It's that time of year again isn't it, ladies? Weddings, Christening's, Ascot, your best friend's brother's dog's puppies first birthday... you name it, there is always an occasion to get dressed up for at this time of year and I have to say, I have a love/hate relationship with it. Don't get me wrong, I love nothing more than getting dolled up - lol, no you talk like a Nan - putting on a pretty outfit and going out to have some fun in the sun with your favourite people. But it's the deciding what to wear that always gets me. What does smart casual even mean, am I too overdressed, is that even a thing? So I decided to put together a mix of looks that can work for any and every occasion.

I was going to say I'm being like a clothes fairy godmother helping all your sartorial needs but I think fairy godmothers are responsible adults that don't run away from their awful decisions aren't they? Which means I'm definitely counted out of that.

So yes, I've put together some looks - all from Very who you all know are one of my all time fave online stores - and I'm also here to tell you about how to get these looks for less (because if you don't love a bargain I'm not even sure we can be friends) with the help of Voucher Codes.

If you've never heard of Voucher Codes, they are a website with amazing deals across 100s of high street brands and restaurants. They work with brands to provide the best deals to make things as affordable as possible for us shoppers. They have an amazing app - which you can download here - which will show you deals in your local area too, pretty snazzy if you ask me. 

Voucher Codes currently have a sassy little code in case you want to shop anything from this post or from the Very website. Using the code ELLEND5, New Very.co.uk customers can get £5 when they spend £20+... I think this means it's time to get shopping doesn't it? Yep, I thought so too!

Photography by Ally who you can find here and here.
As much as I love a flowy little number, my heart will always be lost to the mini. Maybe it's because my long legs are just about the only redeeming feature - no, no, please put your tiny violins away for me - or maybe it's because it has that added boost of sexiness but a respectable mini is always a solid shout for me. I absolutely adore this cornflower blue option as the long sleeves and 'just above knee' height make it appropriate for any occasion. This has such a Self Portrait vibe about it (but for a third of the price) and just looks so classy whilst also being a bit different too. 

Paired with these gorgeous silver strappy heels - which I've also worn to death with cropped jeans lately - and this beautiful dusky pink velvet clutch... this is the perfect pretty but chic outfit.

Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the beauty of this dress?

... perfect, thank you ;)

This dress really is one of the most beautiful, and versatile, pieces in my wardrobe. I've worn it to a beautiful dinner in paris, I've worn it with trainers for a casual day at the park (which may or may not have included a Nando's), I've worn it to a christening. It just works. The neckline and shoulder detail is just gorgeous and the open front and fluted hem really does make this little cracker just a bit special. I actually paired this with one of the most quirky pairs of shoes I own in the form of these ruffle rose gold pointed courts - what a mouthful - and this pom bag which is the definition of unsubtle but I'm kind of all about it.

Finally, for my most unique - and also possibly most favourite, shh - the jumpsuit. But let's be honest guys, this isn't just any old jumpsuit is it? LET'S JUST TRY AND STAY CALM AND CHILL OVER THE RUFFLE BARDOT NECKLINE!!!

And breathe... but seriously, there's something about the cut and fit of this that instantly makes me feel put together, ready for anything and, as much as it makes me want to curl up in a ball of self indulgence... a little bit sexy. Maybe it's the sleeves or the perfect crop and fit of the trousers but my god is this piece a little stunner? The jumpsuit does all the talking so I paired this with nude strappy heels (without a doubt my most worn style of shoe) and this leopard print bag just to give the girly look a bit of an edge. 

And that's my third and final look. I'd love to know which one is your favourite? I'd also love to know if you've ever heard of/used Voucher Codes before as I'm a liiiiittle bit obsessed with it now.

Don't forget, you can check out all of the deals they have to offer here . Happy shopping guys!


This post was sponsored by Voucher Codes and Very


I know you might be thinking, has she really written an entire post about breakfast in bed? Alternatively you might be thinking that my hair needs a little bit of a brush which I would also 100% agree with but let's just go with that you're thinking the former.

And the answer would be yes, yes I have written a post based around breakfast in bed. I mean yes and no. It's also about my recent stay in Farnham bush which was so ridiculously dreamy that I never really wanted to leave but mostly, mostly it's about breakfast in bed.

100% sorry not sorry.

So, a few weeks back I headed to Farnham Bush for a little break with Mum Next Door i.e my resident photographer i.e the most patient person on the planet. We explored the town, did a bit of unintentional shopping and stayed at the Mercure hotel because you guys know that those guys are my fave gal pal for quick, easy, comfy stays so I was blimmin chuffed they had one here.

But yeah, we had such a lovely little trip and topped it off with a chilled out morning and breakfast in bed. So, shall we have a quick natter about why BIB (is this gonna be the new fetch, trying to make BIB a thing but it's just not a thing?) is so amazing before I dive more into my little break then? Yeah? Ok fab...

1. When the options are endless and you almost feel like you've been given a billion quid to go and spend in Selfridges. Like...
"Do I want almond, soya, oat, rice, whole or semi skinned milk?"
"Hmm... fat fries, curly fries, cheese fries, crinkled fries... I'll take one of everything please lad!"
You get the gist... and I have to say, the room service breakfast at the Mercure was pretty bloody incredible. From smoked haddock - no you brought the sass - to full english, to continental, they got it down.

2. I'm eating in bed and it doesn't even matter that I'm dropping crumbs and egg yolk on the sheets because IT'S NOT MY BED AND IT'LL BE WASHED BY SOMEONE ELSE AND OHHHH WHAT A GREAT DAY TO BE ALIVE.

3. It feels like you're pampering yourself doesn't it? Take some time out to chill and relax and wake up slowly rather than setting a god awful alarm every 5 minutes to make sure you're actually awake.

4. Did I mention being in bed? I have? Well I'm mentioning it again because for the 32482984th time, the beds at the Mercure hotels are just the comfiest and I promise once you've slept in one you won't want to book anywhere else again.

(OK, that's a very big claim so don't hold me to that but you will love it).

5. The entertainment. Like, do you go for TV. And then do you go for trash TV (Kardashians I'm looking at you huns!) or a documentary or a bad boy Netflix series? Or, do you push the boat out and watch a film? THE POSSIBILITIES ARE ENDLESS MY FRIENDS.

6. No need to get ready and look presentable, you can look like a total slob and it's absolutely fine. I repeat, you can look like a total slob and it's absolutely fine!

7. You can create your own little home from home (just without the cleaning up after yourself). I've always loved how comfy and chilled Mercure hotels are and Farnham Bush might have been my favourite yet. The staff were amazing, the food spot on *insert hands in the air emoji here*, the hotel and lobby/chill areas beautiful and the area itself... just stunning!
So after finally forcing ourselves out of bed/getting kicked out because we'd exceeded check out time by hours we took a stroll around the grounds (dreamer than Ryan Gosling), wandered into town (cuter than Ron Weasley when he thinks Hermione is a bit fit) and then finally left to go back to London.

Leaving these little getaways is always a bit hard for me. Anyone who has been around here for a while will know that London will always be my favourite place on earth but sometimes the city, and work, and life gets a bit much doesn't it? So thank you Farnham Bush (and Mercure) for providing me with a dreamy break and a little bit of my sanity back. I bloody loved it!

Have you ever stayed here before? Is there anything in the world better than Breakfast in bed? I always love hearing your thoughts!


This post was sponsored by Mercure.


There are lots of things that I probably take for granted a little. Being a born and bred Londoner and living in one of the best cities on earth. Being reasonably healthy. My family, who are absolute heroes. The fact that gluten free pasta exists and it's actually good (my god isn't pasta good?!)...

The list is a bit too long for my liking, but one thing that I never take for granted is the fact that I get to travel so much. Whether it's for work - it's 99% of the time for work fyi and it's 99% of the time nowhere near as glam as it looks - or pleasure, I have been so incredibly lucky to travel the world more than I could ever have imagined in the last couple of years and as a result of this, when I book my own holidays I'm always at a bit of a loss where to go. You guys know that if I had full control I'd end up only ever going to NYC for the rest of my life which is why when I stumbled upon SRPRS I just knew I was going to end up booking and going.
SRPRS is a company that is based around booking a surprise trip, with very minimal filters so you end up wth absolutely no idea where you're going until you get to the airport. You can chose from a 3,4,5 or 7 day break in Europe, which London airport to fly from, whether you'd like a slightly more comfortable room and then of course, the dates you'd like to travel... and then the rest is left up to SRPRS.

1 month before the trip you'll find out what time you need to be at the airport (and which airport you're off to). 1 week before the trip you can log in online and check on the weather forecast so you know whether you need your cossie - cossie, lol, no you're secretly a 90 year old inside - or your 10 layers of fleece, coat. A few days before you receive your pack including a scratch card which you'll use at the airport to unlock a code that you then enter into your app. Included in the pack is also your boarding passes in a little black envelope so that once you find out where you're off to, you don't need to worry about checking in. 

And then you're ready to go *insert all of the party popper/sassy lady in red/airplane emojis here*

So after arriving at the airport with my partner in crime, Al, we scratched off our scratch card, entered the code and honestly jumped with pure shock and delight when we realised we were going to.......


So yeah, blimmin Vienna. It's funny because when we received the forecast (2 degrees fyi, no you are cold just thinking about it) we looked at all the places it might be, made completely uneducated guesses and not once did we even consider Vienna. It just never crossed our minds.

A plane and mildly terrifying taxi journey later and we arrived at the Ruby Sofie Hotel in Vienna and I have to say, it was pretty much love at first sight. The bar area and lounge spaces are laid back and cool - think The Hoxton meets Clerkenwell Grind (if you're not a Londoner/a blogger this might be ridiculously unhelpful for you) - and whilst I hate the word "trendy"... it was really bloody trendy. Our room however was an entirely different vibe... possibly the largest I've stayed in (that wasn't a suite), our room was white and airy and incredibly spacious. We had a bed that could fit 5 people - Oi, get your head out of the gutter, you - and a beautiful shower/lounge space. 

I think I forgot to mention that the breakfast buffet, i.e my life forte, was absolutely incredible, with endless tea options, almond/oat/rice/god knows what else milk and basically every option known to man... I challenge you to not demolish at least 4 plates.

And if you don't then we can't be friends.

I mean, we can, but you'll just have to up your total pig eating game ;)
Vienna as a place was the Meghan Markle of cities. Beautiful, elegant but also a lot of fun (I mean, I don't know Megs personally but I bet she's secretly a right ball). Think clean and light and very easy going. The food was bloody amazing and the general vibe of the city was somewhere I could see myself spending a lot more time.

Now, as we were only there for a few days and spent most of our time chilling and soaking up Vienna rather than seeing every tourist site there is to see, this won't be a "guide" as such... but here's a few highlights I'd recommend;

Schonbrunn Palace - A beautiful and historical monument for the city, Schonbrunn is absolutely worth a wander to as it really is stunning. 

Swing Kitchen - OH MY GOD SWING KITCHEN!!! Ally found this place as it has Vegan burgers and Nuggets and all sorts of wonderful, amazing things and a lot of the food here also happened to be gluten free. If it's wrong to love Nuggets and chips then lock me up and throw away the key pals because this place was incredible.

Stefel Rooftop - After a day of wandering Al and I took it upon ourselves to live our best Sex and the city lives and headed up to the rooftop bar at the top of Stefel department store. An aperol spritz and 30483084 belly laughs and cry tears later and I think I could safely say that it was a very good decision!

Hundertwasser House - Nestled quietly off of a side street in Vienna, you'll find Hundertwasser house. An apartment house built after the idea and concept of Austrian artist Friedensreich, it's an expressionist landmark which to be honest, is just pretty damn cool. There's nothing to do there but it makes for a fun photo and there's a red telephone box there so, you know, if you fancy a taste of London in Austria, this place is your guy!

St Stephen's Cathedral - We absolutely just stumbled upon St Stephen's cathedral and my god, am I glad that we did. It's pretty much an architectural dream (not that I have a single f**king clue about architecture). Stunning inside and out, whether you are religious or generally have no interest in cathedrals, get your butt down there and marvel at the beauty, I promise you won't regret it.
Photography by Ally 

And I think that's it for my little Vienna adventure. As I've already fangirled 304830943 times, SRPRS really is such an incredible idea and one that I can not only not recommend highly enough but will also be rebooking asap.

I hope you enjoyed a little glimpse of Vienna too, it's one of those places that's pretty much perfect for a weekend break. Enough to do and take in but also chilled enough to just enjoy it. 

Just the way I like it!

Lol, that 100% sounded like some kind of cheesy slogan at the end of an American toothpaste ad. Soz about that!


A huge thank you to SRPRS for organising the most dreamy trip for me and Ally. We'll never forget it!


Jet lag is a bitch isn't it. And I don't mean the oohhhhh I'm soooooo sleepy kinda jet lag. I mean the kind that sits on your shoulder from 10am - 10pm like "Go to sleep now Elle. Oh, you're not sleeping? Well BRB whilst I get some bricks and put them on your eyelids then." And then from 10pm to 5am "COME ON BITCH WAKE UP, WE HAVE AN ALL NIGHT RAVE TO GET TO!!!!"

So yeah, this is me, with 2hrs sleep, googling "Can you die from lack of sleep" and subsequently "how to get over being a drama queen".

Happy Thursday to you all too kids.

Anyway, this post - the first in a month which I'm generally mortified about but I'll get to that soon - is not a big ole moan about jet lag, it's about my trip to Mexico where I spent 10 days with my favourite person on earth, Ally, drinking Pina Coladas, laughing until I cried, ignoring my phone, forgetting that my job and life outside of my Mexican all inclusive resort even exists and honestly... living my best ever life.

This post is about how I ignored social media and how my life became 34983589x happier for it, and how even though I'm back into the swing of work (20 emails down before 5am, sometimes Jet lag, you're not a bellend), I'll never, ever let social media/namely Instagram, effect my mental health and my overall happiness ever again.

Yes I said mental health. Yes, I let Instagram affect my mental health and to any non Bloggers that may sound extremely extreme, but to 99% of full time bloggers/bloggers who's blogs/platforms take over their lives too, I know you'll get it.

So, let's begin, how I gave up giving 2 tiny little fucks about likes and managed to be the happiest I've ever been....

I want to start by saying that I've not had a proper day off since I went full time with my blog a little over 3 years ago. That sounds dramatic doesn't it? It's not. Even on Christmas day I wrote a blog post (yes it was because I actually felt inspired and yes I adore writing so it didn't feel like work, but yeah... it's still work). It's not that I don't want to... I guess it falls down to the fact that a) I have been extremely, extremely lucky to have worked consistently for the last 2 years or so, and now more than ever, so I physically haven't felt able to take a day off for fear of falling so far behind and ending up in a black whole of 359385 emails and tears. And b) because I guess when you've worked so tirelessly on this hobby that's turned into a career and your own business that you, and only you have made work... it's hard to walk away from that you know. Even if only for a day.

I know from an outsider how that looks/sounds. Oh diddums poor you that you have to fanny around in front of a camera or say yes or no to travelling around the world. And I also know that to bloggers/people that get it that you'll understand entirely which honestly, is why I'm writing this.

I know that so so many of you will also feel the same (some less so, some more so) so I hope it inspires you to change the way you look at social media. I hope it allows you to step back and realise that taking some time away won't stop the world from turning... 
Something changed for me in Mexico and in all honesty, this whole year. Last year, and trust me when I say that I am genuinely, wholeheartedly embarrassed to admit this... Instagram completely ruined my life affected my life to the point of, it had the capability to make my day good or bad. I never at one point didn't hate that it had the ability to do this and I never at one point lacked perspective enough to know that how I felt was ridiculous. Ridiculous, illogical and completely irrational. But, no matter how many times I saw stories of young kids with terminal illnesses or terrible disasters happening all over the world, I couldn't completely snap myself out of the sheer panic that my photos were "dying" or my followers were declining for long enough. I'd say "life's too short to care"... and then 3 days later, there I was caring again.

Again, everything you may or may not be calling me right now is nothing I haven't called myself before.

But Mexico was different. Mexico I paid for myself - as opposed to a lot of trips I go which are press trips and therefore have obligations for content in return - I went with my best friend and absolutely zero work obligations. We booked all inclusive specifically so we only had to move from Beach to pool to restaurant to pool bar. We decided, basically, that we were only going if this was 100% a holiday and not a "mostly holiday but also half the time I'll be stressing about taking photos for instagram" holiday. And that's exactly what we did. I had a back up of London photos and I took 4 photos the whole time I was there. 


4 photos in 10 days.

For reference, I usually go out and shoot a minimum of 2 outfits (approximately 100-200 photos per outfit) every single day at home.

I replied to max 4/5 urgent emails per day, I decided to post on Instagram every other day so I didn't have to wake up at 4:30am every morning (screw you 6 hour time difference).

I basically laughed every second of every day, I made some of my favourite ever memories, I watched the stars at night from the beach, I swam with turtles and snorkelled through cenotes. I flirted with Mexican men (absolutely no shame, it's what Ally and I do best because together we are insufferable and totally shameless), I turned myself from human to 99% Pina Colada and 1% regret. 

What I didn't do, was stress about Instagram. I didn't get even slightly down or sad or panicky or stressed that the algorithm has changed and my engagement is now half of what it used to be. I didn't go to some of the most stunning places in the entire world and see it through my phone, I saw it with my eyes.

Barely because I'm as blind as a bat but I tried anyway.

I finally, genuinely, lived my best ever life.

I just didn't care. And most life changingly (pretty sure that's not a word, pretty sure I couldn't care less)... I still don't care.

I still wake up feeling unbelievably grateful every single morning that I get to do the job I do. I still work just as hard as I ever did. I still create the same content that I did before. From the outside, apart from slightly less posts than before, absolutely nothing will change.

But from behind the rainbow coloured grid, this girl will actually be living her best life rather than saying she is whilst actually having a minor breakdown.

I'm sorry this was the most rambly, repetitive, probably shockingly written post... but if I'd have read something like this a year ago whilst I was struggling so badly with social media every single day, I'd have found it a great source of hope. So I hope that if you're struggling too, you can realise that one day... you really just won't care.

Life is too short to give a tiny little shit on God's green earth whether you got 2000 likes or 5000 likes. You'll be grateful for your health and your loved ones and your happiness.

Just how it should be!



I fucking love New York.

I’m aware that that’s not the most loquacious way of expressing my feelings but I feel like it best describes exactly how I feel. Plus the fact that I’m currently sat in the airport with our flight being 10hrs delayed, a flight attendant so rude that it’s making my blood boil at a temperature of 379248 degrees and I’ve just realised that I’ve lost my memory card full of New york content… so I kinda just need to drop an F bomb anyway. Just to get it off my chest, let out a little rage alongside the love, ya know?

So yeah, I really fucking love New York. I’ve spent the past week there with one of my favourite humans Hayley and my god the thought of leaving and going back to “real life” is just filling me with the most amount of dread and stress and anxiety and just shit vibes.

You see, new york is my happy place. When I’m there, nothing really matters and everything is OK and not an issue and no problem can’t be solved. I’m aware that I’m going to sound like a giant bellend (what an image) but Jay Z and Alicia really weren’t joking when they said the streets will make you feel brand new and big lights will inspire you. 

BRB whilst I vom into a bucket of “never let me say that again”…

But it really does make you feel like you can do anything. It’s the place that I go to when I’m happy and it’s the place that I go to when I need to run away from life. So here’s a little diary* from the last week/thoughts on NYC/thoughts on friendship/thoughts on life.

*Diary, in this case, means a complete word vomit of thoughts so you know, just bear that in mind.

This was my 8th time in New York and I think out of every trip I’ve done, I probably worked the most and the hardest this time around. Hayley and I are just very similar when it comes to work ethic and getting content and our love of New York and sharing it with you guys… and it’s amazing because I know that we are both as dedicated to getting that shot as the other, but it also meant we never really switched off until the last day (where I accidentally bought some Gucci Loafers, I currently can’t talk about it because we’re still at the point of feeling sick at spending so much money on flats). So we laughed until we cried and we spoke life stories and had deep meaningful convos that I’ll never ever forget and we had the best time but we also worked our arses off and I have to say, I’m really f**king proud of us. We did an amazing collab with Primark and our content was some of my favourite that I’ve created in forever. We shot so many photos that I could post NYC blog posts everyday for a month (but let’s be honest I just about manage to find time to blog once a week these days so that won’t happen) and we just sort of went above and beyond to do the best we could. And we were talking about work and travels and campaigns we have coming up and I kinda just had this moment where I thought (probably slightly self-indulgently which will subsequently make me want to punch myself in the face), hard work really does pay off. We are in New York, we are working with our favourite brands, we are fronting campaigns… and it’s all because we’ve given everything for years to make this work. After said moment I forced* Hayley into getting another bottle of prosecco to go alongside our takeaway pizza in our room and toasted to us. To blogging. To Team Internet. And to being in N-Y-Fucking-C off of the back of it all.

*When I say forced, what I actually mean is she suggested it, I said absolutely yes and no more convincing was needed. My kinda girl.

So now I’ve taken a moment for myself - heavily induced by being hormonal x100 - here were some of my favourite parts of our trip;


Turning the corner and seeing that Manhattan skyline for the first time.

Discovering Two Boots Pizza in Brooklyn which did the most incredible gluten free Pesto pizza, and taking it away to eat in our hotel with a bottle of prosecco and just chilling for our first night. What dreams are made of.

Shake bloody Shake. I didn’t know that Shake Shack did gluten free buns and pretty bloody amazing ones at that and let me just tell you lads, demolishing the Smoke Shack in Madison Square with a grape soda putting the world to rights was a pretty special moment.

Exploring Brooklyn. This was the first time I’d ever stayed outside of Manhattan and I absolutely loved it. We stayed at the Williamsburg hotel which is all the interior goals you could possibly imagine and I really really loved finding cute independent coffee, clothing, interior etc. shops whilst also pretending I was Dan Humphrey’s girlfriend just waiting for him to come and pick me up. No you’re cool.

Heading to a party shop to buy balloons for a shoot and accidentally ending up in an extremely rough af area of Brooklyn. It was probably one of our most silly moments but the thought of us extremely English looking tourists wandering around with 18 helium balloons in the hood still makes me laugh until I cry.

Spending time around Union square which made me reminisce so much about my trip last October where I spent 3 weeks living in NYC and just having the best time imaginable. I stayed in an Air BnB not far and it’s always felt a little bit like home from home.

A strange one, but getting to grips with the Subway and seeing all sorts of characters on it. From buskers to the most insane dance groups, there's always something to see and smile at.

Visiting the Top of the rock for the 305835 time. No matter how many times I see it, that view never ever fails to blow me away. This time I got my tickets through Attraction Tickets direct which is perfect for booking tickets in advance so you don't end up queuing on the day or struggling to book while you're out there.

Really taking in Brooklyn bridge and the view of Manhattan and Brooklyn. We shot there for well over an hour which was complete and utter chaos with the thousands of people constantly getting in the way but at the end, I kinda just took a moment to take the view in and see it with my eyes and not my camera and just appreciate where I actually was. My favourite place on earth.

Nailing the cliches. Pietro Nolita, Cha cha, Egg shop, Sezane, Mott Street.. looking at you huns.

Finding a new found love for Pizza and prosecco in bed. No amount of lovely meals out quite compares to being a total slob in your pjs with a face mask demolishing every crumb of pizza in sight.

Just spending every second with Hayley laughing until I was ugly crying (shout out to anyone that looks like a goddess when they're laughing, teach me your ways.)

And I think I’m gonna wrap this up here because to be honest, I’m about to board a plane for 7hrs and I’m lucked out in Premium again and I’m hoping to just sleep for the rest of eternity. Thank you always for all of the love on my New York content - especially the Instagram’s… you always give so many good vibes - I think anyone that has followed me for a while knows how much I’m obsessed with New York (somewhere between my love for Harry Potter and my love for pizza) so I hope you didn’t mind this little diary/favourite moments type of post rather than a really helpful guide because in all honesty, sometimes i just want to be able to look back and remember some of my happiest moments rather than constantly focusing on trying to get the best, most helpful, searchable, high blog traffic worthy content. Sometimes I just want to have a little brain splurge and that’s exactly what this is.

Sending lots of love to anyone who’s stuck around to this point, from a totally broken, jet lagged Elle that will probably read this back and re-confirm that I’m a complete and utter mess in life.


© the Elle next door

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