the day I met up with some of his family who were all so lovely,  we had a homemade meal and celebrated down the pub.

Such a beautiful ring too - he did well. It fit my sister perfectly and was her favourite colour purple. I'm now on pintrest along with her looking for wedding ideas.. and a bridesmaid dress of course!

Ellen xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Saturday, 24 May 2014

Recent Purchases

I find myself in a strange limbo recently between being a student and an unemployed fashion graduate! I'm currently looking and stressing about trying to find a full time job, yet just wanting to relax and enjoy my last few weeks in Southampton. Payday came around and I thought I'd treat myself to a few bits and bobs. I'm trying my hardest to save money for when I leave but I'm actually addicted to shopping.. aren't all girls?! It'll probably do me the world of good to be moving away from a city center and back home to the countryside where I cannot access any shops..

First off, BANK.

After 'popping' into BANK after work, I was actually surprised at how nice some of the clothing was in there. I'd never been a massive fan as the one in Southampton is tiny, but they had some beautiful summer co-ords and prints in there. I picked up this grey cami dress for £16 (with student discount) after falling in love with it. The crossed straps and v-neck make it a perfect summer staple to thrown on on those warm days. Sandals and a bag and I'm set to go. My favorite basic striped top shrunk in the wash the other day, so I needed a replacement. This logo one was in the sale for £10 and fit the bill nicely. I also had my eye on this 'SUCKER FOR LOVE' top before it went into the sale, which was also £10. I'm a sucker for a slogan recently.. can you tell?!

I think this slogan is so very good for a fashion graduate like myself.. I really do have so many issues!! This top was such a bargain too, it was £5 from a trusted ebay seller, free P&P and it even came the next day. Very happy.


I'm in loveeeeeee!! I'd wanted some white sandals for a while as I'm wearing my caged black ones alot in this in-betweeny weather, and when I saw these ones online I had to have them. I'm not really a fan of online shopping as you never know with sizings and quality, but luckily they fit me perfectly. They were £25, but they are great quality and I absolutely adore them!

This print is quite bright for me, but the fit was so lovely I had to keep it. It will be great for nights out and summer/beach/holidays with some white sandals. It's a lovely stretch fabric which is really flattering, and it's slightly longer than normal playsuits which I really like, no fears about flashing your bum.


 A basic striped boyfriend tee.. always needed for those casual days. And this one was only £3.50! I really liked this mini handbag. Now i've finished uni I don't have to worry about having big bags to throw everything in, and usually when I'm out and about I just need a few bits. This one is a great size for my nessecities.

Ellen xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Thursday, 15 May 2014

OOTD - Neons & pastel

On Sunday I met up with some friends for a day trip to Oxford. I'd never been there before, but it was halfway between where we lived in the south and where my other friend lived in Coventry. It was actually a really lovely place, and only an hour or so on the train from Southampton. I was unsure what to wear or what we would be doing, I knew I wanted to be comfortable and the weather was a bit unpredictable (typical British summer right there).

I've been basically living in my ripped boyfriend jeans in the minute, and wore them with a neon tee that I bought about a year ago from forever 21. My white Primark slip ons, scarf and leather jacket meant I was prepared for any dodgy weather. 

How gorgeous is this watch by the way..? (I am aware I wear my watch on the wrong wrist I have been told, I just prefer it that way!) I don't often buy items in Next for myself, but this really caught my eye. With my staff discount it was only  around £16, which I thought was a real bargain. I love the simple black leather strap and minimal face, and works really well with my style.

Ellen xxxxxxxxxxxx

OOTD - Casual gingham jeans

 (Excuse the chipped toe nails!)
Being crazy busy with my hand in meant I hadn't seen my boyfriend in a while. Last friday he was in Southampton and decided to meet for a last minute dinner which was lovely! I really miss him when we don't get to see each other often, but when I move back home I'll probably be sick of him hehe.
 I chose to wear my new gingham jeans from primark with a basic black top. Many of my outfits nowadays are monochrome, I just find it so easy to wear, and don't like to match too many colours together. I teamed it with my silver necklace, floral scarf and new sandals. It was funny because they kept sliding off as I walked, I think I need to learn how to walk in them properly! They also surprisingly rubbed in the middle of my foot, but hopefully once I've worn them in they'll be fine.

Ellen xxxxxxxxxxxxx