life’s too short to think it’s too late

2022

Hello!

This morning (as I write this), I went for an appointment to be fitted for my first pair of pointe shoes as an adult dancer. I have not been fitted for pointe shoes since I was probably about 10, but I thought if I’m going to put my body through dancing en pointe, I’m definitely going to make sure I’m getting the right support I need for my now-creakier joints!

It was a lovely experience – I went to ‘A Dancer’s World’ in Northampton and there was absolutely no judgement that I’m a plus size lady in her mid twenties who clearly isn’t a professional dancer, they spent plenty of time helping me try lots of shoes and explaining why the ones I ended up getting were the best ones for me.

And they even had lots of options of leotards for me to try! Online, I have found one brand that stock leotards in my size and since I bought one back in the Spring, they’ve stopped doing my size, but having four to choose from felt so amazing (though trying them on in a 30 degree heatwave wasn’t quite so amazing 😂).

Although I’m not a professional dancer and buying this point shoes isn’t for the sake of training or taking exams or anything like that, I’m actually excited to starting dancing in them, getting stronger and pushing myself to improve at something I love!

Over the last month or two whilst I’ve been thinking about this investment, I’ve wondered if there was any point (ba dum tsh) – I’m not training to be a dancer, I’m not even very good at ballet; why would I spend so much money not just on the shoes but the extra class and the time commitment when there won’t be much of a reward in the long term?

Because life is too short not to do things you love! I’m never going to be a prima ballerina and realistically, there’s a huge chance that I’m not really ready for pointe yet, but I’ve been back at dance for a year now and I want to push myself! Is it any different to trying something new at the gym?

I feel like as we get older, trying new things becomes harder not just because of the time, the money and the availability, but because of the social stigma associated with it.

Want to try a new sport? Well there’s a beginner class every other Thursday or England trials are in October. Want to try a new hobby? There’s a children’s sewing class, or a knitting group with mostly elderly ladies who don’t really like change and will look at you like you just stepped on a kitten for even daring to show up to their group.

I can’t think of anymore examples, but I’ve found it’s really difficult to try new things as an adult! But life’s too short to say ‘I’m too old for that’ – if you want to try something, isn’t it better to have tried and looked a bit silly than not tried and always wondered what it was like?

Maybe I’m projecting my own insecurities and no one actually thinks this, but it’s definitely a mental barrier I’ve had to overcome – pushing myself to be a better dancer, doesn’t have to be ‘for’ anything, it can just be to be a better dancer! To get fitter and stronger and to relax in a way that I enjoy.

It’s never too late to try something new, and life’s too short to feel too old!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

August Goals 2022

2022, fitness, goals

Hello!

Is there anything more satisfying than a new month starting on a Monday?

Almost certainly, but it definitely made me happy, that’s for sure!

Last months goals were a bit hit and miss, but it felt productive so even though I didn’t hit all my goals, I definitely made significant progress and that’s what matters in the long run!

This month is a really busy one, with lots of trips to sort wedding stuff, see family and friends, meals out etc, balanced with my dance classes being off for the summer so I thought now would be a good time to try a few sessions with a personal trainer, work is getting busier, and my mental health isn’t at it’s best at the moment… it’s all a bit manic, but thinking ahead and long term is definitely only making it worse so I’m trying to take each day as it comes and listen to my body more to try and stay in tune with what will serve me best. I’m not very good at it but the only way to get better is to practice.

My goals for this month either completely reflect how busy I’m going to be, or pile on even more with no in between, so let’s just get into it.

Choreograph a dance
I know this sounds totally ridiculous and random, but ever time I listen to the song ‘Fresh’ by Artist Vs Poet I want to dance to it, so I thought it would be fun while I don’t have classes this month to choreograph something to the chorus and put it on somewhere like TikTok. Am I a brilliant dancer? Absolutely not. Am I a brilliant choreographer? No, I find it really difficult. But I love dancing and I love the song so I’m going to spend an afternoon letting the dance I feel every time I listen to the song come out!

Fitness Goals
This one is multifaceted!

  • Have a session with a PT
  • Work on strength for pointe work
  • And stretch to try and get my splits again

Shock horror, two of them are dance related. For someone who was discouraged from applying for dance school when I was a teenager, I bang on about it a lot.

The personal trainer is to kind of compensate for not having dance classes, plus I’ve had my gym membership with work for five months and whilst I’m much more confident about going and have made it part of my routine, I have no idea what I’m doing. I had a consultation with a PT the other day who really reiterated how she likes to teach about what muscles each exercise works and why it’s beneficial and I’m really excited for my first session next week.

The pointe work thing – I’m buying my first pair of pointe shoes in eight years this month and I want to try going on pointe again, but I know I need to work on my balance, my calf strength and my stamina first, so these are some of my gym goals for the month.

And the splits… Now that I’ve been back dancing multiple times a week for a year, I’ve definitely noticed an improvement in my flexibility but I’ve never consistently had my splits, so now’s the time to work on it!

Wedding Goals
Another multifaceted one!

  • Shop for bridal gifts
  • Determine final ceremony and reception plans
  • Buy guest book (or equivalent)

The bridal gifts I have in hand – my bridesmaids are all under 12, so I’ve got them little personalised make up bags, a personalised compact mirror and I want to get them a nice lip gloss (or something make-up-y!) and some jewellery to go with their dresses (which I haven’t got yet because they are small and there’s a risk they might grow!). I’m on track with this so this will be a nice easy one.

Can you tell the other two points have come straight from a ‘step by step guide to plan your wedding’ list?! But both are also in hand!

Also this month I’m hoping my dress will come in (eeeee!), I’ve got a trial for an application tan to make me look ever so slightly less transparent, we’ve got our appointment with the council to ‘give notice’, I need to research the bridesmaids dresses, then next month I have a make-up trial, a flower consultation, a nail trial, a hair consultation and probably a bunch of other stuff to do! It’s busy, but exciting (though I am also looking forward to not having to plan anymore).

40,000 word writing challenge
I meant what I said about making my life difficult for myself.

I’ve mentioned it time and time again (sorry) but I love creative writing, but I’m really bad at making time for it, so doing these challenges gives me the chance to actually do some writing and ensures I make time to do it!

I’ve picked a few word prompts to inspire me for a few short stories and I’ve already written about 3000 words of one that I’m really enjoying so although finding the time to write can be challenging, I am enjoying it.

Every Month Goals

  • Read three books
  • Save money (done on payday, go me!)
  • Date night!
  • Craft project

And that’s it!

‘That’s it’ – like it’s not about 10 goals pretending to be 5.

But time management and lists have always been my thing and the best I can do is try, so here’s to trying!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

What I Read in July

2022, books

Hello!

I have absolutely adored reading this month – other than the disgusting record-breaking heatwave in the middle of the month, I have very much enjoyed taking some time outside with my book, whether it’s on my lunch break, after work or in the evening.

For the first time since I discovered Audible, I have finished more paperback books than audiobooks this month and I’ve really enjoyed being able to get properly stuck in to a book and getting so engrossed that you accidentally turn the page before you’ve actually finished reading it (or is that just me?).

I’ve read six books this month and they were:

King of Fools, Amanda Foody – 4 stars

This is the one I accidentally read out of order because I didn’t double check it, but actually having listened to the third instalment in the trilogy, it felt almost like listening to a prequel where you know how it ends but how they get to that point feels like a million miles away and I ended up with an hour left in the book with lots of major plot points still to come to fruition!

The whole Ace of Shades series was actually brilliant and when I’m off my book buying ban next year I might buy the physical editions because I thoroughly enjoyed it!

The Mismatch, Sara Jafari – 5 stars

I honestly can’t explain how much I loved this book – I loved the insight of a British born Iranian girl and her inner conflict as a non-practicing Muslim and living in a culture that doesn’t understand how she was raised, trying to figure out how her feelings for a white rugby player align with her family’s values. Alongside the juxtaposition of her mother’s story from when she was the same age living in Iran, meeting her husband, getting married, moving to England and the similarities and differences between herself and her daughter.

One of the easiest 5 star ratings I’ve given.

Doctor Who: The Ruby’s Curse, Alex Kingston – 2 stars

I was so excited to read a story about a character written by the actress who played that character, but at the end of the day – it was a book written by an actress, not a writer. The whole thing was a bit too over the top, the story was really slow and dull for the first part with a dual narrative of River Song in prison writing her book and the book she’s writing about detective Melody Malone, but then River ends up in her own story and that bit is never really explained. It probably would have made an interesting one-off Doctor Who special but it was a slog to read. I was really disappointed.

Five Feet Apart, Rachel Lippincott – 5 stars

Did I initially buy this book because the cover was pretty and I saw the trailer for the film with Cole Sprouse? Absolutely. Do I have any regrets? Not one. I immediately felt connected to the major characters – Stella and Will – because they felt so authentic; teenagers with a terrible disease that have had to come to terms with their own mortality, living in a hospital and always being cautious that those around them could give them the infection that kills them. It was heartfelt and heartbreaking in equal measure and I cannot wait to watch the film now to see if it lives up to the beautiful writing of the book.

Heartstopper Volume 3, Alice Oseman – 5 stars

I. Am. Obsessed. With. This. Series. I still don’t know if I’m converted to graphic novels but I adore Nick and Charlie, I loved this story, I want to wrap myself up in this universe and protect these boys at all costs. Their trip to Paris was adorable, I love how wholesome they are and how open they are about how communication is hard – they’re both teenagers who have questions about everything, but are figuring out the balance between not making themselves feel stupid, not being a burden to anyone and wanting to be loved.

I wish there was more and I absolutely cannot wait till the next season is released on Netflix.

Heartstopper Volume 4, Alice Oseman – 5 stars

These chapters were definitely the heaviest of the story so far, with a lot of focus on mental health and the place of a partner within that difficult balance. Whilst it braced these more serious topics, it did it with these wonderful comedic moments, the same wholesome, adorable relationship and learning the communicate with each other without unnecessary arguments. Honestly I would rate this series with all the stars in the sky, there are no words to explain how happy my heart feels. I’m going to rewatch the Netflix show.

So overall, a very successful reading month!

I’m currently listening to Daughter of a Burning City, by Amanda Foody which definitely isn’t as engaging as the Ace of Shades series and is feeling very long and slow, and then I have a new method of picking my next paperback read…

I started a tbr jar! I had a lovely afternoon typing everything up, cutting all the titles out and folding them up into a jar but now I can just pick what I want next out of there! I’m not being super strict on whether I have to read what I choose because that’s just going to make reading feel like a chore, but what I’ve settled on for my next read is the Stormbreaker series by Anthony Horowitz – if I don’t like the first one I won’t read the rest, but because they’re middle-grade/YA I’ll probably get through them quite quickly which will be nice!

August is the month I’m also doing another writing challenge so my reading might suffer, but hopefully I’ll be able to manage the two!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

learning to do things badly

2022, lifestyle

Hello!

The first words I went to type on this post is ‘I love trying new things’, but I paused to allow myself to recognise that this is a lie I’ve told myself because I think it’s something I wish is true.

But it’s absolutely not.

What I love is finding new things I’m good at. If I’m not good at it, I find it really hard to be patient enough to put in the time and practice to become good at it and I’m becoming ever more aware of how impatient I am as a person and I really want to work on it.

Time management, on the other hand, is something I’ve become quite good at – over years of making to do lists, expecting too much from myself and beating myself up for not being ‘more productive’ I’ve found a much better balance of appreciating how long thing’s actually take and assigning tasks accordingly (especially around spending 10 hours a day in work or travelling there and back, there’s not a lot of time for much else!).

But what I want to do now is allow myself to spend time doing something that isn’t ‘productive’ and I’m not good at and being okay with it. I love the idea of doing some painting or drawing and just allowing myself to be creative with shapes and colours but I know I’ll very quickly get frustrated when I can’t produce the image that’s in my head.

And that’s what I need to work on – getting better at going with the flow and enjoying the process rather than worrying about the result. Or, on the other hand, giving myself the time to learn something – I see all these amazing crochet tiktoks of ‘basic’ crafts people make and I’m like how the heck did you do that because I just can’t wrap my head around it. But if I gave myself the time to go slow, practice and get better then soon I’ll be able to make all the adorable crochet animal projects I like! Or crochet clothes, I’ve seen so many cute cardigans and pretty outfits that people have crocheted for themselves.

Even with my Cricut machine – I find the learning process intimidating so I end up not using it at all, but I have lots of ideas of things I’d like to make and whether I need to find a course on YouTube or go to a workshop at Hobbycraft, I want to make the effort to use it! Because my partner very generously bought me one for my birthday and I’ve definitely not given it the time or attention it deserves.

And to be honest, I think giving myself this space to do things I’m ‘bad’ at, learning the patience to practice and conquering that overwhelming feeling will be skills that are beneficial to me outside of crafting hobbies.

Some things I’d like to start with are:

  • art / painting
  • crochet
  • using my Cricut
  • playing the piano
  • sewing

Basically any material craft, but also music.

It’s a work in progress, but progress is all we can try to do.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

actually enjoying exercise

2022, fitness

Hello!

I’ve written many, many blog posts over my eight years with this blog about fitness, weight loss and my perception of my body image and it’s been all over the place – rock bottom, somewhere where I was pleasantly surprised I liked an outfit on myself and basically everywhere in between.

I consciously decided to stop writing these posts a while ago – doing regular updates often meant having to face not seeing the progress I wanted again and again and it was hard. Trying to lose weight, find a balance of being happy in my body as it is now and my mental health being here, there and everywhere is really hard.

(and I want to say now that I absolutely have not found a perfect balance, I doubt I ever will and there is definitely no quick fix, unfortunately)

Last year I found a dance school close to where we’d just moved to and started three classes a week because I love dancing and I couldn’t pick between ballet, tap and jazz. I’ve been doing these for nearly 11 months now and I still absolutely adore them – they’re proper workouts, I love the structure of having the same class each week and the routine is really good for me.

Although it feels like it’s been a long time coming, I’m really starting to feel like I’m improving now too which is so rewarding! I’m even going to buy some pointe shoes while we’re off for the summer and have a go at pointe class in September (potentially).

But alongside that, I have always really struggled with ‘traditional’ exercise – I was on the Netball and Athletics teams at school, but any kind of running, weight training or going to the gym were totally foreign to me, both because I have the stamina of a 90 year old with asthma and the motivation of… something-with-no-motivation.

I joined a gym at uni, bumbled my way round some cardio for a few weeks before inevitably losing steam and cancelling my gym membership after months of wasting money. Between undergrad and my masters I did one dance class a week and attempted Couch to 5k, which lasted four or five months but fizzled out. Then during lockdown I tried some of Joe Wicks’ live workouts and Attempt 2 of Couch to 5k to much the same result.

Fast forward two years – I’m dancing, I’m in a new job, I’m really struggling with weight loss despite doing three hours of exercise at dance a week and my boss brings in a new work benefit – company gym membership.

This coincided with my third attempt at couch to 5k (which my partner said we would do together and then he flaked on me and I’m still salty about it). Each run I found more and more challenging, so I tried to balance running three times a week with going to the gym and I found what is my current flow.

A bunch of the people I work with are full gym converts – they know what they’re doing (or at least, they give me the impression they do!), they regularly work out and it made me feel more encouraged to go too.

So what started with once a week just doing cardio, has evolved to roughly three times a week working on treadmill running, resistance machines and flexibility stretching. I’m finding that not paying the gym membership myself (which I appreciate sounds totally spoiled of me) makes me feel like I’m not obliged to go to the gym to get my moneys worth – it’s a choice that I get to make that doesn’t have any financial consequences.

So at the moment I’m working on doing 5k on the treadmill – I’ve started tracking my times and it’s not ‘good’ per say, but it’s improving and I’m really enjoying pushing myself, seeing the improvements and the endorphin high post exercise.

But I’ve actually used a few of the resistance machines and I’m not scared of those anymore, I’m working on being more confident working on my flexibility stretching and not worrying about whether people think I’m weird and maybe one day I won’t come out of the gym looking like a sweaty tomato, but at this stage, I’m still very unfit so it’s a work in progress.

Will I keep this up forever? Who knows! But I’ve stuck with dancing for nearly a year and I’ve been slowly getting more confident in the gym for four months. Pairing this with a couple of really good personal trainers on TikTok that have helped me understand more about what it really takes to lose weight, working on my diet and starting to actually see results both in how my clothes fit and the number on the scales, I’m feeling pretty good.

Don’t get me wrong – it’s not like it’s cured my mental health issues – I got back from the gym this morning after a couple of stressful, anxiety inducing events both before and after and it zapped up the endorphins and I ended up in bed for three hours, too overwhelmed at the thought of having a shower. So as always – there’s ups and downs and I’m riding the wave; I burned about 700 calories on the treadmill this morning and ate them all back with an entire packet of crisps this afternoon, so taking the L on today.

I’ve written posts like this before where I really believed that ‘this time’ would be the one that I stick with – I’ll hit my goal weight, become one of those fit people that runs marathons and enjoy eating healthily without accidentally binging on crappy food. I don’t know if this will stick, but I’m optimistic for the moment and I’m going to take that.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

I’m Getting Married in 4 Months!

2022, wedding

Hello!

If you’ve ever gotten married or know someone who has, you probably understand that it becomes all consuming, especially as the big day gets closer and closer!

In the last couple of weeks, my partner and I attended the wedding of one of his oldest friend’s and we then had a week off work together, in which I properly got my act together and made a lot of planning developments because attending a wedding had both inspired me and freaked me out a little. But after reviewing my to do lists and making some decisions, doing lots of research and making my partner actually get involved in some of the choices, I feel like the mental switch flipped and I’m really excited about it all now.

The biggest thing is the dress, always the dress, and since ordering it four months ago, I’ve been getting increasingly more excited about getting my own – the one I tried on was absolutely not my size and I chose a different colour so I just can’t wait to see it and wear it and feel like a princess. Although we’ve been engaged since January 2020, it hasn’t started to actually feel real until very recently and I think being in the dress will be the icing on the cake.

Speaking of which, I had a very in-depth and serious conversation with my mum about our wedding cake today as she is very kindly making it for us and we’ve come up with something that feels much more us than what is considered ‘traditional’ but fits all the right vibes perfectly and will no doubt be delicious.

It doesn’t have to be a wedding for me to be excited about cake.

And now that we’ve sent out the majority of our invites, we can properly get excited with other people and our friends and family are sharing their excitement with us and it’s honestly so lovely. There really is nothing like a wedding!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of coordination and planning and figuring out all the finances and seeing some of the quotes of anything wedding related can be mind blowing, but if you’ve ever read any of my posts before you’ll know I love a list, I love goal setting and I love planning so actually, whilst at surface level it feels stressful, it all just feels like one big problem solving exercise that I’m very much enjoying watching slot into place.

The thing that’s really hitting me at the moment is that I will have a different name by the end of the year. I’ll be a Mrs. I still feel too young to be living in a house with a ‘real adult’ let alone to be a Mrs! Honestly baffling.

Alongside important discussions about cake, mum and I planned things like getting our nails done, getting massages and buying gifts for my little bridesmaids (I say little because they’re 6, 9 and 10, not as a reference to their height 😂) and it’s been really lovely to feel everything fall into place.

Honestly, I feel a little bit emotional thinking about it all – I’m in such a wonderful place right now to be able to marry my best friend and have such wonderful support network of friends and family that are genuinely so excited for me and I feel incredibly grateful. Nothing’s perfect, but it’s pretty good.

Thank you for reading!

Sophie xx

July Goals 2022

2022, goals

Hello!

June has been a really good month – my goals were really sensible and achievable and by being able to actually achieve some of them, made me feel really motivated to carry on working for the rest! Having a week off with my partner in the last week of the month has meant I feel pretty good going into July – I’ve just watched Season 4 Volume 2 of Stranger Things (oh my god), I’ve been to a new gym in my area and I’ve had a super productive week with wedding prep so I’m ready to go into July. I was going to say ‘with a spring in my step’ but I think I’d need about a month to catch up on sleep for that.

Here are my goals for this month:

Career Analysis
I’m having a mild crisis with what I do – I’ve been randomly thinking about completely retraining and changing my industry, then I get a wave of passion for what I do and who I work with and then my ongoing identity crisis hits and I have no idea what I want, what I can do and if I’m even any good at anything.

So this month I’m going to carve out some time to do some quizzes online (because I love a quiz and absolutely put way too much faith in them), make some colour coded spider diagrams and evaluate my key skills, what’s important to me in terms of work logistics (hours, location etc) and maybe talk to some friends and family about options.

Doing a masters I didn’t love and starting my career in a pandemic has made things feel very jumbled up and I want to try and figure it out; unjumble it in my mind, then I can make progress with my actual career.

Sort my photos
I love timehop and use it every single day to look back on what I’ve shared on past year’s on social media, but more and more recently it’s old screenshots, a hundred takes to get one good photo and random crap from group chats on WhatsApp (though, the family group chat has the pictures of all my cousin’s kids and they’re wonderful, I love them). But there’s thousands of photos there and it needs a good sort out!

I used to order 50 prints a month on SnapFish and put them in a scrapbook and on our photo wall but I haven’t done it in well over a year and the photos are getting out of date! Even if I spend just ten minutes a day going back and deleting unnecessary photos and deciding which ones I want to order, I’ll probably be done in a week!

Wedding
I was feeling so overwhelmed with all things wedding, especially having attended one this month, but with my week off I’ve done some research, made lots of lists and actually feel much better about the whole thing!

For this month, I’m going to finish planning our wedding cake with my mum (who is kindly baking it for us), finding and booking a make-up artist, consulting with my florist especially regarding hair pieces, and researching bridesmaid’s dresses to start ordering them for trying on in September.

Make fun videos on TikTok
Have I said before that making creative things into goals absolutely kills the creativity? Yes, but honestly I’m making really good progress on my annual goals and I had a gap so I thought I’d fill it with something fun.

I made a big fuss about trying to make structured TikToks and only making videos for a certain niche, then I thought fuck it and just had fun – I’ve posted some book stuff, some silly sounds and even a dance and I wanted more of that spontaneity!

Is it spontaneous if I make it a goal? Not particularly, but we’ll gloss over that bit!

Recurring Monthly Goals
Read 3 books
Save money (tick – always do it on pay day or I know it won’t happen!)
Date night with my soon-to-be husband
Do a craft project

One thing I think I’ve definitely made progress in this month is taking things at my own pace – for so long, I felt like if I wasn’t getting up at the crack of dawn and doing something ‘productive’ immediately, then I was a failure and it would feel impossible to get anything done for the rest of the day. But whenever I’ve had a day at home recently, I’ve let myself stay in bed for as long as I want, and slowly made my way through my to do list and it’s been wonderful to take a slower approach and potter through my to do list and realise by about 5pm I’ve done everything and I feel significantly less tense!

I’m working on putting this practice into other aspects of my life, but I’m pretty sure buzz words for every company ever are ‘must thrive in a fast-paced environment’ so not sure how well that’s going to go!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

What I read in June

2022, books

Hello!

Another month is coming to an end and although the reading speed of last month has not maintained, I’ve finished two audiobooks this month and I’m almost halfway through a third!

Most of my reading has been audio when I’m driving, either to work or my dance classes – I’ve been burning out pretty hard this month and accidentally overbooking myself with social activities so by the time I get into bed I am flat out and not in the mood to read a few pages, though I’ve got a week off next week and I’m hoping that I’ll have time to recharge and finish the book I’ve been stuck on for a month.

Here are the audiobooks I did finish listening to this month:

Take The Shot, Susan White – 3 stars

This was a free one from the audible plus catalogue that I made the mistake of assuming it was a sport romance, instead it was a Young YA (like, the characters are 14/15) sport story about an Australian boy with Marfan syndrome and it was really interesting to learn more about it and the impact it can have on those who have it. And I adore Australian accents so it was lovely to listen to.

All round, although a bit young for me it was a story where the heart of it spoke for itself and it was an enjoyable, easy listen.

Queen of Volts (Shadow Game #3), Amanda Foody – 4 stars

So realistically, I should have double checked what order the sequels to The Ace of Shades went in rather than assuming this one was second and convincing myself I’d just forgotten the details of the first book I finished in February, but I committed and it was only in finishing this one that I realised my mistake!

However, it’s still a fantastic series – the universe is so immersive, I wish I lived in a world with blood talents so I didn’t have to figure out what I’m good at and what I’m not! The characters are compelling, the story is medium paced but always engaging and although the narrator was a bit patchy with accents, I was wholeheartedly immersed by the end. Solid 4/5, brilliant series.

Currently reading:

Audio book – King of Fools (Shadow Game #2), Amanda Foody

It was only starting this book in a totally different place where dead characters had come back to life that I realised I’d read them in the wrong order, but knowing how it has to end and figuring out how they get there is enough for me to listen to it anyway! Same as above – I think this series is brilliant and I wish more people were talking about it!

Paperback – Doctor Who: The Ruby’s Curse, Alex Kingston

I’ve been so excited about this book for a long time, but I’ve been really disappointed with the 30-50 pages I’ve read so far. At the crux of it, Alex Kingston is an Actress who plays a character and that doesn’t necessarily mean she’s good at writing a story about her. But I’m not someone who DNF’s books because I always worry that the one I don’t finish will be the one that has a spectacular ending! On the next sunny day I have off I’m intending to take this book into the garden and plough through.

It’s not been a super reading heavy month but after having a block for a couple of months and coming back with a bang last month, I’m happy to have settled into reading as part of my routine again.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

2022 Goals – Mid Year Review

2022, goals

Hello!

June always feels like a really significant month for me – I will forever think of it as my nanny’s birthday month, but in June 2019 I shaved my head for charity and bought my car which were really important moments in my life.

But it’s also the end of the month also marks the half way point of the year, which always feels like the perfect time to review my yearly goals, evaluate my progress and adapt the ones that don’t feel relevant to me anymore.

To read my 2022 Goals in full click here!

To briefly summarise, I plan my goals in two different ways – the first way is in three categories, each with three goals and the second is a more ‘bucket list’ style where they don’t necessarily fit in a category but still 10 things I’d like to accomplish in the year.

First the categories…

Professional: Goals

Stay in the same job (if that’s what’s right for me)

It feels somewhat baffling that I’ve already been in what feels like my ‘new’ job for coming up to 9 months now, but so far I’ve kept my job and I don’t really have any plans to look for anything new anytime soon, unless something comes up which feels right in which case I won’t ignore that for the sake of a goal.

Learn how to use AfterEffects

I scrapped this goal as my role in my company has moved away from editing and more into writing and admin and learning this software (which, frankly, is very overwhelming to me) won’t serve my current role or my long term career if I continue in this sort of role.

So I picked a new professional goal which is to research media production related careers and figure out what kind of path I’d like to follow and set out some long term career goals. In reading job descriptions at other companies as part of my role, I’ve realised that I don’t suit marketing – I’m not up to date on the ‘hottest trends’ and realistically I have no interest in it; I’m not a Love Island, celebrity gossip, viral tiktok dance sort of girl – I’m a need-to-know-the-latest-about-Marvel, 2000s music listening, booktok girl and that’s a-okay.

Update my portfolio instagram account once a week

This one has been going really well! I’ve only missed a couple and that’s only because I’ve not done anything worth sharing that week – some week’s we’re trying new things with green screens, I’m writing scripts and maybe even presenting, some week’s it’s more of the same and that’s totally normal. I’m really pleased with my consistency on this one.

Personal Goals:

Duolingo

I started the French course on Duolingo in January and I think in total I’ve only missed four or five days! Now that I’m nearly six months in, I’m really starting to see my progress – especially when my fiancé went to work in France for a few days and I surprised myself with how much of the language I could communicate when I was taking the mick out of him for not speaking French.

– Cosplay

This is another goal that I have scrapped as I just don’t have the time to dedicate to learning how to make my own cosplays at the moment and the time I do have I have other projects that are more pressing (i.e. planning my wedding).

Initially I adapted this goal into exploring making content on tiktok, whether it’s in the cosplay/fandom sphere or just silly dances and sounds, but honestly turning that into a goal has made it way less fun and I don’t want it to feel like a chore. I’ll figure out something along these lines that I want to work on, but at the moment it’s on hiatus.

Blog once a week

This is another one that I think I’ve only missed a few and then it’s been because I don’t have an idea and I don’t have the time or energy to force myself into writing something I don’t think is any good and saving myself the stress of making something happen for the sake of being able to tick it in my bullet journal is so freeing. I’m constantly learning how to be more flexible with myself and not deeming myself a failure if I miss one tiny thing, but it’s a work in progress and I honestly feel like there is progress!

I need to figure out what kind of content I want to write, because at the moment it’s just monthly goals and monthly reading wrap ups but I’m sure inspiration will come – it always does in the end!

Home Goals:

The Wedding!

Planning everything into monthly goals last year has been an absolutely life saver honestly, though I always feel like I’m behind or forgetting something! It’s going well though – my fiancé has his suit, my dress has been ordered, we’re in the process of sorting my bridesmaids dresses and the groomsmen’s suits. I have a hair consultation, silk flowers on order, still need to find a make-up artist etc and the saving is intense but it’s all coming together and feeling much more real now!

Weekly saving challenge

Now this one I definitely haven’t missed a week! The principle of this challenge is putting money into savings every week going up by £1 – as I’m writing this I’m at the end of week 24 and so far, I’ve been on top of my budgeting to make sure I have enough money (bar some tax stuff with my income tax code at work, but that’s another issue).

Don’t get me wrong, I’m nervous for getting to the end of the year when it gets to £40-£50 a week, but the whole point of the challenge is to learn as you go and by the end of the year you’re prepared for the bigger numbers.

A summer holiday in the sun to read

So, we can’t afford to go abroad, absolutely no way with the wedding. But my fiancé and I have booked the last week of June off work and we’re going to go see some local places, hopefully the weather will hold and I’m sure I can bring my book!

We have booked our mini-moon which I’m really excited about – a cottage in Dorset by the sea – and next year we’re planning to go to MCM Comic Con in London and maybe we can think about a week in the Mediterranean but we’ll play it by ear.

And last but not least: 10 Bucket List Goals:

  • Read 36 books – 19 and counting babyyyyy
  • Year long book buying ban – my partner has bought two books that we will both read and I bought one as a fathers day gift for my dad, but nothing for myself!
  • Go to a museum – planned for our summer week off!
  • Go to a concert – keeping my eyes peeled
  • Go to a new place – our mini-moon is somewhere neither of us have been before!
  • Seasonal wardrobe updates – Spring and Summer have been a success so far and this is such an easy way to feel excited about clothes you already own four times a year. It’s made me so much more mindful when I’m shopping as well to consider what will go with what I already have and what I will actually wear.
  • Writing challenges January and April were a total flop, but I’ve rejigged my plan for the latter half of the year so rather than July and September, I’m going to try August (no dance, more time in evenings) and October (September I have plans every weekend, it’ll be too much) going into NaNoWriMo in November and I’m feeling pretty positive that this will go well! I’ve been feeling the urge to write recently so I’m going to try and map out some plot points and characters that I can really get to know when the writing challenges come round.
  • Monthly date nights – so far only missed one! I’m honestly so happy in my relationship it’s actually disgusting.
  • Monthly craft projects – haven’t even finished one, but I think this is similar to the tiktoks in that it’s not fun when it feels like a chore, so working on thinking of a new approach for crafts!
  • 1 Second Everyday video 2022 – filmed one second every day of the year so far!

And that’s it!

I feel so much more confident about goal setting and making sure I’m working towards things that actually serve me and not things I think I should be doing.

Things feel really good at the moment. It might be because it’s currently 29 degrees on a Friday which I now don’t work (4 day week club!), I stayed in bed till half 11 because I could, I’ve done some house chores at my own pace and I’m sat writing this in the garden shade with lofi hip hop radio on, but even if tomorrow is different, today is nice and I’m really working on focusing on the present, rather than worrying about the future.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

June Goals 2022

2022, goals

Hello!

June feels like it couldn’t have come soon enough this year – I think we’re already for a bit more sunshine and less dreary weather but I always like the marker for the middle of the year; a chance to review my goals so far, check in and look ahead for the rest of the year.

I can’t wait to get my summer wardrobe out, start wearing my sandals and spend more time outside – reading in my sun lounger, barbecues with friends, summer sunsets and long walks with my fiancé to any kind of supermarket and calling it an ‘adventure’.

Here are my goals for this month:

Career research – my job has taken a change in direction recently and it’s made my think about taking my career in that direction so I want to make some time to do some research, figure out what skills I need and whether it’s a suitable option to explore. I find research really difficult, especially when I find a lot of career stuff is hard to research but I want to try and make a plan.

Summer wardrobe update – it’s the time of year to put away my long sleeved sweaters and my chunky cardigans in favour of my shorts, my cute dresses and tank tops. I know full well that this task will take me maybe a couple of hours tops, but that can feel really overwhelming so if I set it as a goal maybe I’ll actually get it done!

Wedding tasks – this month’s goals are to actually send out our invites, draft the seating plan and go shopping with my little bridesmaids for their outfits. With only 5 months to go, it’s all starting to feel very real! The thought of getting to wear my dress and see my boy in his fancy suit and celebrate with all our family and friends is exciting and scary in equal measure. We were practising our first dance in the kitchen and the thought of dancing in front of an audience hit me harder than I thought it would, but I’m so excited to marry my best friend.

Museum date day – speaking of my best friend, we are giant nerds and we really enjoy a day out at a museum, so as we have a week off together at the end of the month, we’re going to use one of those days to hop on a train into London and go to a museum for the day, maybe take a picnic or go for dinner. I’m thinking maybe the Victoria and Albert museum but I need to have a look at what’s going on.

And my monthly goals are to read 3 books, save money (tick!), date day (museum trip!) and do a craft project.

I’m allowing myself to be mildly optimistic at this stage, I’ve started planning more time off with no plans so I can actually work on things for me and I’m excited to slow the pace down a little bit.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx