LIFE RAMBLE

Hello, 2018

Hello, hello, hello – long time no see Cigarette Sounds readers.

It has been so long since I have physically sat down in front of my laptop (lay down in bed, with my laptop balancing on my thighs with my glasses askew) and typed some words. What a weird feeling – a girl who wants to be a writer who’s fingers have not done the keyboard tango in some time – 2018 is really allowing me to develop my career… NOT.

I thought for my first post back I would do some housekeeping.  By this, I mean just let my brain ooze out onto Pages and let it do the talking. Nothing too ground-breaking, nothing too mind-blowing; just something simple to remind you I am still here (I know some of you will be utterly overjoyed), ease us back into the swing of things, right? RIGHT.

Christmas 2017

Did it even happen?  Did I really spend a month at home petting my dog and stuffing my face with numerous boxes of Heroes?  The recent festive period for myself was spectacular. I had such fun with my main homegirls, my mum and even my brother. I was obsessed with Lego Harry Potter on the PS3 – so much that my boyfriend has bought it for me to play on his PS4 at his student house in Manchester – and managed to do no university work.

It was so sweet being home, and not feeling guilty about anything or having any responsibilities to rush back to in Manchester. There is only going to be another couple of years at very best that I can spend an extended period of time with my nearest and dearest in Northumberland before I enter the ~ real ~ adult world of paying council tax, and worrying whether I have enough money to buy tuna – so, I thought I would make the most of it.

The job situation

Speaking of no responsibilities to scurry back to Manchester for, I obviously did not work in hospitality over the Christmas period. My first Boxing Day/NYE/NYD off since I was 14. MAN did it feel good!  As you read, I am back in the city and avidly scouring the internet for something different.  Obviously, as a student, I cannot work a full-time job, and at this moment in time, an income alongside my student loan is simply so I can afford the luxury of buying an extra Topshop piece per month or just another night of good food and wine.

Because I am not desperate for employment (watch me eat my words tomorrow when I order £100+ worth of course books from Amazon) I want to be picky. I’ve had roles in silver service, casual dining, have experience in cocktail making, room service and housekeeping (is this my CV?)  For my next job, I am not going to do what I always tend to – jump in at the word ‘job offer’ – but I am going to be picky. I choose the job, the job does not choose me this time.

The Boyfriend

I am happy. Ultimately and wholly happy. I do not tend to publicise my relationship on Instagram or Facebook or Twitter or the blog as much as I used to, simply because I have learnt what the word ‘privacy’ means. Last year, I and my boyfriend overcome some real challenges in our relationship.  We have opened up to each other and are now in fully informed of everything that happened in 2017.  The truth can set you free and it sure has us.  I am beyond ecstatic that this brilliant boy and I are in a fantastic place, with all truths laid bare on the table and, I cannot wait to see what 2018 has in store for us!

My Outlook

To put it plainly: I feel very different. I feel almost as if I am rebranding myself accidentally. I do not know what is going on but I can literally feel myself shaking out things that just don’t slot into my life anymore. Tetris is all about fitting pieces together, and if they do not mould into the desired shape one way, you can channel some energy into creating what you want by thinking outside of the box and dreaming ahead. Sounds cheesy – but I am going through ch-ch-changes.

With everything changing rapidly around me at whirlwind speed, the thing I am struggling with the most at this moment in time is leaving the flat.  Hear me out on this one before you roll your eyes and think “why can she not leave her flat?” I live in Castlefield, an area on Manchester – one of the greatest, thriving cities in the UK where there is something different to be tasted, tried and tested every single day of the week.  Yet, day after day, I find excuses not to leave my little bubble.

I think the equation goes a lil’ like this – no job + uni work + blogging + online food deliveries – no financial stability – hot chocolates on tap = no need to leave the house.

It is not as if I have a phobia of leaving my flat, I am just a bit anxious. Who will I run into at Sainsbury’s?  What happens if my card gets declined at Pret A Manger?  I do not need to go into town for any reason other than to spend money at the moment and, frankly, I am just not up for spending it. At this moment in time, I do not need to the university library because I can read ‘Dracula’ under my duvet, and make notes on its gothic tropes in my pj’s with a bottle of Corona if I so want.

To combat this drought of fresh air, I am launching an intervention.

  1. I must join the gym and/or go swimming – AND go once a week to begin
  2. Sit out on the balcony (if not lashing it down with rain) and have a coffee
  3. Sainsbury’s Oat Milk run when you guzzle the last of it – do not just bow down to the outside world and decide I am a fierce bitch who takes her coffee blacker than hell. I’LL STOP DRINKING BLACK WHEN THEY MAKE A DARKER COLOUR yadah, yadah, yada – shut up Ella.

So, please be kind and welcome me back to the internet with open arms. I’m finally going to post that fashion post I have been teasing (I know you are all on the edge of your seats, drooling like a dog wanting a bone) and get my mojo back.

Hello 2018, it is my time to shine,

Ells x

 

FASHION BABY · LIFE RAMBLE

January-June 2018 Goals

Regardless of whether you are intoxicated beyond belief due to your eighth glass of prossecco, once the clocks chime 12 on New Year’s Eve, a feeling of freshness is heralded in.  This year, instead of the annual “I will make my life better by doing this, and I might have a stab at going to the gym for a week`” I’ve decided to swap my year-long resolutions for six-month goals.

I always find that half-way through the year the resolutions I made in the December are not really relevant anymore (how am I supposed to know what habits I would have picked up eight months down the line?). So, keeping this in mind – I am writing out my goals for the first 6 months of 2018.  They feature a bit about being a fashion slave, getting that ‘not-so-dream job’ and buying the Alex Chung shoes.

  1. Rah, Rah, Fashion Baby

Most days, you will find me in a denim skirt of a colour variety, a pair of black tights (variating in thickness daily due to the dislike of using the washing machine), a thick jumper and my Dr Marten black Riders. If I could put myself in a fashion bracket it would be ‘cute’ and not very daring at all.

From January-June 2018, my first goal is to learn about fashion.  I mean this in two instances: learn what I like and want and can wear and educate myself on the fashion industry itself.  To put it plainly, shop more and know more.

 

Now the idea of my first goal of 2018 being to shop more sounds silly, because most bloggers, your fancy aunt, and boys that work in Topshop, will tell you that their top priority this year is to stop spending their hard-earned cash in stores, and spend it more on experiences instead. I however, seem to the complete opposite. This year I want to branch out and both be myself and change myself with fashion education.  This means figuring out what cut of jean flatters my figure the most, and not being scared to purchase those silver cigarette trousers I have had my eyes fixated upon.

As well as wearing and experimenting more, I want to educate myself on the industry.  I want to sit in front of my journal in Ezra & Gill and write – “today I finally understand why the Gucci Dionysus is as popular as it is. I need this baby in my collection” – or perhaps “Last night I had an epiphany, I know the references that Lady Gaga makes in ‘Donatella’.”  I am taking the mick a little bit but honestly, it would be nice to understand what a ‘resort’ collection is, and why red and green should always be seen.

I want to be inspired by fashion and make it one of my passions.  “You’re a slave to money then you die” – you might as well look good doing it.

2. Buy a pair of Charlotte Olympia Kitty Flats

Carrying on the fashion batten, in the next six months I want to be able to say I own the Charlotte Olympia cult Kitty Flats.  Now these babies are old news – you might remember them on everybody’s feet, including Alexa Chung’s – however, I have never got round to purchasing a pair for myself.

I have adored this brand and these particular shoes since the days of every fashionista under the sun prancing around New York and London in these beauties, and I feel that this year is the time I make my fifteen year-old selfs dreams come true.  Honestly, LOOK AT THAT WOMAN AND LOOK AT THOSE SHOES.

3. Get better at replying – fast

If you know me both personally and/or professionally, you will know I am all-round shocking at replying to text messages, important emails, Twitter and Instagram direct messages and Facebook inboxes. I honestly do not understand how I am so rubbish at replying to my friends, colleges and brands but I am and in the first 6 months of 2018 I aim to be the girl who replies within minutes.  You hear that, MINUTES.

4. The dream job search

Now, I am not talking the editor of a well-known music publication or a brand ambassador for a high-end fashion store.  I mean, secure a job from January 1 to June 30 that I am totally head-over-heels in love with, that pushes me to be the best I can be, and HAS to involve music in some form.  Whether it be a bartender at a music venue or working the door – my goal within the next 6 months is to land a job somewhere in the music industry, even if it is a tiny one.  Get my foot in the door and all-that.  Not the dream-job but the start of landing the dream-job.

5. Make time for the arts 

Last year, one of my main New Year Resolutions was to spend more time at gigs and see more live music. As a music writer and Assistant Editor at a music site, I definitely need to devote more of my time to my passion.  Last year, I gave myself a goal of seeing 52 acts live.  This year, I am going to attempt to double it, which means in the next 6 months I need to experience live the same amount of acts I witnessed in 2017.  Ambitious? Maybe.  Stupid? Probably.  It is a good thing I have a whole host of acts lined up for January/February 2018 and a lot of spare time, isn’t it?

As well as making time for music, I think it is about time I get myself settled down into some television series’.  I fell out of love with telly over the past couple of years, and only recently rekindled my love thanks to Geordie Shore (I watched 15 series’ in the space of four months) and The Apprentice (Elizabeth, you will always have my heart, princess.). I’ve recently began watching Peaky Blinders and Ex On The Beach (no judgement on this blog) and I am itching to extend my list.  After a hard day in the library, there is nothing I like more than sitting down in front of the telly after a bath and watching some good TV.

From the few things I have listed, I bet you get my drift with television series I like.  Send me your recommendations!

6. Write, write, write

In six months time, I want this blog to be a bubbling pit of writing – a haven for my sanity perhaps. I love nothing more than sitting down at my MacBook and exercising my fingers. In the first 6 months of 2018 I want there to be a blog post every three days, featuring anything and everything I am interested in at that current moment.  Besides university, Cigarette Sounds is about to become my second most important aspect of my unfolding career.  If you already get mad at me for my constant utilising of social media then YOU JUST WAIT, you are about to have an onslaught.

So to put it plainly, there are my six goals for the first six months of 2018:

  1. Learn the ropes of becoming a fashion-guru 
  2. Buy the god-damn shoes
  3. Stop ignoring everyone on every form of social media
  4. Get a job somewhere cool that I do not hate
  5. Watch TV more and experience live music
  6. Make my baby-blog fly

I will be revisiting this blog in 6 months time, allowing you to indulge in my experiences of 2018 having these specific goals in mind. All I can say for now, is that 2017, it has been a pleasure but it is time to move over – 2018 I am coming for ya!

LIFE RAMBLE

Comparing my Christmas Day to others’

I personally find the age old ‘do-not-compare-yourselves-with-others’ line relatively easy to follow through with.  Although the size 6, Instagram-famous model with the shiny black hair, who buys a new Gucci handbag every couple of weeks, tinges my face with green on the occasion, I never tend to square myself up in comparison. I am a short and stocky bird from Newcastle, who forgets to brush her hair more than her teeth and can eat her weight in marmite on toast.  I am comfortable with that, it is who I am.  What good is comparing my body, my achievements or my current goals to others’? As Morrissey once said – “so what difference does it make?  It makes none”.

However, my one acceptation always, always seems to be Christmas Day.  Without fail every Christmas, my ‘I will not compare myself to others’ mantra gets chucked straight out of my bedroom window (alongside my average chocolate consumption).

For some context, I have a really tiny immediate family.  By tiny I mean it is just me, my beautiful mommy and my 17 year-old brother.  Do not get me wrong – I am not complaining about the lack of people gathered around the annual Christmas feast (the less the merrier personally) but I cannot help to think that my day never really matches up or seems as ‘good’ as many of my best gal pals.

The usual Christmas Day

My Christmas Day usually runs with the same stamina and itinerary each year, without much change.  We found the formula which works for my little family and we like to stick with it. That may sound unbelievably boring and borderline sad but we like what we like.  We are the angry mob, we read the papers every day.  We like who we like, we hate who we hate… You know how the rest goes.

I am dragged out of bed with the smell of freshly-baked pain au chocolates and the popping of M&S Buck’s Fizz.  We ravage through the prezzies under the tree in our living room; wear our new clothes, pop to the pub for a pint (one of the only times in the year I get to see and talk to the lad I have had a crush on since I was 13) before having a turkey dinner.  After that we usually sleep and watch a Harry Potter (this years was The Prisoner Of Azkaban, my ultimate favourite) my boyfriend comes over, we play a couple games and we go to bed.

We open presents; we eat; we watch telly; we sleep. Frankly, it is a brilliant day filled with all of my favourite things to do (eat, sleep, watch telly, repeat) but sometimes, when I subject myself to social media on Christmas Day I feel like it is not the conventional, made-up bullshit of ‘the perfect Christmas’.

A romantacised Christmas

My idea of Christmas is often romanticised. Maybe it is watching the fictional ‘Fozziwig’s Annual Christmas Party’ – points if you know the film reference – and seeing ALL the people who know and who you like having drinks and dancing.  Maybe it is reading about the Hogwarts’ Yule Ball.  Maybe it is just seeing other people having fun via videos on Instagram and Snapchat that makes me look at my Christmas and think “well, why am I not having seven glasses of wine?  Why am I not going for a walk on the beach, why, why, why?”

The festive period is always full of other people doing things.  Whether it is going to the yearly Christmas party at the office, or celebrating somebodies birthday slap-bang in that sleepy period between Christmas and New Year, other people are always doing things.  But not me. 

It is interesting that I feel this way around Christmas. Arguably, I enjoy adventuring around the globe in summer far more than skipping around in the rain in December – but I do not see me beating myself up because I have only been to one country while my gal pal’s have been to seven.    Where is my logic?  I build Christmas up to much because I believe that my day should mirror and conform to the romantacised ideal I have been exposed to.

Learning the ropes

To get past this idea of ‘the perfect Christmas’, I think I need to grasp the concept that perhaps not everything is always as it seems. I also believe I need to be far more grateful than I am. I am beyond lucky to be able to travel home to the north at Christmas, and spend my time curdled up on the sofa with my entire immediate family, my pets and my  seemingly-bottomless mug of tea.  I am a lucky bitch.

People like different things, and traditions fluctuate from family to family. Some people enjoy having a couple glasses of red on Christmas evening while watching AbFab, while others like to hammer the vodka and cheese twists while roaring to Phil Collins.  My family like to drink hot chocolate and be a bit geeky and sleep.  And you know what, that is totally okay.

I do not like drinking in the house, so why am I programming my mind to believe that, to have a good Christmas, I HAVE to get mortal and throw up the eighteen roast potatoes I managed to stuff into my gob. Nope, nope, nope.

People do Christmas their own way. I cannot do mine the way Margret from down the road does hers, and I cannot do mine like I did it seven years ago.

It is time to accept that however you spend Christmas is your business and nobody else’s. How you spend your Christmas is not my business and I need to stop wishing that mine was the ‘conventional, perfect’ day. Your Christmas is better than anybody’s – because it is yours.

Perfection is found in imperfection. And honestly, although I struggle against others’ ‘better days’ – none of them get to spend time with my family.  And that is the main reason I should stop idolising others, and stop comparing my Christmas to their Christmas.

PS. I had a bloody fabulous day, and I never want to see another carrot for at least a year.

LIFE RAMBLE

Looking Back… 2017 New Years Resolutions

In 2017 I posted my first ever ‘New Years Resolutions’ post.  It has been a weird yet extremely fun and eventful year for myself, and I am dying to see what 2018 has planned for me also!  Click here to see the original 2017 resolutions post to familiarise yourself with the guidelines I outlined I would be living 2017 by.  Below are my honest thoughts and feelings about how I got on in 2017.

Stop being sad about losing mates

“My first resolution of 2017 is to stick a smile on my face and get over the fact I only have four or five friends.  The people I have in my life right now are seriously special, and I love them to pieces.”

Well, well, well, E Scott, it looks like you managed to stick to your guns and complete the first of your six resolutions for 2017.  I started the year with a handful of close friends and I am exiting the year with a similar number – however some of the faces I counted as “seriously special” last year are no longer part of my pallet, and some beings who I did not even know existed have become part of my closely-knit gang of babes.

I strongly believe that many people slip in and out of your stream when they are needed and when they are not.  Some friendships span ten strong years, while others have the sell by date of 6 only 6 months.  Ding, ding – its time to exit stage left.  It is nothing personal, it is just the universes’ way of letting you know gently that you and your friend have outgrown each other.

Due to this perspective, I have welcomed an influx of friendships with a pinch of salt, and have gently let-go again when it is time for them to be no longer in my life.  I am calm within myself and I no longer moan down the phone to my mum that “nobody likes me!!”  God, I would be making 2016 Ella proud right now.

Start going out sober 

“I’m going to start going out sober.  Am I crazy?  Maybe, baby… But we’ll see whether my dancing shoes fit the same when I’m two bottles of wine lighter.”

So maybe I cannot confidently say I have succeeded at not getting paralytic on every moment possible this year, but there has definitely been some moments of pure ecstasy where I have been as sober as a bat. These moments are usually followed by me calling a cab home so I can make a Super Noodle sandwich… But I digress.

I have found this year that I have learnt the power of deduction.  It is like a telepathic ability that I possess.  At the beginning of the night, I know exactly whether it is worth getting four double vodka oranges in a row or if I should just have a pint of beer every couple of hours.  Okay I am a fraud – it is not telepathy, it is just common sense.

If I am going out to get drunk, I will get intoxicated beyond belief (think Chloe Ferry G Shore style) however if I know I am going out for a food and a cheeky gossip then duh, I am going to go out and remain sober.  One end of the spectrum to another, it is not so bad is it?

While most of my nights out have ended up with me stumbling to bed at 7am, these have been few and far between.  I am keeping my head above water and I am almost always choosing two drinks over 7… I just have not got the whole ‘going out sober’ thing down to a T yet.  YET I reiterate – there is still time 2017!

Experience live music once a week

“…by the time December 2017 shoots around I want to at least say I witnessed fifty-two acts live and in the flesh.”

According to my calculations, my artist count for 2017 lies at 56.  This means I SMASHED IT.  This includes my trips to Isle of Wight Festival, Liverpool sound City and Off The Record Festival, however the majority of acts I can proudly say I have seen this year come from This Feeling.

I am a gigantic advocate for This Feeling.  A true rock and roll club night allowing bands to first cut their teeth in the music industry, while (arguably) the UK’s best promotion team hooks them into numerous opportunities and practically creates a fanbase for them.  If you are Manchester based, like myself, then Jimmy’s bar in Northern Quarter is the new home of This Feeling in the city.  They have also got some crazy lineups coming up in the New Year which you do NOT want to miss out on.  Click here to see what This Feeling have got to tickle your fancy.

Here is to more live music in 2018!

Gimmie’ a little sparkle!

“I do not mean buy me a sequin mini-dress.  I mean that episode of Parks and Recreation where the cupcakes come out depicting ‘treat yo self.’”

My aim for 2017 was to make the year about my self.  Sometimes having a smidge of selfishness in your stride works wonders for your ambitions and allows you to really dig deep for the gold you need to fulfil your ambitions and expand your prospects.

I am well on my way to accepting that I will always have those bulging hamster cheeks, and I will probably never be deemed ‘sexy’ when the word cute is still in circulation, but that is totally okay with me.  I have figured out what attributes flatter me and which materials look best upon my curves and you know what – I feel pretty damn fine.

4/4 Ella, how well are you doing?  Pour yourself a pint you deserve it.

If you want it, get it

“If I want it then I need to get my name all over that shit.  Nothing is getting half-arsed in 2017- If I want something I’m going to get it”

This post is bubbling with positivity isn’t it!  Continuing the streak is the big resolution I made at the end of 2016 – be determined.  I have always struggled with my confidence especially where my writing and blogging is concerned (can you believe I used to be embarrassed about Cigarette Sounds, and would only share posts to Twitter?) but this year I have really put some serious effort into my future career.

In the past month I have finally found the formula of posting a couple times a week, a regular Instagram update and the occasional relatable tweets, and I am onto a winner.  I still need a lot of work in the social media game where this blog is concerned, but this year I really believe I have laid the foundations for the future in concrete.  I have tackled topics out of my comfort zone (anything that is not music) and am ready for 2018 to be the year of Cigarette Sounds.

As well as my baby, at the beginning of this university term I was made Assistant Editor at Gigslutz.  The website has seen me gaining skills in both artist and PR liaison, opening up a brand-new world of work that I had no idea how to survive in as well as writing over 130 articles for the site.  Pheeeeew.

Again, I do not want to be stagnant.  I am poised and prepared and 2018 is going to be the year that I continue my streak, and make leaps rather than steps.  I still bloody want it, and I will get it.  Mark my words.  Mwaahahah.

Stick in at university 

“I finish my first year at the University of Salford and will hopefully begin my second by the time September comes around.  So, I really need to knuckle down; do the work to the best of my ability and actually show up at my lectures”

I wonder whether I will ever get good at attending university.  At the beginning of every term I promise myself that this term, `this term will be the turning point.  2017 seen two university terms, my second and final term of first year and my first of second year.  I passed first year with a safe 50 (a 2:2 equivalent) however this year I am aiming for nothing less than a 2:1.  I am still rubbish at making it into my lectures, but I have submitted all my assignments for the year, passed with flying colours, sat a sports journalism exam and am now gearing up to sit an English exam in the new year.  Maybe I will be carrying this resolution onto 2018…

This is the first year I have actually ever 1) remembered my New Years Resolutions and 2) stuck to almost all of them.  Pitting myself against myself and keeping my goals in mind has been both rewarding and eye-opening.  Maybe I am not an idiot after all?

Keep your eyes peeled for a 2018 New Years Resolution post coming your way ASAP!

Ells

BEAUTY · FASHION BABY

Being a November Spendy Wendy

Is it just me, or does it seem like everybody and their kitty’s cousin have their birthday in the latter half of November/mid-December? Are we all a by-product of a steamy night around the dreaded V-Day?  I’m born on the final day of November, which means my birthday celebrations usually spill well into the first week of December as well as the ‘pre-birthday’ stuff too.  It means I can stuff myself silly with Crazy Pedro’s nacho pizza on December 11 and still use the “it has just been my birthday month” excuse, as well as guzzle prosecco at Bill’s on November 23rd and still use the excuse “it is my birthday month” Basically it is my birthday month up until I say it is not – you got that?

That all being said, it is official: I am now a fully-fledged adult.  21 years of age and all I have done for the past couple weeks is eat my weight in birthday cake (baked by the most handsome man in the world… No, not Cillian Murphy), sip on pints of prosecco, consumed some great live music and danced my lil’ socks off in Gay clubs with my nearest and dearest.  Obviously, this Geordie bee couldn’t have her 21st without entering KIKI on Canal Street, MCR and getting MORTAL could she?  Let me just say I attempted the worm on the light-up dancefloor and it did not exactly go to plan.

So anyways.  Because it has been my birthday month, I’ve been being a lil’ bit spendy.  By a lil’ bit spendy I mean I’ve just thrown my whole budget out of the window and thought “fuck it, my twenty-one-year-old self-deserves this”.  God, you’d think I’d never bought myself a lipstick before the way I am flaunting it about.  So, here are the few things I’ve bought over the course of November… So far.

Tommy Hilfiger Perfume

In my short space of time on this blue planet, I’ve come across two failsafe perfumes which I religiously re-purchase.  These include Burberry’s iconic Brit and Tommy Hilfiger’s Tommy Girl.  The latter was the first perfume I was ever given and holds the best memories for myself.  I reckon I must’ve only been about thirteen, I had just moved out of the big city and into a rural town, and my dad wanted to cheer me up.  I probably would have been happy with a bar of choccy, but I am so grateful that I gained Tommy Girl instead.  So is my waistline.

Tommy Girl simply smells absolutely divine!  The eau de cologne emits tones of tangy citrus juxtaposed with soft herbal notes and apparently allows the wearer to live the American dream. Get in my non-existent pink soft top Ken, we’re going to party!  I should maybe mention that I can’t drive?

Tommy Girl by Tommy Hilfiger from Boots.com (£19.99)

 

Motel Rocks Sample Sale

If you did not know, Motel Rocks happened to slide into my emails a couple moons ago, insisting that everything on their website was £10.  I’d put myself on a spending ban until the end of November but look how that has turned out – I’ve bought so much I’m writing some words on how ashamed/impressed I am with myself.

Do you remember when Lizzie McGuire went to Rome and fell in love and ended up singing on stage?  What was it that she sang again… “Hey now, hey now – this is what dreams are made of!” Well, that is exactly what the Motel Rocks Sample Sale was fashioned from – dreams.

Almost everything online was listed at only £10 and who can really refuse that?  I temporarily banned the spending ban and purchased myself a couple of things I really did not need but really lusted after.

The first thing I picked up was this playful, carnival halterneck crop-top.  I always find that because of my large bust, halterneck’s both extenuate and flatter the top half of my body better than perhaps spaghetti straps or thickly ribbed vests.  I am also not the skinniest girl in the world (hello massive hips, how you doin’?) so vertical stripes are a big yes, yes, yes from me.  I got the crop-top in a size small and I must say my boobs look simply fab.  I took it for a spin at the Feel My Bicep night at Warehouse Project a couple weeks ago and I am head-over-heels in love.  Not bad for £10.

Also in the Sample Sale, I nabbed this iridescent peach plunge body from Motel Rocks.  Now, the colour of this is amazing, the quality faultless however it just does not sit right with me.  The bodysuit itself is a bit on the big side (I purchased my usual size of medium) and the side-boob is just a bit too much for my liking considering I cannot remember the last time I went out-out.  If full-frontal boasting of your assets and a bit of back action is your thing then baby, this is the body for you!

 

Makeup

My relationship with makeup is an odd one.   I always jealously eye up those gals with the perfect brow or shocking pink eyeshadow but I just cannot pull it off myself.  I believe I look better with just a swipe of mascara or a dab of bronzer – my permanently red-cheeks definitely do not need any blusher and I rarely use foundation.  Because of this, makeup is never really a top priority for myself.

But shock horror, stop the press, I’ve actually bought makeup for once.  No, I didn’t spend hours in Debenhams scouring the beauty counters for the perfect eyeliner to do those cute cat eye flicks – I just did a quick ten minute Boots order and thought, meh.  That’ll do pig, that’ll do.

First up is my ride-or-die favourite beauty product in the whole god damn world – the Smashbox Photo Finish Foundation Primer.  Oil-free and lightweight, I swear by this product for when foundation does occasionally grace my face.   It is on the pricey side, but it lasts me so God damn long, I can’t even bat an eyelid.

As well from Smashbox, I dipped into my wages and pulled out a wad full of cash which transformed itself into the Limitless Liquid Liner Pen in jet black, as well as a matte lipstick from the ‘Be Legendary’ range – in the colour Safe Word.  The liner itself is a lot thicker than I am used to –  the Chanel Ligne Graphique De Chanel is my go-to liner, so no wonder – however I love how easy it glides on the lid.  I am still no pro, and still a million miles away from successfully completing a perfect wing but I am getting there, and the Smashbox pen is a confidence-boosting product.

The lipstick from the matte range is totally the perfect pink nude.  One of the classic Smashbox colours, the pigment in this cruelty-free lipstick is phenomenal.  It only takes a swipe of lippy and we are set for the whole day.  Unlike other matte lipsticks, this one doesn’t dry lips out.  Since using the lipstick, I am definitely looking into purchasing some more products from the Be Legendary range.

So those are some of the treats I have bought myself for my Birthday month.   Like the title of this blog admits – I have been a little bit more of a Spendy Wendy than I perhaps should have been.  However it is okay to treat yourself once in awhile, right?  Wish me luck, my rent is due soon.   Beans on toast when you next come round to mine, okay?

Ells x

 

LIFE RAMBLE

November 2017 Round-Up

Remember, remember November, November.  There is no way I am ever forgetting this month anytime soon!  Arguably the most exciting, dramatic, fun and fast-paced month of the entirety of 2017 – November has been chock-filled with mouth-watering edibles extenuating my hips, live music, my birthday, heaps of giggles and BOOZE GALORE.

Food, glorious food

I’m a sucker for a meal out.  Whether it is early morning breakfast, a spot of brunch spent gossiping with a mimosa in hand, a quick sandwich and a coffee, a super-late lunch, a romantic candlelit dinner – there is never enough time in the day to go out for food.  This month I have been out to grab a bite to eat at seven different food joints.  I do not know whether that is good or bad by my standard, it’s almost two meals out per week?

I have a trio of meals which have stuck out in my memory from November.  One of which is Ziya, an Asian Grill on Manchester’s infamous Curry Mile, my birthday meal at the gorgeous Grand Pacific, an upmarket eatery with a passion for pineapples and a good ol’ Sunday scran at The Northern Quarter.  You will never guess where the latter is situated in Manchester.

My waistline has definitely bulged this month and my bank account has been rinsed, but you know what – I feel bloody damn good in myself and relish in the fact I have been shovelling loads of fantastic goods down my gob.
(A Plate of gnocchi, Fress, Oldham Street, MCR) 

(An assortment of curries, Ziya, Curry Mile, MCR)
(Tempura Sea Bass, Grand Pacific, MCR) 

Not working 9-5

If you have read some of my previous posts, you would have known I used to work as a bartender/waitress in NQ.  Used to is the most important part of this sentence.  Since quitting my job the world of opportunity has literally cocked its leg and beckoned me inside.  In the past couple years I have depended on a social life, alcohol-fuelled rampages and money greed to rule my life, pushing productivity to the near brink of extinction.

But over the past couple weeks, I have seen a total difference in myself.  I want to sit down at my laptop and dance across the keyboard and post my creativity online.  I’ve started taking my Assistant Editor role at Gigslutz so much more seriously, aiming to post news stories every day, Cigarette Sounds is back up and running and for once I’m not THAT far behind on university work.  Obviously, I am missing the money but right now, I am the top priority.

“Where are you going Hermionie?” “To the library.”

Speaking of university, I have finally succumbed to the power of the quiet-zone in the library.  There is something about The University of Salford’s larger-than-life white desks, the litter of macs, the random deckchairs, and there not being anything to distract me from pouring over my work (I mean the kettle and the fridge and chatter) that I adore.  I definitely reckon falling in love with the library – alongside listening to Harry Potter audiobooks for motivation– has boosted my productivity levels.

Anything that makes me leave the house after lying in bed for days on end is a yes from me, even if it can be a bit of a faff finding a free computer sometimes.

Thank You For The Music

Manchester swells to a considerably larger size than it already is when anybody admits it is the city of song.  In the entirety of November, I only managed to pencil three gig nights into my diary – one of which being Betsy at Gorilla on the penultimate day of the month, Off The Record Festival on the 10 and the big one – the Bicep presents Feel My Bicep at Warehouse Project.

The WHP season is not something I have really ever looked forward too.  I went to a Ram Jam night last year, got too drunk to speak; hated every minute that David Rodigan pranced around on stage and vowed I would never attend a night in the dingy warehouse again, for as long as I lived.

This obviously did not last very long, did it? When the Bicep boys, a lucky guestlist space and spending the night two-stepping with one of your favourite gals is dangled in front of you-you cannot say no, can you?  I did try to review my night at WHP, but I lost my keys, my ID and all of my money in the space of 10 minutes, which just shows what kind of state I was in.

You can read my review of Welsh songstress Betsy via Gigslutz here, accompanied by some shots from Lucy Fletcher.

You can read mine & Gigslutz editor Mel Svenson’s take on Off The Record festival 2017, accompanied by some shots from the ridiculously talented Jon Mo, here.

Oh Christmas markets, oh Christmas markets

And oh, how could we forget the Manchester Christmas Markets.  They bring the Christmas spirit far to early, and force you to drink mulled cider and drown yourself with hot chocolate at the time where your purse clasps should be clamped shut.  They have not even been open a month yet and I have already trampled over to the markets situated in Albert Square more times than I can count.  I imagine December shall be a lot of the same… Once I pick up my ID from WHP that is!

Gonna’ party like it’s yo’ birthday, baby girl

Hiya world, Ella Scott is twenty-one.  No, I am never going to stop banging on about it.  The beginning of the end (dun, dun, dun) of the month heralded a visit from my best friend Jemma, in the spirit of an early birthday.  As well as having my main gal in Manchester, I dined out considerably and ended up sprawled out on the floor of Canal Street attempting to do the worm.

I’m now currently spending the weekend at home, sipping on guess what (you already know) prosecco and getting carbonara cooked for me by my wonderful mother.  God, am I a real-life princess?  Coming back home to north Newcastle is one of my most favourite things.  Just the sight of my cat and dog send me into a fit of excitement, and my little brother too I guess.  It has been a swell birthday and the 21st year of birth is going to be one to remember.  I can feel it.

 

November has been as cool as a cucumber.  I have had the best month, and now I am so excited to officially start drinking and eating my way into a coma this Christmas.

Ells x

Music

A sneak-peak into my record collection

One of the most important aspects of my life is music.  It surrounds every major life decision; soundtracks the heartbreaks and heartaches  I encounter; lifts my mood like nothing and nobody else, and has influenced me to embrace my interest as part of a possible future career path.  Because of how important music is, I thought I would share some gems from my record collection with you guys.

The Cure – The Caterpillar 

1984 – The year of The Terminator, the birth of The MTV Music Awards and The Cure’s ‘Caterpillar’.  My premier band list is longer than my tongue, but topping it every time, without the flick of a heavy-mascara eyelash, is The Cure.  ‘The Caterpillar’ is entering its fifth year as being the hidden gem in my vinyl collection and this 7” is not slowing down in idolisation anytime soon.  I feel I have a little bit of the original Goth queen, Robert Smith, watching over my Castlefield flat every time I give this pretty single a spin.

Lady Gaga – Bad Romance Picture Disk

In my record collection, I have one and only one guilty pleasure, which also doubles up as one of my prized possessions – my Lady Gaga ‘Bad Romance’ picture disk.  The 7” vinyl itself is stunning –  featuring a dazzling picture of mother monster herself, and holds both a radio edit of ‘Bad Romance’ and a DJ Dan club remix of ‘Paparazzi’.

I have forever been in adoration of Lady Gaga.  From firstly seeing her emerging pregnant from a coffin on stage at Radio 1’s Big Weekend, to cruising around my hometown with my mother dearest, blaring the words to ‘G.U.Y’ – Gaga is an artist who bears a selection of my fondest memories.

The picture disk isn’t something I like to get out of its dust cover very often but, when it does come out, my neighbours down the hall know about it.

Kate Bush – The Kick Inside

Of the hundreds (maybe even thousands) of novels, I have had my nose wedged in; nothing comes close to Charlotte Bronte’s Wuthering Heights.  The passion I have for Wuthering Heights is second to none, which is probably why I believe Kate Bush’s ode is the perfect remedy for any bad mood.  Catch me mortal drunk stifling sobs as I scream the words “IM SO COOOOOLD/LET ME INTO YOUR WINDOOOOOW”.

Kate Bush’s ‘Wuthering Heights’ features on The Kick Inside (1978) – Bush’s debut LP – and, although the album itself is not one of the greatest vinyl in my collection, it features my karaoke classic as well as ‘The Man With The Child In His Eyes’.  Have you heard anything more tear-jerking than Kate Bush softly crooning the words to ‘The Man With The Child In His Eyes’?  The double team of tracks follow each other on the tracklist, making owning The Kick Inside beyond worth it.

Adam And The Ants – Kings Of The Wild Frontier

The tidal wave of emotion I receive from the 7” crackling, and then Adam Ant’s pertaining voice echoing “A new Royal Family, a wild nobility, we are the family” forever surprises me.  The wash of gratitude I have for my dad for purchasing this 7” is forever embedded in my heart.  Not only is ‘Kings Of The Wild Frontier’ my favourite Adam & The Ants track but reminds me of ridiculously overpriced dragon fruit cocktails in Camden and caving in the bed of my old bedroom… Through ponging up and down on the bed in joy, obviously!  Gosh, what were you thinking?

And there you have it, a sneaky-peak into the backbone of my vinyl collection.  It is ever-expanding and extremely diverse, but I always have time to adore the classics.  What are your favourite albums and singles that you cannot live without?

Tweet me on @ellalascott with your answers!

Ells x