DUSTER COATS, FARM GIRL CAFE AND THE STRESS OF BLOGGING

I haven't done a straight up "here's what I randomly wore one day and took a few pictures to shove on here" kinda post in a really, really long time. And d'you know what, I've really bloody missed them. September has been one of the most amazing months for me blog/business wise, it's been jam packed with collaborations with some of my favourite brands, I spoke at 3 conferences about Instagram influencers, I held the most amazing evening with my fave gal pal Hannah Gale and we had the best time with some of the loveliest girls I've ever met... it's just been really really great.

But here's the thing, when your blog becomes your business, an amazing "blog month" makes for a f**king stressful "personal month". Don't get me wrong, I adore my job, like.. Harvey Specter and McDreamy have nothing on this little corner of the web and I genuinely cry soppy happy tears that this is my life far too embarrassingly often to admit, but I honestly feel that non-bloggers just really don't understand how stressful blogging is when it not only becomes your career, but when it starts to get very, very busy and you're working on numerous collabs a week.

FML, this has become a bit of a boring rant when really all it was meant to be about was outfits and cake.

But I just missed that kinda post when I could sit down and word vomit my feelings, where I don't have to think about getting the brand message across, making sure to include tracking links and yada yada ya... I can shove some cake down my gob, wash it down with a cuppa bigger than Kanye's ego and just chat.

To you lot, that make this crazy, stressful but frickin amazing life possible.

So yeah, today's outfit was one that I wore on a day out with my Mum. I had been having the most stressful week, there had been numerous break downs and Kim Kardashian ugly cry faces and I just needed Mum time. Because for me, she is the one that makes everything OK. She's the one that puts everything into perspective, and dear lord and I am so f**king thankful to have her in my life.

OK, I have used up my sop/moan/get a life quota for the next 3 years, let's talk duster coats and cake...

Duster jacket - Primark / Chambray shirt - ASOS / Jeans - ASOS / Boots - River Island (old but similar here) / Watch and bracelet - ThePeachbox

So I did that thing where I tripped and fell into Primark and bought 39483958 unnecessary things and forgot the sole thing that I went in there for. But it did mean that this little gem of a duster jacket came into my life and for that, I am eternally grateful because man it's just so damn soft and comfortable but chic and smart and perfect for layering at the same time. I am not a pink person but dusky pink has swooped in and surprisingly wooed me (a little bit Neville Longbottom all of a sudden becoming a bit of a babe all those years later). The chambray shirt came out to play for the first time in forever and has practically been surgically attached to my body ever since, as have the boots which are still too damn pretty for words a year after buying them and the jeans... er, they're kinda just plain jeans which I think may be maternity ones but lol, at least they house my cake/curry/pizza baby like a dream.
farm girl cafe rose petal latte
farm girl cafe carrot cake
farm girl cafe rose petal latte
Once I'd pranced around like a tit in front of the camera for long enough I decided that cake came before getting a shot that I didn't look vacant/a little bit shit in and yes, like, so much yes, it was the best decision ever. I've been to Farm Girl a few times now and the novelty never really wears off. It's just the most instagrammable cafe around, from the pink tables - which there's actually only one of and I never blimmin get it - to the Rose petal latte's (which is what I have every time even though I can never quite get used to the rose taste [insert eyeroll emoji here]). Everything just looks really damn dreamy, and set on Portobello road, i.e one of my favourite areas in London, it's just gonna be the place that I constantly return to when I've run out of ideas for instagram.
And I suppose that kinda brings this really random post to an end. I hope you liked the outfit, I hope you liked the cake, and I hope you also didn't think I was an entitled twat having a little groan about the stresses of blogging and the constant notion that we sit on our butts doing nada all day. Sometimes you just gotta get it off your chest, you know?

Anyway, I'd love to know if you've picked any crackers from Primark recently? Or if you've been to Farm girl and fangirled as hard as I did? ;)

As always, thanks so much for reading!

xx

6 BASICS YOU ABSOLUTELY NEED IN YOUR WARDROBE

I love fashion. I genuinely do. I spend far, far too long on Pinterest picking out my favourite cool af looks to try and emulate from my own wardrobe. I spend far too long online shopping only to get to the end and hear the basket laugh "gal pal, enjoy beans on toast for the rest of the month. Lol" And I spend far too much time perving on girls outfits - in the form of  people watching because obviously that makes it OK, yeah? But one thing I always realise is that in spite of these new trends that come and go and steal my heart like Harvey Specter did in Series 1 Episode 1 of Suits, the items that I will always rely on, will always be the basics. 

Think the babe'in pieces of denim that always look sassy af, think winter coats that completely transform an outfit, think basic tee's that couldn't be anymore more basic but oh my god how you look so good? 

So I have 6 bits for you today. And I'm not saying go and click and buy them all now - totally am but I get called an enabler far too often so we'll leave it as it's your choice - but, you are 100% going to want/need to buy at least 5 4 2 or 3 pieces because they will change your life/wardrobe/outfit combo's.

Now that I've won my blue peter badge for dramatization, let's crack on with the pieces shall we?



The Lazy Sunday look
Fat Face basics, white vest, boyfriend jeans, lazy comfortable clothes
Fat Face basics, white vest, boyfriend jeans, lazy comfortable clothes
Fat Face basics, white vest, boyfriend jeans, lazy comfortable clothes
Fat Face basics, white vest, boyfriend jeans, lazy comfortable clothes
Fat Face basics, white vest, boyfriend jeans, lazy comfortable clothes
Fat Face basics, white vest, boyfriend jeans, lazy comfortable clothes
Fat Face basics, white vest, boyfriend jeans, lazy comfortable clothes


I love looking chic and sassy and like I'm ready to take on the world, but absolutely nothing beats a simple vest and jeans for the ultimate lazy sunday look. Starting with the vest top, I feel like I've almost gone back in time to when I first started to discover fashion but there is something so timeless and classic about simple tee's and vests. This one, is genuinely the most comfortable, beautiful quality vest I've ever owned. I cannot even tell you how cosy and comfortable this is and I kinda wanna order another 3402832 of them just to wear to bed every single night. I love the cut, not too low but low enough to not make you feel like a nun. And most importantly, they don't ride up!! This is a momentous find for the girl that has been plagued with tops rising up her whole life so I am wholeheartedly in love with this. It also would work amazingly well under an oversized cardi, blazer or biker jacket for when Autumn slowly starts to roll in.

The jeans, oh sweet lord the jeans. I avoided boyfriend jeans for a long time in fear of them making me look 10stone bigger than I am and I really feel sorry for myself for missing out on these babestations for that much of my life. I rave about how fat face jeans are the most comfortable denim - seriously you only have to search it on my blog and you'll find at least 4 posts fangirling over them - but these boyfriend jeans are right up there with the rest. Not only do they feel like pyjamas but they also fit to perfection. Loose in the leg, but perfect on the butt, they're also tapered at the bottom too so they're not too wide and flared. The most perfect boyfriend jeans I have found so far (and I do a lot of searching!)

The Casual exploring/running errands look
casual basics, patch jeans, neckerchief
casual basics, patch jeans, neckerchief
casual basics, patch jeans, neckerchief, london blogger
casual basics, patch jeans, neckerchief, london blogger


If there's one thing that living in London your entire life teaches you, it's that if you're walking around our pretty little city, you gonna need yourself something comfortable to wear. I am a huge hater of exercise but a huge lover of walking - walking from shop to shop, cafe to cafe counts as cardio right? - so cosy and comfortable clothes, trainers and a little accessory to "jazz things up a bit" (lol, nothing like a saying from the 80's to make you feel your age) is the way forward. Starting with the denim because I think you get it by now, right? If you don't, FAT FACE DENIM IS THE COMFIEST, COSIEST MOST AMAZING EVER! I think you get it now... Seriously though, I cannot even tell you how amazingly well these patch, high waisted jeans fit like a glove. They're flattering - well, as flattering as jeans can be when gal pal likes multiple takeaway and wine nights a week - they look amazing, and they're just the perfect basic for feeling comfy but still looking chic. I adore the patch on these as they're different from anything that I have too. Fat Face, I salute you, boo!

And then we have the long sleeve tee. And we also have a blogger sounding like a broken record because guess what I'm gonna describe this bad boy as guys? Yep, you got it, comfy af! But here's the thing, you'll know by now that I'm a huge fan of Fat Face and rely on them every time the new season rolls through, but one thing they have always, always done right more than anything else is their basics. So yeah, I'll be repeating myself and telling you that you need them in your life because you kiiiiiinda just do. But back to this tee, it's potentially the softest long sleeved bad boy that I have. The fit is perfect, not too high neck/not too low cut, it sits well and doesn't rise up [insert praise the lord emojis here] and is just the perfect piece for layering under jumpers, gilets and jackets. #YesImFangirling #SorryNotSorry

The post Sunday lunch walk look
casual basics, patch jeans, neckerchief, london blogger
casual basics, patch jeans, neckerchief, london blogger
casual basics, patch jeans, neckerchief, london blogger


This look is perfect for so many occasions. Everyday Autumn wear, a cute little lunch date with friends, popping to the shops when you want to feel a little sassier. But my favourite time to wear this is post Sunday roast, when you feel so full that you might burst - and your buttons already have - and all you want to do is sit and watch 10 episodes of Greys anatomy with a little nap in between but the older generation insist on going for a walk (gal pals, chill the eff out and watch some slob tv with me OK?). So this is the ensemble that comes into play, a pair of jeggings which I have fangirled so hard over in real life that I'm pretty sure I've just become the Fat Face jegging's PR, and a coat that is just drop dead gorgeous, cool af and really practical all in one.

The jeggings are the biggest babes and you absolutely need them in your life as they look exactly like jeans rather than jeggings but feel like you're wearing pyjamas. And the coat, you kinda, really, absolutely, definitely need the coat because it's so warm, so soft, so cosy and works with absolutely any look. It's the epitome of effortless style, all you're doing is whacking on a coat but it manages to completely transform your look.

So that brings my "basics are everything and these basics are everything, I'm not telling you to buy everything but go buy everything" post to an end. I know you may be slightly bored of my raves by now but just order one thing, or look at one thing in store and you'll see how incredibly well made and soft every single thing really is. Yes the latest trends are all pretty and instagrammable, but basics will see you through every season and every year!

I would love to know if you've ever tried anything from Fat Face? Where's your favourite shop for basics? I always love hearing your thoughts.

As always, thanks so much for reading!

xx


This post was sponsored by Fat Face but all photo's, thoughts and extreme love of cosy clothes that feel like pyjamas, my own.

MY TRAVEL BAG ESSENTIALS

So, you'll probably know from my blog/Instagram/snapchat (theellenextdoor) etc. that I've been travelling quite a lot lately. And I love it. I really, really do. But there's one thing that I don't like about travelling and that's simply that your skin, body (and mind, only me that has the airport panics every time?) takes a massive toll. We all know that flying, air con, being out in the sun and pacing around in polluted cities hugely affect our skin so for me, taking a travel bag packed full of lotions and potions - lols, I clearly fell asleep 23 years old and woke up 83 - to keep not just my skin but my whole body in tip top condition is an absolute must.

I also take my laptop packed full of Grey's Anatomy downloads and Harry Potter books because, you know, gotta keep that mind happy as larry too ;)

Skincare
Starting with skincare. There is nothing better than slathering on rich creams and using beautiful oils to remove makeup when you're away from home, so my travel skincare tends to be made up of the most nourishing, luxurious products I can get my mitts on (plus, when you're in a bathroom as sassy as this bad boy, who doesn't want nice products lining the sink #clicheblogger). My first pick is always the Oskia renaissance gel. It is the most beautiful gel to oil based formula that removes every scrap of makeup in seconds. It's gentle and soft on the skin, perfect for all skin types and it's just that one product that you genuinely look forward to using after a long day because it's so dreamy.

Then I go in with the Pixi glow tonic pads which are a travel addicts dream. I am a self confessed fangirl of glow tonic so when I received these pads, I knew that they were going to be my travel heros. So quick, so easy, and the product itself - in case you've never heard of it - is an incredible toner with glycolic acid (which sounds scary af but it's actually super gentle), it makes your skin tighter and brighter and much more alive looking [insert hands up/hallelujah emoji's here].

My travel moisturiser of choice is the Body Shop oil's of life moisturiser simply because I adore it day and night. It's super light but packs such a nourishing punch. It smells incredible, it hydrates the skin beautifully, I seriously just can't get enough!

Finally in my "please help make me look alive and presentable. K, thanks, bye" regime is the Elizabeth Arden Prevage City smart spf 50 and it's kinda the most genius product around. Apart from having an amazingly high spf, it has a slight tint which immediately makes you look so glowy and healthy and it has a protective barrier which stops pollution sinking into your pores. Bearing in mind that London is one of the most polluted cities in the world, this is an everyday essential but it just does so many wonders for your skin that I have to take it with me wherever I go.

Caring for your body and intimate skin
Now, I am really excited to talk to you about this topic and this brand today because for some reason completely unbeknown to me, it's a bit of a taboo subject. I'm talking about our private parts, nether regions, whatever you want to call it, that's what we're talking about right now. Femfresh is a brand that knows skin, intimately. It's based around caring for those intimate parts by balancing your pH levels - which differ from the rest of your body so of course, it just makes sense that normal shower gels are too harsh on those areas. The thing is, it's just common sense, but because the subject is taboo and nobody really talks about it, it tends to make it seem like a much bigger deal. It's just skin. It's absolutely no different to your arms, legs, stomach and so on... so why do we take the time to care for those parts but not our intimate areas? Femfresh aren't a problem solution brand, they're a brand full of products made to use everyday with the added benefits that you know it's caring for your skin, and doesn't that feel good to know that you've made the extra effort to take care of yourself? Femfresh have an incredible range of products so there will always be something that works for you. A few of my favourites are the travel wipes, absolutely perfect for travel when you don't have time to shower - i.e at festivals, on planes etc. - so you can use them all over your body without worrying that it's going to irritate your intimate skin. The shower gel is absolutely perfect as not only does it smell amazing, it's incredibly moisturising and feels so luxurious on the skin. This, without the amazing benefits of balancing the pH would be a lovely shower gel anyway, but add in the fact that it's gentle to your whole body? It's the perfect shower essential. The sprays are also equally fab to use as a deodorant and general freshen up. We really just need this to be a subject that people aren't too scared to talk about. Femfresh are an incredible brand that know skin intimately, and we should too.

Hair care
I am extremely lazy when it comes to my hair. Maybe it's because no matter what I do it always ends up looking like Hagrid dragged through a hedge backwards but it always seems to be my last priority. Two things I absolutely can't live without however is the Kerastase Couture styling L'incroyable blowdry cream - lol, Kerastase, give us a break and pick a name I don't need to copy and paste next time - which is a lazy hair day dream, it just does so much. It's a heat protectant, has longwear hold, controls frizz, fights humidity... it's just my saviour right now.

And then there's the Batiste dry shampoo which is without a doubt the most nostalgic product I own. It just does the job. It prolongs washing your hair - yes, yes, yes!! - gives you a boost of volume and makes hairstyles last longer. So much love for this little babe. It's the original, and it's the best!

Bodycare
Continuing on with bodycare, I absolutely can't do without a body scrub and lotion when I travel as my legs immediately turn into a basilisk - you knew I wasn't going to get through a whole post without referencing Harry Potter somewhere - and first up in my "help Ellie not be a flaky franny" arson, the White Company body scrub. There is something about this scrub that is just so incredibly spa like, I can't help but completely zen out when using it. It perfectly exfoliates your skin without being too harsh and leaves you silky smooth and ready to be slathered in moisturiser. When it comes to body lotion, it has to work amazingly well and smell like a dreamboat because otherwise I am incredibly lazy with it and will just shun it. The Clarins moisture rich body lotion is exactly that, it's fresh and comforting and actually makes me want to use it. Use this at the end of a pamper session - or just any old day - and I promise your limbs will love you for it.

The Miscellaneous others
Those items that you know you need but are never at the top of your list - yes makeup and luxurious pamper products cross my mind before the absolute essentials and yes I need to check my priorities - but of course, a toothpaste always comes with me and it's always the Arm and Hammer total pro. Now, I do actually have travel versions of this but am I the only one that has the travel fear of running out of toothpaste? That'll be just me then... So a full sized version is packed tightly into my travel bag and this one is just so perfect for the ultimate fresh and clean feeling, knowing that it's taking care of the condition of your teeth too. Deodorant is completely personal but I've used the Mitchum advanced control for years now and it just does the best job of keeping things smelling fresh and that sweat at bay.

God I'm so attractive.

And then finishing on a much more glam note, Jo Malone's newest - and in my opinion, most incredible - drop in the form of Basil and neroli. Released this September, it's the brand's first citrus floral and honestly, you really do have to check it out if you're a JM fan because it is easily one of my all time favourite scents. It's like, it's fresh, it's floral.. it's the perfect daytime with a difference scent and as somebody very fickle, I can confirm that I've been wearing this for a good 4 months and still absolutely adore it. A must have for all year round and all places too, perfect for travel.

So that brings this travel bag essentials post to an end. I'd absolutely love to know what you always have to take with you when you go away? What one thing can't you live without?

As always, thanks so much for reading!

xx


This post was sponsored by Femfresh but all photos, thoughts and love of a brand that looks after our skin so well, my own.

© the Elle next door

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