Daddy-O Has Changed My Life

Its no secret here on my blog that I'm constantly battling with dry, tangled hair that loves to dreadlock itself even two minutes after brushing it. It's been driving me insane and I'm not gonna lie, I feel that I've tried every kind of hair mask, deep conditioning treatment, oils, you name it. My hair hates me. I'd seen Daddy-O by Lush highly recommended by other bloggers based on its suitability and usage on blonde hair in particular and since I'm a blondie myself with ever changing, usually pastel purple hair, I thought I'd grab myself a bottle whilst at the Lush Leicester Christmas event.

Daddy-O smells insanely good. Like Parma Violets and all things sweet thrown together making a gorgeous deep violet concoction. I've also had compliments on my hair at work which is crazy for me since I work with dogs, the smell of fresh hair never lasts long but Daddy-O has given me my hair confidence back. I can't smell it on myself, but others often comment my hair smells like sweets as I walk past which makes me very happy!

When I use Daddy-O, I always give myself a good massage around the roots and comb it through with my fingers. Its surprisingly conditioning for a shampoo and the colour when you rinse it out is incredible. When I get out the shower, my hair is usually all tangled and matted up but since using this stuff, it doesn't happen anymore. I couldn't be happier with the results and I was honestly contemplating cutting the majority of my hair off as I was beginning to get that upset with its unmanageable condition before trying this shampoo. 

It wasn't until I filmed a YouTube video the day after using Daddy-O that I noticed a visible difference. Every other win factor for me was based on the feel of my hair and the smell. Whilst editing this video I noticed that good god, my hair actually looked healthy! It looked nourished, shiny, NOT DRY. I nearly fell off my seat and felt so happy that I have finally found a product that works for me and my very long, stubborn hair. 

I've always thought oh my - a Lush product would have to be shit hot in my opinion to warrant having a whole blog post to itself but ladies and gents, this is it for me. I thought at first that I'd use Daddy-O as a 'treat time' shampoo because it is on the pricier side compared to standard drug store products but its a price I'm happy to pay again for another bottle because its just so damn good!

Let me know if you've tried this and if not, what is your favourite Lush product?

Thanks for reading!

Ellis x

Painting Ursula - Disney Villain #2

Last week I started back at work and was really organised having prepared blog posts to schedule themselves whilst I was away from my computer for the first time in 11 weeks. Its not hit me too hard but I am struggling with time and finding it very frustrating not having much spare to spend on blogging, YouTubing and running my Etsy shop. I did however finish my painting of Ursula before I returned to work so I thought I would show you how I did it, what I used and the final piece :)

For Ursula I used the same paper and paints that I used when I did my Hades piece which were the Winsor and Newton acrylic paints on the Winsor and Newton acrylic paper. Not sponsored I promise! I've just loved this brand since my school days and they're always my go to for any art supplies.
I started by filling in block colours and adding some rough shading here and there. As I mentioned in my Hades post, the paper makes the paint dry super quick so I struggled with blending slightly, especially since my painting skills are slow and rusty since having my hand operation.
I then outlined everything and added a bit more dimension where I felt it was needed and that was pretty much it! 

I'm really enjoying these Disney villain paintings and they're such a relaxing and creative way to spend an afternoon. Snuggled up with a cup of tea and of course, a Disney movie! Obviously I watched The Little Mermaid whilst painting Ursula and loved every second. I also have Maleficent on the go which is nearly finished so stay tuned, another villain will be on their way shortly! If you have anyone else in mind you'd like to see me paint then I'd be more than happy to read some suggestions in the comments.

Thanks for reading :)

Ellis x

Painting Hades - Disney Villain #1

Last week I did a bit of an art haul over on my YouTube channel which included some new acrylic paper which I had never used before and I also grabbed a few new brushes and a tube of brilliantly pink acrylic paint. Buying stuff like this has a wonderful effect on my motivation levels and I decided to start a series of villain paintings that I have been meaning to do for literally years. So first up, its Hades.

I started off by drawing the outline and rubbing away any unnecessary lines as these can sometimes smudge when paint goes over them if the lines are too heavy. Then I did a rough style background around the edges. I always do backgrounds first just because I find it gives a much neater finish when the painting is complete. I then made a start on his grey skin tone and went from there. I did a bit of extra shading or 'contouring' for Hades as sometimes old school Disney characters can look a little flat when its just one bold colour so I gave him some dimension.

I did his hair last as I wasn't quite sure how I was going to do this but in the end, I just went for a blend of different blues. I think I would have attempted something a bit more impressive for the hair and I'm not sure whether it was the paper I was using but the paint dried super quick and made blending rather difficult. I'm really pleased with the end result especially since I haven't painted since my Sixth Form days so hopefully this is the start of getting back into it for good. 

Verdict on the new paper? The brand I was using is the Winsor and Newton Acrylic Paper and I'm so in love with it. Its super easy to work with and I much prefer it to canvas already. The acrylic paints I used were also by Winsor and Newton which you can find it most art supplies shops.

Character paintings are just part of my hobby and I won't be making prints of these or adding them to my Zippi portfolio due to copyright infringement. Recently I've seen so many people taking Disney characters and making prints then selling them on the likes of Etsy which is illegal and not worth the risk.

Thanks for reading and keep an eye out for the rest of the villains making an appearance on my blog soon!

Ellis x

Craving A Trip To Disneyland

This time two years ago, James and I were packing to go to Disneyland Paris for Halloween…something I had wanted to do for ages! We had planned to get the train from Leiceser to London St Pancras, then hop on the Eurostar to Lille and Lille to Marne-De-Vallee. Of course you can get the Eurostar direct to Disneyland but its sometimes much cheaper to stop off in Lille on the way. We stayed in the Newport Bay Club hotel and as we'd both been before, navigating around Disneyland was a piece of piss. We had both gone with our families as children and I think James agreed to go as it was our first holiday together and he was being soft! These days I think I'd have to try seriously hard to get him to go back with me.

Disneyland for me is the place of no worries, as it should be. Some of my most special memories of being a whole family are from Disneyland Paris and going back gives me so much comfort. When I was a child, my brother and I adored the Big Thunder Mountain ride and luckily, so did our parents. I remember going on this dozens of times with them and one time, the train even broke down in the middle of the tunnel which was super exciting and as it was the last ride of the day, the operators sent us around again to make up for the interruption. It was brilliant!

My all time favourite ride was always Phantom Manor. I've always had a huge love for all things spooky and Halloween so it doesn't surprise me that this ride means so much to me. I loved walking through the house, listening to the tragic tale of the bride still waiting for her groom and all the creepy props lying around creating a fabulously scary atmosphere. The house alone looks incredibly impressive.

Above all, I love the magical feeling of walking down Main Street USA, hearing the gentle music in the background making you feel all carefree and away from your troubles. Looking up at Sleeping Beauty's castle, how each area of the park has a different feel to it and seeing your favourite movies coming to life. All of these factors have recently made me desperate to return. 

The downside to the park was the food. Even the Disney village is now starting to look very shabby and the food is ridiculously overpriced and not that great. Aside from that, I am dying to go back. We did agree that we'd both return to Disneyland when we had children so we could give them the same experience our parents did when we were kids, but thats such a long way off! I've also been watching Dizzy Brunette's vlogs from her time in Disneyland with Primark and its sparked off major memories for me. And of course, I've yet to go on a holiday where I've been vlogging so I'd love to go again and document the trip.

Let me know in the comments if you've ever been to Disneyland Paris. Many people say you haven't seen anything until you've visited Disney World in Florida so maybe one day we'll go but for us, Disneyland Paris is more than enough fun :)

Thanks for reading!

Ellis x

Da Vinci Exhibition - Nottingham Castle

To end my time off work, I headed to the temporary exhibition up at Nottingham Castle which held ten Da Vinci drawings from the Royal Collection. I've only ever seen one Da Vinci piece before in the Vatican in Rome and being a huge fan of his work, I thought it would make a fun day out and something a bit different. Despite being from Nottingham originally and spending a lot of time in the city, I'd not been up to the castle for a good few years. My Grandparents used to take my brother and I for days out and we absolutely loved it.

The exhibition was small and quite cramped, perhaps the tiny size of the drawings made it seem more crowded than it was people wise but they truly were magnificent pieces of art. Once we got up close, we  could really start to appreciate the intricate detail and Da Vinci's unmistakeable style. Even his writing although backwards, was beautiful to look at and his sketches all brainstormed together made it very easy for me to picture him there scribbling away his ideas and curiosities. For me this is one of my favourite things about Da Vinci's work - he threw things down onto his parchment trying to work out the answers to his questions- it was a wonderful thought picturing him hard at work with his drawings.

I didn't take any photos of the exhibition as it was quite dark but I managed to get some video footage which I have thrown together to show a few snippets of what I saw on the day. It was an awesome opportunity to see these drawings in person so major hats off to Nottingham Castle for hosting such a brilliant exhibition!

Thanks for reading :)

Ellis x

Taking Too Much On & De-Stressing

As some of you may have noticed, I've been off work for over two months now after an incident with my hand resulting in the need for surgery and despite being away from my full time job, I have still found myself feeling really busy and this week it all got a bit too much. My hand still isn't 100% back to normal so drawing is still proving to be rather difficult but its not stopped me from getting involved with designing wedding invites for a friend, making the candles for her wedding favours, helping my Mum with her graphic design business and of course, making the most of my time by blogging and making videos for my YouTube channel. I won't lie, I've really enjoyed all this time getting creative but I've also felt quite stressed out. I think the main reason behind this is because I get ever so guilty when I'm ever off sick from work, even if its just for a day or if I go home half way through a shift. I feel terrible and so anxious about letting my team down. We've also been going through a very lengthy mortgage process which isn't over yet and the whole thing has tipped me over the edge at times. On a more positive note, its made me sit and think about the things I can or could be doing to de-stress and actually take some me time. I'm a self confessed workaholic especially when it comes to my Etsy shop so I'm going to focus on the me time and how to achieve just that. You know that twisted gut feeling you get when you're nervous…I've had that for two months straight. Time to kick it in the face.

1. Get an organiser
I already have an organiser and I'll admit, keeping up with one isn't one of my strengths. I keep reading that structure and schedules are a god send when it comes to blogging and making the most of your time so I decided to dig mine out and start using it again. I also have a big enough bag now so I can take it everywhere with me without worrying about space. I find it very soothing to write down my scheduled blog posts and any ideas or comments I may have for new ones. I doodle, scribble and make the most out of it and will encourage myself to do so from now on.

2. Cups of tea…and biscuits!
This has been a must have for me over the past few weeks. Maybe its an English thing, but theres definitely something about taking a little break and snuggling up with a cup of something hot in your favourite mug with a little plate (or the whole tin) of biccies. If I'm feeling the need for something extra indulgent I'll grab a hot chocolate or a frothy latte. Its important to come away from your work even just for 15 minutes to have a little break.

3. Enjoy some pamper time
Its easy to say 'pamper yourself' but what about actually enjoying the pampering? Recently I noticed I always feel like its such a chore looking after myself and have decided its time to change this mindset. I have a shit tonne of body butters in my bathroom and haven't use one for months. Its a chore taking my makeup off, a chore shaving every inch of skin, a chore brushing my very long hair. I picked up a load of new and exciting goodies from Lush to relight my love for pamper evenings and it seems to be helping. The other night, I spent a good ten minutes combing a hair mask through with my fingers and making sure every single strand was coated. I whacked on a fresh Lush face mask afterwards, got into some freshly laundered jammies and snuggled up feeling wonderful. Being mindful and appreciating these luxuries makes it even more enjoyable.

These have been my top three go to things for de-stressing but there are plenty more ways to unwind and relax. I'm hoping to head back to work next week after seeing the consultant at Derby Hospital on Monday again so I will most likely let you all know how that goes. Don't worry…I have plenty of blog posts scheduled so hopefully it doesn't hit me too hard!

Thanks for reading,

Ellis x

My Top 10 Disney Characters

I recently spotted on someone else's blog a Top 7 Disney characters and whilst I couldn't narrow it down to 7, I thought I'd share my favourite 10 in no particular order!

1. Lucifer (Cinderella)
I find Lucifer absolutely hilarious. He's fat, cunning and a complete arse hole but I love him so much!

2. Bagheera (Jungle Book)
Wise ol' Bagheera. As much as I love Baloo, Baggy is just so mysterious, sensible and protective of Mowgli in his own way. He's Disneys only panther which makes him even more likeable.

3. Pegasus (Hercules)
As a unicorn and pegasus lover, it would be rude and also wrong to not include the Pegasus in my favourites. I think he's so handsome and such a cheeky chappy, who wouldn't want a Pegasus in their life?

4. Scar (The Lion King)
Right then. Scar may just be my favourite villain of all time and Jeremy Irons did a fantastic job doing the voice for this character. He's sly, envious, scary and everything else that makes the perfect villain. I LOVE it!

5. Berlioz (The Aristocats)
I've loved this kitten since I was a child. The scruffy one, the one with attitude. Forget Marie, Berlioz is where its at. I'm also a huge fan of Toulouse but Berlioz wins this one every time.

6. Yzma (Emperors New Groove)
Another villain, Yzma is awesome. I love her determination and her character design is perfect. I can't recall anyone ever looking like Yzma, she's so different which is why I love her. Not to mention her relationship with Kronk, she walks all over the poor guy.

7. Flynn Rider (Tangled)
Flynn reminds me of my husband. He's cheeky, an absolute flirt with the ladies and has a lot of swag (god help me if he ever reads this). Flynn isn't like your normal Disney men, sometimes he's a little too grown up for a children's film but thats what I love about him. 

8. Meeko (Pocahontas)
Meeko is so underrated it kills me. I love his greedy little appetite and inquisitive behaviour. He's naughty and constantly getting himself into sticky situations. I think he must be the bane of Flits life, she's always trying to control him but he has none of it.

9. Lafayette (The Aristocats)
This character never fails to make me howl…literally. His and Napoleon's storyline is hilarious and when they both go after Edgar its impossible not to laugh at. Lafayette is probably up there in my Top 5 if I were to order these.

10. Kovu (The Lion King 2)
For those of you who haven't seen the Lion King 2: Simba's Pride, you may not know who Kovu is but oh my, you're missing out. Kovu is the sexiest lion ever created by Disney, he's dark, mysterious and a somehow super attractive. I'm not ashamed to admit I fancy a cartoon lion.

So there we have it! My top 10 in no order…I could have gone all the way to 20 but I won't bore you guys too much! I definitely think I'm more of a lover of old school Disney but theres nothing wrong with that. Or fancying a cartoon lion, but lets be honest…theres definitely something about him.

Thanks for reading!

Ellis x

Frannerd - An Etsy Shop

Todays post is going to be all about Frannerd, or just Fran for short! I may have mentioned a couple of times in a vlog or two how much I love this illustrator and it just so happens she is a YouTuber as well which is how I found her shop. I've been subscribed to Fran for a while now but I remember finding her channel after searching 'how to become a freelance illustrator' and her little face popped up. I LOVE her videos and the variety of content she posts. Sometimes its an art supplies haul, art favourites, day in the life, traveling and sometimes even a 'lets draw something' which allows you to see her creations come to life.

Anyway I remember waiting a while for Fran's Etsy shop to reopen after she had a revamp and moved house etc and finally got round to placing myself an order. As an illustrator myself, I know its such a special feeling when someone decides to support your work and buy from your shop. I also realise not everyone is into buying artwork because they think its a waste of money blah blah blah, but I think certain people appreciate art and do see it as a real job. I'm also really enjoying reviewing these Etsy shops and can't wait to discover more just in time for Christmas.

I was super giddy when this slid through my letterbox and was so impressed to see Fran had continued her unique handwritten font onto the writing of my address and personalised it with her own marks. The parcel itself came in a very sturdy envelope and the print was supported by a strip of cardboard for further protection, wrapped in bakers twine creating an adorable bundle.

The piece I went for is called "Waiting" and its a giclee print on beautiful textured paper. I'm in love with Fran's use of pastel colours and I absolutely adore her style. This is my first piece of artwork by Fran and I plan of saving it to frame for my new office room in the new house. My print cost me £8 which is a fantastic price for an A5 sized illustration print and I'm sure I'll be back for more!

Its honestly one of the best feelings in the world supporting another artist and you know they always appreciate it. Art prints make wonderful gifts once framed and they're also not too pricey if you're on a budget and want to get a different kind of present for a friend or family member.

I'll pop a link to Fran's Etsy shop below so you can access it as easily as possible if you fancy a mooch around! 

Thankyou for reading!

Ellis x

Lush Leicester Christmas Event

I was super excited to get an invite to the Lush Christmas launch in Leicester this year and it was also my first ever blogger/YouTuber event so I was very nervous and didn't know what to expect. I decided to take my camera along and also my Mum who is a fellow Lushie and started blogging a couple of months ago so I thought it would be nice to take her. Thanks Lush!

There were a tonne of new products covering the shelves and the staff made such an effort to make everyone feel welcome and did plenty of demos! The colours and the amount of glitter was spectacular and it felt like such a magical wonderland. I had a mooch around and tried some new products, had a hand massage and sprinkled plenty of the Snow Fairy shimmer on my arms before heading upstairs for a workshop.

Before I knew it, I had accumulated way too many bath bombs and other new things to try that I decided to call it a night before my bank account got severely damaged. I also don't currently have a bath so I plan on saving my bath bombs for our new house, but I just couldn't resist not buying some at the event. I've also missed out on the last two years of Lush Christmas and Halloween products that I didn't want to risk waiting another year! I also filmed a bit whilst I was there so I'll leave a link to my video below :)

Thanks for reading!

Ellis x

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