Rachel Ellen

Tuesday, 6 February 2018

How to respond to an apology

One of the most important things I learned in the past 5 years is how to respond to an apology, something you may not have even thought about before.

I had always found it uncomfortable to say "it's ok" when someone apologises, because actually, if they're apologising, usually it is not ok. "It's ok" is now safely reserved for those moments when someone didn't actually need to apologise.

I learned that I'm much more comfortable responding to an apology by saying "thank you." 

Thanking someone for apologising, means that you don't have to say it was ok, it's saying "thank you for acknowledging what you said upset/hurt/inconvenienced me, and trying to make it better." 

It doesn't say you've forgiven them, or that you've accepted what they did but it shows appreciation and it makes it clear that you don't want them to do it again.

Is this something you've ever thought of before?

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Thursday, 1 February 2018

A January full of memories

February has come around once again. For the past couple of weeks I've seen people complain about how long January has been and how they can't wait for it to be over, and yet I've had an amazing month filled with fun things.

(I've still been in work on the weekdays, with NHS winter pressures making everything mad and busy, but that hasn't distracted from my weekends)

I started January celebrating the new year in Edinburgh, the fireworks were great, the city is gorgeous and it was a lovely break away.

The second weekend was my best friends birthday, and though it wasn't a trip away to Scotland it was still fun.
A post shared by Rachel🎀 (@racheleiwood) on

The third, I graduated from my masters degree. The graduation itself was, of course, exciting, but nothing compared to the excitement of seeing all my uni friends together again and revisiting our favourite pub, The Red Deer.

The fourth weekend, my friend and I booked a spa hotel in Leeds. It wasn't any occasion, but that made it feel even better that we just treated ourselves because we wanted to. W

AND the fifth weekend (maybe this was a long month) I got to see my uni friends AGAIN and we celebrated Burn's night, hopefully a tradition for many years to come.

I get that this post was very self-indulgent, but that's what I hoped for it to be. An update on me, about all the fantastic things I've had chance to do last month, and a bank of memories. Though social media can be overwhelming at times, the fact I can scroll through any of my profiles and see so many smiling faces is special.

As the month came to a close though, I got insured on my mums car, I joined a gym and I decided I would do dry February - sometimes real life hits all at once. But, I am excited for what is to come this month, just because I'm not drinking doesn't mean I have to miss out on the fun things I would normally do, I just get to miss out on the hangovers.

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 2 January 2018

New Years Resolution

Today's post will be about my new years resolution, because what else do you blog about on the 2nd January (apart from the besties birthday - happy birthday Chloe!)

This year I'm going for an odd one, but I think an important one which I hope everyone will make some kind of effort to join in with.

This year I want to make less rubbish. I always notice over the Christmas period how much more waste I produce, wrapping paper, packaging, food wrappers, food waste etc. and I think it's time to try and cut down. 

It's easy to be wasteful, but I think with a few decisions I can start to minimise it. Here are a few things I will start doing and a few things I already do:

Food packaging is a big one for me, for example Mr Kiplings slices that are individually wrapped produce so much unnecessary waste. I wouldn't buy them as I think you can easily buy something else that has a lot less packaging. But, I also think I need to do this with a lot more food and pay attention to how things are wrapped. Unfortunately/fortunately this might mean buying more of some things (share bags instead of multi-packs - a girl's got to eat)

I already try and use as few plastic bags as possible and this is something I will continue with, even little things like not using a little plastic bag for loose fruit in the supermarket if it's not needed.

I need to invest in a water bottle and a hot drinks flask rather than buying throw away ones (though I do recycle my plastic bottles)

Say no to receipts whenever I can, only tiny bits of rubbish but it cuts down the amount of rubbish, and how thick my purse is. 

I'm going to try and use less make-up remover wipes and cotton pads, though I haven't figured out the best way to replace those yet - any advice on how to use toner without a cotton pad is greatly appreciated.

Don't waste food, make sure not to make way more than I can eat, and don't let things go off in the fridge.

I think, more than anything I just want to have more of an awareness of my impact on the world. If everyone had a bit more thought about what waste they produce, we could cut down massively.

Do you fancy joining me on this new years resolution? Any suggestions on other ways I can cut down?

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Tuesday, 5 December 2017

Does cocoa butter cause spots?

Cocoa butter is a vegetable fat extracted from the cocoa bean. It's used in chocolate and in some toiletries. It has a long storage life, and has moisturising properties that are often recommended for prevention of dry and itchy skin.

For many people, cocoa butter is an excellent moisturiser. It is thought to have been used for improving skin tone as far back as 1000 BC. But is it good to use on acne prone skin?

Moisturising is important for all skin types (even oily skin) and can help clear acne, but it's important to get the right product. 

Though cocoa butter has excellent moisturising properties, it also has pore clogging properties. 

The Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology analyses different natural oils and have assembled a rating system to rate how much they clog pores:

"The Journal has assembled a massive list of the comedogenic properties of skincare oils. Comedogenicity is a measure of a substance’s ability to clog skin pores, and the Journal has invented 6 ratings. 0 = will not clog your pores. 1 = low chance of clogging your pores. 2= moderately low chance, 3 = moderate chance, 4 = fairly high chance of pores being blocked, and 5 = a very high chance." (source)
Cocoa butter scores 4 on the comedogencity scale (the same score as coconut oil).

For some people, cocoa butter based skin products will be a great solution to dry skin. But for those who regularly suffer from acne, it's probably best to stay away and opt for something that would rank a lower score on the comedogenicity scale.

Do you know any moisturisers that are good for acne prone skin?

Thursday, 23 November 2017

Would you watch an abusers film?

These past few months have seen many victims of sexual abuse/assault speak out against their abusers. The main focus of this has been throughout Hollywood.

On one side, this is such a positive push towards work places free of sexual abuse for women and men. And people feel as though they are finally going to be taken seriously when speaking out against their abusers.

On the other side, we're actually seeing the size of the problem, that we somehow already knew and were oblivious to at the same time.

With the amount of Hollywood stars being accused, I wonder what happens with the films/programmes they star in/direct etc?

Of course, I don't want to support abusers, I don't want to give them the money or views.

But, I begin to wonder, if we were to boycott all programmes starring abusers, how many other people suffer? By that, I don't mean the high earners at the top, I mean the smaller earners and workers. How many people will continue to suffer in other ways because of the actions of abusers?

I know this is a strange thing to think about, and this isn't meant to take away from the real issue of the abuse.

It needs to be understood that sexual abuse/assault is not just a mindless act, and it doesn't just have one consequence.

Will you continue to watch the programmes/films that accused abusers are a part of? Gossip Girl? House of Cards? Any film directed by Harvey Weinstein? 

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Thursday, 19 October 2017

Keep talking, keep sharing, keep learning

I've been thinking about how we, as a generation, are so involved with the world. And I love it.

'Millennials' get a lot of stick, "gen z" too. Basically just young people.

But this year, there was a huge youth turn out in the general election. Young people are interested in politics, and what is going on in the country and the world. 

We use this crazy thing called the internet and we find like minded people and talk about what we are passionate about. And we find opposite kinds of people and broaden our knowledge and opinions.

We also care what is happening in other countries. 

And yes, young people get things wrong sometimes, but we're learning and we want to learn. 

We want to talk about things, and open discussions, and change the world we live in.

I saw a tweet earlier today talking about the LA shooting and how we shouldn't stop talking about it because gun control still needs addressing. We don't let important things disappear because they're not easy to talk about.

And I am seeing constant #metoo updates, though each one upsets me that another girl/woman had to go through something like that, I also love that we are talking about issues. Maybe one day, because of this it won't be covered up. Maybe one day, sexual assault and abuse won't be hidden in fear. Women (and men) might actually be able to get a job, work, and have no other complications.

We are the generation that can't be told that we don't understand. We have access to the same things as adults, we can easily look into history at the click of a button. We can't be pushed out of the discussion and we have to be thought about. Labour focusing so much of their campaigns towards the youth proved that we have a massive impact.

So, millennials, keep talking, keep sharing, keep learning. We're going to make a difference.

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx

Monday, 9 October 2017

Why I love reading

Since finishing my degree, I've not done a whole lot. But one thing I have tried to do more is read and I just wanted to blog about why I love it so much.

While at uni, doing my undergraduate degree I never really read any books because I always had reading to do for my lectures. The thought: "If you have time to read for fun, you should be reading your uni stuff" and, a large majority of the time I ended up reading neither, isn't that just how life goes?

Then during my post grad degree, I didn't have a whole lot of time to read, and because I studied magazine journalism I felt I should put a lot more time into reading magazines (somehow managed to watch through every episode of How I Met Your Mother) 

But anyway, the point of this post wasn't to talk about my procrastination of everything.

I really love reading. I love the time you get to switch off from the world, I love how for those few hours you are somewhere else.

I love when you speak to someone about the same book, and there's differences of opinion in messages, in appearances, because words allow you to bring your own thought.

My ultimate favourite thing though, is when you remember any book you've read, you don't remember being sat looking at words on a page. You remember scenes, you remember images, characters, locations, bright and vibrant as though you actually experienced them.

Credit to the authors for creating those scenes. But also, credit to our imagination, you imagined something that well, that you forgot what was really happening. It sounds way more hardcore than just "reading"

Reading is really special, and a hobby you can enjoy all by yourself. When I put it on my CV, it's because I really do love to read.

Let me know any recommendations of books I should read.

Thanks for reading,

Rachel xx