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

Celebratory shopping haul

After a very stressful hand in, me and my girlfriends needed a massive celebratory shopping trip to treat ourselves after all our hard work! I was in major need of some summer wardrobe updates, and here's what I picked up...

Checked shirt (sale), pink floral shorts and black slip ons - New Look
Gingham and white jeans, floral kimono - Primark
Scarf, earrings, necklace and sandals - H&M
Perfume - Zara

I'm a big fan of New Look recently, their shoes are really good, and because my friend works there she always kindly gets my discount which I always take advantage of! This cropped check shirt is the perfect casual summer top, paired with some high waisted shorts. I just loved the white floral print on these shorts and though they were really girly and cute. I've most definetly become a comfy shoe convert recently, and it's a nice change from all the heeled boots I was wearing over winter. Trips to the library saw my rocking up in my jeans and trainers most days, some days you just can't be bothered and want to be comfy. I have a pair of white slip ons from Primark which I'm wearing alot, and decided to get a black pair from New Look. They were only about £12 too, a bargain.

I was so happy to find these gingham jeans in my size in Primark! You've probably seen them everywhere already - identical dupes of the Topshop Joni jeans but at a fraction of the price. I'm a big fan of printed trousers so had wanted a pair of these for ages. I also picked up a pair of white ones, which I'm planning to rip myself (when I get the courage to, I'm so scared I'll ruin them, then again, they're only cheap!). I have a major love of kimonos at the minute, and this pinky floral tasselled one had to get in my wardrobe for summer!

I'm a big lover of scarves, I have a dark floral one from H&M I pretty much wore all autumn, and now this brighter floral one is perfect for warm days. I also picked up some silver accessories, as I'm becoming a silver jewellery convert now! These basic studs and long chain necklace will go with everything. These sandals I was so excited to find, I'd seen so many bloggers wearing them and had to grab them. My friend hates them as they make your feet look kinda chunky, but I think styled in the correct way they look great, and are dead co (luckily I have quite slim feet!) and are dead comfy too. Can't argue with that!

I also picked up a new bottle of 'Apple juice' perfume from Zara. I've gone through a couple of bottles of this now, it's such a wonderful fruity perfume that is great for the day, and at £9.99 it's so reasonable. Anyone looking for a good perfume I would definitely pop into Zara.

No doubt this will be my last haul before leaving uni, I need to make the most of my student discount and the remains of my last student loan!

Ellen xxxxxxxxxxxxx

Life catch up

I have majorly neglected blogging for the last few weeks, mainly because I've completed my final uni hand in, and am now officially a fashion graduate! The last few days until the deadline were very stressful, long days in the library, little sleep and lots of stress, but am happy to say everything got completed and handed in on time. I just have to wait a couple of months until I get my final grade, and attend my graduation in November. I'm staying in Southampton and making the most of the remainder of student life until I move back to Somerset and look for a full time job in the industry. I'm very nervous and feel uneasy about all the changes coming up, but I know I have great friends, family and a boyfriend who will support me wherever life takes me. It's going to be an emotional time, leaving behind my last (and best) 3 years of my life, but hopefully moving onto even bigger and better things. I can hopefully keep my passion for fashion alive through blogging, and hope that I have plenty more time to carry it on within the next few months.

Ellen xxxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 13 April 2014

Casual Sunday OOTD

My style is usually quite girly, and I do like to make an effort and wear heeled boots, and dresses and skirts during the day. But recently being so busy (and joining the gym!) some days I just want to be comfy and casual! I'd never thought I'd see the day I want to buy some nike trainers to wear in the day, but it's happened. Today was the weather was beautiful and sunny, but unfortunately I spent it running around town trying to find coats for an upcoming photo shoot I'm doing, and then inside the library working on my final major project! I just hope the weather is like this in a month or two when I'm finished and can relax. 


Jeans, top and shoes - Primark
Jacket - H&M
Bag - Primark

These comfy slip ons where just £3 and are perfect for when I'm doing alot of walking! I love these boyfriend jeans I got last summer, they've managed to rip themselves even more, I'm scared they're going to fall apart soon, but I am a fan of the ripped look luckily! 

Ellen xxxxxxxxxxxx

Primark Pastel Haul

Like many uni students right now, I'm longing for my student loan! As easter falls late this year it means we don't get our money till the end of the month, and me and my friends are longing for new clothes! I have been naughty though and been picking up bits and bobs to add to my wardrobe for summer, the weather is getting so much nicer now thank goodness. I should be called the queen of primark, as all my friends know I'm obsessed, I might aswell live in there! I'm becoming a huge lover of pastels as you can see and these are a few summery bits I've bought over the last few weeks.

Lemon Cami - £6
Lilac Cami dress - £8
Gingham skirt - £6
Pink Gingham shirt - £12
Cocoon tops - £4 each
Clutch bag - £8

I have so many different coloured camis from last summer, but saw this pastel yellow one and had to have it. They 're so easy and versitle for the summer months. This cami dress is a really lovely colour and length too. I love all the gingham, and this top and skirt can be worn with other bits so it's not overly girly for my style. These cocoon vests I picked up in the oxford street branch, they're really light and long, perfect for layering over jeans or leggings on warm days. And finally.. this beauty! I was so excited when I found this clutch, Primark have finally picked up on the holographic trend. I wanted a holographic clutch so long ago, but after a while I gave up as ebay was the only place I could find one. When I saw this I grabbed it and did not let go, and for £8 what a bargain! The chunky black zip gives it an edgy feel, and will be used all summer I think! I'm very happy with how pretty and pastel my collection is going, it's well worth a trip to primark at the minute for some on trend summer pieces.

Ellen xxxxxxxxx

Sunday, 30 March 2014

Spring Shoes

It seems like the weather can't make up it's mind recently. One minute it's stormy and freezing, and the next it's feeling like 20 degrees and you don't even need a coat. I find this time of year difficult to dress for, it's not quite warm enough to ditch the jumpers but I'm already planning my holiday wardrobe in my head! 

From winter I now have a rather nice collection of ankle boots, although some days my feet get majorly hot, and I'm needing some transition shoes to get me through until it's proper sandal weather. I'm a big lover of those chunky shoes that are everywhere at the minute, and I found some perfect ones in New Look today. I still had a voucher to spend in there, and my housemate works in there so got me discount. They were £24.99 originally, but I got them for about £16! Bargain if you ask me.. (Thanks Becky!!)


I'm not really sure what to call them.. caged sandals? Are they actually sandals? I guess they are! I was tempted by the white ones, I think they look really cool on other people but the black ones where more 'me'. But they're lovely, chunky and I can't wait to wear them. I think they'd look alright with tights too, so hopefully I'll get quite a bit of wear out of them. It's nice to have got myself a little treat until I can shop again. As Easter is so late this year, it means my last student loan is still forever away. Sadly, the rest of my summer attire will have to wait!

Ellen xxxxxxxxx

Friday, 28 March 2014

Nicole x Missguided Collection

I've always been a big Nicole Scherzinger fan from watching the X-factor, I think she's so genuine (and has a body every girl would envy!), and I was always keen to see what she would wear every week. Following her on instagram I could see she had an amazing wardrobe full of designer and high street pieces. So when I heard that she was collaborating with Missguided I was intrigued to see what designs she would come up with. I have to say I wasn't overwhelmed with the whole collection, although some of the monochrome pieces I woudn't mind having in my wardrobe! I love the whole retro Americana feel to her shoot, and she looks as glamorous as ever.


Missguided was a website I only used to browse, as I'm not a huge fan of internet shopping. I'm just always unsure about the sizings and fit, and I hate the fact you can never see what the item is really like until you have it in your hands. Although having said this, I'd been looking for some flattering bralet style crop tops to wear on a night out, and came across the perfect ones on the Missguided website. I couldn't find anything else similar so I decided to go for it. Turns out the items were perfectly true to size, were of lovely quality, and just £9.99 each I decided to get a black and a white one. I was dead happy with my purchase, and will most likely be ordering something else very soon! I wore my black top on a night out the other week - with a gold chunky chain, black ankle boots and my baby blue pleather skirt from Primark. (How gorgeous is it for just a tenner, I was over the moon when I found it in my size!)

Ellen xxxxxxxx