Screen Shot 2016-08-23 at 10.10.42Hi,

God, you really think you’re the shit, don’t you? You’re not, by the way. You’ll look back in a few years and cringe. Hard. The way you type is REALLY bad as well, putting spaces between punctuation , like , this , really isn’t cool ! You’ve also got a shit hair cut.

I know you don’t really think you’re the shit, though. You’re a emotional ball of anxiety, constantly on the verge of tears, hidden by a choppy bleached blonde cut and a short skirt. I’m really sorry to tell you, I know you think that that feeling will go away when you go to uni and start your ‘real’ life, but it doesn’t. You’re still going to feel that way at 25. It’s just you’ll have better ways to hide it. The trick is to pretend not to give a shit – and if you do it enough you can kind of kid yourself that you don’t.

Your self-confidence is at an all time low, I know. I remember your lowest ebb and what you thought of doing and unfortunately, it still brings me to tears thinking about it at 25. The people who made you feel that way will slip into obscurity, I promise you. You will feel better. It does get better. It’s not perfect, but it’ll do. You learn to cope.

Stop worrying about the boys at school. They are fucking lame.

Stop worrying about the girls at school. You will never speak to most of them again once you get out of Stratford-upon-Avon. You know, you never felt like you really fitted in, anyway.

You pass your exams well, and yes, you’re going to Kingston.

Unfortunately, it’s not together forever for you and L. But it’s okay! It ends amicably and you will meet someone else. And you will want to, even though you say you don’t.

Be nice to your mother please. You don’t move back home and this is the last few months you’ll spend together properly before you start adulting. She misses you and loves you more than you know – you’re not looking properly yet. Let her be happy in her own way, too. Stop telling her she is ‘lame’, she ain’t. You’d do well to be a mother like her (no, it hasn’t happened yet, much to her chagrin).

Your brother is bloody awesome, and you can’t see that yet either. Don’t pester, let him grow. It all comes right.

Stop worrying about Daisy. She’s got plenty of time left and she won’t hate you for leaving. You even get to take her to the beach, like you always wanted!

I guess what I’m trying to say is, stop worrying so much. I mean, yeah you’re always going to worry, but stop taking yourself so seriously!

It’s supposed to be fun! The best is yet to come.

Ella x

 

shut-up-re-some-more-sx-197393-e1425907835474*Name changed to protect the bitchy.

Dear Miss Simpson,

I don’t know what it was about you, or why I felt you had it in for me. But you did. You were one of my favourite teachers throughout school, fun and interesting and one we could be ourselves around. Come Sixth Form, you’d been promoted (?) and were all of a sudden a ‘force to be reckoned with’. Why? What changed? Did you feel like you had to ‘play a part’?

Remember when you called a meeting with my mother to try to convince me to drop my fourth A Level and carry on with three, as you didn’t feel ‘it was the best direction’ for me? Remember how I cried and you sat there smugly?

Remember when you came into the common room at lunchtime and screamed at me in front of all of my peers because I was wearing ‘skinny trousers’? I was constantly called out and made to feel embarrassed, although looking around the room you could have pointed out another five or ten people who weren’t in the uniform that was up to your ‘standard’. Ugg boots, hoodies, trainers everywhere – but my black business trousers had to go, didn’t they?

Remember when I got my A Level results, and you’d drawn a big star on the front of my envelope? You took me away from all my peers who were celebrating their results and made me open my envelope in a room ‘in case I hadn’t got the results I wanted’. Well, I did. I got into my first choice university, onto the degree I wanted. I wish I could have taken a picture of your face when I came out of that office beaming. Your mask slipped and in that moment I realised you actually had wanted me to fail. You made it so obvious. I went back to my friends and celebrated, just the way I was supposed to.

Speaking with peers who knew how I felt at that time, I realised you affected more people than just me. That’s awful. You could have been awesome and supportive and helpful, but you turned into this angry, stomping tornado who felt the need to bring people up to your ‘standard’ – which you tried to tell us was what we had to get used to if we were to go and work in a normal ‘business environment’. You were SO wrong. I was terrified to start my first real job in case I encountered people like you. Not once have I – and I believe someone behaving the way you behaved wouldn’t have lasted long either.

Have you ever heard that saying: ‘a boss inspires fear, a leader generates enthusiam’? No? Probably best you look it up.

I think you felt very important in your role and perhaps because of this, very under pressure. Maybe you were exerting your ‘power’ because you yourself were feeling nervous that you couldn’t live up to what was expected of you. The part you played has affected me for years. You made me feel like what I wore or said or did wasn’t good enough, something I struggle with to this day, comparing myself to other people and worrying about what others think.

However, you also affected me in a good way. You made me feel so crap about myself that I was determined not to fail and to be the very best I could, if anything, just to prove you wrong. I’m sitting here in my own flat, with my own money and my own bloody awesome job. Making a massive headway up the career and property ladder – MY way. The way everyone should do things – something you must have forgotten along the way.

I hope you found your peace and never made anyone feel the way you made me feel again. And yeah, I’m still wearing skinny trousers.

Ella.

 

 

Last month saw the union of two of my best friends in Holy Matrimony. That sounds mega posh.

THEY GOT HITCHED.

You may remember the Bride – Ellie – from my ‘How to organise an unforgettable Hen Party’ post. I can honestly say, she was the most calm, chilled and unflappable Bride I have EVER seen. Nothing phased her. I was doing a bit of nervous weeing and pacing about myself – and all I had to do was walk!

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Far away from downing multicoloured cocktails and shots in Portugal, the Bride and the Bridesmaids were transformed into beautiful, classy, ethereal ladies, floating down the aisle. No but seriously, look how hot we all looked:

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In fact, have some more pictures.

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The ceremony went beautifully, with Ellie gathering a massive audience of tourists and locals alike, outside the church. They even cheered when she got out of the car! There were a few happy tears when they said their vows – and all of a sudden they were man and wife.

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From the church it was on to Kingston Country Courtyard – an absolutely stunning venue. We’d spent the day before setting up, with plenty of fairy lights and birdcages covered in pretty flowers.

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The speeches from the Bride’s father, Best Man and Groom were all brilliant, each one having us all in stitches.

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After a delicious dinner it was time for a few drinks and a dance. And God, did we dance!

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I didn’t quite catch the bouquet – check out my reaction!

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It was an absolutely brilliant day and evening – although it took a few days to recover from! The Williams clan do not shirk on the booze. Nothing was overlooked – Ellie had even put a little survival kit together in the bathroom for the girls, with hairbrushes, hairsprays and plasters for those wedding shoe blisters.

I can’t wait for my own day, but I can only hope it lives up to this one.

Congratulations Ellie and Dan!

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Imagery courtesy of onethousandwords.co.uk

Warning: I’ve been asked to put a disclaimer saying this post is ‘gross’, even though it’s about something we as women all go through – the most natural thing in the world. But if you’re easily freaked, BYE!

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You may have seen recently the advert and hype around Bodyform ditching the ‘blue liquid’ which is often used in tampon and pad adverts, in favour of using red liquid. You know. Like blood. Like the blood women menstruate. I mean, what’s the big deal, man?

I’m a pretty open person (okay, VERY open) and have no qualms talking about bodies and functions and sex and subjects people can be prudish about or find gross. It doesn’t make me any better than them, I just think I give less of a shit. Who cares? I’m a human not an android.

I thought it was pretty shocking, the reaction this advert got. A lot of women praised it and were so happy to see the fake blue stuff replaced for something more realistic. However, it was more the abject disgust from women, mainly on Twitter, who get the gift of Aunt Flow every month that I found so odd. It’s 2016 – why are we shaming ourselves about this? It’s a great thing! Hey look at you – FERTILE. Your BODY WORKS. Let’s not go over the top and get on the hype with free bleeding (a little TOO much, even for me, thanks) – but what’s the biggie, really?

Anyway, I started baiting my female friends and family with casual questions about periods and I was quite surprised to discover almost all of them were totally grossed out.

It gets better. You should have seen their faces when I said I was going to be starting to use a menstrual cup that month.

WHAT?

A menstrual cup is a type of feminine hygiene product which is usually made of medical grade silicone, shaped like a bell and is flexible. It is worn inside the vagina during menstruation to ‘catch’ the blood.

It’s reusable. That means no more £5+ on sanitary items each month, as well as the icky dryness that some women can get when using tampons. It’s clean, it’s good for the environment and it WORKS.

There’s SO much stuff on the internet about this, as more and more women realise the benefits of using a cup. I’ll let you do your own research if you’re interested. I had known about this beforehand, but the girl that really got me into doing this and feeling comfortable with it is Bree. She’s a young entrepreneur who runs her own business selling cloth pads and menstrual cups. She is an advocate for being comfortable with our bodies and talking about things like this, rather than being embarrassed or grossed out. Check out her YouTube videos. A few of them and I was hooked on the idea. Thanks Bree!

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Bree

So, here’s something one of my friend’s said when I mentioned I’d started using a cup (name withheld to protect the squeamish):

“I’ve never thought about using a cup before. I’d always assumed it’d be really dirty and messy. It’s probably the fear of the unknown. How big is it? How do you get it up there? How do you know when do take it out? Can it get stuck? Too many questions need answering before I trust it over a good old fashioned tampon!”

How big is it?
This big.

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I can hear the “ewwwwws” already! Don’t worry – brand new and never used! The little thing on the end can be trimmed to your requirements. I’ve never had to trim one but it’s just what you are comfortable with! This is a Femmecup – but there are SO many to choose from, depending on your age, whether you’ve had a child or not. It can be a little overwhelming but just do some research and look at a few review videos online. You’ll be golden.

How do you get it in?
Make sure it, and your hands, are clean, firstly. Then simply do a ‘c-fold’, which is folding the cup in half and and then in half again. Then just…put it in like you would a tampon (you can use a bit of lube if you want), but without letting go of the c-fold. Once you’re happy – let go – and the cup should ‘pop’ open, creating a seal to prevent any accidents. You’ve still got a little wiggle room so just make sure it’s comfortable and that you can’t feel it. There are other folds you can do too (check out this video) – it’s just a case of doing some research and doing what feels comfortable to you.

How do you know when to take it out?
This is the benefit of a cup. You can wear it for up to 12 hours which is awesome. This is due to the cup ‘collecting’ rather than ‘absorbing’ and getting full. It’s great for all day at work, and fine for overnight too. GOODBYE sneaky tampon-up-the-sleeve in the office, and BYE massive night pads.

Won’t it leak?
Not if you have inserted it correctly and the rim has ‘popped’. You can check this by inserting a finger and running it all the way round the cup to check it’s open – you’ll be able to tell if it’s not. Use a panty-liner for a couple of days if you feel unsure, but honestly – should be fine.

How do you get it out? Can it get lost or stuck?
No. Just like a tampon, it can’t get ‘lost’. It sits lower than a tampon, but you still can’t feel it. You get it out by bearing down, gripping the bottom of the cup and squeezing to release the seal. It should then be easy to remove. It takes a little bit of practise (see below), but stick with it. Seriously. If you can’t ‘find’ it, or get a grip on it, try some deep breathing and go in with a little lubricant if needed. Once you’re relaxed, you should be fine. It’s probably best not to start using a menstrual cup when you’re in a hurry. Practise makes perfect!

Isn’t it gross?
TMI: The first time I removed it, I couldn’t get a good grip on it and after about five minutes started panicking as I was going to be late for work. When I finally got a grip, I just yanked it as I didn’t have time to faff about any more. Bad move. Flung it everywhere. Hammer House of Horrors. No one needs that in their lives. I ended up being late, as well. ANYWAY, just whilst you try to get that image out of your head, after a little practise, you’ll get it – promise. Once you’ve mastered it, you’ll realise what sort of, ahem, force you need to get it out. In terms of general grossness – meh. I mean, it’s a little more graphic than a tampon but it’s not like you’re going to inspect it, right? Just tip it away, rinse with warm water and a little soap if you want, and you’re good to go again.

What do you think? Intriguing or still totally gross? Thinking of investing in a cup or sticking to what you know? Any more questions – let me know!

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I’ve been absolutely loving reading some of these posts. Not only does it go to show you don’t HAVE to have high-end to look great (you all look beautiful!) but they have given me lots of inspiration. My May Lust Have list is HUGE this month.

Being curious, I have added up my own face. I’m still a little shocked, bearing in mind this is just the bits and pieces I use on a daily basis, not including all the little pots and potions I keep for special occasions, for example.

I’ve popped the links to transactional sites below, if you’d like to try some of the items for yourself!

Garnier Miracle Wake Up Cream
The Body Shop All-In-One BB Cream
Dior Forever Foundation
Soap and Glory Kickass Concealer
Max Factor Crème Puff Powder
Max Factor Bronzer
MUA Undress Your Skin Highlighter
In The Nude Eyeshadow Palette
Soap and Glory Supercat Eyeliner
Rimmel Scandeleyes Mascara
MAC Fix+
Elizabeth Arden 8 Hour Lip Protectant

Face total: £128.44

How much is your face worth? I’m particularly interested in hearing from SurenaSays and Lola “Kicks the Bucket”!