Maybe I'm jumping the gun with this post, because we've had some warm weather here in the UK but no doubt it will be cloudy and rainy again in no time. But today I'll be sharing with you some of the outfits I have been/will be wearing throughout spring and summer. I've tried to link everything I could find if you want to check any of these pieces out. 

Outfit 1

Dress- Dorothy Perkins 
Necklace- Gift 
Shoes- Primark

This outfit is something I wear in order to pretend that I am a grown up, when I want to look and feel like I've got it together (yeah, we all know that's not true). I love how sophisticated and pretty it is, making it perfect for a posh lunch or to wear to work if you want to look summery but still professional. 

Outfit 2

T-shirt dress- Tobi
Shorts- Primark
Trainers- New Look 
Sunglasses- Topshop

This outfit is the complete opposite to the last as it's very casual and laid back. This is something I can just throw on and relax in. The high waisted shorts are so comfortable and the trainers mean I can walk around for hours and not have achy feet.  Shout out to my fiancĂ© and photographer Dan who you can see in my glasses!

Outfit 3

Dress- ASOS
Boots- Doc Martens
Earrings- Topshop
Ring- My engagement ring

I feel like a cross between Kate Bush and Stevie Nicks in this dress, it's so elegant and comfy. Maxi dresses are perfect for when it's warm but I don't feel like baring it all. I love pairing a dress as sophisticated as this with a chunky pair of Doc Martens to give it a tougher touch.

Outfit 4

Playsuit- New Look
Ankle Boots- Doc Martens (thrifted) 
Sunglasses- Topshop
Earrings- Gift

Playsuits are perfect for the warm weather as they look so elegant but are really comfy and you can just throw them on and go. I added a few boho touches like these silver earrings and these pretty beaten up ankle boots. 

So these are the outfits I'll be wearing throughout spring and summer. Did you have a favourite outfit? What are you going to be wearing during the warmer months? 

There are some times in life when I want to tap into the witch part of my personality, I feel this part of me is empowered, fearless, at one with nature. It's when I remember (for want a of a better term) this part of myself that I feel at my most confident. During these times I like to listen to certain music, this music helps me reconnect with that part of myself. It also helps me when I'm practising the craft, by adding to the mood and it helps me create. These albums may not necessarily be about witchcraft but for me personally they tap into that aspect of myself, plus they are just great albums. They also help with my creativity so I'll often pop them on when I'm writing, drawing, etc. 

Hounds of Love- Kate Bush

Kate Bush just screams empowerment and Hounds of Love is my personal favourite album of hers. The second half of the album known as "The Ninth Wave"tells the story of someone who is kept from drowning in water by their past, present and future. The album really helps ground me and keep my focus on everything and nothing all at once. 

Songs From The Wood- Jethro Tull

Although Heavy Horses is my favourite Jethro Tull album, Songs From The Wood taps into my witch more. It reconnects me to the world and reminds me of my love of nature. Every time I listen to it I want to go into the woods for a long walk. 

Dream Harder- The Waterboys 

Trying to pick just one of The Waterboys albums is so difficult but I had to go with Dream Harder. I find it such an empowering album. It's heavily influenced by neopaganism and was a great comfort to me growing up as I went to a Church of England school yet neither I or my family were Christian. This made me the subject to a lot of scrutiny.  Dream Harder reminds me to accept and embrace all parts of my personality. 

4- Peter Gabriel

Will I ever write or talk about music without mentioning Peter Gabriel? Probably not. Peter Gabriel's fourth solo album has been one of my favourite albums since I was young. Every time I listen to it I feel so spiritual and I use it as a tool to get my creativity flowing through me. 

These are just some of the albums that I listen to when I want to practise the craft or just want to reconnect to myself. I would like to point out that you don't have to listen to any type of music to consider yourself a witch, you could be practising while banging out 50 Cent's In Da Club and it wouldn't make it any less valid. 

Do you like any of these albums? What music do you listen to while practising or simply to empower you? 

 Fruit salad is the perfect treat for the warmer months, it's refreshing and you can pretend you're being healthy even if you put half a pot's worth of cream with it. However, as this is England and the weather only gets really hot once in a blue moon this fruit recipe adds a touch of warmth making perfect for any weather. 

You Will Need 

(For the fruit salad)
Half a punnet of grapes. 
2 apples. 
3 kiwis. 
Half a Honeydew melon. 
Seeds of 1 large pomegranate. 

(For the wine "dressing") 
100ml of damson wine. 
1 shot (44ml) of gin. 
Juice of 1 orange. 
Zest of half a lemon. 
20g of brown sugar
2 cinnamon sticks.

1. This part is pretty obvious. Cut up all your fruit, it doesn't have to be the fruit I've listed chose any fruit you like (except banana, banana has no place in fruit salad) and place it in a large bowl. Mix fruit. Cover the bowl and put in the fridge. 

2. Pour the wine into a measuring jug followed by the gin and sugar. Mix well. Then add the orange juice and lemon zest. Mix well again. The put in the two cinnamon sticks and mix again. Cover the measuring jug and place in the fridge. Leave for 2 hours so that the cinnamon sticks have time to mix in. 

3. Take both the fruit salad and wine dressing out of the fridge. Pour the dressing gradually while mixing the fruit salad. Place back in the fridge until you are ready to serve. Don't worry if the fruit turns a red colour, that's good and means the wine dressing has been absorbed by the fruit.

So there you have it, a simple, boozy fruit salad that will make the perfect dessert for both summer and winter. 

Did you like this recipe? What do you put in a fruit salad? 

Watching, talking and thinking about Studio Ghibli is something I do so much that it borders on an obsession. Today I thought I'd bring this obsession back to In Ella's Element and share with you the 10 Studio Ghibli films you should watch and why they are such excellent movies. Studio Ghibli (for those who may not know) is a Japanese animation studio and their films are considered the best of anime and their influence can be felt in films from both the east and the west. The studio has released 20 films in total and this list doesn't discredit the other 10 but these are my personal favourites. So here they are, in no particular order.

Naussica of the Valley of the Wind

OK, so I'm going to get this one out of the way because it's not technically a Studio Ghibli film. Naussica was realised shortly before the studio was formed but it had many of the people who became Studio Ghibli working on it and it has many themes that the studio became known for. Naussica is set in a post apocalyptic world where the earth is being consumed by the "toxic jungle". I won't go into more detail but it's a wonderful film that thrust Hayao Miyazaki's work into prominence.

My Neighbour Totoro
Even if you've never seen a Studio Ghibli the chances are you'll still recognise their mascot Totoro. My Neighbour Totoro follows two sisters Mei and Satske as the move into a new house with their father in order to be closer to the hospital in which their mother is a patient. The film has no particular plot, twists or anything you would expect in a film and yet Totoro has become one of the most loved films of all time. Totoro is bursting with charm and wonder while still having themes that are extremely relatable no matter what your age.

Howl's Moving Castle

Based on the books of Diana Wynne Jones. The story focuses on a young girl Sophie who is cursed with old age who has to seek refuge in the moving castle of the selfish wizard Howl. The film is such a joy to watch as the characters are so likeable, even those who seem villainous have their redeeming qualities, this is an theme in many of Hayao Miyazaki's films.

Princess Mononoke

This is considered to be one of Miyazaki's best. Ashitaka is cursed after saving his village from a boar who has been overcome by a demon of hate. He sets out to find a cure where he discovers a fierce war between those who wish to protect the forest and the humans who wish to tear it down in the name of progress. In the forest he meets San, a human adopted by the wolves after she is abandoned as a baby. It's a beautiful film and it's message of environmentalism is just as important today.

Grave of the Fireflies

I've already dedicated an entire post as to why you should watch this film, which you can check out here.

Laputa: Castle in the Sky
This is the first official film of Studio Ghibli and when you watch it you can feel how those who saw when it was first released  must have felt. Like history was being made. That it was the start of something incredible, which, of course, it was. Pazu, a young boy comes across a girl  (Sheeta) floating down from the sky. The two must escape those chasing Sheeta and set out to find Laputa, the mythical land in the sky. The character building in this film is incredible and if you're looking for a great female role model then look no further than the pirate Dola, one of my favourite Ghibli characters.

Kiki's Delivery Service
If you're feeling down, put this film on. It's such a heartwarming story while still dealing with issues like loneliness and isolation which the majority of us can relate to. Kiki is a young witch who must leave home for one year to find her own town to live in and make it on her on. Kiki finds a town and starts up a delivery service, delivering parcels on her broomstick.

Spirited Away
This film is not only considered one of the best anime ever made but is also a gateway for many not only into Studio Ghibli but into the entire genre of anime. The story follows Chihiro who enters a strange word of spirits after her parents are transformed into pigs and must work in the bath house of the witch Yubaba. The film is beautiful to look at, the characters are interesting and well developed (the development of Chihiro's character is some of the best I've seen). Also it has No Face who is a character that is so important to me I now have him tattooed on my arm.

Porco Rosso
Porco Rosso is one of Ghibli's films that goes underrated because of such huge films like Spirited Away and Princess Mononoke. But it's such a great film and definitely deserves recognition. Porco Rosso is a seaplane pilot cursed with the face of a pig. The film is funny and exciting while dealing with issues like war, honour and politics. It's gorgeous animation and every time I watch it I have a huge smile on my face.

Whisper of the Heart
This film is tinged with a little sadness as this is the only film to be directed by Yoshifumi Kondo (whom Hayao Miyazaki wanted to take over Studio Ghibli) before his unexpected death at the age of 47. However, Kondo's talent is seen throughout Whisper of the Heart, it's a gorgeous, relatable, funny and heartwarming film that deserves all the praise in the world. Shizuku is a teenage girl who loves to read, she discovers that the same person (Seiji Amasawa) has checked out all the library books she has. Shizku becomes extremely curious about who Seiji is and sets out to find him but he isn't who she expects. The film is possibly the most relatable of all of the Ghibli films as it deals with being unsure of yourself, your future, trying to prove yourself, and trying to be a success. 

So there are the 10 Studio Ghibli movies I think you should watch. Obviously if you have time check them all out but these are the 10 most special to me. 

Did you agree with my picks? Which Studio Ghibli film is your favourite?