Tuesday, 2 January 2018

Time To Close This Chapter | ELLEKATE

It began with dreams, high hopes.
Daily I would be reminding myself that I should allow to take each day as it comes, not just overthinking what had already came to be. But, as the days would go by for some bizarre reason I found it getting worse. Come summer I thought I had hit a high, but let's just say I may as well had taken one step forward and ten back.
As much as I would love to sit here, getting into full depth over how my life came to end me deciding not to celebrate the ending of 2017; but that's not something I don't think I could be emotionally ready to even comprehend talking about.

Instead, I want to use this platform to discuss nothing but positivity, which even though I cant turn around the hands of time and relive a better more experienced year. I wouldn't have been the same person, I feel as if I care more about loved ones around me, am more mature than I was at the beginning and managed to pull myself out of a pretty upsetting breakup, so reflecting on all this and moving forward I want to look back at the 'highlights' of this year.

Skipping past the first couple of months, I was able to attend Graduate Fashion Week for a glimpse into my future and hopefully come June I shall be showcasing my final year project work. Not only will this be the opening of many doors, but I'm excited to be able to pull all of my work into one collection and be proud of what I have accomplished. Being down there was a big eye opener over what standard level my work would have to reach to shine to what was already there - and trust me the bars are high.

Following my return from London, I discovered that I had been awarded a 2:1 out of my second year of University. After failing my first year, this was a big achievement for myself, I fully understand that I still have a long way to go, this landmark helped me realise I can achieve this grade overall if I simply put my mind to it.

A personal achievement came at the start of the summer season, I read a book. I understand that to most, this might make me sound rather uncultured or ill-educated to say 'I read a book' at the age of 20 years old. When I was younger I was always, always, in the lowest reading sets and for this, I was often taken out of classes for support with these issues. However, it never occurred to any of my educators until college, that this was down to me being dyslexic. Because of this I always viewed the past of reading as a tricky slope for myself, I didn't want to give it another shot. With a good three months off during the summer, this all changed, I walked into Waterstones and I picked up two books 'An Abundance of Katherines' and 'A Handmaid's Tale' ... I had read both within the month. So without going to much more into it, since then I have managed to have read a whole bunch of inspirational non-fiction and fiction books. I was toying with the idea of sharing my thoughts on the blog of how I felt about these books monthly within a monthly feature if this is something you enjoy the sound of leaving it in the comment section below.

Summer, was a haze if I'm honest, a wonderful haze. I met a whole bunch of new and wonderful individuals, whist growing closer than ever to lifelong / university friends. We had a blast on nights on the town, going for coffees and simply rediscovering this feeling of being young and living life to the absolute fullest, keeping each day as a party, I can happily say if someone was to tell me my days of being a young adult were over tomorrow, I would welcome it with open arms as I can say that I have an abundance of memories to look back over, and a whole load more to add over the duration of 2018.

At the end of the summer, my family and I travelled down to the bottom of the country for a holiday in Falmouth, Cornwall. I had a small series (which I did have a bunch more drafted posts about saved that I came across last week) running which was about our trip, including friends fest (which I am now watching thanks to it being available on Netflix), Eden Project, Seal Sanctuary and a whole bunch more. It wasn't all a happy time, due to personal issues, but we have been talking about potentially returning down to the bottom of the country soon as it was fab to finally have a holiday with Bubba our dog.

The BIGGEST blogging milestone I have ever received came in September when Next offered me the experience to come back down to London, for an afternoon filled with cocktails, afternoon tea and talks from some of the most inspirational youtube/ bloggers around. I shall not go too much into the experience on here, but if you would like to see what we got up to, please click the link below and it will take you to the post I wrote about the whole experience.

Closing off this post before it becomes more of an essay rather than a reflection blog post, I shall end with the biggest achievement of the year that I learnt just a short while back, this little blog of mine hit 85,000 views before the new year. I was and still am just in shock that someone like myself who just has a real passion for wanting to discuss and talk through these posts on the blogger platform, has such a vast span of people who would have the time of day to click upon and view what I have to say. It's beyond my own thoughts and comprehension, so thank you. Thank you from the bottom of my heart it means so much, I cannot wait for what this year has instore for me. One day in and I've already had a real positive look at what will be happening. I have written a short new year resolution ideas in the back of my diary, the one that I will share with you all today is by the time I turn 21 in April, I would have liked that 85k views to become 100k, shall we see if we can achieve that next milestone?  If you want me to write a full post on the rest of the resolutions I have written for 2018, let me know in the comment section below.

Also, side note all of the photos from this post were taken by my talented friend Fraser, whos links I have left below so you can go enjoy his amazing aesthetically pleasing Instagram.

Happy New Year, to all my beautiful readers. Thank you for everything you have done for me and kept my head above the water. X

Cornwall Diaries
Next Event
Fraser's Instagram

Friday, 24 November 2017

Hadrians Tipi Returns | ELLEKATE

It's offically the most wonderful time of the year,
Which means, the toons in full christmas swing. With the opening of the christmas markets the other week and all of course the iconic fenwicks window being unvailed. It was time to go for a nice festive drink, which is exactly what me and vic decided to do!
Unlike last year, the tipi has been moved to a larger location and expanded to host a small christmas market full of festive foodie treats, more I shall get onto later.
I couldnt possibly rate our experience more if I am being totally honest - wether this was down to the fact we had previously had a few cheeky drinks or not.
We started with a few cocktails from the 'Quaff box', which was an genius idea if I ever saw one, essentially they have converted an old horse box into a mobile cocktail bar, where they have cocktails... ON TAP! yes you heard me correctly, on blooming well tap! (If I couldnt sell that to you any better, there 2 for £10) .. id highly recommend the festive punch!
Now slightly more tipsy, after a short sit near the fire inside the main tipi, we decided to go have a look at some of the other stalls and came across R Place, here we met one of the wonderful owners Rachel who talked to us about her and fellow photographer Emily, opening this venture into creating a rock take on the traditional coffee stop, they recently even got there own Buzzfeed article which is insane!! I went back when I wasnt as intoxicated and got myself a Waggon Wheel Latte, and honestly  you have to try one for yourself, tastes exactly what I would imagine a hybrib Waggon Wheel + Latte baby would taste like......
Anyways, I shall be returning to purchase one of there sick 'Death before decaf' t-shirts and try one of these iconic Unicorn Hot Chocolates. Of course I shall be linking the social media for both 'R Place' 'Quaff Box' below.
So this ended our venture to the tipi, for now, I want to return with an empty stomach to test out all of the amazing foodie options, I have recently learnt that they have since expanded the size of the space which means more food for moi!
Until next time guys, apologies I havent been as active in recent weeks, this is my final year at university and im giving it 110% however I do have some exciting things coming up.

Elle X



*Update - This morning, me and vic couldnt help but return back to the extended site to go and grab a before lecutre, unicorn hot chocolate! I couldnt recommend these more, was a childhood beverage in a cup topped with plenty sprinkles!

Wednesday, 25 October 2017

Something from IT | ELLEKATE

Blissfully, my favorite time of the year, from the warming colours, wrapping yourself up in big warm blankets and going for long walks. There is just something about it! 
The other week, my girl Jess was home for a few days back from Leeds, and what would an occasion that we see each other be spent any better than going for a mini photoshoot. So that is exactly what we did! 

Back when I was down in Cornwall, was when I found this little jacket of mine from a small sailors shop. From the brand 'Mousqueton Bretagne', based in France. Not only does it look nice, it's so practical, there are pockets hidden everywhere, it's completely waterproof and if you get too warm then you can zip up the sides to let that breeze in. 

We decided that we would head for a little woodland walk in a nearby park, then head over to the beach for that last glimpse of the sea before it physically gets just too cold to even step foot on the sand. It wasn't until we got halfway through the shoot that we realized that I essentially looked like the child from IT, perfect for the time of year, however, I cannot say that I would like to share a similar experience! 

As always I have included Jess's links to her photography page below and I hope that you all enjoyed this post! 

Let me know what you are dressing up as this Halloween! I cannot wait! 

Elle X

Tuesday, 17 October 2017

ZAAP Thai Food | Review | ELLEKATE

Thai'm for a new review!

This week, We went over to one of the latest additions to the restaurant scene in Newcastle - Zaap Thai! Aesthetically you are transported to a Bangkok street food market, complete with glowing street signs hanging above you and even Tuk Tuks. Whilst we were having a glace over the menu, we decided to try out a couple of the cocktails which they had on offer and for us, it had to be 'Pucket on the Beach' simply for the amazing use of wordplay! But, I'm so glad this was the drink of choice because I think Leanne will agree these were fantastic - Blue Curacao, Malibu, Pineapple, and Lime!

At first glance of the menu, being a Vegetarian I was concerned that there wouldn't be many options for me to have! However, our kind waiter did inform us that most of the main menu dishes can be made to be vegetarian all I had to do was ask. For starters Leanne went for 'Hakao - Chinese Steamed Prawn Dumplings', we also shared a 'Bangkok Veggie Platter' which included a small sample of all the vegetarian starters the restaurant had on offer, Corn Cakes, Vegetable Gyoza, Mixed Vegetable Spring Rolls, Golden Tofu, and Edamame. Personal thoughts on this dish were that the Gyoza and Spring Rolls, were lovely however they were a tad and dense for my liking. As for the Corn Cakes - they were beautiful! Nothing more to comment, I just know I want a full plate of them when I return.

Moving onto the main course, the selection that Zaap has on offer ... the selection is endless! We both actually went for 'Pad Thai Bo Ran' which has always been one of my favorite Asian dishes. Myself choosing the Veggie option, and Leanne going for the Prawn option! I wanted so badly to be able to finish off my plate of wonderful food, however, I was simply just far to full from the platter to begin thinking about this! As a little personal touch I would like to add to the theming of the restaurant being in a Bangkok street, was the various floral print plates that the dishes were brought out on reminding me to those my grandma would bring out our beans on toast on.

Finishing with my favorite dish of the entire meal, our dessert! Now when I was looking over the dessert menu, I was kinda taken back over some of the strange combinations over what there was on offer. Now thankfully, for me I had brought along Leanne and she was able to tell me what I would have wanted! With her advice, I went for the Custard Filled Pancake. O.M.G it was incredible. But when it first came out.... it was green. I cannot quite remember the name of the fruit extract that this was which caused this, but according to Li, its essentially a form of vanilla which is added to get a sweet taste to the pudding! I could have finished off this dish over and over, but I was physically just far to full.

Overall, I would highly recommend taking a trip to ZAAP. From the great customer service to the decent prices for some comforting food. I know I will be going back soon. Have you been to visit ZAAP Thai yet? Thinking of visiting after reading this review? Leave it in the comment sections below.

Thanks for reading guys! X

Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Next Blogger Event 2017 | ELLEKATE

Happy Tuesday,

Hope you all had a great weekend? On Friday, I went down to London to attend the Next Blogger Network Event. Personally, this was my first ever blogging event, I've always wanted to push myself outside of my own comfort zone and officially attend one of these! So I finally did it, I got a train ticket, headed down to London and I'm super glad that I did.

Upon arriving at the Ace Hotel room 100 I was instantly just in love with the whole aesthetic to the place, I would highly recommend viewing it if you are wanting to host your own event. Being the first to arrive I was a little bit apprehensive of what to expect, but the hosts were so welcoming a friendly as I was offered a glass of prosecco, and had a little run down of how the event would be going down! Another bonus to being first there was having dibs on being the first in to get my nails done by the talented girls from WAH Nails, I opted to have my nails done with a white vanish and ring fingers painted with a marble effect. (Honestly, I cannot stop staring at them).

Our first talk was by Monica Welburn editor of The Elgin Avenue, who showed us how we can up our #InstaGame! Previous advice that I have received about growing an Instagram community has been somewhat helpful, but Monica's advice was incredible! She talked to us about creating the perfect flatlay, personal advice on becoming a full-time blogger and just helping us see our accounts from a more personal perspective! Also, I had the opportunity to go up and pick her brain about layouts etc, and to steal her phone charger, as we got talking we found out her dad is from the same town which I live in, such a small world! I have included the flatlay which I created following her advice in the pictures below, all of the items featured are from Next.

After helping ourselves to some more drinks, having a look at some preview collections for Next, and also enjoying a beautiful buffet style afternoon tea complete with crumbly scones + clotted cream; We had the main event, a panel about blogging from the wonderful Naomi Smart, Lily Pebbles, The Anna Edit and Chloe Digital. Thanks to the space, we had a real personal talk, getting the best advice from the girls about moving forward in this community and talking about their own experiences from the past - a good laugh as well!

After we had finished our talk, we all got to just have a chill around the venue - have some more cocktails and watch the sunset over the skyline of the city. Following the food we had previously I could feel my heart flutter as they began to bring trays of tapas out for us all they had a selection of bangers & mash, fish & chips and my personal favourite / the only thing I could have (veggy issues) which was a risotto... hand on heart was the best one I've ever had, I kept going back to get more. Following all this, it was finally time to leave the venue and rush for my train back up to Newcastle! It was a sad farewell, yet the goody bag filled with wonderful delights - including a circle side bag, personalized notebook, tassel earrings and makeup all helped make me feel slightly better.

Would just like to take this opportunity to thank Next for hosting this event, having the chance to meet fellow bloggers and step outside of my comfort zone was fantastic. Hope you all enjoy viewing the pictures of the event below - Have you ever attended a blogging event? What do you think of Next latest collections?
Let me know in the comments below.

As always, thank you for reading and hope you all have a fabulous week.

Ellie x