25 THINGS I'VE LEARNT IN 25 YEARS

So a couple of weeks ago it was my birthday, which you might have seen on Instagram because lol, firstly can you miss that amount of balloons but also, if you're not surrounded by 294383483 balloons is it even really your birthday?

Nope, didn't think so either.

So it was my 25th birthday at the end of the month and honestly, it fucking terrified me. I remember turning 19 when I was working on the X-Factor and I was the baby of the team. I remember turning 21 and I was a producer at Sky (a really awful show but you gotta take that credit where you can get it). I even remember turning 24 last year and thinking, yes your life has completely just done a u-turn but you're still young girl, the world is your oyster, slay queen etc. etc.

And now I'm a bit like, fucking hell I'm 25. I am old (I'm aware that I'm actually not for everyone older than me that currently wants to shoot me in the face). But I dunno, there's something about turning 25 that makes me feel like I should have my life together a bit more than I do and is making me forget that I've actually done a fair bit for a girl my age.

So, without further ado (further ado means moaning and being a first world problem twat in the urban dictionary, right?), here's 25 things I've learned in 25 years.

~

1. Life is too fucking short. (Apologies for the uncouth amount of swears in this post but there's something about life/personal posts that get me all fired up and motivated and like HELLO WORLD I'M HERE TO IMPART SOME COMPLETELY POINTLESS THOUGHTS WISDOM). But yeah, life is short and you never know what's around the corner and as much as the cliches make me feel a little bit like I'm stabbing myself in the eyeballs with a biro, we really do need to live each day like it's our last.

2. Just because you know life's too short and terrible things might have happened and you have all perspective in the world, it doesn't stop you worrying about things that shouldn't be so important. Because actually, contrary to popular belief, just because you might say "right, that's it, I'm not caring about x/y/z any more because it's not important"... it's actually pretty hard forcing your brain to stop. Focusing on the things important to me (family, friends, seeing the world, being creative on my own terms) and trying to forget the things that shouldn't matter (instagram algorithm you massive bellend, I'm referring to you. Alongside other things like constantly putting too much pressure on myself and taking on too much etc.) is my main focus for 2018 so here's hoping for a happier, less stressed and psychotic Elle *insert thumbs up emoji here*

3. Parent Trap and Dirty Dancing will always be up there in my top 5 favourite films and if they're not, please feel free to rock up to my house and slap some sense into me.

4. People come into your life for a reason, season or a lifetime. There is something wildly satisfying about a cheesy quote that not only rhymes but is so so true. There are so many people that will come and go from your life but everyone has a purpose. For example, I know that exes have come into my life to teach me lessons (and up my standards for the future/teach me not to take shit/basically show me what I don't want to end up with). I know that certain friends who kinda disappeared have left me with hilarious memories and sometimes that's all you need. And I know that some people randomly end up in your life and they will never leave. I have so many people like this but I have to mention Ally in particular who started as a friend and quite quickly and very obviously became a soul mate! 
5. There isn't really such thing as "having your life together". I think we all look at the couple engaged/married/pregnant and settled down on social media and think OH MY GOD WHY SO PERFECT, HOW, TEACH ME THE WAYS.... but actually, nobody knows what someone's life is really like behind the perfect instagram grid. And once upon a time I was that girl that was engaged and owned a house. I was the girl that out of all of her friends "had her life together and sorted" but actually, I was possibly unhappier than everyone I knew, questioning everything that was potentially about to be my life and generally just knowing that this wasn't right for me. There is no such thing as having your life together because let's be honest, we're all just winging it aren't we? But I'd like to be winging it in a scenario that makes me happy and fulfilled and not like I'm living a life that I should be living rather than wanting to live it. I'd like to be winging it with people that enrich my life and not restrict it.

6. It's OK not to be able to choose one favourite song ever because there is SO MUCH GOOD MUSIC to listen to out there and if you don't have commitment issues when it comes to favourite songs then I don't even know if I trust you. *BRB whilst I whack on the kettle and decide if Beyonce Irreplaceable/Beyonce Halo/Beyonce basically anything/Take That basically anything/all of the golden oldies 80's bangers is my favourite*

7. It will also always be impossible for me to choose between Pizza and Curry but that's fine, going for both works for me so compromise and all that...


8. Sometimes you can go on brilliant dates with shitty people and shit dates with nice people. Life's a bitch and then you die (... apparently a spinster going by my bumble experience so far).

 9. DREAM BIG because no dream is ever, ever, ever too big. One of my biggest dreams already came true when I managed to turn my blog into a career and work for myself. Never stop dreaming, work your arse off, nothing is impossible!

Unless like me, one of your dreams is to have Blake Lively's face and Beyonce's body. If it is, give up now sister and find yourself another dream.

10. Friendship never really gets easier with age. I always thought high school bickering and bitchiness was something that just stops when, well school stops but blimey, I've seem some bitchiness and cattiness from not only girls my age but also much older. I always feel really lucky that I'm not confrontational and hate drama with a passion so very rarely get wrapped up in anything but wouldn't it be nice if the world was just nice once in a while.

If you're not picturing the Mean Girls "I wish I could bake a cake made out of rainbows and smiles and we'd all eat it and be happy" girl right now, you should be.

11. My family are out of this world. It is just not normal to have a Mum, Dad and brother that you would class as best friends and that all get on so incredibly well that you laugh all day long together. For a lot of years I thought that was normal. I thought a lot of people had that. My older, wiser self knows that this is not only really special but an actual gift.

12. The older I get, the soppier I get. I'm expecting to transform into a wet blanket by my 30th birthday. Over and out.

13. Doing my job, being a full time blogger, you are gifted with opportunities that 99% of the planet will never have but you will also never 100% live in those opportunities. And I just have to be ok with that. I have to be OK with the fact that I can be in the most stunning places on earth but instead of kicking back and enjoying them like they're a holiday (like anyone else would), 99% of the time will be thinking about creating the content to show off said country in it's best light. To take the photo that will get the best engagement for your feed. To see that beautiful place through a lens and not just through your eyes (that doesn't make sense but I hope you know what I mean). It's part and parcel of the job and whilst I am not being ungrateful even for a millisecond, one day I would like to see those places and the only picture I take is the one in my mind for memories.
14. Just because you don't have much confidence, doesn't mean you can't be great. It doesn't mean you can't succeed. It doesn't mean you'll never be the most successful. I've thought many times about writing a post about confidence but have never managed to quite express how I feel sufficiently/have probs written it on a plane where I am 50% jet lag, 40% wine and 10% desperate to watch a film. I would say that out of my friendship group, I have the least confidence in myself. I think that I probably see Shrek/sloth staring back at me more than anyone else does and have always been crippling self conscious. But, what I do have is a crazy work ethic that I am forever grateful for, the determination to succeed and actually, that's enough. A lot of people think the key to success is to have confidence and believe that you are basically Queen B. For me keeping my head down, working hard and staying humble and always trying to be the kindest, most self-deprecating person I can be is what's worked for me.

15. Trust your gut. JESUS CHRIST ELLE TRUST YOU GUT! P.s I originally made a typo and wrote trust your GUY and the irony in that made me laugh so hard that I spat my tea everywhere.

16. DON'T PLUCK YOUR BEAUTIFUL BUSHY EYEBROWS TO OBLIVION. Just don't!

17. Nobody in the world is liked by everybody. Some people will just take a disliking to you for no reason and that's ok. 

18. The best thing about growing up is caring less. What people think of you, how you look, how you might come across... I've always been wildly self conscious but in the last fews years I've learnt to let go a bit. To be myself unapologetically. To wear the bright boots or the leopard print with absolutely no shits given. Life is too short to worry about the builders that you walk past that will 100% call you Kat Slater or laugh in some way. Wear and do what the hell you want to do. It's your life, go live it. Unless what you want to do is something illegal/arsey. Then don't do that. Don't be an arse.

19. "Nobody is you and that is your power" LOL at laughing at cheesy quotes when you're actually the queen of them. But you are unique. Each and everyone one of us knows something somebody else doesn't. Embrace your weirdness (I will forever be Harry Potter's number 1 fangirl and dream of going to Hogwarts. No shits given), and be true to yourself. I always feel sad for people that don't feel comfortable to be their true self. It's the most important thing in life (apart from Reeses pieces and Primark, obvs).

20. Never underestimate the power of Dry shampoo. It's basically an emergency service. #WhoNeedsAnAmbulanceWhenYouveGotBatiste

21. Sometimes you get yourself into silly situations and sometimes you know who your friends are when they go the extra mile. Thank you Jess for all of the things that I can't even begin to write in this post! *insert cry laughter emoji here*

22. I will always look back at some/most of my fashion choices and die of laughter/embarrassment and humiliation all at once. Apart from the Spice Girls Geri dress because 6 year old Elle actually nailed life with that one!

23. Dear Elle, when you are drunk (i.e after two glasses of wine) put your goddamn phone down. Don't text or tweet or basically do anything because you will make a tit of yourself.

24. New York will always be my favourite place on earth. Always. If I'm not bored after 6 trips there (one of them being a month) I never will be. Will I live there one day? Possibly. Will I visit 2948394 times a year in the meantime? Definitely.

25. Nothing is more important than laughter. Over the past year I have cried with laughter and almost given myself abs because of it every single day with my friends. I feel so happy and content with the people I have in my life and without being a total sop/100% being a total sop, I just feel so grateful that my life is full of so much laughter. An example of this? Me and Ally just spent the last hour sending each other voice notes of us laughing because we found what we were talking about so funny that we couldn't even type. I'm OK with that!

So apparently that's 25 things. I'm sat here with a cuppa and a galaxy bar and there's so, so, so much more I want to/could say but I'm gonna leave it here. All of a sudden I feel a little bit like Oprah/completely mentally drained being so reflective and borderline soppy so I'm off to watch an episode of the Kardashian's to numb my brain a little.

I hope you enjoyed the post, as always thanks so much for being mega babes and always coming back to read more. Love you more than hot chocolate and Harry Potter marathons on a cold winter's duvet day when it's snowing outside!

xx



FROM DESK TO DO, EASY DAY TO NIGHT OUTFITS

Raise your hands if you're the kind of fellow gal pal who would usually rather run a bubble bath and spend the evening with Netflix rather than re-dolling yourself up to go out for the night because effort?

*Sees half of the population raising their hands and half of the population like "lol omg so old and boring"*

However, with Christmas season fast approaching and events and parties on a nightly basis being a sure fire occurrence, rather than indulge my hermit tendencies I've started to just, well, try and be the 24 year old that I am and actually go out a bit and live a little (although I do 100% believe that watching 10 episodes of Grey's anatomy in one night is living a lot too!) 

So in the last few weeks I think I think I've finally perfected my Desk to Do pieces and look. The little things that you can pop on or top up that instantly take you from work mode to WHERE'S MY APEROL SPRITZ AT PLEASE AND THANK YOU?
Can
We
Please
Talk
About
This
Jumpsuit?

If you couldn't tell by my highly annoying 1 word sentences, I am abso-bloody-lutely obsessed with the jumpsuit. I have to go in straight away and say that the fit is just spot on, almost as perfect as Ryan Gosling and you know, that really is saying something. But it's beautiful, the black velvet top half gives it the sassy, "I look cool and dressy but I'm effortless af" vibe whilst the straight cigarette pant-esque trouser makes it so perfect for a more formal work day. My favourite thing about this is that it's just so versatile. I love wearing this in the day time with trainers just as much as I love wearing this for the evening with a pair of SASS shoes. It's comfortable, it's flattering, it works for so many occasions. Basically I'm never taking it off and that's just isn't it? Yep, thought so...
Let's talk accessories. When it comes to transitioning from workwear to night out, these shoes are basically just it aren't they. The colour is beautiful, a gorgeous vibrant fuchsia pink that are such a standout piece without totally stealing all thunder. I love that they're slightly smaller in heel height so they're comfy af and the strappy open toe just makes them slightly dressier (although side note: I'm obsessed with pairing these with cropped jeans and a baggy jumper too *insert heart eye'd emojis here*).

The bag. The bag gives me all the Chloe vibes - for a fraction of the price - and has nestled itself nicely into my day to day wardrobe. I love the nude colour because it literally goes with everything, I love that it's a little bit bigger than the standard cross-body bag (and actually fits my iPhone 7+ in it) and also, thanks to the beautiful gold hardware, it not only looks stylish but also smart enough for both day and night.

It has many perks but being able to fit my 15 totally necessary, nearly identical pink lipsticks in it is obviously the biggest.

Lol.

I wish I was joking.

Bag 
The quickest, easiest way to immediately transform your look is with a slick of bold lipstick, and my "Dear Lippie make me 'out out' ready now' favourite definitely has to be Urban Decay's Menace. It's the most gorgeous opaque but slightly glossy bright Fuchsia pink lipstick that is so comfortable to wear but it just instantly makes an impact. 

My mascara of choice will forever be Benefit's They're real because OH HI LASHES, HOW YA DOING? LOOK AT HOW SASSY YOU LOOK BOO! For long lasting length, volume and curl, this mascara is your guy (plus the packaging is pretty damn cute too).

Kat Von D's Tattoo liner is a cult classic for a reason, and that reason is because it's bloody amazing! The tip is made of numerous brushes rather than just the 1 edge and this just makes it glide so much easier and helps the line to be more precise. The colour is jet black and it honestly lasts all day. I wore this bad boy when returning home from Disney and realised it had been on my face for over 24hrs (yes it's disgusting, I know, no judgement please) but it still looked perfect!

Finally, let's just take a moment for the Urban Decay Naked Heat palette which is just 50 shades of perfection! With a mixture of 12 stunning warm toned matte and shimmer shades, you are fully prepped for your office appropriate eye (I love Sauced and Low blow for this) and your going out eye too (Scorched and Dirty talk get in my life).
Oh I do love a great perfume. Nothing quite finishes off a look/outfit like a spritz of your favourite scent. It's something that for me personally, gives that boost of confidence. An air of sexiness. They say that scent is the most powerful sense and I totally get this, it can evoke a memory, it can draw people to you... and for me right now, I've gone back to a favourite of mine from Spring time, Guerlain's Mon Guerlain. The fragrance is a tribute to today's femininity (just me that absolutely loves that?), and is described as a strong, free and sensual femininity inspired by the face of the Fragrance, Angelina Jolie, and I've been obsessed with it since Spring time. Containing notes of Lavender, Jasmine, Sandalwood and Tahitensis, it's the perfect sweet, oriental and and sexy fragrance that I know will be a staple for so many!

And that brings me to the end of this post. I hope you enjoyed it and you're all fully prepped for a post-work night out (although if you have a date with Netflix and Pizza, I also salute you). Christmas season is fast approaching now so I hope these little tips and tricks and easy pieces that transform a look so easy help you to enjoy party season a little more stress free. 

I'd love to know what your favourite piece is? Also, what are your go to items for when you're going from Desk to Do? I always love hearing your thoughts :)


As always, thanks so much for reading!

xx


This post is sponsored by Debenhams
© the Elle next door

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