I bet you have been inundated with posts about New Years resolutions - hell, that was exactly what I posted in January last year!!! What I'm not going to do is pour my heart out (again - did you catch my last post of 2017?). I'm not going to stop drinking and I'm not going to sign up to 7 gyms. Instead, I'm going to consciously make an effort to make lots of small changes in my life. My overall aim is to channel a whole lotta goodness and make some alterations that combined, should help with my development as a badass human.




So lets kick things off wiiiiiiiiiiiiiiith...

Not taking things too seriously
So basically I just wanna laugh my absolute head off. How is that for goals? I am totally looking into the law of attraction and actually you attract what you put out there. So my aim is to exude positivity and happiness and pretty much get a giggle where I can. Life is too short, right? I know this isn't always possible 100% of the time and I get just as fed up as anyone sometimes - but I am going to try to be as upbeat as I can!


Read something that isn't a twitter feed
I am not a massive reader to be honest - but I have read a couple of inspirational books (as we know by now - that's my jam and actually what I am holding in these snaps). I am making it my mission this year to read more - even if it's just one book! I think a chick flick is definitely gonna have to be it, isn't it.

Have alone time away from my laptop and phone
I know people feel the same about this - if you're reading this it'll be on your phone/laptop/Ipad and just generally having a scroll through your feeds. I work on a laptop 9-5 and also seem to be pretty attached to it when I'm not working (technically still working - just on my blog). I actually got to the point a couple of weeks ago where I was getting pain in my fingers from holding my phone so much (horrendous - I know). What I have been doing lately is leaving my phone in a different room (imagine the horror!!!!!!!) and going for walks and runs a lot more. At the moment I am in the countryside so that does make this a lot easier and ultimately prettier. So basically I am going to have a lot more discipline with myself to have breaks and chill and watch movies (FINE read too - see previous point). Just be at one with the world and all that.


Listen to music that makes me feel happy
At the end of last year I found myself playing songs on repeat that had memories associated to them - some of those memories made me reminisce and subsequently altered my mood, even without me knowing it. My plan is to find new music that is upbeat and actually inspires me to get up off my ass and get stuff done! I have actually discovered a new love for trap music! So any recommendations send them my way huns.

Trust my gut
Woah so this is encroaching a little bit on my last post of 2017, but MY GOD have I realised I actually have one of these (not just the beer belly - but yeah that too I guess). I am listening to myself a lot more and understand why I get the feelings that I do. I'm going to get a lot more in tune with this and just trust my instincts, on people, places, foods, experiences...everything!


Travel more
This is by far one of my favourite things to do. I am definitely a home bird and love my comforts but I just get such a thrill from visiting new places (and snapping them for here/Instagram, of course!).

Focus my energy in the right places
So this kinda links to trusting my gut...but I am going to try to focus my energy on meaningful areas of my life. At the grand old age of 25 I am starting to feel like everything is going in the right direction and actually I have complete control on where that goes.


Keep drinking
Just because, well, I like it, ya know.

Get into video
I have recently been playing around with creating videos and I honestly LOVE it. Fair enough its only been short clips for Instagram stories and one video from my recent trip to Milan - but I seriously get so much enjoyment from it. I don't have a YouTube channel but I am definitely considering it and I'm getting prettttttty into the editing side of it all. So basically - watch this space.


Okay last but by NO means least...move to Ibiza. So I know I said these were all small changes but HEY I lied (that's not going to be a new goal of mine - don't worry). As of April I'm hoping to move to Ibiza for the Summer. Luckily the amazing job that I have means that I have the opportunity to go and work out there and actually makes sense for me to do so. I think it's about time I put down the tanning mitt and explored what I'm told is one of the most beautiful islands. Any tips welcome...(and very much needed, please!).






Just a little insight into what I plan to focus on this year, that and having a wholeeeeee bunch of fun along the way.

Catch you on the next one! X


Bonjourno!

My first post of 2018...cray-zay! Don't worry - I'm not going to talk about my goals for the year (just yet, anyway). So...I thought best to kick this one off with writing about what I am now calling my second home...Milano. See - my sister is living there at the moment and my Dad is now their football teams biggest fan (apparently Stoke might not be doing too good at the mo...plus he even has the cap, so it's pretty legit) ANYWAY that pretty much means I have a claim to residency, right??? Right! Onward we go!



If you follow any of my travel posts (thank you huns) you'll probably realise it usually revolves around a common theme...food, alcohol, more food, a good coffee, and a blooming great rooftop view. If any of those things are a giant tick in the box for you then you are in the right place my friends! I'm not sure I can fully call this a travel guide when 90% of it is revolved around alcohol but hey, it's happened.

Just to flag (ooooh - no pun intended!)...naturally some of the activities you may want to do in Milan will depend on what time of year you go. In the summer it gets ridiculously hot and to be fair in the summer I alternated my prosecco sipping with dips in the pool, and if you get chance then definitely bob around the lakes. But whatever the weather you cannot beat a rooftop...so here are a few of my all time faves from the centre of Milan:

La Rinascente 

I seriously could never tire of this place - and I don't say that often. Its actually at the top of a department store (that's not the reason...honest) but it opens up to look straight out onto the Duomo, just metres away from you, above all of the hustle and bustle below. It's on the 7th floor (I think) - stay focused people! Plus they do a mean meal whilst you take in the view. I would recommend going in the afternoon, whilst it's light and then staying while the sun sets - it is SO pretty all lit up at night! The longest I have had to wait for a table was 10 mins, max. They also have heaters and blankets available (if you're going when its colder, otherwise, plonk yourself under an umbrella for shade!).





Radio Rooftop Bar

If any of you guys have been to the Radio rooftop bar in London then you will seriously understand what a cool vibe this place is, which is why I was bloody thrilled to find one in Milan...and FYI it is equally as cool! As mentioned above, and probably goes for any rooftop that I visit, I would always recommend going in the late afternoon so that you can look out over the city in the daylight but also watch the sun set. I really think there is something so magical about watching the transition of a city from day to night.

Radio is pretty cool so always seem to have really great music playing, too. I ordered a whiskey (if you follow me on Insta you may know I am a sucker for a whiskey on the rocks...sorrynotreally), and it came with its very own little metal pot of ice and a spoon. It sometimes really is the little things.



Aperol Terrace

Sorry if this seems obvious...but if you like Aperol, then this is the place for you. I personally am not a massive fan, but when it comes complete with epic views over the Duomo - who am I to turn it down? It is alcoholic after all! This terrace is on the same side as La Rinascente and you will see the parasols from the square if you look up - and to your left (if you're facing the Duomo from the square!).

Other watering holes

Want a good bar that isn't on a rooftop? (if we must)...then GINO12 is the perfect place. I don't think I have ever seen a menu with quite as many gins but hey - I'm not one to complain! They have a really cool indoor space but also the option to sit in an outdoor garden setting...pretty cute (when it's not raining). It is also near to the canal which is a really nice walk/stumble back after you've sank ten gins.


So most of the above are centred around the Duomo - as a tourist I thought it was best to use that as a pinpoint! In all honesty one of the things I love about Milan is that you can wander around and simply stumble upon amazing coffee shops and bistros and that is totally part of the fun - so definitely walk the streets and keep your eyes peeled! If you do love a good Instagram opportunity (who doesn't?) then you HAVE to visit Wes Anderson's cafe - Bar Luce. It is a retro DREAM and you have probably already seen it doing the rounds on Pinterest. Go for a coffee and a cake early doors and you will feel like you are in a film set!



I am going to part some wisdom on one toursity thing that I did in Milan in the summer that I really feel like you should do, and that is go up to the top of a mountain in a tiny little tin bucket (Location: Laveno Mombello). I don't really get that nervous about things (apart from when I have a panic attack trying to ski down a mountain when I haven't fully learnt how to stop yet...) but this actually freaked me a little bit! My GOD were the views worth it though! Two people can fit in these metal buckets and it acts like a cable cart going up the side of the mountain. Not only are the views effing amazing at the top but of course there is a restaurant at the top too, so a bottle of wine later and you will have taken the edge off it all for the trip back down to reality. Little tip: do this when it is warmer weather...I struggled enough being on a rooftop during winter, never mind a mountaintop.


So gang - that's it for now! I already have another trip booked and to be honest I'm hoping to get out there again before then, so as ever I will be sure to share all of my new found faves. I would really love to see if you guys go to any of these places and if this post was helpful at all - so please let me know if you do and share your snaps!

Addio! X



I have been thinking about writing this post for a while now. I honestly did plan to write so many Christmssy blog posts - from gift guides to XMAS outfit inspo. For once though I don't really want to write about knitwear or what colour I'm digging at the moment - which is always gonna be black isn't it really. I guess sometimes you have to listen to yourself (which is kinda the point in this post - trying to do that more).

The Ivory Tower has always been my outlet in some way or another - although I didn't even realise at the time I signed up to Blogger, the things that I care about and when I have topics I want to discuss - this is always my first port of call. Even posts I have in drafts that I have never published - getting it all down in this little place of mine has always been what I have wanted to do. I was probably going to leave this in drafts - but I recently read a post by Robin James about wanting to post so that he can look back and see how he got through things. I like that.

So recently I have been taking some time to reflect on some things - maybe (definitely) because it is coming to the end of 2017. People sometimes make comments about a New Year - but its definitely a good opportunity for a mental refresh. The past 12 months have gone so fast to the point where I feel a little hazy looking back. It can sometimes take actually stepping away from a situation to fully understand what is going on and what it means. I can't really find a quote lately that summarises how I'm feeling so I am gonna just try my own words this time...mental, I know.


This year there have been times where I have been in a  relatively negative mentality. At times, I wasn't particularly finding it easy to sleep, I found myself only being honest with myself after I'd had a drink, and maybe getting a little (a lot) aggy. In reflection I wasn't really happy with who I was. So much so to the point where I remember scribbling notes in my phone, trying to explain clearly the feelings I was having and the reasons why (if it can be clear after a couple of wines) and basically, just wanted myself to fucking do something about it. I think I somehow thought this was normal though? That was just how things were? I didn't really say anything to anyone and sober Mel ignored a lot of things for a hellaaaaaaa long time.

See, I have realised how for the most part of life - it's not always just one factor that causes you to get into this mentality, it is a build up of lots of factors and separate moments. I have realised now that is is much easier to first of all just be honest in facing what is going on, and in turn being able to distinguish between behaviours that are good for your soul and those that are certainly not - effectively removing yourself from the latter.

I remember some time ago I read some messages that had been sent to someone I cared a lot for at the time - the person who sent the messages I had never met nor even knew of. Amongst other things discussed, in those messages I was being completely mocked. Having the piss taken out of me for taking pictures and for actually caring so much about taking them, and I wasn't being defended. That has stuck with me, sure - but in reality I think it has actually just made me want to take pictures even more. I feel that I can sometimes get very defensive now when I get any rebuttal against me taking photo's (is it not just a bit ridiculous that there actually is any?). I am very confident in doing it, don't get me wrong, after all, it is my job, but I can't help but feel this instant defensiveness for myself. I have had amazing support from the people around me and it is sad that some negative comments are the ones that stick with you - but I guess that is what we do. I have realised that it is important to always stick to what you want to do and not what others expect you to do. At that particular time I wouldn't even say I took as many pictures as I do now...and sticking with it has meant that I now get to take pictures for and work with brands that I absolutely love and I truly get more and more enjoyment in it as time goes on. It is so nice to see people who have a genuine passion, and do you know what? You never know what a little bit of support can do for someone.


For the most part of my life I have always been the first to make fun of myself - I genuinely don't take myself very seriously at all, and to be frank, I do come out with comments that don't even make too much sense to the majority of people (shout out to my old work work pals who got to witness the old Mel Harris quote board). People laughing because you thought Jonathan Creek was a wine - totally cool. People diminishing the fact that you have a first class degree because of the University that you went to - not cool. If you are proud of something you have achieved then my god shout about it - and find people who want to shout about it too. In reality you are probably going to be limited in the amount of people who truly truly want you to succeed and actually big you up. I am very fortunate with those that I have in my life. 

One major thing I have learnt this year is actions are EVERYTHING. Ever think that you don't know why you feel a certain way and there isn't a reason? There is.  Gut feelings? Also a thing. If people want to speak to you and make time for you, then they will do it. Simple - it is just human nature. And if its not you that they are doing that to, but someone else instead, then it is what it is - you cannot force people into acting a certain way. So previously I found myself reading my horoscope daily - but now realise I was trying to find the answer to some questions in an app. Why though? I was pinning quotes on Pinterest boards - thinking they could explain things and I wasn't crazy for thinking what I did. I wasn't crazy - in fact I was bang on the money and to be honest - we usually are with these things (I still love a quote though). A lesson that I have learnt moving forward is that we should always trust our instincts.

So in a nutshell - I have realised it is how you view/respond to negative situations that really matters. For real my parents have been telling me that since I was about 1 (not really 1) but we don't fully appreciate these nuggets of information until it is presented to us in a real form. We don't actually even realise it at the time but we can look back and say "oh shit yeah". It's a shame that there is sometimes a delay in our responses. That doesn't always have to be a reflection on us though, I think speaking from my own experience sometimes you can be blinded by a lot of things. Thinking about the bigger picture (and reading a couple of books about not giving a fuck...FFS sorry for swearing...again, Mum) along with the law of attraction I feel like I can flip some things on it's head here.

So maybe things happen to teach us how not to do things, a lesson to show us what is good for us and also who is actually there for you when things aren't going so great - that's a definitely a biggy for me. I guess this is a mental nod to being able to recognise situations for what they truly are, and being confident in focusing on the good, not the shady.



2017 was the year for growth and I now know the direction I want to go in and feel genuinely content with it all. So this is the last post for this year - and one that I am taking into the New Year with a positive, bold, and confident attitude! I am so freaking excited to get started.


- SHOP THE POST -







We all have those days - when we are feeling sluggish and not really fully prepared to get out of our pjs and into socially acceptable attire. Especially as it gets a little (a lot) colder now, it is even easier to layer up in whatever is easiest in the name of keeping warm. 


But what about those days where we want to put on our boss babe hat? Or in this case - blazer. I have always been a firm believer in dressing for the occasion, and when I look back on certain experiences; interviews, school discos, day trips - I have always spent a lot of time planning my outfit and channelling my attitude through it in the process. I wouldn't ever say that you have to rely on your wardrobe to give you the confidence you need - but in my case, it certainly plays a big part.


Something definitely screams business about a blazer and I have obsessed over them for many years now. I have two staple blazers, one black and one white that are always my fail safe for a smart day/evening event. That is probably why I always feel like I am ready to tackle whatever life throws at me when I'm wearing one, which is why I instantly fell in love with this feminine take on the blazer-dress - and probably why I am leaning more towards it at the moment.


As I say a lot in my posts, I am a sucker for black, so I was in quite a predicament when I found out this dress came in this check...but also a black. I completely stepped outside of my comfort zone with this but gee am I happy I did. It gave me even more sass than I think it would've in black. Mission accomplished. 


Another thing I love about a classic boss-babe blazer look (aside from the confidence boost) is the sheer versatility - depending on what level you want to hit. Sure, this is a dress that is achieving everything it is set out to, without being too short so that you can actually wear heels without showing everyone, well, everything. The fact is I can wear this in SO many ways; chuck a polo neck on underneath for that extra warmth and autumnal vibe, wear open with a plain white tee and some jeans, or maybe just a black bodysuit tucked into a PU skirt. I really do think this single blazer could transition you to multiple levels of girl-boss, for whatever the occasion.


This post got me thinking about when my love for the blazer actually started - and the fact that I really can't see them ever not being the perfect wardrobe staple. I remember seeing Angelina Jolie turn up to an awards do with Brad Pitt (I didn't personally see her - I mean online, obv) and she was wearing a full suit. I remember feeling in awe at the fact that she effing owned that red carpet...and thats definitely how I want to approach certain moments in my life (maybe not quite red carpet ones - but a red door will do!).



So guys...what is your go-to for power dressing and boosting your boss-babe attitude?


- GET THAT BLAZER HYPE -




- SHOP THE LOOK -




I attended an event recently and the speaker was talking to us about the benefits of yoga and how to deal with being stressed. In all honestly I didn't actually think I would pay that much attention at the time, one because I had brunch in front of me, and two because I have never done yoga. So it turns out not only was I very much fascinated by the talk but it has stuck with me ever since. It has also got me thinking, what else am I not embracing just at the assumption that it's not for me? We say all the time - life goes extremely fast. Nothing makes you realise this more than bloody time hop every single day. Everyone also says time moves even faster when you get older. Errrrr YEAH I am realising that now more than ever. It's probably because we have deadline after deadline. Also trying to mix that with socialising with friends, getting some sleep, excelling in our careers and just generally trying to figure out which direction we need to take our life in, is quite time consuming.


So, I am now undergoing operation slow-life-down. I am fully aware (as my Pinterest quote board tells me daily) that it is okay that I don't quite have things figured out yet. I am 24 after all. What I have realised though is a lot of things are in my control now, more so than I realised they were three or more years ago. My first port of call is fitness - something that has definitely slipped over the past couple of years. One thing that does seem to motivate me that little bit more though is buying cute work-out gear. Now that we are in autumn and its a little bit cooler, I will definitely be investing in some gym hoodies! After how Jack Wills-eque these pictures felt (country bumpkin written all over it) it inspired me to check out their active wear - and it is safe to say I now have 5 things in my basket. All in the name of getting fit...right?

- SHOP MY JACK WILLS WISHLIST - 




Second plan of action is to focus on what I love. Like we don't already know to do that? Yeah sure we get told, and probably by ourselves most of the time, but SO often we find ourselves doing things that in reality we wouldn't be doing if we had a brutal choice. My best friend gave me a book recently about not giving a fuck. I only read half (lols - clearly didn't give a f...) but definitely got the picture. Why do we do things that don't truly satisfy our heart? I have also realised recently though that may just be because we don't fully know what it is that we are supposed to be doing...that is equally okay. We will figure it out.


Another thing that I have been trying to do (okay it sounds like I have been on a retreat - I haven't) is trust my gut. Like I am not actually sure what that means because your gut is...your gut...but I guess it means the feeling you get. We have an instinct, we don't always necessarily have to understand it, but we have to appreciate that we should probably be listening to this rather than other elements that may seem to make more sense - maybe advice from someone, after all - that is their opinion not yours. I think the difference between the start of your 20s to the end might seem pretty big - obviously I am only (almost) halfway through so cannot fully comment but from how I felt at 20 to now, I would say has been a big change, so I can only imagine this going further. I certainly feel more sure about what I love and what I want to do with that. Take blogging, for example. I knew I wanted to do it but I didn't even really know what it was or how to. I guess that is half of the fun looking back and seeing how things have developed.


I'm not sure what it is - but as we move into the autumn (my all time favourite time of year) I just always feel a little reflective - but also excited. I am NOOOOOO where near figuring out what the hell is going to happen and in turn what direction I am going in, but it is definitely forward (probably towards the prosecco).


- SHOP THE POST -






This post is in collaboration with Jack Wills.


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