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How A Quote By Brené Brown Changed My Entire Outlook On Life


'Find Power In Your Vulnerability' sounds like an absolute nonsense piece of advice doesn't it? Is that supposed to be inspiring? How does one find strength and courage in something that quite frankly, feels the opposite of those things?

It was on Pinterest when I first came across this quote, having no idea it came from Dr Brene Brown, a research professor at the University of Houston. I read it, and quite literally thought to myself 'wtf does this mean', before carrying on about my day as if I had never even seen it. But for some reason, that quote really stuck in my mind. This was at the start of summer - certainly quite a difficult time in my life. Little did I know it would present me with a whole new level of understanding as to how it's possible to obtain passion, motivation and positivity from even the most unpleasant of situations. Fast forward to today and 'find power in your vulnerability' has a vastly different meaning to me.

Vulnerability to me was many things: hiding away how I felt or only exposing it to those closest to me (and still not mentioning every detail), not wanting to taint the image other people had of me - how could anyone find out I feel this way? What would they think? And of course many more subtle ways. But as I slowly began to unleash my vulnerability and free it from within, I started to feel motivated, driven, powerful. I had goals. I started to think about how I could use my experiences to help others, I really wanted to make a difference. I still do.


Everybody has vulnerability, and in many different forms too - myself included. My biggest? Anxiety. For those that don't know, the last 2 and a half years I've suffered with panic disorder - one of many variations of Anxiety (I say this because anxiety is somewhat an umbrella term & can present itself in so many different forms - a lot of people assume all anxiety is the same). While this has without a doubt been one of the hardest things I've ever had to deal with, using my experiences to empower myself allowed me to start seeing the positives in what I've been through. My maturity has developed significantly, I'm most definitely more empathetic towards other people and I feel as though it's made me a more well-rounded person. I've learned that a lot of the little things we fret over in life aren't important in the grand scheme of things. Above all of this, it's turned me into a more motivated individual overall. I have a burning desire to work hard for the life I hope to live and not be a walking, talking slave to panic.

It's no secret being vulnerable is a primal fear of ours and we will do anything to avoid it, particularly in a society so saturated by toxic masculinity. And truthfully, it's not easy to be vulnerable. It's scary, difficult and a long process. But if you take anything at all from this post, understand that you have the strength within you to show vulnerability, to find the power that vulnerability brings and most importantly, own it. This is something I'm still working on too but I find it fascinating how a change in perspective can have such an impact on your life.





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'A peaceful collaboration between like-minded individuals, a non-profit organisation and a fashion brand'


For AW18, Swedish street-wear brand Weekday are launching an eye-opening collaboration with Non-Violence Project (NVP), a non-profit organisation that works to promote solving conflicts without violence. The partnership consists of a network of spokespersons for peace and a collection, available from today (October 11th), that allows Weekday customers to promote peace in their daily lives. The network, that also goes by the name of Peace Force, is comprised of 9 individuals who in some way or another have been affected by violence and wish to use their experiences to make a stand against it.

The main graphic is the 'Knotted gun' NVP logo, originally created by Swedish artist Carl Fredrik Reuterswärd, as a tribute to John Lennon who was shot and killed in New York City in 1980.

'This collaboration feels very personal and close to our hearts, as violence in some form has affected the communities we live in, our friends and our families. This is a major problem on a global scale and we cannot be silent on such an important issue that affects so many. Our work with Non-Violence Project helps us start a conversation and hopefully inspires others to be role models for a world without violence.' - Nadine Schmidt, Head of Marketing at Weekday.

To highlight and support the work of all those involved in this project, I've selected some of my favourite pieces from the collection below. All photographs are linked so feel free to click on an item and head over to Weekday's website to check out the whole collection.








Check out the Weekday campaign HERE

Check out Non-Violence HERE



* Photos and videos are not my own and belong to Weekday and Non-Violence




It's absolutely no secret to anyone that the world is currently in the midst of a leopard print obsession. Love it or hate it (I can't even decide how I feel) it's EVERYWHERE, and I couldn't help but wish I  could pull it off. Though not the biggest leopard lover when it comes to clothes, I admittedly have been eyeing up faux fur leopard print jackets for quite some time.

Faux fur jackets tend not to suit me, I'm tiny (hello to my 5"2 sisters out there),  I'm fairly slim and have long hair so anything slightly thick and fluffy makes me literally look like I'm drowning - I've always had this problem with coats. After recently trying on a similar jacket in River Island that looked more awful on me than you could possibly imagine, I came to terms with the fact I'd have to say farewell to my faux fur dreams this winter - or so I thought.

My weekly TK Maxx browse never really ends well for my bank account and this weeks trip certainly did it no favours. My wardrobe however, is loving it. I stumbled across this jacket and laughed as I tried it on, saying 'these never look good on me', other people's opinions aside, it didn't look THAT terrible. So that brings us to today, where I attempted to style it and create a very short lookbook post. After wearing this coat with chelsea boots, I figured I much prefer it with vans. I think dressing it up makes it look slightly overkill and that vans/trainers are much more laid back.

Do you love or hate this leopard print thing going on at the moment?

Elle x

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If there's one thing I've always struggled with, it's finding suitable luggage to travel with - particularly bags. Admittedly I am quite fussy; but these days it proves difficult to get something that is durable, aesthetically pleasing AND good value for money. Never fear though, The Haze Shop has finally solved all my bag-related problems.

The brand itself is very urban and up-to-date, this intrigued me since I wouldn't consider myself the most stylish person when it comes to street-wear. Nonetheless, all the products were so detailed and beautifully designed I couldn't help but want to give them a go.

The bag I've been using is the Haze Shakra Backpack. It must be said that the second I opened this, I was genuinely shocked at both the attention to detail and quality of the bag - I don't know what exactly I was expecting but this went above and beyond all expectations. The bag, made from premium neoprene, is most certainly durable so perfect for carrying heavy items - this could be great for someone at school/university or someone who likes to carry a laptop. Neoprene is also known for its great waterproof properties, once again adding to the durability and practicality of this bag. From my experience, it's rare to find something so durable and practical at the expense of style.

As I mentioned before, the attention to detail on this bag is one of the things that really amazed me. Not only due to the intricate embroidery on the front but also the embossed-style print over the bag's surface - for me, this really makes the bag and sets it apart from any other you might find. The detail doesn't even stop on the outside, the inside features a number of cleverly constructed compartments for maximum organisation and once again, practicality.

I've genuinely been so impressed by Haze as a brand and can't wait to see what new products they create in the future, I know I'll probably love them. I'll leave links to Haze and their social media below so feel free to check them out!

Wesbite: https://hazeshop.co.uk/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thehazeshop
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/haze_shop
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/THEHAZESHOP/


Elle x

* This post is in collaboration with The Haze Shop. As always, all opinions remain my own!

Weird thing for a blogger to bring up you might think? True. The longer I've been blogging, the deeper my knowledge of affiliate marketing has become and as obvious as it has become that it is extremely important in today's fashion industry, it's led me to question to what extent it's negative.

Affiliate marketing is undoubtedly a key component in driving today's consumer culture. You see something on Instagram, you want it. You see something on TV, you want it. From influencers to TV stars, there's no end to who can be involved in affiliate marketing, if they have an audience thats all that matters. Affiliate marketing has been around for ages but in recent years its spiralled and grown significantly in popularity. Take this years season of Love Island - all the islanders were wearing Missguided and every item was cleverly linked on the Love Island app. This is great for the consumer in terms of ease of purchase, there's no need to hunt around for specific items online when theres a compiled list right in front of you. Equally, this is great for brands as it drives sales. But, at what point does this become dangerous?

We hear about pressure throughout the media to look and behave in a certain way and usually this boils down to physical appearance but people don't seem to have such an issue with glossy magazines that are filled with more clothing adverts than actual articles, huge clothing campaigns on underground station posters, on the side of buses or marketing through sponsorship's such as Missguided on Love Island. Feeling like you have to look a certain way has a great deal to do with apparel as well as physical appearance and the increase in public figures promoting certain fashion trends can lead people to ditch their own choices and try relentlessly to fit in with others. Trends of course, change rapidly and this constant need to keep up with them undoubtedly causes people to indulge in new purchases while throwing away perfectly good items of clothing.

As well as affiliate marketing often enforcing an image onto people, it can be argued that it sometimes excludes those who re-wear clothes altogether. In my previous post, I talked about the wonders of 21 Buttons (an app where you can make commission through posting outfits), but use of this app further highlighted for me how problematic affiliate marketing can be when it comes to 'throw away' fashion. For example, I personally re-wear clothes for YEARS until I well and truly fall out of love with them or they've been worn so much they've pretty much bitten the dust. There's been many times I've gone to post an outfit and realised I can't tag particular items of clothing because I've had them for over 2 months (sometimes even 2 weeks - yes, it's that bad) because brands discontinue products so quickly these days.

Naturally, I can't think of a solution to this problem since obviously I know shops can't keep the same products forever, and I'm absolutely not opposed to using 21 Buttons or any other affiliate marketing (as you can tell from blog) because I feel like they're useful, they're current and they're part of the ever-changing fashion industry. However, it has to be said that use of both techniques has really led me to question whether what I'm doing, as a blogger, is detrimental to both the environment and the fashion industry. The faster fashion becomes, the more damage is being done to the environment and the more the sweatshop industry is going to continue to grow. Both of these things are awful and while affiliate marketing can be great, I feel more should be done to combat these issues so that affiliate marketing has less of a detrimental effect. Affiliate marketing definitely has not caused problems such as these, but it can't be denied it has contributed to the maintenance of them. Is it time we questioned the ethics of fashion blogging?

Elle

Haven't heard of 21 Buttons? Neither had I until fairly recently. It's something I kept seeing crop up all over the place but never really explored until a few months ago. To put it in short, 21 Buttons is a fashion app which allows you to post your own looks and individually tag where each item is from. This is great for finding your own inspo as you can save looks and items to then purchase yourself - I find myself doing this far too often! Equally though, people can also do this with your looks and each time one of your tagged items is purchased, you earn a percentage of commission. This can then be transferred to your bank account whenever it reaches the minimum amount of £10. See below:



My top 5 tips for earning money on 21 buttons are fairly simple.

1) If you're wearing an item of clothing that is old and not on sale any more, try to tag a similar item you can find and mention that you've found an alternative

2) Make your photos as high quality as you possibly can - 21 buttons works like a shop, the higher quality your photos, the more likely you are to make a sale

3) Interact with other users, like photos, save other looks and make sure you stay active to make your page more discoverable

4) Find the correct audiences - the majority of people don't have thousands of pounds to splash on a bag, low cost items tend to make more sales. If you're thinking of posting luxury items, make sure you find a luxury audience or tag cheaper alternatives too

5) Stick to a theme. When I first started my 21 buttons page I didn't have a theme, I created one for fun and it turns out it majorly increased the engagement I'm getting from my posts. It seems people these days love a theme!

It can take a while to build up to a point where you can earn comission but this aside, the app is really fun. I love just scrolling through people's looks and editing themed photos of my own to share and any commission that happens to be earned is just a bonus for having fun! I'd recommend this app to anyone but it's particularly great for bloggers since you can use this in conjunction with your blog and to help spread your posts to wider audiences.

Do any of you guys also love using 21 buttons?

Elle x | www.21buttons.com/eleanormaryjane

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I've really been enjoying editorial style fashion posts recently - they're some of my favourite to read since they're not content heavy and I love looking at people's photos. They're also some of my favourite to produce since I absolutely love photo editing. Something I've been seeing a lot online recently are satin garments, particularly shirts. So many people style them so effortlessly and I decided to give it a try.

Personally, I found Pretty Little Thing had the greatest selection of satin shirts to choose from and at a fairly decent price too. From my experience, I can say the shirts a pretty long and definitely give an over-sized look - this might be partly due to how vertically challenged I am but I can see them still being fairly long on other people too (just something to note). In terms of the actual shirt, I really like it. I don't think I personally pull off the satin look well but it's definitely something that I love on other people - like I say, I've seen countless people wearing shirts like this recently.

Though this post isn't about nails, I just want to shout out Elegant Touch too. I've recently been trying their 'Barely There' nail multipack since getting acrylics is often quite damaging and more expensive (don't get me wrong I still love acrylics) - these are plain and can be painted which I find particularly great since I get bored of colours so easily. I've linked these down below if anyone happens to be interested!

Elle

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Leopard print has been a popular fashion choice for years but this summer, animal prints seem to have made their great comeback and stolen the spotlight (and our hearts) once again. From Victoria Beckham to Claire Waight-Keller, a multitude of designers have hopped back on the animal print bandwagon and given it a 2018 refresh - much to my bank balance's dismay. Everywhere you look, store shelves are lined with leopard print, snake print, zebra print - I've even spotted cow print on the horizon. For me, no high street store does bold animal prints quite like Topshop and so while browsing their newest animal themed picks, I decided to compile some of my favourites into a post. Personally, I love reading these because it saves me raking through tonnes upon tonnes of clothes online, so I hope you find this helpful too. Bring on the prints.










*images from topshop.com

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The sun is shining, its 30 degrees in Hertfordshire, and here I present to you *drumroll please*, some denim jeans. Classic Elle. It goes without saying that I struggle fashion-wise in any weather that isn't trouser friendly - skirts and shorts just aren't really my thing although, this heatwave has made me start to embrace them. While the common thing is to wear bright colours in summer, it doesn't hurt to tone it down now and then (even if you do give yourself minor heat stroke), and so the other day I shoved on a load of basics and called it a day. This was the result.

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