Sunday, 15 November 2015

Why I'm Giving Up Olivia Ellen

I feel like this post is long overdue but it's taken me a long time to find my reasons for writing this. It is with regret that I am giving up this blog. I've been thinking about for quite a while and since I moved to university I just haven't felt the desire or inspiration to write anything here, never mind the fact that it is such a time-consuming hobby. I guess multiple factors have led me to feel like this. I've had this blog for over 3 years and through that time it's really come a long way, not only in terms of design but also content. I'd be lying if I said it was easy: I put a lot of time and thought into my posts. Despite this I just haven't found it to be particularly rewarding. No matter how hard I felt I was working, I got very little feedback from within the blogging community. In reality I'm a tiny fish in an ever growing pond and I just feel that fashion and beauty blogging is not the way forward for me.

When I started this blog, fashion and beauty were my biggest passions. I was adamant that I wanted to make a career out of fashion writing and I thought that a blog would be a good place to start. Although I still really enjoy aspects of fashion and beauty (of course I still shop way too much and spend too long getting ready, that will probably never change!) I'm actually a lot more interested in theatre now and that's the direction I'd like my career to take. Back in April I started writing a theatre blog called Olivia Loves Theatre where I review shows that I've seen as well as share my general thoughts on theatre-related news and stories. Even though it's only been live for about 6 months it's already brought me some great opportunities- I was sent to London by Box Office UK to see a show and review it for their website, as well as being invited to the press night of Shrek at my local theatre. Both of these things have brought me such joy and I hope that continues into the future. I feel like I can already count my theatre blog as fairly successful whereas I never really felt that with Olivia Ellen.

I'm also just finding the whole fashion/beauty/lifestyle community kind of overwhelming at the moment. There are so many people out there trying to get involved but rather than seeing great things happening for small bloggers, I feel like the big bloggers and only getting bigger, making it harder for newcomers to be seen. I'm sensing a lot of tension of Twitter in particular and it's just not something I want to be a part of anymore. I'm definitely not going to delete this blog- there's a lot of content on here that I've worked hard at and it would be a shame if that were lost forever- but I won't be updating it. For those (few!) people who do check this blog regularly I'm sorry but if you still want to keep up with me of course you can give my theatre blog a read, follow me on Twitter or on Instagram where I still often post beauty/fashion related things. I guess that's all I have to say for now!

Olivia Ellen XXX

Sunday, 20 September 2015

City Picks #2 // London Cafes and Culture

I've been lucky enough to visit London a couple of times in the past few weeks and since my last City Picks post went down so well, I thought I'd do another but this time focusing on something other than bars (although I did visit some more lovely ones this time around!).

First of all is Lady Dinah's Cat Emporium. This was actually my second time here (I went at the beginning of July for the first time) and I adore it as it combines food and cats- two of my most favourite things. I would note that you do need to book in advance to ensure it doesn't get too busy but you are given an hour and a half slot in the cafe which is plenty of time to have a drink and some cake while admiring the cats. They have 10 cats that live in the cafe and you are welcome to stroke them and play with them. They also do lovely cakes- delicious scones and the best brownie I've ever tasted (warm and melty salted caramel flavour- I die). Although it's situated out in Shoreditch which is quite a trek from Soho, it's well worth a visit if you're a cat lover or don't have any cats of your own.

On Monday I was in London on my own and so I decided to pay my first visit to the Theatre Cafe on Shaftesbury Avenue. It's been open a while now but has always been packed so I've never had chance to go before but it was the perfect place to warm up and kill some time. Again, it's a cafe that combines two of my loves. The walls are covered in signed posters and show memorabilia that I got very excited about. Showtunes from a huge selection of musicals are constantly playing (I was excited to hear a song from the lesser known musical Catch Me if You Can) and you can also purchase tickets for shows, take a quiz and every Saturday they run an open mic event. I happily sat with a hot chocolate and a book soaking up the lovely atmosphere and could have stayed all day.

Onto some cultural things to do- I'm sure everyone has seen the stunning installation in Covent Garden at the moment but even I was impressed when I finally saw it in person. It started to rain a bit while I was there so I wandered around inside, listening to some live music and checking out the small boutique-style shops which was so interesting.  There's also some great exhibitions on in London at the moment. I attended The Jam exhibition at Somerset House which I found so interesting. I grew up hearing The Jam as my family are all fans so it was great to find out more about them, plus it's really affordable to get in as they offer a student price. Other exhibitons that I thought looked interesting though were Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon at the National Portrait Gallery and Shoes: Pleasure and Pain at the V&A. Although you do have to pay to get into both of these, it's not extortionate and they'd be great to shelter from the cold this Autumn.

Olivia Ellen XXX

Friday, 18 September 2015

Paperchase Haul

I'm an absolute sucker for stationary- it's one of my (many) shopping weaknesses because I feel like you can always justify it. I was in London earlier in the week with some time to kill so I popped into my favourite Paperchase in Covent Garden for a browse and came out with a few bits and bobs. First of all I picked up this cute floral A4 notebook which I think will be perfect for uni. I have so many different sized notebooks but I love A4 size for academic work so if I ever need to make some notes in lectures etc this will be perfect. This pencil case is also going to be great for university because it's just the right size to fit a few pens and pencils in but is small and light enough to fit in any bag. The print is absolutely stunning combined with the rose gold zip and was really affordable. They had a lot of products in this range and I genuinely could have bought them all!

It's no secret that I adore organisation and I adore cats so why not combine the two?! I bought this list pad which is also magnetic, meaning it'll be perfect stuck on my fridge to make quick shopping lists. I don't know what it is with washi tape at the moment but I am obsessed. This pack of 6 caught my eye and I couldn't say no. I love that it comes in this little cardboard tray that will help to keep them tidy on my desk.

Olivia Ellen XXX

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Fur Layers

Jeans- ASOS // Gilet- New Look // Shirt- Topshop // T-Shirt- Forever 21 // Shoes- TU // Necklace- Vintage Fashion Jewellery // Watch- Coach

Hands up who hates Autumn already?! While I absolutely hate being cold, I've actually picked up some beautiful clothes for this season so it's not all bad. At the moment, it's still just about warm enough to get away with not wearing a coat but long sleeves are still a must so I've layered a simple khaki tea under my shirt to add a bit of colour and added this warm faux fur gilet to keep me feeling toasty. Also I'm still wearing trainers as I'm yet to find some warm and comfortable boots, but believe me- when I do, they'll be all you see until March!

Olivia Ellen XXX
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