I’m Leaving You

Dear WordPress,

We’ve had a good run, haven’t we? You helped me create this little space I’ve had the honour to call home for the last two years, but I’m leaving you. It’s not you, it’s me. We want different things, I want to expand and I think you’re the thing that’s stopping me.

We’ve both played host to a wonderful audience, but I’ve always felt as if I was the one running around the kitchen whilst you were the one watching the television in the front room being idle. The truth is, I’ve met someone else, they are the complete opposite to you, I feel so creative when I’m around them, I have so much more say in the relationship than I did with you, I’m allowed my say, I’m allowed to decorate how I want and say what I want without getting the weird neighbours appearing to have their say. So I’m going with him.

I don’t know what to say, I didn’t realise you’d take it so well. As you are taking is so nicely, can I keep my stuff at yours still? It would save me having to find somewhere to keep it at his. So I’ll just leave this stuff here, okay?

I’ve had fun WordPress, but all good things must come to an end. Not only me and you but Miss Backwards as well. That’s who I was when I was with you, I’m not her anymore.

Thanks, WordPress, thank you, Miss Backwards,
I’ll pop in for a coffee sometime, look after yourselves – keep each other company,

Ellie x


Hello!

Long time no see or write, or any means of communication whatsoever really.

I hope you got the message from that letter, if not and for clarification purposes, I’m leaving WordPress as a domain hosting service and I’m leaving Miss Backwards here, she’s reached her final station.

To say it’s been an honour is an understatement, I have been so so so lucky to have been able to share this chapter of my life with you, I have enjoyed it immensely. I have learnt so much from this little space on the internet, and along the way I have met some remarkable people. But the final curtain must call on this show, the Miss Backwards music has had its run. Thank you so much for all of your support over the years, you have all been so lovely.

Which is why I can’t wait to share this next chapter with you in a new home. You didn’t think I’d leave for good did you? Pack away those tissues and gather round, because I’m starting a new chapter and I would love for you all to join me. On January 1st, 2017 I will be launching my brand new blog! This time it really is more personal, more open, as well as having some of the same things we all loved about Miss Backwards. You will be able to find me here! At “extraordinellie” with brand new content, a renewed look at blogging as well as various other new things. Hopefully, I will see some of you there.

Thank you all,

Your one and only Miss Backwards, Ellie x

 

launching-header

 

August Favourites

Okay, so I’ve jumped the gun a bit by uploading this before the actual end of August. But I haven’t written a favourite’s post in forever, therefore I’m a bit excited. Between the heatwaves, travelling, A-Level results and general summer madness I have actually accumulated quite a few favourites. Enjoy!

(more…)

5 Things I Wish I Knew When I Started Blogging

“What do you like to do in your spare time?”
“I run a lifestyle blogger, I write reviews, give fashion tips, and share my life.”
“Oh, so you’re like Tanya…Burr is it? Or Zoella? My Goddaughter loves her. Do you use a camera and video yourself?”
“I’m going to need a bigger glass of wine.”

I don’t know about you, but I’ve been in the situation above a lot recently. Whenever I happen to mention that I have a lifestyle blog people assume that I’m a vlogger like Zoe Sugg or another internet household name, or that I have had successful brand deals with the likes of Asos and Urban Decay. I’m not, and I haven’t. I’m just about on the scale and list of lifestyle bloggers, here’s five things I wish I knew before taking my place at the ‘lesser known end of the scale’.

Things I Wish I knew Before I Started

Goals are good, just be realistic.
We all dream of being big in the blogging world, some of us even dream of branching off into the freelance writing sector. But there is no point in having these dreams if you don’t set realistic goals to get there, I find that making small weekly goals for my blog are the best way of advancing. I ususally start with a research task at the start of the week, it gives me time to get any information I need for a blog post, check it hasn’t been done by other bloggers that often, that sort of thing. Once that’s done the rest of the goals are easier to break down. The point is that I break my blog posts down from the goal of “write a blog post” to four or five little goals, like “research topic”, “get outfit information such as brands and prices”, and “invent a catchy title” This way writing posts is easier and you feel like you’ve accomplished more at the end. Remember, the most you post the closer you could be to becoming the next Tanya Burr! 

Write everything down.
I can’t stress this one enough, the amount of great post ideas I’ve had late at night and have woken up not having a clue what they were is unreal! Write everything down, even if it is the smallest start of an idea, it could turn into a massive success. I prefer writing my ideas with a pen and paper opposed to typing them, it just feels a bit more creative and I can write quicker than I can type so my hands can keep up. But if you are more technological, then apps like Evernote or even the built in note app on your phone are excellent for writing those ideas on the go.

Go to brands, don’t wait for them to come to you.
The amount of bloggers out there at the moment is insane. So how do you get the brands to notice you, go to them! I have it on good authority that if you go to brands directly instead of waiting for them to notice you, you are in a better position for the prospect of working with them. Going to brands shows that you are willing to put yourself out there and are passionate about what you do. I must admit I haven’t tried this technique yet, but it’s on my list!

It’s okay to use stock photos. 
I’ve always been insistent on using my own photos on my blog, I used to hate stock photos, sometimes they can look cheap and lowers the value of your content. But then I was introduced to places like Unsplash and Gratisography.  The photos are  free from copyright restrictions or licensed under creative commons public domain dedication. This means you can copy, modify, distribute and perform the work, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission. Which is a dream come true once you’ve seen the quality of the photos!

Stay on top of current affairs.
When I started blogging, I was determined that my blog would be a little corner of the internet untouched by the harsh realities of life. But I have since discovered that staying out to the ‘real world’ can make you seem ignorant and robotic, a lot of my audience come for a human being talking about their life. Not some automaton ignoring a highly significant event that has affected millions. Commenting on current affairs, both on a world wide scale and in your personal life is a great way to show people that you are aware of the world around you and keeps you relevant.

I hope this helps some of you out there, I know I would have loved this sort of advice when starting out. Update on ‘Hang On In There’: I’m easing myself back into blogging, a schedule is nearly sorted and content is being finalised. I’m hoping to do a bit more current affairs topical writing and I’m in love with the idea of “Get the Look” posts. If you’ve got any suggestions to what you would like to see let my know in the comments below! Thanks for hanging on. 

 

Hang On In There

Hang On In There

I made two realisations last night.

1. I’m frustrated at the lack of content on my blog. 2. I have the power to change the amount of content on my blog.

I’m still finding it hard to get back into writing, most sentences are difficult to form at the moment. My travel posts sound like wikipedia articles, and my reviews seem to skip the bad parts. All whilst I’m seeing people being honest with their audiences, and I can’t help but think that I’m too honest too often, you don’t come here to see me publish content moaning about my lack of content, or to be informed that I’m taking yet another break.

If you happen to be here for that reason I encourage you to quit the window, or close the tab that currently displays these words, because I’m not doing that anymore. No more rebranding, no more “I’ll do it tomorrow” or “I don’t need a schedule” Because I do. I want my posts to make impressions, create discussions and get people talking. But I can’t do that without an audience, and people aren’t going to read sporadic content that has been made with the least amount of effort possible, just so the creator gets to press the ‘publish’ button. I hope you’ll stay whilst I get some content sorted and establish a schedule.

Exciting times ahead, just hang on in there.

A special thank you to Matti, who helped me realise that I am actually capable of writing more than messages and emails. She’s pretty great. 

Ellie’s Excursions | Blickling Hall, Norfolk

Around fifteen miles away from Norwich’s city centre stands Blickling Hall estate and gardens, it’s Jacobean house and grounds are worlds away from the hustle and bustle that Norwich hosts on a daily basis.

When I decided to go on a day trip to the Blickling estate, I wasn’t really sure what I was walking into. We had made our decision on it being a nice day and the house having lovely gardens, I certainly didn’t anticipate the amount of history that was housed there. In brief, during the 15th Century the estate was in the procession of Sir John Fastolf Of Caister (that’s quite a regal name) who had made a fortune in the Hundred Years’ War. The more known and perhaps more popular owners of the Blickling estate are the Boleyn family (yes that Boleyn family) It was home to Thomas Boleyn and his wife Elizabeth between 1499 and 1505. Historians are confident that all three of the couples surviving children were born at Blickling, including Anne in 1501 who would later grow up to become Queen of England along side King Henry VIII.

Here’s the slightly cool part, Blicking is supposedly haunted by Anne Boleyn, with her appearing on the anniversary of her death every year. Due to the nature of her departure, Anne is seen to be carrying her head under her arm when she appears (ghost stories are so cute and flowery) in a carriage being pulled by headless horses and driven by a headless coachmen. I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Anne’s not quite over the fact that Henry VIII had her beheaded. The coach is supposedly driven down the main driveway to Blickling before disappearing into the house itself. There are witnesses to this, but I didn’t see Anne when I was there. The very regal, Jacobean house that stands today was built upon the ruins of the Boleyn property.

 

20160707_120425_HDR.jpg

Before I visited Blickling, I had the basic knowledge like everyone else. I knew it was under the control of the National Trust, who under the National Trust act can make bylaws about their property regarding such things as the consumption of alcohol on their sites. (it’s a reflex I swear) What I didn’t know was that it was the first estate/manor house to be left to the National Trust as part of a will, after the death of Phillip Kerr, 11th Marquess of Lothian the Hall and it’s surrounding acres was left to the National Trust at his request. During World War II the house served as a Officers’ Mess for RAF Oulton, when I visited there was a museum and gallery dedicated to the history of RAF Oulton and it’s pilots, which can be visited for no extra cost once you have entered the grounds of the house.

From 1960, the house was restored by the Trust to reflect the way in which it was left them by Lord Lothian. Which is how the house is now to visitors. His furnishings and personal items are placed around the house with a self guided tour for visitors designed and choreographed in a way that means you don’t miss anything or any room out. What I really liked about this site in particular was the National Trust volunteers that were placed throughout the house, so if you had any questions about the room you were in or the house/estate in general you could ask them and they would either be able to give you an answer or point you to a fellow volunteer who could. I’ve visited a couple of National Trust sites before, and I’ve never seen this set up before, but it was one that I certainly liked and would have liked to see at previous places.

Overall Blickling hall was a great day out with fabulous scenery, historical facts and sunny weather, Okay, so the weather doesn’t come with the house, but it’s rather smashing in the sunshine. Perfect for a family day out or a wander for inspired souls. There truly is something for everyone.

 

20160707_120658_HDR20160707_131420_HDR20160707_124326_HDR20160707_125513_HDR20160707_13150820160707_140544_HDR20160707_142533_HDR20160707_142740_HDR20160707_140821_HDR20160707_141001_HDR

My Twenty By Twenty

When catching up with reading my favourite blogs this weekend, I saw a cute idea on ‘Frankie and George’ of thirty things Annie wants to do before hitting thirty. But as I can’t fathom the thought of one day turning thirty, because I’ve only just turned eighteen. I’ve decided to do twenty things by twenty years. That gives me, two years. Oh God, I’m going to be twenty in two years. Two years. Two! Shall we get on with the list? I’m just going to cry in a corner about my ageing.

  1. Pass my driving test.
  2. Learn to cook more an actual meal that I can serve to others.
  3. Make an effort to make new friends.
  4. Don’t forget the old friends.
  5. Become more confident when talking in front of crowds.
  6. Master the art of baking.
  7. Visit France.
  8. Read at least 10 books on my ‘to-read’ pile.
  9. Find someone to share great memories with.
  10. Raise money for charity.
  11. Move out.
  12. Regain my drawing skill.
  13. Get an article published somewhere.
  14. Improve on my gift giving skills.
  15. Get a pupilage.
  16. Give learning French a proper try.
  17. Share more recipes.
  18. Write a book.
  19. Expand my musical collection.
  20. Extend the date to Twenty Five, because this is quite a mammoth task!

Me Before You | A Review

Me Before You is being called the romantic movie of the year, with an all-star cast this is a film certainly not to be missed. Based on the book, of the same name, that has sold more than six million copies since being published, Me Before You is a love story centred around Will Traynor, a former active jet-setting banker turned quadriplegic played by Sam Claflin and his carer, Lousia “Lou” Clarke played by Emilia Clarke.

Overall I did enjoy this film, it’s a not so traditional love story. It focuses on the situation the characters are in rather than the love story that is clearly present, this is refreshing as many stories focus on romance. At the very core, this film is two people trying to get the other to see how great their life could be, who just happen to fall in love whilst doing so. Me Before You is a human film with three dimensional characters made even more superb by brilliant actors (even if the line up is mainly made up of the cast of Game Of Thrones) I’m astounded how a film that is undoubtedly a tear-jerker got me laughing as much as it did. Louisa Clarke is girl who you will want to be friends with, mainly because you would want to raid her wardrobe for those creative and unique combinations. Whereas Will Traynor is the man who you would want to be taken out by, despite his situation he is clearly still a witty, charming man, who is unfortunately haunted by the harsh reality that he will never be the man he once was. It is true that it differs from the book, not greatly, but just enough that anyone who has read it in the last year before watching it would notice.

tumblr_o1xowssPu21uga65lo9_1280

Lou’s determination to get Will to live and stop him from travelling to Switzerland to end his life, is remarkable. Emilia Clarke’s impeccable acting shows her going from this quirky, clumsy girl to a passionate, strong headed, independent woman. I can relate to Lou a lot, therefore a certain favour could be present. All of the cast are stunning, but Janet McTeer and Charles Dance really show how honed their acting skills are. Playing parents in a situation no parent ever wants to be in, they handle the roles of Mr and Mrs Traynor with respect and ease. For me, McTeer shone in the airport scene, I couldn’t imagine the translation from page to screen to be more flawless, partially due to her acting, she managed to convey so many deep emotions without uttering a word. Amazing.

If they wanted to make an impression they certainly have with this film, it’s premiere was a stage for disability right protests, without a doubt it has raised questions amongst able-bodies people about the presentation of disabled people. As Will’s choice to end his own life has been seen as one that is sending the common opinion that all people in his situation no longer want to live. I don’t agree or disagree with this view, I know it’s easy to sit on the fence with big issues such as this, but I truly believe that we need to see more disabled people on our screens, because we are not a total able bodied society. Saying that we need to recognise that not everyone who is put in these traumatic situations aren’t always full of positive energy and sometimes they don’t always see things the same way we able bodied people do. Surely it’s better that Will was shown ending his life in a dignified, if not controversial, way, rather than the shocking real manner of suicides that are present in the world.

Me Before You isn’t a film desperately trying to be a book, it has it’s own grounding from the book, something that is desperately lacking in the majority of book to movie adaptations we see today.