Saturday, 27 February 2016

Sunflowers For Jacqueline

Hi everyone,

Today I wanted to talk to you about something that has touched my heart in so many ways. I want to start by saying that this of course isn't a sponsored post or anything like that. I have chosen to do this because this is something I am passionate about.

I have been following LLimWalker  on YouTube for a couple of months now and I was watching her smart casual lookbook a while back when a little piece of writing popped up at the end saying 'In Loving Memory Of Jacqueline'. I immediately went to the comments to see what had happened and seen that Jacqueline was also a YouTuber and Leanne's best friend. Out of curiosity I looked onto Jacqueline's channel and seen that the last video she had posted was about her struggle with mental health which you can view here. My stomach dropped.

If you read my blog a lot then you will know that I am always talking about my experiences with mental health and when I seen that she had decided to end her struggle my heart felt immense pain without even knowing her. 

Her best friend Leanne Walker has created jewellery in memory of Jacqueline that is being sold on Bloody Mary Metal. For every purchase made £15 will go to Rethink Mental Illness; a company that support and provide help for people suffering from mental illness. 

Here is a picture from the Sunflowers for Jacqueline instagram of the jewellery.



Not only are these pieces absolutely stunning but I can only imagine how much meaning they hold to Leanne and Jacqueline's family and friends. 

I will leave the direct link below to purchase. I will be purchasing as soon as I can afford it and I hope that you will consider doing the same. Remember that the more people that get help the less people have to suffer losing someone they love to mental illness.


Thank you so much for reading,

Katie Ellen. xxxx
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Wednesday, 24 February 2016

The Liebster Award

Hello loves,

So the other day I was sat having a normal day when I got a notification from Alice over at One & The Same mentioning that she had nominated me for this challenge. I was so excited because this is the first time I have been tagged to do something through my blog and I was also super flattered that she chose me as one of her 11 nominee's, I really appreciate it so much. Her blog is so beautiful and well written so please do go and check her out!

So just in case the people I'm tagging don't know how this works, I will tell you.

Basically, if nominated you answer the questions listed by the person who has tagged you; after answering their questions you then make up 11 of your own questions to ask the next 11 bloggers that you choose to nominate. These bloggers must be under 1000 followers.

So, lets jump straight into the questions I was nominated to answer!


1. What made you start blogging?

I had been doing YouTube for around half a year when I worked with a company called Mental Happy. My close friend Gemma over at Across This Page suggested that I should write a guest post on her blog to promote what I had been working on with MH and of course I agree'd! Part of me thinks she did this on purpose to get me to love blogging because she had been saying for a while that I should start to run my own blog, haha.

But in all honesty she was right, it's been the best thing i've ever done and it makes me so happy to be able to sit down and write about whatever I want! I love it so, so, so much.


2. What would be your dream job?

Honestly, if I could make blogging my job tomorrow then I definantly would. It has given me so much confidence in myself and it also gives me the opportunity to talk about things that I am passionate about. It would also be a dream job because I'd be able to work from home and spend all day with my puppy - PERFECT.

However, if blogging didn't work out I'd either love to work in music events or running my own clothing business.


3. What is your absolute fail-safe outfit you feel the most confident in?

I'd say a loose dress, tights and some nice flats or boots. I absoloutley love dresses that don't cling to you; I just think it flatters my body shape a lot better than other dresses. I also definantly feel my most confident in day time dresses.


4. What is your weirdest passion?

This is such a good question, but very hard to answer. Especially since I am a very weird person anyway so there's a lot to choose from, haha!

However, the first thing that sprung to mine AND my boyfriends mind is the fact that I literally cannot go a day without watching some kind of crime related program. Even if I haven't had time to watch a crime program through the day I will put on YouTube in bed at night and watch scary story videos until I fall asleep. I know, i'm such a creep aren't I!? Haha!


5. What have you gained the most from blogging?

I honestly think that i've gained so much confidence and happiness by doing this blog. It's allowed me to talk about things I am passionate about and also allowed me to talk about my struggles which I have always really struggled to do before. I feel so comfortable blogging that it's becoming second nature to me now and that makes me so happy.


6. Have you experienced any negativity to do with you blog or blogging in general?

I haven't experienced any negativity online about my blog. However, I have had someone in my 'real life' say that aiming for blogging to be a full time job isn't realistic and probably won't happen.

I pay absoloutely no attention to comments like this. In fact, it just makes me want to work harder to be able to show them that you can actually achieve your dreams if you just had a little drive and positivity. No skin off of my nose what so ever. #SASSY


7. What is your favourite lipstick?

I think if you follow me on instagram or twitter then you will know I have two favourite lipsticks brands and I cannot just pick one between the two so i'm just going to name one from each brand.

Jeffree Star velour liquid lipstick in the shade Dominatrix
Gerard Cosmetics lipstick in the shade Underground


8. Who is your blogger inspiration?

I think that at the moment Gracie Francesca is my blog inspiration. My reason for this is because although she does do beauty & fashion posts she also does posts on more serious topics and is always speaking out for what she believes in. She reminds me a lot of myself - but with a lot more guts... and followers! Haha. She's amazing.


9. What is your favourite thing about your body?

I love this question, I think we all don't talk enough about the things we love about ourselves.

Although I have a lot of insecurities just like everyone else I do have 3 main things that I love about my body.

1. My eyes - as a child I was always complimented on how big my eyes are. I love having huge eyes and they definantly help with getting what you want! Haha!

2. My hair - I have always loved my hair just because it's so thick and although I have dyed it numerous times it's still in good condition and still super thick!

3. My tattoo's - I'm not sure if this even counts, haha! But I have wanted tattoo's for so long and I absoloutley love all the ones I have so much. They definantly make me like my body that bit more!


10. How do you normally spend your weekends?

Unfortunately, since I work in retail I rarely get a weekend off of work. However, if I do I mostly spend it with my family and my boyfriend just having a nice chilled out weekend... Or I go the complete opposite and go and get very drunk with my friends! Haha! I'm happy doing either!


11. What is your favourite piece of advice?

My favourite piece of advice is to not take life too seriously. None of us know when our time us up so why do we spend it worrying about things that we know won't matter in a few days time.

Do things that make you happy, smile for no reason, love unconditionally, be nice to others, be yourself and live your life without any regrets because you only get to live as yourself once so let's make the most of it!!

So, I suppose it's now time for me to nominate 11 bloggers to answer my questions! Some of these may have over 1000 followers because I am lazy AF and haven't checked. Lol!


1. Gemma Rose

2. Sian

3. Caroline Burton

4. Purple Button Couture

5.Sam

7. Aoife

10. Jemma

11. Brianna


If you girls would like to do this tag then here are my 11 questions to you!


1. What do you feel is the best thing about blogging?
2. Do you enjoy reading blogs more than writing them or vice versa?
3. What is the most embarrassing thing you or someone you know have experienced?
4. What types of blogs do you enjoy most? (e.g. beauty, fashion, lifestyle, etc.)
5. Who is your biggest celebrity crush and why?
6. Do you have a favourite beauty brand? If so, who?
7. One piece of make up you could not live without?
8. Weirdest habits of yours?
9. What do people in your offline life think of your blog?
10. Who is your best online friend and how did you both meet?
11. Who is your main online influence? (E.g. blogger, youtuber, viner, etc.)


Thank you so much for reading!


Katie Ellen. xxxx
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Monday, 22 February 2016

Songs Of The Month - February

Hi Guyyyyys!

Today I am continuing my series of talking about my favourite songs of the month because it is the end of February this week! WHERE IS THE TIME GOING!?

Anyway, you know I love nothing more than telling you about songs that I've been loving so let's just jump straight into it, shall we?

1. Miguel - Coffee Ft Wale

I went through a faze of listening to Miguel's 'Wildheart' album on repeat last year and then done that thing where you over listen to something so much that you kind of just go off it! However, I have recently rediscovered it and I must say - OBSESSED ALL OVER AGAIN. 

This is one of the first songs I fell in love with off of the album and no matter how many times I listen to this over and over I still love it just as much as the first time! It's just such a relaxing song and I love how soft his voice is - it's like having a little angel singing in my ear!

I can also sing / rap ALL the words to this song so you know - I'm kind of a big deal. 




2. Stromae - Ta Fete

Bet you didn't think I was one to listen to music in other languages, did you!?
SURPRISE.

Honestly, Stromae is one of my favourite artists at the moment. If you take anything from this post I want you to watch THIS video on YouTube of one of his live concerts. One word - breath taking, I love how much creativity he puts into his music.

This song literally makes me want to just get up and conquer the whole world. I may not understand most of the words he's saying but he's that much of an amazing artist that you don't need to understand French to be able to connect with his music. He is FABULOUS.


3. Twenty One Pilots - Stressed Out

Since I now have a fur baby (puppy) who takes up all of my attention I have spent a lot of time watching the music channels & seeing what has been in the charts the past couple of weeks and when this song came on I was instantly intrigued.

I love the way this song talks about how much things change when you grow up and how insecure we can get.. which is definantly something i'm relating to these days! It's definantly one of my favourites in the charts at the minute and I always do a little head nod dance every time it comes on.




4, Rudimental Ft Ed Sheeran - Lay It All On Me

This is another one I discovered through the charts. I've always been a massive fan of Mr Sheeran and this song is just all kinds of on point!

I love how nice the lyrics are and who can deny Ed's beautiful voice! I always find myself having a little smile when this song comes on and it's also good to have a little boogy to as well! WIN.


5. Coldplay - Hymn For The Weekend

Well if I do say so this song has been my absolute JAM lately. I've been a massive fan of Coldplay since Chris was running down the beach talking about how everything was all yellow that one time.

I must say - in my opinion - I love their newer music much more than their older stuff - although I do love that too of course.

This song just makes me sing so loud without even realising. I love how powerful and uplifting the chorus is and how perfect Chris' vocals are. I will be seeing them in concert this summer and the video makes me have goosebumps with excitement to see them play live. Love, love love.




So, there are my top 5 songs of the month! Please leave me a comment and let me know 5 of yours so I can have a listen and hopefully find some new songs to obsess over!

Thank you so much for reading,

Katie Ellen xxx



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Friday, 19 February 2016

Living With The Devil | My Story With Depression

Hi Guys,

I would like to add a disclaimer before I begin that this will be a post about mental health. If you are at all triggered by other peoples experience then I urge you to please be careful before you read on. Also, if you just in general don't like these type of blog posts then feel free to take a look at my other posts which are based on other topics. 

I don't plan out my blog posts what so ever. I wait until an idea comes to mind or an idea is sparked by something I have seen, heard or something that I'm feeling at that moment in time and I guess this has been playing on my mind for a while. So what better way than to talk about it, right!?

After the passing of my granddad just before Christmas I made one promise to myself that I would better my mental health for him. However, if you suffer from depression then you will know that that's probably going to be a lot harder than it sounds. 

I stopped taking my medication and I'll be honest, I felt okay. 

I was surprised and excited that I might just be able to live my life again without the devil on my shoulder telling me all those bad things that I didn't want to hear. But I think you know what I'm about to say, don't you? Yep you guessed it, it didn't last very long.

I'm going to give you my story with depression and anxiety. The one thing I want from this post is for those who are close to someone suffering to maybe understand what they are going through a little bit more. It's crazy, I would never do this with a person face to face but sometimes I like to close off and make believe that this blog is only between me and myself which makes writing this a little less daunting.

So, let's start from the beginning. I want you to know that I was a happy child considering all of this, I just have to include things that are sad to show you how my anxiety and depression started!

I was never a huge fan of primary school and I think that was because at that age I was beginning to realise that I was in a lot of ways different from others in my class. I was shy, timid and in a lot of ways anti social to the point where every time my mum went to a parents meeting the only thing they would say was "she is sooooooo quiet!". 

I never understood why everyone else made friends easily and could talk to teachers and answer questions without even thinking twice. I used to pretend I didn't know the answers even when I did just so I didn't have to open my mouth in class. I remember one time crying on the way to school because I felt like I couldn't breathe and unzipping my coat because I thought it was choking me. Which I know realise it was a panic attack and I guess that was where my anxiety started.

It didn't help that I was also bigger than a lot of girls in my class. Don't ever think for one second that even in primary school kids can't have self esteem issues because I can tell you from experience that they definantly can. I used to 'forget' my PE kit because I hated changing in front of my other class mates or I would run off into the bathroom to change because the thought of people seeing me change clothes made me sick to my stomach. I feel so sad saying this now because I wish I could go back in time and tell myself that just because I was bigger it didn't make me any less beautiful than the kids around me.

Anyway, time went on and I never grew out of being shy and timid but before I knew it I was heading off to high school. 

The first year of high school was horrible for me. I had no friends and I couldn't bring myself to make any. I used to stay with my cousin and his friends at break times because I was too nervous to be the kid that was alone and vulnerable. However, I was lucky enough to find a group of friends that I stayed with and are still friends with till this day. Although I was loud and annoying around them I still stayed within my inner circle and found it hard to communicate properly with teachers and other people without feeling anxious.

I didn't start having massive anxiety problems until the last year or two of school. I remember being in class and my best friend Katherine taking me out numerous times because of anxiety attacks. There was a lot going on in my life at that point and as we where preparing for exams my uncle passed away and it all just took a huge toll on me. I couldn't sleep at night because my heart would pound and I eventually asked my mum to take me to my GP because I thought there was something wrong with my heart. Turns out there wasn't - again it was just anxiety attacks. I was put on medication and they worked for the most part.

Eventually, I left school and felt strong enough to stop taking my anxiety medication so I did. I managed to stay off them for a while before I went through extreme anxiety. I couldn't eat, sleep and leaving the house became forced. I remember my sister cutting an apple into tiny pieces just so I would have atleast one thing to eat a day. I was put on Propanalol which is a medication that slows the heart down so it left less chance of having anxiety attacks. I stayed on these for just over a year before deciding to come off them.

Around 2 years ago I began noticing that not only was I always feeling anxious I was also feel deeply depressed. This period is a little bit of a blur so please do forgive me if I get a little jumbled. I seemed to manage it okay until my 4th year of college. I stopped attending and my life revolved around my bedroom. I wasn't okay. 

Back off to my GP I went and they prescribed me Fluoxetine; a medication that treats anxiety and depression. I remember taking it for the first time and thinking that I was dying. My head pounded with pain, I felt sick, I couldn't eat and I was shaking like crazy. Turns out these are all side effects of the medication. I stuck with it and eventually the side effects went away and I started to notice how much of a positive effect it was having on my day to day life. I felt normal again.

Fast forward a few months. 

I managed to drag my way through the end of college and depression was slowly rearing it's ugly head and worse than ever and it hasn't really made a disappearance since. I began university but dropped out due to my mental health.

Let me tell you the worst things I have experienced because of depression:

Acceptance:

Sometimes it's hard for people around us to accept that we are in pain. Yes, depression is an invincible illness so why would anyone know how bad it is until they have been through it themselves? It's understandable in a way but it is no excuse to not even attempt to understand.

One of the most painful things to do to someone with depression is not even try to understand how they are feeling. It does feel like a knife to the heart when someone mistakes your depression for laziness or when someone gets angry at you for something you cannot control.

Self hate and guilt:

This has been a huge part of my depression. I am the type of person that will blame myself for it raining outside! I have always put a lot of pressure on myself to not upset people; that in turn has meant that I don't really care about upsetting myself. I am working hard on this at the moment. I definantly no longer want to be the centre of my own sadness.

Most people who suffer depression will also feel a tremendous amount of guilt. For me I found this hard because going through depression means suffering and watching others who care about you suffer because of your suffering. I have felt guilt ridden so many times because I know this is something within that I cannot stop. Not only are you hurting yourself but you are hurting those around you which then can escalate depression even further.

                  
No Cure:

I'm not sure if everyone who suffers depression has experienced this but this is just from my point of view. There have been plenty of times in my life where I have practically begged my GP for help only for him to give the usual "Right, okay. Well we will higher your medication dose and refer you for counciling!". It's painful to know that the only way to help us is to higher the drugs and send us for counciling that we will only receive months after asking for help. I know that they are doing there best as there are pretty much no other ways of helping but I have found it hard to sit back and accept that I can only live a normal life if I am dosed up on medication. That is even depressing in itself!


I hope you don't think I am ending this post on a negative note because I am definantly not. I am currently fighting as hard as I can to beat depression and I feel stronger than ever. Every bad day makes me appreciate the good 10x more and I will always try to help others through my bad experiences.

I will never let depression defeat me.

I want you to know that if you are reading this and you are suffering depression, you are not alone. Never let depression take away the life that you deserve to have and I want you to fight with every bone in your body to defeat it. You are loved, you are cared for and you do deserve to be here just as much as anyone else. You aren't strange or scary for having a mental illness; you are just as beautiful inside and out as the people you pass everyday.

I'm going to end this post here because I am fully aware it's SUPER long. 10 points if you're still reading! Haha.

If you ever need someone to talk to then feel free to contact me. All my social media's are linked at the side of my blog.

I would also love if you could leave me a comment letting me know your experiences and if you are dealing with or have managed to over come a mental illness.

Thank you so much for reading,

Katie Ellen. xxx

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Friday, 12 February 2016

My Valentines Story

Hello loves,

We all know valentines day is just a day away so what better way to celebrate than telling you the story of how me and my boyfriend Karl met. Some of you may already know him from my YouTube channel but for those of you who don't then I guess this is the best way to introduce him!

So, how did we meet?

We first became friends in high school in year 8 as we had a lot of mutual friends. We spoke often in school but had never talked properly outside of school until we ended up in some of the same classes together in year 9. We began getting the bus home from school together as we take the same bus and slowly became best friends over the years.

I remember him bribing me to walk the long way to the bus stop by saying he would buy me a cherry coke. "You where a cherry coke whore" says Karl - LOL. I was. Not even going to lie, I was obsessed with it.

Here's a little throw back picture of us on a day out to an arcade. I totes beat him on the motorbike games. (Not really.)



I'll be honest we where the type of friends that argued constantly. Mainly because his way of communicating with me was to annoy the living s*it out of me. I have always been a massive fan of music and back in the day 30 seconds to mars where my favourite band EVER. He used to always tell me that they where terrible to purposely wind me up. I got my own back though because a few years later he ended up liking them too!

So basically all the way through school we where best friends. I talked to him about anything and everything and could literally have the weirdest conversations and didn't feel like I was being judged. I always remember my best friend Katherine telling me he liked me but I never believed her, I was in a relationship at the time and sadly I just never saw us being more than friends. HOW WRONG I WAS, EH!?

So lets fast forward into college. We attended the same college and still talked pretty much everyday. However, I became a little bit of a party-holic through the first years and we slowly began to lose contact. Even though we barely spoke I knew he was someone I could turn to if I needed him and that was the type of bond that I could never let go of.

So, I began my third year of college and we began getting close again which sparked a lot of curiosity with our mutual friends. I remember sitting in the class next door to him and texting constantly and everyone giving me the 'why don't you just hurry up and get together' look. 

Most of the pressure came from our mutual friend Simon. He will be so happy he's finally getting some credit for this, haha! Me, Karl, Simon and another mutual friend always went to a pub after college for food and I remember us deciding to stay for a drink one day. I was a tad tipsy and Simon decided to bring up the fact that we clearly liked each other. AWKS.

That night we got home and started talking about what Simon had been saying earlier in the day and we decided it was about time we went on our first date. Although i'd known him for around 6 years at this point I was still super nervous. Here is a little snap from our first date.


Nothing calms the nerves like a glass of wine. AM I RIGHT LADIES!?

So the date was as planned - pub for 2 drinks and then the cinema. Instead we chatted so much we didn't end up going the cinema and just stayed in the pub chatting and I absoloutley loved it.

After spending a few hours talking we decided it was about time we went to get the bus home. 

On the way to the bus stop I realised that he seemed super nervous and quiet which I have NEVER seen Karl do before - especially around me. He slowly turned to me and said "Can I ask you something?" and at that point I knew exactly what was about to happen. Safe to say my heart almost fell through my arse. I was so nervous that we would lose what we had if we became more than friends. 

I laughed from nerves all the way to the bus stop and we sat down to wait for the bus. He sang and looked away from me awkwardly while I stared at him trying to figure out what to say and then we would laugh like school kids from the awkwardness of the whole situation. Eventually I asked if we could meet up again to talk about it. I look back at that now and I'm like Katie, you didn't even have anything to talk about, WHY DIDN'T YOU JUST SAY YES.

Anyway, that weekend he came over and we talked. I got the guts to say yes and we sat up till 8am watching the sunrise and I knew that it was the start of the best relationship I have ever had.

So, where are we now?

We have almost been together for 2 years and I have never been happier. Yes we are human and have our arguments - we aren't perfect but I like to think of us as a real life fairytale and I can't wait to live out the rest of our story together.

I was never someone who thought of the future before we became a couple. He makes me look forward to every tomorrow and that is something that hand on heart I have never done before.

I feel lucky to be spending this valentines day with him.


I hope that whether you are spending V-day with your friends or someone you love that you have the best day.

Thank you so much for reading,

Katie Ellen. xxx 





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Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Fly From The Inside

Hi guys,

I was struggling to think of a topic to talk about this week on the blog until I watched 615CareBear's new video on YouTube.

In this video she talked about how people who suffer from mental illness often hear the words "But, you don't look depressed!?". For the record this is possibly the most annoying sentence a person with mental illness can hear.

I myself have spoke often about suffering from depression & anxiety and related to this video on SO many levels and I want to talk about this with you today.

How many times after someone has committed suicide do you hear people say "But, ___ always seemed so happy!". Too often depression goes unnoticed and only rears it's ugly head from the inside until it's too late. 

I wanted to write this blog post because I want you take a look inside and outside of yourself. 

If you are lucky enough to not suffer from the sickness that is depression then I urge you to please do your research. Just because it isn't effecting you it doesn't mean it isn't effecting someone around you and it is always super important to know the warning signs.

Here are a few:

- Loss of interest in activities
- Sleeping too much or too little
- Anger or irritability
- Change in appetite
- Suicidal thoughts

Often depression hides in those people with the huge smiles and the kind heart. Just because someone isn't breaking down and asking for help it doesn't mean that they don't need it. Look deeper than the front people often put up and care for every person as if they where your family. We are all in this life together and we all deserve to feel like we belong in this world no matter what battles we may face.

Make 2016 the year that you look outside of yourself and help someone who needs it. (Even the homeless man you pass everyday, this doesn't have to be about mental illness.)  

I hope this little post can inspire you and I promise I will also be doing my best to help others too.

Thank you for reading,

Katie Ellen xx


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