Have you ever been called selfish? Or in fact, called someone else selfish? I’m sure it’s never been heard or said in a positive light. Although I think this should change. I definitely believe that there are some instances in life where being selfish is probably the best fucking thing you could be.

I don’t know if any of you have read “The Life-Changing Magic Of Not Giving A F*ck” but my mentality around being selfish kind of stemmed from there. Like this book, I’m not at all insinuating that there is something inherently worthy in waving your hands around shouting fuck this, fuck that, fuck you and I don’t care at everything and everyone you see. It is fairly obvious that what you get out of life is reflected in what you put in and you need to dedicate time and effort into relationships, work, hobbies and more. But where do you fit into this? Many of us have reached a point, once, twice or way too frequently, where you feel like you’re bottom of the pile. The last thing on your list to care for. And that, my friends, is not healthy.

This is where being selfish is a good thing and needs to stop being thrown about as if anybody who spends a good 15 mins doing a face mask after a stressful day at work instead of taking the bins out is the devil incarnate… I’m just being dramatic, I’m not speaking from experience.

You’re never going to be happy and healthy in your mind if you don’t put your wellbeing first once in a while and sometimes this means doing things the compassionate and kind elements of your personality would normally prevent. For example, those particular friends that are way too toxic in your life but you still keep holding out for? I can almost guarantee that most people reading this has at least one name in mind. Now, think how much happier you would be if you stopped giving them the time of day. I’m not saying that you should steal their prized possessions, insult their pets and puncture their tyres. I’m saying, just stop caring. “Easier said than done Ella”.

Well, lets put this into a physical perspective. If you had a friend who came to you and was like, “Ella, this person who I consider my friend kicks me every time she sees me and I really don’t like it. She hurts me and won’t stop”. You’d be like “Woah, ditch her”. So why is it any different if they are mentally wearing you down? You shouldn’t have to force yourself to be surrounded by people that make you sad, are mean to you, make you feel unimportant or worthless. That’s not okay. There are more than enough amazing people in the world that want to lift you up rather than bring you down and you need to go hunt them out rather than spending time on those who don’t think twice about you. This doesn’t mean that these particular individuals are inherently nasty or have it out for you, but rather you are just incompatible. And that’s when you need to put yourself first.

Be selfish sometimes. What I’m not saying is ‘be a bad person’. I think it is important that we learn to distinguish between the two and stop seeing selfish as always being a bad thing. When you cancel plans to just have some me-time, for example, this doesn’t make you a bad person. It makes you a bloody sensible one. Everyone needs time to focus on themselves and we would be naive creatures to say this isn’t the case. In fact, it is scientifically proven that spending time on yourself will making you a more well-rounded, postive and happier individual. And hey, who doesn’t want that?

So say up yours to those who don’t care, cancel some plans to have some well-earned me time and pick your favourite restaurant once in a while. Because we all deserve to be selfish.

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I do have my long-ass “Is Being Selfish A Bad Thing” post in the making but due to family problems, I haven’t been able to finish it off and get it posted. Instead, I thought I would show you guys the mood boards that I have created in the past few days. These mood boards are for when I move this year and I thought it was a perfect way to start visualising what I’m after when it comes to decor. It also helps to begin putting together the things I have in various boxes to make it appear like a room that has a functioning theme and colour scheme.

I have 5 mood boards to show you and they may not be to everyone’s taste but I hope there is something there you all like. I’m not very good at things like this but hey, why not share it!

Bedroom

My bedroom mood board is very similar to what I currently have in my room at university. I already have these cushions, for example. If you’re interested, the pink fluffy is from Primark, the grey one is Next and so is the sequin one. Their cushion page is linked here.

I really like the whole white, grey and millennial pink vibes with hints of copper. I have been copper crazy for a while, in fact it was one the topic of my first ever posts, so it is very fitting to continue it into my next house.

The white bedroom furniture is from IKEA and is the HEMNES range. I literally love this range. The simple white with black handles is so lovely and it is, obviously, such a great price. I have linked the range here.

Something else I love are the desenio prints. Now who doesn’t have a desenio print nowadays?! They’re £6.95 each online and they have 3 similar designs. I essentially thought they would look great framed above the bed. They also really reminded me of a Picasso line drawing that I remembered from Barcelona. The desenio prints are linked here.

Another mention is the marble laundry basket. When did I get interested in stuff like this? I feel like such a real adult. This one is just £12 and is from Matalan. I prefer this type of laundry basket because it actually stands up by itself, unlike the weird bag style one I currently have – rookie mistake. The laundry basket is linked here.

Soo, very boring conversation aside…The last thing I wanted to mention is this marble coffee table. I basically got this insane marble coffee table off Facebook market place a few weeks ago for TWENTY FIVE POUNDS. It looks incredible and I’m thinking of using it as a replacement for a side table. These kind of tables can retail for ridiculous amounts and I really struggled to find something similar for under £150. Bargain!

Living Room

The living room is something I am really excited about. Raff, who I am going to be living with is a massive colour fan – something I cannot get behind. I like the extensive colour palette of white, grey and black. This is my comfort zone. But I thought I would try and incorporate some mustard in with grey and I am really happy with it.

I can just imagine a grey sofa with these cute tassel mustard cushions on them. Cute cute cute.

These cheese plant vibes are just everything too. I am loving the idea of covering the house in plants. Probably a lot of fake ones as I doubt I can keep anything alive though. These prints are (shock horror) from desenio. Like the others, they are £6.95 each and they have loads of similar ones available. I have linked one of them here. I equally love these Sass and Belle coasters. They’re ceramic and they’re honestly fab. I was a bit nervous to spend £12 on coasters because I am a frugal little thing but they are amazing quality and totally worth it. I have linked them here.

Again, I have featured the IKEA HEMNES range which is linked on the previous mood board if you’re interested.

Lastly, I wanted to mention these cute grey and white vases. They actually come with a yellow one too but the online photo made it look far more yellow than it actually is. The set of three are £14 altogether and I love them. My mum picked them up for me for Christmas and I can’t wait to use them. I have linked them here for you.

Kitchen

The kitchen has some serious white and gold vibes going on. This stemmed from a few purchases I made around Christmas. I bought these very extra M&S letter water glasses – just before realising our initials spell EAR. They went in the sale for £4 each down from £8 and so aren’t available anymore, sadly. The closest I found were these from Anthropologie, linked here.

Speaking of Anthropologie, for Christmas Mum bought me the Mimira mug and bowl which are white and speckled with gold. I am obsessed. I have also linked the range here for you.

Matching the Sass & Belle coasters, I have also picked up the matching tea towel which I think is a great way to continue the green throughout the downstairs of the house. It is £6 and linked here. Sass & Belle is one of my favourite brands and I love the little pieces that they do.

I also recently picked up these cool gold kitchen utensils and gold geometric fruit bowl from Next in their sale. However, if you have a quick Google, I’m sure you can find something similar.

 

Bathroom

The bathroom is where I haven’t got as much colour going on. I am hoping (if Raff and Adam allow me to) to keep it as white and grey as possible and again, have plants wherever it is possible to add colour. I’m imaging like a whole windowsill of succulents?

One of my favourite things for the bathroom is this bath mat. I actually got this from Primark for under £6 but it is an amazing dupe for the Urban Outfitter’s mats that retail from £20-30. I have linked one very similar here.

Another little find is this woven basket. I’ve seen these all over ASOS recently from a brand called Pimkie. I have a few tops from them but I had no idea that they did homeware too?! They have these woven baskets online from £10-13 but they are mostly sold out now. However, these baskets are really popular at the moment so I’m sure a quick Google can bring up something similar.

 

“Other” Room

You’re probably wondering what the hell the “other” room is? It is essentially the room that we’re planning to have which will be a games room/office space/spare room for when other people stay over.

These little chalkboard black and brown drawers from Typo inspired me to look into another colour scheme and theme and I’m absolutely loving the black metal, dark wood, industrial look that I have going on – mixed with soft cream furnishings. The Typo drawers, if you’re interested, are only £12 and they’re super cute! I have linked them here.

The little black sign in the bottom right corner is from Primark and is some super cheesy Harry Potter merch I have managed to wiggle in. It is basically a bunch of arrows to various places like “The Hog’s Head” etc.

I also love all the moon phases and constellation prints and think these would look great as a gallery/feature wall. You can find a lot of these on etsy and not on the high street which is where I found these two. Desenio more than likely have some too!

Lastly, I love all the industrial, wire and exposed bulb lamps. This one isn’t featured but is a similar design and is only £20. Iconic lights seem to have some amazing designs and are definitely a brand I will be checking out when it comes to buying new things for the house. I have linked the lamp here.

 

I hope you guys liked this post! What is your home style? Do you use mood boards or Pinterest?

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Tattoos have been something I have always loved and found myself drawn to. I got my first one on my 18th birthday, the second just after my 21st and my most recent one was in January this year. I know that I only have three and some people are covered head to toe but you guys voted to hear more about my tats and what they mean!

If you like tattoos, I did a Pinterest tattoo post a while back which is linked here, if you need some inspiration.

My Roman Numeral Tattoo

This was the first tattoo I ever got. It was done at a small place in Cambridge which, since meeting Avalon, I wouldn’t recommend. I think my naivety really showed with my first which is probably to be expected. I would totally recommend speaking to as many people as you can with tattoos that you like and find someone who suits you. Make sure you speak to the person doing your tattoo before you get it because everyone has a different style!

The Meaning 

My roman numerals stand for my mum’s birth year – MCMLVII is 1957. If you know my age, you can probably figure out that my mum was 39/40 when she had me. A controversial topic to say the least but I’m sure we can agree that she was older compared to a lot of other mothers when they have their first child. Side note: I am also her only child. For me, the tattoo means a lot more than just being my mum’s birth year. Those who are very close to me are probably aware of the deeper side of this tattoo which I’m not totally prepared to share with the world. Briefly, it is a reminder. A reminder to love, to care and when it comes to having my own children – to be the best mother I can be. I wanted this tattoo to remind me to be a good person and treat others well, as well as treat myself well too. It keeps me in check for my present and my future, essentially.

I had wanted to get this tattoo for absolutely years and the meaning behind it is so lasting and personal that I know I will never change my mind about it – making it the perfect first tattoo.

Price, Pain and Experience

When you have your first tattoo, you’ll probably do what I did and gear myself up for some indescribable, catastrophic pain. This isn’t great for your nerves beforehand but honestly helped when having it done. If you prepare yourself for the worst, it is almost guaranteed to be better than you expect. A rib tattoo is a weird pain too. It feels like a sharp(?) vibration across your bones and at points it was unbearable and others it was fine. A proper mixed bag. I paid £70 for mine and it took around 35-40 mins. Quick, easy and relatively pain-free.

The people were lovely in there but compared to my following experiences, they have nothing on Avalon and how comfortable she made me feel. I wouldn’t go back to the place where I had this tattoo done, in short.

My Geometric Cat Tattoo

Now this tattoo is the one that the majority of people like the most. I had wanted a cat tattoo for about 6/7 years but never decided on the right one. My cat, Bradley, is like my little furry best friend. He means the world to me and I am a certified crazy cat lady because of it. I wanted something that would always remind me of him but for some reason, it took me another 3 years to get a tattoo booked in! My tattoo ended up being my 21st birthday present to myself. This time I went to a place closer to home that was recommended to me and it was totally worth it. Another obvious tip, but look up their work. Avalon had an amazing Instagram page which made me significantly more confident to go and see her.

Again, I went for a ribs tattoo because I like to have tattoos in places where I can cover them if I need to as unfortunately not a lot of places are as open-minded as they should be about tattoos, ey.

The Meaning

I have briefly mentioned already but my cat, Bradley, was like having a best friend or sibling that always wanted cuddles when I was growing up. I often found myself in a lot of traumatic experiences when I was younger and having him around was like a living comfort blanket. He is my first pet and he made me the cat-obsessed woman I am. The hardest thing is knowing he is ageing while I am at university and I don’t have him around to care for. The geometric design was chosen because I loved the simplicity and I knew that I was much less likely to end up disliking it.

Price, Pain and Experience

Funnily enough, I was accidentally double booked for this tattoo so I got a £10 discount. I believe it was supposed to be £70 but I only paid £60 in the end. The pain was definitely worse this time, despite it being on my ribs again. I definitely hadn’t geared myself up like I had the first time around! However, it was a really quick tattoo (about 30 or so minutes) and it was never unbearable to the point where I had to stop.

The one thing I found harder was my lack of things to focus on. I often find that I can control how painful I find something by focusing on something else and when getting my first tattoo, I so conveniently happened to be lying where I had a lot to read. This wasn’t the case the second time and it meant I often ended up thinking about the pain. Not fun.

My Flower Tattoo

This is my most recent tattoo and the artsiest of them, for sure. It is a lot more visible than my previous two but I kind of like that as I can still keep it covered when I want to.

The Meaning

This was definitely a more spur of the moment tattoo for me. Again, I had wanted something to represent my auntie for so long but I could never decide what was fitting. One day this idea clicked and I booked in instantly. Compared to my previous three-year gap, this was just a few months which is crazy for me!

My auntie suffered from Marfan and passed away in January 2004. She was only 39 and it breaks my heart that she passed so young. She was an incredible woman and I really wanted to have something keeping us together. The story behind the flower is actually really personal too. My grandma puts down one flower, unique to all the others, whenever she visits her grave. This is something she has done for years now and it means there is always a little part of me and her, amongst all the others. I, therefore, decided to stick with having just one little flower to reflect this.

Price, Pain and Experience

I paid £50 for this tattoo which is a total bargain in my opinion. The pain was something I was really nervous about because I had only had rib tattoos before so I had no idea what to expect. Honestly, I couldn’t believe how little this hurt. Like, you could barely feel it?! If you’re interested in tattoos but the pain puts you off, the inner arm was perfectly fine and I would definitely recommend it! It probably took around 30 minutes and like my others, was quite small so I didn’t have to sit through it for a long time.

Avalon is extremely talented (her Instagram page is linked here) and this kind of tattoo is much more her style than my previous one. She did a fantastic job and the detail when you see it up close is phenomenal.

I would also like to say that I have always had my tattoos heal amazingly well. I use bepanthen on them 2/3 times a day and on the first day, I wash the tattoo gently at night, just with lukewarm water and recover it with cling film. However, every tattoo artist recommends different things so I could be totally wrong!

Do you have any tattoos? Are there any you really like or would like to get?

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I’m a self-confessed lover of romantic gestures and cheesy media constructed holidays like Valentine’s Day. However, one thing I can truly appreciate is that if we indulge in all these commercial holidays, we are inevitably left financially torn by the number of gifts we have to buy.

I personally feel like Valentine’s Day is one of the hardest holidays in terms of deciding what to get someone. If you wish to stray away from flowers, chocolates and a card, what are you left with? These gifts are at the forefront of every supermarket currently and it’s hard to even begin thinking about any individual and unique gifts that you can get your significant other.

I like to think of myself as a very good present buyer but I could be very wrong about this! and I wanted to come up with a little list of affordable gifts for this time of year – in case you are in the mood, and in the market, for spoiling someone you care about.

If you’re interested, I have done a few Valentine’s Day and Relationship style posts before including:

20 Date Ideas
Under £20: 36 Date Ideas
How To Keep The Spark In Long Distance Relationships
My Valentine’s Day

I’ve included a few things you can buy and a few ideas that you can make or do yourself if you’re feeling a little creative!

Order Their Favourite Meal

I think one of the obvious things about Valentine’s Day is that you’re very aware of the distance between yourself and the person you love if you’re apart. To bridge that gap, sometimes the best thing to do is order their favourite food for them when they get in from work or have had a bad day. They’re guaranteed to know that you’ve been thinking about them and who doesn’t love a Chinese?! This gift doesn’t just apply to long-distance couples, obviously! Ordering in a loved one’s favourite meal (or attempting to make it yourself) is a great sign of love. It may seem like an obvious gift but it honestly makes me so happy whenever Adam orders me a little treat to my house whenever I need cheering up and I know he would feel the same way!

Pillowcases

This may just be the kind of present I am obsessed with but I think couple’s pillowcases are so sweet. A few years ago I bought Adam the infamous “her side, his side” bedding just to reaffirm that I should, rightfully so, have 80% of his king size bed. What I have seen recently are these great pillowcase sets that are great for a little present. If you are moving in with your partner soon, I feel like this would be a really sweet present if you’re not into gushy, romantic gifts. The ones in this photo are from John Lewis and will set you back £12. I have linked them here if you’re interested. John Lewis also has ‘Beauty and Beast’ and ‘Mr and Mrs’ covers that are just as great. You can also find so many personalised and adorable versions on Etsy if you want to take a look.

Date Jar

If you aren’t fancying buying anything, a date jar is a perfect DIY gift that will only take an afternoon. Date jars are all over Pinterest and there are some great guides on how to make the perfect ones for you. I have seen some that colour-coordinate which are right up my street. For example, pink being indoor activities, blue being outdoor activities and so on. If you have the time, I think this is a great addition. Date jars are perfect for people who want to mix up what they do when they get to spend some time with their partner and you can come up with so many different ideas that you’ll be spoilt for choice. Anything from making your own pizzas, to going for a walk to ice skating. Perfect for avoiding the odd tiff too!

Mr and Mrs Related Gifts

Mr and Mrs/Mr and Mr/Mrs and Mrs gifts are great little gifts to get someone for Valentine’s Day. Something like these two John Lewis marble coasters can be a lovely little addition to your house without being too cheesy. They’re slightly pricey for a coaster at £8 each, but who doesn’t love marble homewares!? I also love the fact that you can buy his and hers separately, making it perfect for different gendered couples, as opposed to the typical heterosexual options. This his is linked here, and her, here, if you’re interested. There are, obviously, so many more different takes on the ‘Mr and Mrs’ gifts and I found a few more favourites which I had to include. These sleek passport holders are a must, for example, as well as being a perfect hint towards some time away in the future! I also love this initialled plant pot which is perfect to give as a gift with their favourite plant or flowers in.These also double up as great wedding gifts too.

 

Coordinates Keyring

I have a massive love for gifts that feature coordinates and so I had to mention one on this list. I think they are one of the most thoughtful presents you can give, or receive, because they are special to you two and can have a lovely meaning behind them. You could use them to showcase the place where you met, where you said I love you, where you got engaged or your favourite holiday you’ve been on together. There are loads of possibilities and the receipent is guaranteed to feel special because you’ve chosen a particular moment in your shared history to focus on as one of your favourites. Which really, is dead sweet. These are on Not On The High Street for £6 keyring but I have seen several places do similar things. You could also get a necklace or bracelet if a wasn’t for you.

I hope that gives you guys an idea of the kind of little gifts you can make or give to to somebody to let them know you love them! Are you doing anything for Valentine’s Day? Have you bought or made any presents that you love? I would really like to know!

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When it comes down to makeup, my obsession begins and ends with highlighters. I could pretty much bring myself to give up any other makeup product if I had to… Maybe. But there is something about highlighters in particular that I love. There is nothing quite like having a ridiculous glowing face any time of the day and using going out as an excuse to pack it on and “glow to the Gods”.

Highlighters are the industry’s favourite product at the moment so I thought I would share my highlighter collection and talk about some of my holy grail products that I have discovered recently.

The oldest highlighter in my collection is my MAC Mineralize Skin Finish in Soft and Gentle. Hey, remember when that was a thing? Remember when MAC was a thing too? No shade to them but they really dropped the ball in the makeup game recently, haven’t they? MAC where you at? All jokes aside, this is a really good product and it is one that I always go back to. It is just something you can pretty much always rely on to be great. I would say though that I bought this when I was first getting into highlighters and it is far from the glow that some of my other products give. If you love a blinding highlight, this one probably isn’t for you. It is buildable into an amazing glow but it is far more suited to a day-to-day look. The colour is very peachy-pink and I think it works best on a pale to slightly tanned complexion as it can be little bronzy too. The downside to MAC is obvious. It isn’t cruelty-free and for a company now, it is just a shame to see them not take the steps forward to becoming so. However, if you do want to reminisce about this product, it is linked here. The highlighter is £24.50 and has a 4.3/5 rating on the MAC website.

My new holy grail product is undoubtedly the Cover FX Customer Enhancer Drops. I swear this brand is an Instagram favourite. This is something about products with a pipette and people putting little drops all over their face that totally sucks me in. Honestly, that is how The Ordinary products reeled me in too. Now it does make me take a sharp intake of breath whenever I admit to how much this product costs. If you’re peeping behind your hand to see, I don’t blame you. This 15ml bottle cost £34. Mmm… I know. £34. The best thing to do is to watch Beauty Bay and other various online retailers because you can often catch these on a great offer like I managed to originally. Be warned that people will go crazy for them at a lower price (understandably) so you have to dive right in there. Although for someone who is very and I mean very restrictive with money, I can totally defend the price tag. This product is the most unbelievable highlighter I have ever used. Forget those crazy Instagram videos that suggest these types of product require smothering half your face. I would never even use one drop of this. I honestly open the bottle and dab my finger on the side where the product is and use that. That little bit alone will be enough for my nose, cheekbones and my cupid’s bow. So, realistically, that £34 price tag is steep but it is going to take years to work through this solid gold gift to the makeup community. I have the shade Sunlight and I am obsessed (admittedly, it is very gold and bronzey for someone with my skin tone, but as you don’t need much, it works fine!) There are so many gorgeous shades that suit every single skin tone which I love too. You can find it on Beauty Bay here.

Next, I want to briefly mention the amazing highlighter palette that I received from the incredible Bella Inizio in her giveaway. I have been trying this out recently and I am really enjoying it! I have never used Revolution makeup before and so it has been great to trial their products. I did a blog post about the other amazing things I received so I have linked it here if you’re interested in reading some more. The Beyond Radiance palette features 3 different shades, mainly suited for lighter skin tones – although the more bronzey shade may be gorgeous on olive skin. I have been primarily using the middle shade as I really enjoy pink highlighter shades. It isn’t the most pigmented, crazy colour but it is gorgeous and subtle for a day-to-day look which is perfect if you’re not after the intense highlight the Cover FX drops provide. The best bit about this palette? It is only £8 which is an absolute steal if you ask me. I have linked it here.

Finally, I have to mention another favourite palette of mine. This was a gift from one of my really close friends and I have been obsessed with it for ages. Not only does it have some incredible eyeshadow colours but it also features 4 beautiful highlighters in such a great colour range. This BH Cosmetics Carli Bybel palette is honestly to die for. On a scale, I would say it sits perfectly (intensity wise) between the MAC and the Cover FX which makes it amazing for everyday looks as well as night time looks too. I get use out of the first three shades, which range from a lovely light dusty pink to a more intense bronze glow which is amazing if you have a tan. I probably reach for this the most out of all my highlighters as it is guaranteed to look great no matter what the occassion is.  It is currently out of stock on Beauty Bay but it originally retailed for £18. I have linked it here for you to check out.

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