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Ella Gregory  Bookworm, cat lady (sans cat) and romcom addict ✨ cocosteaparty.com Let's Discuss Podcast #CocosTeaPartyBookClub 💌 ella@cocosteaparty.com

On my weekend agenda: start to formulate travel plans for 2019 ✈️ Because A) I need sunshine and an excuse to get out of knitwear. And B) I’m feeling creatively stagnant and desperately need a change of pace and scenery to shake things up a bit.
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I’m thinking about doing some of the Southern States in late spring, but I’m being *deeply* indecisive when it comes to pinning down exact locations 📍 Front runners currently include Austin, Nashville and Charleston (plus a desire to head north and check out Chicago). So hopefully an afternoon on Google and Pinterest will help me narrow down my search. Do you have any upcoming trips planned? And where do you hope to visit this year? #travelplans #travelmemories

Do you always finish what you start reading, even if you’re not enjoying the book? I used to slog through EVERYTHING, but this year I’m trying to get better at ditching books that I’m not vibing with... However, I recently made an exception for ‘Less’ by Andrew Sean Greer (which won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for fiction). I *really* struggled to get into the story or feel remotely attached to the central character (an awkward, bumbling gay man approaching his 50th birthday, who is travelling the world to avoid his ex-lover’s wedding). But - despite all of this - ‘Less’ is beautifully written, so I stuck with it, and in the end I was glad I persisted, because it has quite a satisfying ending. And, circling back to the stunning writing, here is one of my favourite passages from the book:
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“It is, after all almost a miracle they are here... It’s that they’ve survived everything in life, humiliations and disappointments and heartaches and missed opportunities, bad dads and bad jobs and bad sex and bad drugs, all the trips and mistakes and face-plants of life, to have made it to fifty and to have made it to here.”
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I love these words SO much! Have you read ‘Less’ by Andrew Sean Greer? What did you make of it? #cocosteapartybookclub #ctphome

What’s your favourite fun but completely trivial fact? My brain is a sponge for useless celebrity information. It’s my party trick, and I can *always* be relied upon to share a completely random nugget, such as the following:
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👉🏼 Maya Rudolph’s mother is Minnie Riperton (the singer/songwriter behind “Lovin’ You” - which, side note, is my favourite song to sing terribly in the shower).
👉🏼 Remi Malek and Rachel Bilson went to school together. As did Jake Gyllenhaal and Adam Levine.
👉🏼 George Clooney was married for a few years in the early ‘90s. So he wasn’t actually the “eternal bachelor” that he was made out to be, pre-Amal.
👉🏼 Matthew Perry, John Stamos, Bill Clinton and Coco Chanel all have the same birthday - August 19th (WHY DO I KNOW THIS?!)
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Share your best piece of trivia in the comments section below! I can’t wait to see what useless facts you’ve had stored in your brains 🧠
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Knit and dungarees @nextofficial (gifted). Coffee cup @sainsburyshome (gifted). Photo by @kylieeyraportraits #funfacts #everydayoutfits

[Gifted] I’m eagerly counting down the days until I can pack away my winter coats (summer 2019, I’m ready for you). But in the meantime you’ll find me rocking this Blair Waldorf-esque check number (@nextofficial gift. Knit and boots also gifted). Are you also ready to wave goodbye to winter layers? 💨 ❄️ #closetgoals #capsulewardrobe #CTPHome

AD | There are few things in life that I find more stressful than getting dressed for a first date. I never know what to wear (which is ironic, considering styling plays such a huge role in my job). However, I’m here to talk to you about date night dressing anyway... And my advice for upcoming Valentine’s Day dates? Wear this new season @monsoon dress ❤️
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I don’t think I’ve seen such a beautiful dress on the high street in YEARS! In fact, if I didn’t know better I’d guess this little number was a pricey designer piece. It’s super flattering (hello sleeves!), can be worn with tights (hello February!) and makes you feel as sassy as the dancing lady emoji 💃🏼 What more could you ask for?!
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And I have to give a special shoutout to my dear friend Maz, who helped me take these photos and really went to town with the date night brief, providing hilarious instructions. “The best part of a date is the anticipation beforehand, so try to look like you’re really excited... Now give me a coy yet flirtatious look...” 😂 I was dying with laughter!!
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Do you have an exciting Valentine’s date night in the diary? What will you be wearing? #MyMonsoon #datenightoutfit #sodomino

Hello 👋🏼 How is it Thursday already?! I’ve barely looked at my phone all week (or picked up a book - much to my horror) as I’ve been living in a world of podcast production. Season 7 of the #LetsDiscussPodcast launches next month, so there’s currently a lot of hustling going on behind-the-scenes to get all of our guests lined up and the interviews recorded. It’s been SO much fun, and @monicabeateice and I can’t wait to share these conversations with you 🙌🏼
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And earlier in the week I also *finally* had a IRL meet-up with @jenandjennifer, who I first connected with over Instagram. Don’t you love it when this weird little app introduces you to super-cool new friends? I worked with Jen on the updated cover of my e-book, earlier in the year, and this was one of the images she created for the project. It’s basically my dream desk set-up 💕 #desksetup #deskdecor #sodomino

[AD gifted items] Happy year of the Pig 🐷 I always perform lots of luck-generating rituals ahead of Chinese New Year because I am SUCH a superstitious bean (much to the amusement of @emilyjanejohnston it seems - swipe for evidence). My apartment is now the cleanest it has possibly ever been, so I hope I’ve banked a lot of good luck for the year ahead 🤞🏼 Did you also do a pre-New Year clean? And what’s your Chinese zodiac? I’m year of the horse! 🐎
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Product credits:
Desk: @westelmuk (paid for.)
Chair: @sofadotcom (gift)
Knit: @johnlewisandpartners (gift)
Jeans: @asos (paid for. Don’t work with them)
Shoes: @lkbennettlondon (gift)
Necklace: @monicavinader (gift)
Photo by @kylieeyraportraits #ctphome #whatiweartoday #apartmentdecor

AD | Sunday mornings are my favourites 🙌🏼 ☕️ I’m currently curled up on the sofa with a cup of coffee and a magazine. And after a bit of planning for next week (which is going to be a busy one, with lots of podcast recording) I want to get outside and enjoy this beautiful winter sunshine! What are your plans?
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The cute little coffee cup and colourful drawers are both part of the SS19 @sainsburyshome collection, which I’m showcasing on the blog this week. The wooden drawers are perfect for desk organisation, but would also be super for makeup or jewellery. What would you use them for? #butfirstcoffee #apartmentdecor #sodomino

Receiving such lovely DMs and emails from those of you who picked up the January #CocosTeaPartyBookClub read was one of the highlights of my month! A) Because ‘The Bankers Wife’ by Cristina Alger is *such* a great thriller, and I’ve really enjoyed discussing the plot twists with you... And B) It’s so easy to get caught up in the numbers game of Instagram, and question whether anyone actually cares about the content you’re putting so much energy into. But watching this little community of bookworms grow has been so rewarding, and has taught be that small-but-genuine connections mean more than masses of likes and followers.
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After selecting such a great read for January I’m really feeling the pressure to choose something equally as good for the February book club newsletter, out next Thursday. Wish me luck (and remember you can subscribe to the book club via the link in my bio).
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FYI: My copy of ‘The Bankers Wife’ was a preview edition, sent by the publishing house (AD /gift). But I was under no obligation to read/feature it. #bookworm #thebankerswife #bookobsessed

Reasons to smile: I think I’ve *finally* managed to shake the cold virus that’s kept me housebound for a full week... AND it’s finally January 31st 🙌🏼 (But feels to me like January 78th - I seriously questioned whether this month would ever come to an end!)
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I’ve found January really challenging. My energy levels have been low, and my career confidence has been shaky at best. However, I feel like I’m finally starting to work through the tangle of worries that have been plaguing me all month. And I’m excited to march into February with a bit more clarity of mind. Plus, we start recording the next season of Let’s Discuss next week, and I can’t wait to put my podcasting hat back on! Have you also struggled through January? On a scale from 1-10 how excited are you for February’s arrival?
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Product credits:
Knit: past season @joulesclothing (AD / Gift. I have worked with Joules in the past)
Necklace: @monicavinader (AD / Gift. I have worked with the brand previously.)
Belt: past season @johnlewisandpartners (AD / Gift. I have worked with them once before.)
Jeans: @asos (paid for myself. No relationship with the brand.) 📸 by @kylieeyraportraits #whatiweartoday #wearitloveit #fashiondiaries

AD | If breakfast is the most important meal of the day then why not do it in style? 🥐 ☕️ I’m OBSESSED with this chic fold-up tray table (£32) from the @sainsburyshome SS19 collection, and relished the opportunity to eat my morning porridge in front of an episode of Grace and Frankie (side note: Brianna is my current girl crush). Along with the tray table, I’m sharing more of my favourite designs from the latest #sainsburyshome collection on the blog. The lineup is bursting with print and colour, which are both much-needed as we soldier through the final weeks of winter ❄️
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And, just out of interest, are you a Grace or a Frankie? Let me know in the comments...
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📸 @kylieeyraportraits This is a paid partnership, but the tray table is the press sample and not a gift. Other Sainsbury’s Home items featured were gifted. #apartmentdecor #apartmentliving

[AD - gifted product] I’m currently reading a business book titled ‘Nobody Wants to Read Your S**t’. You might think this would have a positive impact on my Instagram captions, but I’m here to disappoint you by sharing potentially the most boring life update EVER... drumroll please... I have given up on umbrellas ☔️ They’re always more hassle than they’re worth, so now I just do a cap or beanie on rainy days. If I haven’t bored you to sleep already let me know if you do the same on rainy days...
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Product credits:
Hat - @monsoon (gifted as part of a sponsored post last year)
Jacket - @hushhomewear (gifted in 2017 as part of a paid project. But they still make the jacket.)
Knit - @mintvelvet (gift)
Jeans - @asos (paid for)
Bag - @mysistersandi_ (gift)
Boots - @insidejigsaw (gift)
#wearitloveit #fashiondiaries #whatiweartoday

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