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Eleanor Frances Posts

Bangkok Photo Diary

 

 

For me, Bangkok was one of those expectation versus reality sort of moments. Being the first city we touched down in on our Asian adventure there was a lot that didn’t go exactly to plan! Money was wasted, some of the best Thai food was overlooked (sob!) and we even probably paid over the odds for some elephant pants. But you’ve just got to roll with it. So here we are a week later in Bali alive and kicking and even a little slimmer from that 20,000 steps a day we were managing. I can’t say Bangkok was for me but it has got to be an experience to tick off the bucket list. Talking of that bucket list… well as you can see we even managed to fit in a visit to the Unicorn Cafe. Organised by me- of course.

Our apartment was great, we booked through Airbnb. I reckon its got to be the way to go if you’re planning a trip to the city. The price was better than a lot of hostels we had looked at and the accommodation was wayyyy nicer. Also it gave us a chance to use Bangkok’s BTS sky train to get around. Saving a heap on taxis.  Another major highlight was our sunset drinks in Octave which is a stunning sky bar allowing you to see unbeatable views of the city. We managed to pick the only night that it peed it down with rain. But hey it felt homely-like being back in the UK!

Bangkok would be an awesome destination for a shopping trip. For a city break maybe its too hectic. We did get to see a few cultural sights which I’ll blog about soon. For now I’m off to celebrate our anniversary in the beautiful Ubud, Bali!

Love Eleanor x

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Blueberry Jam Muffins

Ingredients

100g butter, 140 g caster sugar, 2 large eggs, 140 g natural yoghurt, 2 tbsp milk, 1 tsp vanilla extract, 250 g plain flour, 2 tsp baking powder, 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda, 1/4 tsp salt, 150 g blueberries, 12 tsp wild  blueberry jam or conserve

For the Crumble Topping

3 tbsp demerera sugar, 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon, 3 tbsp plain flour, 1 tbsp butter

Method

1. Preheat oven to 200 C or Gas mark 6. Put 12 paper cases into muffin tin.

2. Rub together all the crumble topping ingredients in a small bowl.

3. In a separate mixing, bowl beat together eggs and sugar until pale and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, then yoghurt, vanilla and milk. Gradually add flour, baking powder, bicarb and salt. Fold in the blueberries.

4. Divide the mixture between the 12 cases. Top with jam and then the crumble mixture.

5. Bake for 5 mins then reduce the heat to 180 C/ Gas mark 4. Bake for a further 20 mins or until the muffins are cooked thoroughly.

6. Cool on a wire rack and enjoy!

Love Eleanor x

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June Bullet Journal

June is finally here! I feel as though I have been waiting all year for this month to arrive. Our long awaited trip to Southeast Asia is on the horizon. Plus I finally get to upload my second bullet journal video. I’ve got to admit my level of excitement for this post is a little unnatural. Yes, I’m a bullet journal convert…

This month I’ve decided to go without colour which leaves me feeling a little sad. However, I’ve done this for two reasons 1. All of my coloured pens bleed right through the paper and 2. I’m trying to pack light and coloured pens can’t really be described as essential items. For June I’ve gone for a cheese plant leaf and tropical flower theme because you know summer-yay! I’m also giving more space for each day in the interest of encouraging myself to keep a little travel log.

Love Eleanor x

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A Little More Natural

Lately I’ve found myself in search for something a little more natural to use as an alternative to my usual cosmetics. I feel like it has gotten to a point where I pack so many chemicals onto my skin and hair that it’s time for a change. After watching many a YouTube video and spending a little too much time in Holland and Barrett I finally have a blog post about some natural products that I’ve tried and tested. As far as I’m aware these are not 100% organic!

Firstly let’s talk about these Neal’s Yard Remedies products. There’s the Garden Mint and Bergamot Hand Lotion which I’ve been using as an all over body lotion because hey why not… I like living life on the edge! This smells amazing and conjours up images of an English Country Garden in the Summertime (its a little zesty). It leaves my skin feeling super soft and claims to be 95% organic which is a pretty good percentage by anyone’s standards. The packaging details that it contains no GM, mineral oils, synthetic fragrances, colours, parabens, silicones or phtalates. Most of which I know little about but if you take a look at the ingredients there’s not a whole lot of your typical crap (chemicals) listed.

I have to admit I haven’t tried the Rose and Geranium Shower Gel yet as I plan to take it away to Asia in my toiletries bag. I can only describe it’s scent as Rose Lemonade- making me both thirsty and reminding me of home. The packaging is made from 100% recycled plastic. Although I can’t find anything on the products regarding animal testing it does say on the Neal’s Yard website that they don’t test on animals so I’m hoping these products are also bunny friendly. If a more natural alternative to hair care is something you’re interested in there’s a whole load of products out there. I’ve been suffering from a lot of hair fall recently and started off by using a homemade coconut oil mask on my hair- instructions courtesy of YouTube tutorials. I bought Avalon Organics Volumizing Rosemary Shampoo and Conditioner from Holland and Barrett and although I really truly did have high hopes for them sadly they’re just not for me. Yes it does what it says on the tin and adds volume however they leave my hair feeling so dry and tangling easily. Has it stopped my hair fall? No not really. So I’m back on the Aussie products until I find an alternative. Avlaon Organics contain no GMOs, parabens, harsh sulfates, preservatives, synthetic colours or fragrances or phthalates. They also don’t test on animals and make their products from 100% recycled materials.

Let me know your thoughts!

Love Eleanor x

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Raspberry and White Chocolate Blondies

Ingredients

225 g Caster Sugar

225 g Melted Butter

150 g Plain Flour

4 Eggs

200 g White Chocolate plus 100 g for decoration

50 g Macadamia Nuts

150 g Raspberries (roughly 1 punnet)

Method

1.Preheat oven to 180 C or Gas Mark 4 and line a rectangular cake tin with grease proof paper.

2. In a large mixing bowl, beat together the sugar and eggs. Melt the butter in a saucepan and gradually add this to the mixture.

 3. Carefully fold in the flour.

4.Chop the chocolate, macadamia nuts and raspberries into small pieces. Fold into the mixture, making sure they’re evenly distributed.

5. Spoon the blondie mix into the lined cake tin. Bake for 30- 35 minutes, use a skewer to check the blondies are cooked throughout.

6. Once the blondies are cool, melt the remaining white chocolate in a bain marie or the microwave. Drizzle the melted chocolate over the blondies and leave in the fridge to set.

7. Cut into portions as big as you please and enjoy!

Let me know your thoughts!

Love Eleanor x

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Stars and Stripes

|Jumper- Topshop (old) | Midi skirt- Topshop (similar) | Shoes- Office (similar) | Bag- Mango (similar)

|Sunglasses- H&M|

Hi Lovelies! So today I have another clashing outfit post. In the interests of trying to get a bit creative, I’m giving some of my older items a new lease of life. For example, this stripe skirt. Although I’ve owned it a good few years I can honestly only admit to wearing it a handful of times. This may be partly down to the fact that its incredibly difficult to move in. However if you’re walking all nice and ladylike I suppose this may not be a problem. Some of us would prefer the option of doing some lunges though… Just saying…

Putting design flaws aside- I challenged myself to mix it up a bit. Which is where another ‘oldie but goodie’ comes in, that’s the star print jumper! I’ve added my trusty Mango drawstring bag for a pop of colour. And hey presto one midi skirt has a brand new life ahead of it. I wore this outfit (minus the court shoes) all day yesterday and it made a really great look for one of those transitional spring kinda days. Let’s be fair though the majority of the British Summer feels like one of those days so I reckon this look could see me through to July!

Side note: these photos may look a bit dodge. I have a brand new camera/ lens combination, let’s just say were ‘working on’ using it to its full advantage. But no they haven’t been taken on an iPhone….

Love Eleanor x

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May 2017 Bullet Journal Spread

So I have decided to go ahead and start a Bullet Journal- as you’ve clearly already guessed from the title of this post. I can’t say that I’m mega savvy with the Bullet Journal lingo and as I’m a first timer I can’t really say what works for me and what doesn’t. So I’ll have to let the pictures do the talking for this post. However, if you do want to actually hear me waffling on about all this you can watch my YouTube video below.

I know it’s all rather scrappy and this will probably never make it onto the Pinterest Bullet Journal Hall of Fame. But please let me know what you think and I promise to try much more attractive spreads for June. Emphasis on try. Cos you know God loves a trier and all that….

 

Love Eleanor x

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The Pink Slouchy Hoody

| Hoody – Primark | Leather Jacket- Topshop (similar) | Cropped Trousers- Topshop (old)  | Shoes- Office (similar) | Hoops- Topshop | Glasses- eBay |

Can I just start off by announcing how flipping obsessed I am with this hoody? Seriously hardly a day has gone by where I haven’t worn it recently. It could well be the best £8 I’ve ever spent. In reality it has been mostly paired with ripped jeans and comfy trainers. However, I thought I’d go for the whole sports wear mixed with smart wear vibe that’s been filling up my Insta feed lately. Yes in the hope of appearing majorly cooler than I actually am…. I also think this look would be perfect with super oversize sports wear so perhaps borrow from a boy?

My glasses are an eBay find which I have to say made me feel particularly proud. I swear finding something perfect on eBay is almost as awesome as a great charity shop find. When I’m wearing them the resemblance to my Mam in the 1980s is kind of scary. I was watching a documentary abut serial killers (yes I do that in my spare time- don’t judge me!) and actually spotted an identical pair on some mass murder from the seventies. So going forward I will lovingly refer to these specs as my serial killer glasses.

Thoughts?

Love Eleanor x

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Five Things That Benefit Your Mental Health

We all know someone who has had trouble with their mental well being. Whether it’s ourselves or a loved one. Its said that around 25% of people in the UK will have some sort of mental health problem in their life time, although it could be higher. We all put an emphasis on taking care of our bodies, why not do the same for our minds?  It’s an issue that’s close to my heart. So here’s a run down of five natural things that I feel benefit my mind when I’m going through a rough time.

Get Active- I know, I know when you’re feeling down the last thing you want is to do some exercise. But hear me out… There’s a reason we’re encouraged to exercise and it’s not just all about our psychical health. It’s a well know fact that exercise releases endorphins- giving you a major mood uplift. Plus I personally get a sense of achievement from doing a workout. Which makes me feel better about myself. Of course if going to the gym ain’t your thing there’s loads of other choices out there. Bonus points for combining exercise and fresh air!

Take Time to Meditate- Now I’m not trying to claim that I’m any kind of expert on meditation or relaxation. Far from it, in fact. However when my anxiety and panic attacks got waaay out of hand a few years ago my doctor suggested giving meditation a try. And I can’t stress enough what a big help it was for me. There’s so many options out there to teach you basic meditation for free. Personally I love the mobile app Headspace as it talks you through it.

Do Something you Enjoy- We all have things we love to do that help us relax. Drawing, painting or taking photos all take my mind off things and just give me the opportunity to get creative. You might like making music, writing or getting involved in your favourite sport. Having some me time can be a major factor in helping us de-stress. Simply find an activity that you enjoy and take some time out to do it!

Have a Break from Social Media- This one is kind of a biggy for me. With people posting every detail of their lives on social media, its easy to feel as though yours doesn’t compare. Fear of missing out has become a real problem. If you’re going through a hard time, the last thing you want to see is images of others’ perfect lives. (Just a heads up- a hell of a lot of Instagram is staged!) Plus it ain’t a good idea to be preoccupied with how many likes/ followers/ friends you’re totting up. Maybe you spend way too much time on social media and it’s contributing to you feeling down? Whatever your situation, I think we can all benefit from going offline.

Spend Time with Others- Being around friends and family is one of the best things we can do for our well being. I can completely understand why people might avoid this as it’s something I do myself. But spending some quality time with those who make us feel good about ourselves rarely fails to lift our mood. Even if you have nothing good to say, they’re bound to have a story that will get you smiling. Plus you’ll leave knowing you have someone to feel thankful for.

What uplifts your mood? Please let me know your thoughts!

Love Eleanor x

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The Well Loved Band Tee

|Metallica Vest- Urban Outfitters (similar) | Striped Top- Primark | Distressed Jeans- Zara (similar) | Boots- Primark (old) | Earrings- Topshop|

It feels like such a long time since I’ve even looked at my blog. It’s difficult to sit down and remember how to even begin a post these days. Which is why I’ve been putting it off for so long I guess. But I’m determined to get back into doing something I enjoy so here we are.

In the interests of being completely transparent, we have kinda got a big adventure planned this Summer. It’s kinda a big deal! The plan is to take my blog along with me to keep a little diary of the whole trip. However it’s also pretty hard to get excited about an outfit or beauty post when you’re saving all of your spare pennies. Shopping is out of the question for me. I know, I know first world problems at their worst…

So here I am, recycling my ancient band tee… or muscle vest? Which I have to admit had been demoted to my pyjama draw. Anyway I’ve seen a few girls layering oversize tees over long sleeve tops and it reminded me of the awesome style period that was the early noughties. And I’m always into anything retro and unattractive. This particular Metallica baby was bought many years back in Urban Outfitters so sadly definitely isn’t still available. The diamante earrings are intended to bling the whole look up a notch because who doesn’t love a bit of tackiness? In reality I’ll be wearing this with metallic booties. Unfortunately everyone who knows me is probably sick to death of seeing me wearing them!

I’m off to surprise my Mam with Mother’s Day afternoon tea this afternoon. So let’s hope she doesn’t read this first…

Thoughts?

Love Eleanor x

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