Wilde Like Me | Coffee Time

We are back again for the third edition of Coffee Time! By now you should know what to do: grab a coffee and let’s get started!IMG_20170727_220001_111This month I had to choose Wilde Like Me by Louise Pentland. Whilst I’ve read other books this month as well, sometimes you can’t beat a good novel – especially when it hits number one bestseller! Besides, within this book you’ll find challenge, memory, fairy tale and a very important lesson to learn.

The book is incredibly easy to read and makes the perfect Summer novel – I couldn’t put it down. The main character is Robin Wilde who is a single mum to Lyla Blue. She starts out in a phase of sadness, insecurity and loneliness that she calls “the emptiness,” but gradually overcomes this by focusing on the happiness of her child. She goes on dates that fall, and lives in the fear that she isn’t a good enough mum, that Lyla is emotionally scarred from the parent break up and that all the “posh school mums,” are all secretly looking down on her.

I don’t want to give spoilers so I’ll skip past the middle and ending. Rather I want to share a very important lesson I’ve learnt by reading Wilde Like Me…

People are too busy thinking about themselves, to care about you. What Louise Pentland means by writing this is that often, we may think that somebody has a very low view of us, but in reality they actually look up to you. Rather than judging others they are too busy judging themselves. We all do it. Therefore we ought to have more confidence. In the book Robin Wilde spends so long feeling like a nobody when actually the school mums were admiring her the whole time! This truth is fundamental. Perhaps you often worry that your friends don’t really like you, that you aren’t good enough or that being different means social failure – wrong. It’s time we all said no to this voice inside us and held our heads high!

Power of Positive Thinking. Throughout the novel, Robin Wilde is portrayed as a motivated woman, battling with optimism. After bad days she starts afresh with a lot of positive thinking. What stands out the most is how she declares optimism: “today will be a good day,” “I can do this,” “This is a new day.” Even in her emptiness, Robin Wilde battles to climb up out of it. Whilst reading this novel, I had a bit of a bad day myself and inspired by this lesson, I put the power of positive thinking into practise. All day I told myself, “today is a good day,” and it completely changed my attitude – in fact I had one of the best days ever!

Wilde Like Me is such a wonderful novel! I can’t help but feel proud of the main character Robin Wilde and I have learnt some incredible, much needed lessons. In my opinion, everyone should give it a read! If you find yourself in the same boat as Robin, feel a bit stuck in your current phase of life, or not, it’s a great eye-opener into the struggles of a single mum as well as a kick-ass pick me up full of motivation and encouragement!

Have you read Wilde Like Me? What have you learnt in your own reading?

Eleanor ♥

P.S. Buy Wilde Like Me here

Day-tripping Durham

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Can you believe it’s the 12th July already? The days are flying past and filling with endless events, jobs and meet ups. Last week I was lucky enough to be able to spend an entire week with my best friend Imogen and it was amazing to catch up. Not only that but we spent a couple of days exploring. Our friendship is long distance and she’d never been to visit my home before so I made sure to show her the sites! Yesterday we decided to drive further and take a day trip to Durham…
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To avoid tourists we arrived at 10am and went straight to the Cathedral. You’re not allowed to take photographs in the main part of the building but we also took a walk around the courtyard – spot the Harry Potter location! It rained all morning but the cathedral provided coverage and with almost no-one around, it felt like the place was ours to truly explore. Just the two of us…

We then spent our time walking through the city, venturing down side streets and stumbling across coffee shops. We are both coffee lovers and eventually came across the Claypath Delicatessen. The interiors were cosy, the soft brunch music created a good atmosphere and the service was excellent! The bar area was enchanting and the barista was more than happy to engage in conversation and let me take some photographs. It was the best cup of coffee (Imo got a latte and I an americano) I’ve had in over a year!
_MG_1681I’ve had the best time this week and our day trips have made for some great photographs! Heading out to a city with no plans, early in the morning is incredibly liberating! And if you’re on a budget, Durham will meet all of your needs. I spent a total of £2 on coffee and only £3.30 for 4 hours car parking! I wont see Imo for at least a year now due to future life changes – our day trip will be one of our best memories yet.

Hope you enjoyed the photos!

Eleanor ♥
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Draw My Life

I have wanted to create a Draw My Life video for a while now and when I finally got round to it, it was such a fun, creative project that allowed me to reflect upon all my best memories. I also would like to think that when I’m older I’ll be able to watch this back and be reminded of so many happy times! I guess it’s also a way for you all to get to know me on a more personal level.

Enjoy it – what memories make up your life?

Eleanor ♥

P.S. I tried my best to include everything. To my family and friends: I’m sorry if you were missed! You all mean the world to me!

Do You Smile At Strangers?

Do you smile at strangers?

I’m serious. A little kindness goes a long way and recently I have been learning about the impact of such bright moments…

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I found myself on the train again last week making another trip into London and back. The journey was fairly busy yet unusually peaceful. However at our second stop, a lady boarded and made her way down the carriage, squinting as if unable to read the seat numbers. Instantly I very politely asked which seat she was looking for, pointing the way and offering to lift her heavy bag onto the overhead luggage holder, all whilst smiling…

Only to be rudely snapped at.

Contrasting this, as I was getting off the train, a foreign student struggled to retrieve her 2 large suitcases from the luggage rack and then ended up fighting to keep hold of them as the train jostled onward. Without a word I grabbed one of them for her – this requiring little effort. With a relieved smile she managed to find the words, “thank you.”

In such a graceful moment, I was able to see how differently this girl engaged with me, compared to the lady in her seat. It seems to me that the first lady had had a long day. Perhaps some would say that my efforts failed or my kindness was rejected, but if such a cold response was obtained, then surely my kindness shone brighter and lit up like a hot flame.

Similarly, despite the language boundary, by simply being aware of a current need and helping to provide it, kindness allowed grace to break such a barrier.

These two examples both demonstrate the response towards kindness challenging us to welcome such efforts whilst also indicating ways in which minute actions can seriously change the world.

Besides these, in efforts to be more positive I have been learning so much regarding random kindness. Recently I have been blessed to see how small things really count when they come from the heart: smiling at strangers; stopping to pick up the child that fell; saying good morning; paying for the coffee after you; giving directions; honestly answering questions; carrying somebody’s bags… The list is endless…

Whether your efforts are accepted with gratitude or rudely rejected, may you come to know how greatly you are lighting up those whom you serve. I encourage you to be distinctive in all that you do – starting with a little kindness.

Will you smile at strangers?

Eleanor ♥

April 1st

April 1st.

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My alarm sounded at 6:45 and I pulled open the curtains letting light flood in. It took a few moments to come round before I first of all realised what day it was and second, discovered that my hair was an absolute disaster. Normally it dries straight however despite washing it the night before, it had blown up into a frizzy mess. I couldn’t help but laugh… Thank goodness for hairdressers, that’s all I can say!

The morning of April 1st 2017 will be one retained in memories for years to come. As trivial as it may sound, driving to your best friend’s, parents’ house early in the morning to be greeted by breakfast, coffee, a hairdresser, all your girl friends and a little buxfizz is by far a little surreal. Even more so is watching Mama Mia whilst getting ready to walk down the aisle behind one of the girls you’ve grown up with.

No words can describe how it felt to watch two of my best friends walk down the aisle and make vows to each other. Emotions ran high and the ceremony was beautiful. The celebrations to follow seamed to last forever as we relished each others company celebrating not only the marriage of two great friends, but the life time friendships we’d made as a wider group. Truly astounding. Truly beautiful.

Here’s to the Thornhills of 2017. May your marriage be wonderful and your eternal life together full of growth, beauty and strength.

Eleanor ♥

P.S. Credit to Blooming Sundays for the beautiful flowers featured!
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For a Girl on the Move

If there’s one essential to my wardrobe, it’s a good handbag! A well-matched, stylish looking bag can transform and complete any basic outfit. Besides it’s always handy to take with you. Weekends are extremely busy for me and involve driving round completing errands, meeting friends and collecting photographs for art projects and blog posts. When I came across this steal of a bag, I just had to purchase it!_MG_1036

This large stripy tote bag is from Primark and at £9 I couldn’t go wrong. I don’t own a lot of bags despite my love for them simply because I am so particular: a bag must be a good size, fit my camera, be strong enough to hold weight, and look nice. If there is one thing I cannot stand, it’s a boring, plain black or tan bag! I have a couple of good, unique bags that I’ve picked up on my travels and I also ensure that I have a patterned back pack in my wardrobe for college use – I tend to purchase these from Accessorize every two years since they get daily wear during term. _MG_1079

As you can see from the photographs, the bag is a faux leather navy tote with red and white accents. I’ve wanted something with a red accent for a while because it’s a great way to add colour to your outfit and the royal colour just makes the piece look a little more “luxury.” The bag also comes with a detachable tag that can be used to write your name and an emergency contact number – this will be really useful for when I’m travelling or running errands alone._MG_1087 _MG_1069

I honestly love this bag and have used it so much already! I only bought it last weekend so it will still be in stock across Primark stores. Again, for £9 you can’t go wrong! If you’re on a budget like me, it’s definitely a great bag – I spotted it at the right time since my old camera bag broke the other week!_MG_1089

Who will be purchasing? Thanks for reading!

Eleanor ♥

Beyond Frames

As trivial as it may seem, something I’ve never talked about online is my glasses. As a fashion blogger you may think that I’d have shared them with you from day one. I have been relying on frames for almost three years now and although they may have featured in a few photos, I have always been one to hide them…
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I can’t imagine life without glasses now! It’s sounds so strange to me to write these words but it’s the truth! However for some reason I have always felt as though frames expose me. It’s as if when you wear glasses, people categorise you as a “glasses wearer.” Not to mention, there are even some people who view your glasses as a part of you – what?! Wearing glasses does not define who I am. Perhaps the frames that I chose may reflect my personality, but merely they are nothing more than clothes._MG_0946c

Wearing glasses should feel beautiful. It’s funny how some days I’ll wear contact lenses and notice how people look at me differently. Other days I won’t even do my make up knowing that my glasses will hide any efforts. Why am I doing this?! It’s time I make eye contact with people and fearlessly wear my frames. Perhaps I can’t see things too well anymore, but I have at least learnt to look beyond a frame.

Glasses are starting to become more popular and I cannot express how great that is for fellow glasses-wearers. The variety of frames these days gives so many people an opportunity to feel bolder! I currently wear converse frames and definitely recommend them! Recently I’ve fallen in love with wearing glasses again and it truly is beautiful. Although I still cannot deny that there are days when I wish I didn’t need to. Some days I feel as though my frames are too bold – as if they attract stares. I know this sounds ludicrous but if you wear glasses 24/7 like I do, you probably understand._MG_0964c

I guess what I am trying to say is this: wearing glasses is beautiful. But it’s time we redefined the subject of this beauty – the eye. It’s time we looked beyond frames and made genuine eye contact. It’s time we made an effort to compliment people’s eyes – it really would make such a difference!_MG_0949c

To all glasses wearers: I challenge you to be bolder this week!

To those who don’t wear glasses: I challenge you to start complimenting people’s eyes and refuse to stare at frames.

Eleanor ♥

A New Kind of Success

Remember a distant post back in 2015? In a post called, The Fear Excitement of Adventure I discussed how my future plans and ambitions were beginning to change. At this point in my life, my childhood view of how my life would pan out was rapidly changing – I no longer knew what I wanted to do with my life…

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Although this was a rather positive post and for most of this period I viewed it as a wonderful adventure, trying new things, enjoying great memories and exploring options, there was always something in the back of my mind that said, “Eleanor you need a plan.” Often it was something along the lines of, “don’t waste your life – do something worthwhile!”

I guess my self-pressure to become successful has always been a wonderful thing: I rarely say no to opportunities, I enjoy learning new things and have been able to cherish valuable life experiences. However my definition of success has changed incredibly! There was a time when I thought that being successful meant passing all of my exams, climbing a career ladder, being awarded an OBE (very unlikely but who knows, maybe one day) and simply being admired. In a way, success does still mean this. However the difference, is that all of these things are a result of success and not success in themselves…

I guess what I am trying to say is that some of the most successful people in life are incredibly humble and only do what they do because it makes them happy! They didn’t necessarily do it to be recognised nor did they imagine what they would accomplish previous to doing so.

As I’ve grown older (and I hope a little wiser) I have come to realise that happiness is key! Yes I still strive to take part in as many things as I can. Yes I still study incredibly hard for exams. Yes I still want to go to university. But only because I enjoy learning new things and am passionate about new experiences!

I now have a plan for the next few years of my life and funnily enough I will be going to university after all. However no longer will I be studying art – from now on it’s architecture and I am definitely looking forward to it! Despite this, I know to that going straight to university will not be the most successful step for me. In my opinion, as a young person with no responsibilities or career strings, there is no time like today – I want to see the world, gain experience and also make a positive contribution. I have spent 18 years being showered with love, education and other blessings. It’s time I gave something back.

September will bring another type of success as I embark on a gap year to India, taking part in mission work with BMS World Mission Action Teams. There I will grow as an individual whilst making a positive contribution to the world. Perhaps it does mean postponing my future career by a year – but how much more valuable will this year of personal growth and culture be?!

Success is yours – do with it as you wish!

Eleanor ♥

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

It’s me again and today I’m here with a bit of a weekly round up! I’ve travelled 600 miles, been on a number of coffee dates and partied hard! That’s what school breaks are for right? I wanted to share one particular highlight with you all…

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On Saturday my friends and I were able to get together for my friend Chloe’s hen party. Poor Chloe didn’t know what to expect as I drove to her house to pick her up. She’d simply been told to look nice and bring a swimming costume. Whilst Alice (maid of honour) worked incredibly hard (thanks Alice – we love you!) to organise the day, decorate Chloe’s parent’s house and sort food, I took Chloe for a mystery drive. The first destination? Afternoon tea with cocktails!

Disclaimer – mine was non-alcoholic since I was driving!

We were showered with freshly baked sandwiches, scones, cakes, banana bread, cocktails and tea! It was a lovely afternoon and Chloe loved having some girl time. Following this I put Chloe back in the car, drove her along the seafront for a little while and then back to her parents’ house where the other girls were ready to great her with champagne ready for a Disney themed hot tub party! We partied, played games and enjoyed each other’s company well into the night!

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Celebrating with your main girls is always a wonderful thing – especially on such an occasion. In 6 weeks we will be walking Chloe down the aisle and we couldn’t be happier for her! But whether there’s an occasion or not, I’ve learnt over the past few years that girl nights are crucial! Who doesn’t want to get together and enjoy treats after more treats? You can always count me in for a social!

I want to say a huge congratulations to Chloe and another giant thank you to Alice, Zoe, Chloe B, Dianne and Katie for all your hard work organising the day – and everybody else!

Who do you love to spend time with? Get organising something girly!

Eleanor ♥

P.S. Credit to Alice who took some of these photographs!

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Crash Landing February

I’m feverish, I’m injured and I’m exhausted. The 3 symptoms of February have made an appearance. For some February is a second fresh start, a time to cut out the post-Christmas comfort food or perhaps a positive end to winter. However for some reason, my kind of February looks more like the crash landing of an immune system and desire for even more comfort food.

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As if by coincidence or some environmental stimulus, I only ever get ill in February. This is by no means an exaggeration. I can go a year without catching a cold or taking a sick day but when I eventually do wake up bed-bound, the calendar always says “February!”

Last year it was a horrendously overdue and destructive cold that left me clawing for breath, energy and even the ability to stand without feeling dizzy. The year before welcomed another flue, the year before that a sick bug and I seem to recall that one February I ended up with a week long spell of tonsillitis… I have also noted very high levels of exhaustion and stress in recent February’s.

What can I say? I just don’t enjoy February! Perhaps the change in weather combined with hard efforts to achieve new years resolutions is what causes it? Maybe my body finally reacts to all the January comfort and Christmas food? Whatever the cause, it’s occurring once more: I have some kind of flue, injured hip reflexes (preventing me from running) and I feel like I’m crawling through the week dependent on caffeine.

It’s only the 7th of February as I write this…

However, as with anything I know that all of this is only temporary and I at least (unlike others) have had some warning given previous February experiences. I press on and often end up dedicating these 28 days of low immunity to rest, recovery and restoration. I take sick days, get early nights and feed my body with as many vitamins as I can!

I hope you’re February is less infectious.

What does your February look like?

Eleanor ♥

P.S sorry for any missed posts but as you can see, February is out to get me.
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