Thursday, 31 December 2015

My 2015 | LittleEllieMae


I wasn't going to write this post this year, purely because I should be writing my English Literature essay right now, but instead I am procrastinating and daydreaming about the past year.
I'm writing this on New Years Eve 2015, a group of my friends are coming around later to celebrate in the best way possible: wearing onesies, drinking delicious cocktails and champagne, watching musicals and playing board games.

I really like to reflect on the past year and I thought that documenting it on my blog would be a good way to do it- I love looking back on posts in the future.

Well, where do I start? 2015 has honestly been the most incredible and mind- blowingly amazing year; the best year of my life by far. This time last year, I was a completely different person and I could've never imagined the crazy stuff I got up to in 2015. My heart glows just thinking about all the stuff I've been up to. I'm going to list some of my favourite moments from the past year:

Sutton Trust UK residentials




I was over the moon to be selected as a finalist for the Sutton Trust US programme, though super nervous to go to London by myself for a few days to meet a load of new people. But this was one of the most fun weekends ever- I met so many amazing new people and had so many laughs! Its amazing how much we all bonded over a few days and we've all stayed such amazing friends. The programme was so amazing- I learnt so much. This weekend was definitely one that was the catalyst to me becoming so much more confident and happy; I was so proud of myself as I showed that I could push myself to be outgoing and it lead to some amazing outcomes.  

BeautyCon London




It was so exciting when me and my best friend, Becca, traveled up to London by ourselves to attend BeautyCon. Despite the very long coach journeys within one day, we had soo much fun and met so many of our favourite bloggers which inspired us both a lot. It was really fun to be so independent, navigating ourselves around London too!

London School Trip



As you can see, I've been to London A LOT this year (before this year I had only been to the big city twice!). I disguised myself as an art student and tagged along on a school trip to London for a few days. All my friends went too and we all stayed in a (tiny and very stuffy) hostel room. Over a few days we visited amazing art galleries, the V&A, the Globe Theatre and even watched War Horse on the West End! This was the hottest week of the year so London was so stuffy but it was such a fun time all the same! I especially loved one evening we spent at London South Bank and we all went on a carousel ride and sat and chilled- I felt so happy then :) 

Falmouth


I spent a few days at the start of summer with my best friends in Falmouth, Cornwall where we stayed with my friend's sister. I had never visited Falmouth before but I absolutely fell in love with the place and am even seriously considering it for my future Uni prospects! We had such a fun week- it was very relaxing and just full of laughs all round! Oh, and we also watched Disney's 'Inside Out' at the cinema in Falmouth which was amazing! 

Summer


I was super busy over the Summer but it was lovely to spend my days off with my amazing family. I especially loved going to one of my favourite beaches at Whitsand Bay in Cornwall. 

Work



As most people know, I've always dreamed of being a Disney princess and this year I finally became one! I joined the amazing team of princesses at Magical Moments in Plymouth where we visit parties, fayres and events as well as hold our own! I love spending time with adorable children dressed as a princess- its soo fun, and I'm extremely grateful to call it my job!



I've also joined the absolutely amazing team at Effervescent this year as Communications Assistant which is an absolute joy- I adore my job and the people I work with are absolutely amazing. I've enjoyed learning what its like to be part of a team in a proper workplace. Effervescent is an incredible organisation and I'm so happy to be part of this amazing team. 

Blog Events



This year I had the idea of setting up some events for local bloggers to meet and network with each other. I've organised four over the year and all have been such an overwhelming success! I've met so many amazing, inspiring bloggers and have made some fantastic new friends. I have found a passion for organising events, especially the amazing feeling after a successful event. I'm already planning the biggest and best event for next year! I cannot wait. 


My 18th Birthday


I'm basically Peter Pan and I've never wanted to grow up (ew- who really wants to be an adult and have to pay for the dentist and other boring stuff??) but by the time my 18th birthday came around in October, I was happy enough to accept adulthood as I had such a fun time celebrating. I had an amazing 1920s Great Gatsby themed party where all my favourite people came and celebrated. I can't say I can remember half the night, but I know it was a good one! 

Theatre


As my previous blog post addressed, theatre has been a massive part of this year. I've enjoyed every moment of it but I have to say one of my favourite moments was definitely meeting the legend Michael Ball on my birthday! What an amazing guy. 

America with Sutton Trust US Programme




Without a doubt, my summer trip to the U.S. is the best thing I've EVER done (let alone just this year!) I would have never thought I'd travel across the world with a bunch of new friends I'd just met, visiting so many beautiful different cities in different states across the East Coast. I get goosebumps just thinking about this week- I made the most precious memories with some new friends for life. Read about my week in full here.

Disneyland at Halloween


I FINALLY visited the place of my dreams, Disneyland, with some of my best friends. It was during October Half Term so we celebrated Halloween over there- the park was decorated amazingly. We had the best time ever and I was just 100% happy whilst I was there. Read all about my Disney experience here. 

Confidence 




This is the year I've become 100% more confident in myself. Whether it be from being more outgoing with meeting so many new people in new people or all the fun photo shoots I've been doing all year for my blog- I've enjoyed every single one of them! From this, I've become so much happier. :) 


So that's it for now, I'm off to enjoy my New Years Eve! 

I cannot wait for 2016- I have so much to look forward to already; I know there's going to be a lot of big changes for me but I can't wait to experience something new!

Thanks so much to everybody who has supported me over the past year- I really appreciate it! I can't wait to take you along with me on my adventures throughout 2016. 

Love you all,
Thank you!

Ellie Mae x



















Monday, 21 December 2015

My 2015 in Theatre | LittleEllieMae


Theatre is a massive part of my life and it has been more prominent than ever during 2015. I began working with the Theatre Royal Plymouth to integrate theatre content into my blog posts, became a Young Rep at the Theatre Royal Plymouth, joined the team at dynamic arts company Effervescent and traveled around the UK as well as in Plymouth to broaden my theatrical experiences. Also, through my work and experiences with the theatre this year, I've made the most fantastic friends with similar interests as well as meeting some of my favourite stars and getting to know the amazing people behind the curtain. 

Throughout the year I've introduced my love of theatre onto my blog, writing reviews and backstage experiences about the shows I've seen. I thought it would be nice to give an overall summary of all the theatre I've watched this year (I've seen a lot!):

Wicked



To start 2015 off, the Wicked UK tour arrived in Plymouth. I had seen the show on the West End in 2013 and absolutely fell in love with it- to this day its still one of my all time favourite shows. I am obsessed with everything from the songs, characters, costumes and set which resulted in me seeing the show three times whilst it was down in Plymouth. I would watch it every day for the rest of my life if I could- its just incredible. 

To Kill A Mockingbird


I am wholly a musical theatre obsessive but this year I aimed to try and watch some different genres of shows. To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee is my favourite book so I was really excited to watch the stage play adaptation. Although I was somewhat weary that there may be a chance of ruining my favourite book, I needn't have worried as the classic story was portrayed so well- I loved the simple yet effective set and thought that the child actors gave a particularly outstanding performance. 

Top Hat
I could talk about this show for days on end. Its undoubtedly my favourite show I've ever seen! Admittedly, it was a surprise as I had little knowledge of the show beforehand but it was everything I could ever wish for of a musical. The show that is set in the 1930s is based on the classic Fred Astaire and Ginger Rodgers film- It has the best songs ever by Irving Berlin, absolutely stunning costumes and the best tap dancing I have ever witnessed (which is difficult when comparing to my hero, Fred Astaire- but they were beyond INCREDIBLE) and great humour. Seriously, I have goosebumps just thinking about this show. I saw it three times whilst it was down in Plymouth and I'm crossing all my fingers and toes that it will either go on tour again or return to the West End in 2016. 

Barnum



After seeing the legend Brian Conley in 'Oliver' a few years ago, I was really keen to see him again in the new production on Barnum. I didn't know much about the show before I saw it but enjoyed it thoroughly. Its definitely one of my favourites of the year. It was just a feel good show and made me want to see it again and again (which I did...). I adore the fun songs, acrobatics and dancing. 

Dirty Dancing



My experience of Dirty Dancing was one of the highlights of my year! I'm such a big fan of the classic film and Johnny Castle is one of my favourite characters ever (*swoon*) so I was extremely excited to be invited by the Theatre Royal Plymouth to head backstage, meet the cast and creatives and even have a dance lesson with Lewis Kirk who played Johnny himself! I also watched the show twice whilst it was in Plymouth and I absolutely adored it- it was so fun and a total credit to my favourite movie. 


The Bodyguard



My trip to see The Bodyguard was totally spontaneous- we bought the tickets the same afternoon (yay for TRP Standby!) and I really enjoyed it. Showcasing the incredibly iconic Whitney Houston songs through the story of soul diva Rachel Marron and her love affair with her bodyguard. It was a beautiful story and the songs fit in perfectly. We even met Zoe Birkett who plays alternative Rachel Marron in the show who was utterly amazing.

Shrek The Musical
I thought I was going to miss out on this show, which I have desperately wanted to see after hearing the amazing Brian D'arcy James and Sutton Foster in the Broadway version, due to my summer trip to America but thankfully I caught it on the closing night- I managed to stay awake even with the worst jet-lag ever! It was the funniest show I've seen- so so much fun- the songs and dance routines were really great. I'd go to see it again in a heartbeat!

Jersey Boys



Jersey Boys is another absolute favourite of mine. I adore Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons- their songs are truly works of art and they were performed perfectly in the show. I'm not sure what else I can say about this iconic show but that everything was done to perfection and left me on such a high. I saw the show twice during its week here in Plymouth and I'd definitely love to see it again soon!

Immune



Immune is only the second show I've ever seen in The Drum theatre (the smaller theatre space at Theatre Royal Plymouth) but I loved the intimate atmosphere and will definitely aim to see more shows in that venue now. Immune was a show put on by the Theatre Royal's Young Company about an apocalypse striking a school, in which some of my friends starred in. If I'm honest, I wasn't sure to expect but both my sister and I really enjoyed it! It was totally professional (I forgot that I was watching my friends- the talent was so great!) and the story was really interesting. It really made me laugh and I loved the technology side of the show. It was so well put together and has definitely converted me to a Drum theatre go-er! 

Annie



Annie is such a classic musical and one I grew up watching all the time! As a massive Strictly Come Dancing fan, I had to witness Craig Revel Horwood in drag as the legendary Miss Hannigan (and I even managed to meet him too!). The show was great, I enjoyed it thoroughly- all the classic songs and scenes definitely did my childhood film justice. 

The Whipping Man

This year I was selected to be a part of the Theatre Royal Plymouth's 'Young Reps' programme, where a group of young people meet regularly to work to improve different parts of the theatre aimed at young people. I absolutely love being a part of this group- I've met some of the best people and we have so much fun behind the scenes at the theatre, its so exciting to see things happen! After our first meeting of the year we went to see The Whipping Man, a Theatre Royal Plymouth production, set in the aftermath of the American Civil War at The Drum theatre. It was a really gripping performance and something totally different to what I usually watch- I loved it.

Mack and Mabel




I don't think I've stopped talking about this show since I saw it in October. I went to see it on my 18th birthday and was even surprised by my Mum and Becca from the theatre as I went backstage to meet Michael Ball. This meant sooo much to me as Michael Ball is one of my favourite performers ever and he's played so many of my favourite iconic roles throughout his outstanding career. He was the loveliest guy ever and I am super grateful to have met him on my birthday. The show was absolutely phenomenal. The songs and music, dance routines, costumes, set- just amazing. I wish I could see this show over and over again- hopefully it will reopen in the future as its an incredible piece of art. 

Matthew Bourne's Sleeping Beauty
I've always wanted to see a Matthew Bourne show- a mixture of ballet, contemporary and theatrical dance to a gothic romance take on the classic fairy tale Sleeping Beauty. It was such a beautiful production- some of the most stunning costumes and set I've ever seen and the dancing was spell-binding. I'd love to see more of his shows in the future.

The Smallest Show On Earth



This show was so much fun! It showcased some of the best Irving Berlin songs along with a great humored story and some fantastic dance numbers. It really was such an uplifting show- it was a shame that the theatre auditorium was so quiet when I went to see it on opening night as it deserved a great audience. 

Hetty Feather



Hetty Feather was so great for all the family- very funny and cleverly done, with music, jokes and acrobats! Any Jacqueline Wilson fan would love this show!

War Horse at New London Theatre



I went on an amazing school trip to London this year and we had the chance to watch a show on the West End. We went to see War Horse at the New London Theatre- I never managed to see War Horse when it was on tour in Plymouth a few years ago so I was super excited to see it on the West End. To cut it short, it was just phenomenal. The puppetry was out of this world and I loved the characters in the show. It was an emotional one- I cried A LOT- but loved every minute of it. It's so sad to see it leave the West End now, but I hope I can see it again some day.  

King Lear at Minnack Theatre



Over the summer my family and I aimed to explore Cornwall a bit more- The Minnack Theatre is an open-air theatre, constructed above a gully with a rocky granite outcrop jutting into the sea, located at Porthcurno, Penzance. Its one of the prettiest places I've ever seen, look at that sea backdrop to the theatre! We watched a performance of King Lear which wasn't really our kind of thing, but I loved the experience all the same. I'd love to see other productions there!

Radiant Grotto



This year I joined the fantastic team at Effervescent who have created the most amazing Christmas grotto at Radiant gallery. It has been one of the highlights of my Christmas this year! Radiant Grotto is full of sparkling lights, an enchanting forest of trees, frightfully charming deer, Fluffy the Snow Creature, her baby snow creature and lots and lots of snow!! #RadiantGrotto is a beautifully fun theatrical experience, showcasing the real joy of Christmas. I've loved seeing this creation come to life over the past few months and the grotto is truly magical. 

Plymouth Performing Arts Academy
I went to see Plymouth Performing Arts Academy's end of term show in which lots of my friends took part! They performed an array of songs from musicals- all of them were so professional and their voices were amazing! I particularly loved the Les Mis and Phantom Of The Opera performances as they had special guest, Jeremy Secomb who currently plays Javert in Les Mis on West End, join them. Jeremy was absolutely mesmerising and gave an incredible performance alongside the pupils of PPAA. A huge congratulations to all who took part!



So that's pretty much my year in theatre summed up! I've had the best year ever and theatre has obviously played a huge part in that. I can't wait to experience even more in 2016 and finally pursue my dream career in this industry as I head off to Uni! 

Hope you enjoyed this post, let me know which shows you've seen this year? Comment below or tweet me @LittleEllieMae :) 

Have a very merry Christmas!

Ellie Mae x

Disclaimer: I have worked with the Theatre Royal Plymouth, Effervescent/ Radiant Gallery this year but all views and opinions are my own. 

Thursday, 26 November 2015

Boots No.7 Blogger Event | Plymouth | LittleEllieMae


I was contacted by the team at No.7- Boots, Drakes Circus Plymouth a few weeks ago to help get some bloggers' names together for their very first bloggers event! I've always been an No.7 fan as their products always offer fantastic quality- my first ever makeup set was actually a big vanity case of makeup bits from No.7, years and years ago! So I was super excited to be part of their first bloggers event!


We met at the Grosevenor Hotel in Plymouth, were greeted by the fabulous No.7 advisers and sat down at a beautifully decorated table covered in vintage china tea cups, nibbles and personalised gifts for us all. There was a lot of thought put into this event, with the service and goody bags alike tailored to the individuals, which I thought was really lovely of the team! 

The purpose of the evening was to learn and experience their 'Match Made' service that they usually run on their counters in store. I've always found it difficult to find the perfect makeup products to suit my skin tone; they're either to orange or too pale! 


No.7 use this fantastic device which takes 200 images with LED lights on clean skin, then matches your skin tone to their wide range of 17 different foundation tones. I was matched to the colour 'Calico' which is the palest of the lot (this confirmed that I was waay paler than I thought I was...). I have combination skin and tend to go towards a more radiant finish as my skin can sometimes appear dull looking, so I was matched with their 'Instant Radiance' foundation which gives a good medium coverage. I instantly fell in love with this foundation- its literally the exact same colour as my skin tone, therefore it looks completely natural and it leaves my skin looking so healthy and glowing! I rushed into town a few days after the event to pick up a bottle and I can confirm that its one of my favourite foundations I have ever used!


Not only are you matched to foundation type, from this the No.7 advisers match concealer, blusher and lipstick too! This ensures that all makeup looks as natural as possible and really helps to brighten the face. 


I particularly loved the blush in 'Damson Mist' which is a lovely pink colour! 


I was so happy with my 'Match Made' makeover- I totally fell in love with all of the products! The lipstick I tested was 'Cranberry Kiss' which I thought really brightened my whole face, making me look a lot healthier and lively, haha. 



The team were kind enough to gift us with some lovely festive packages- the pyramid gift set included a cream blush, eyeshadow, mascara and contour eye shadow brush! The cracker gift contained a great lipgloss. 

I really enjoyed the evening- it was nice to catch up with some of the other fab Plymouth bloggers as well as learn more about No.7 as a brand and their fantastic 'Match Made' service! The service along with the products are so great and I can't wait to start using more of them!

Thanks again to the No.7 team at Drakes Circus Plymouth for a wonderful event! Can't wait for another one soon :) 

Have you had a personalised 'Match Made' service at No.7 yet? Let me know by commenting below or tweeting me @LittleEllieMae :) 

Have a great day!
Ellie Mae x

Disclaimer: The team at No.7 Drakes Circus Plymouth kindly invited me to this event and gifted me with some products but, as always, all opinions and thoughts are my own.