how I manage my finances without a budget

2019, lifestyle, organisation, student

Hello!

Figuring out my finances is something I’ve had to watch very closely this month – with buying a car on finance and the end of last month and spending my wages before I got them, this month has been and will be very, very tight but in the months leading up to buying my car and this month of tight budgeting I’m so proud of how well I’ve managed them that I’ve decided to share!

I’m someone who feels inclined to spend money when they’re sad so being able to tackle that and being at a point where I know I can save reliably and buy myself a car without dipping into my savings is a big step for me.

And the biggest thing for me is not having a set budget – I’ve tried apps like Yolt and Cleo and I just found they weren’t flexible enough for real life. Saying ‘I’m only going to spend £X this month’ doesn’t allow for spontaneous plans – paying for trains for a job interview,  having to pay for more bus tickets than expected or even going for a last minute coffee with a friend you haven’t seen for a long time can effect your budget and I just found that it didn’t work for me. So this is more about tracking your finances and making sure you can hit all your goals – whether that’s saving a certain amount, not spending over a certain amount (I guess that’s having a budget) or just making sure you can pay all your bills, these are my tips and tricks for flexible financing.

*obviously I’m not an expert and I’m not claiming to be, just sharing tips from someone who using half her savings to live last year and now has bought herself a car on finance*

1. Have somewhere to track your finances

I only mention my bullet journal in basically every blog post I write but for me I have a spread in my journal for my finances each month. On the left I have notes which I will expand on and on the right page is where I write down everything I’m spending as it comes out of my bank account. I don’t track cash spending because either I will have drawn that cash from my bank which I track or it’s cash that I’ve been given for whatever reason so it doesn’t effect my bank account. I tried tracking as I spent but then it got confusing with keeping receipts and it’s better for the environment if not so now I just track my spending as it comes out of my bank account.

Either way, I recommend writing it all down! Whether it’s a note on your phone, a notebook that you have specifically for finances or in a bullet journal like me, write it down!

Normally it’s neater than this, but having somewhere to really know how much I’m spending it important to me

2. Plan your month

I like to break it down with my income at the top of the left hand page, then a list of all my bills and when I’d expect them to come out (then I can tick them off and it’s very satisfying) and then a list of any costs I know I’m going to incur.

So this month I had to pay for a tattoo (because car and tattoo timing ended up being awful), two driving lessons, my savings challenge and bus fares and having it all written out makes it much easier to track.

My savings challenge, for anyone that’s interested, came from Facebook last year – you save a pound more every week for a whole year (so £1, then £2, then £3 etc) so it was really easy in January but now I’m saving just under £150 a month and by the end of the year it’ll be a lot per month but I’ll have over £1300 saved in a year which I’m so proud of and I haven’t done it yet, but it’s important to me and I want to complete it!

So knowing what my month is going to look like is really helpful – taking my bills and planned payments into account means I know how much money I have to play with and depending on how much I want to save and what it is I want to spend my money on I can figure out my spending from there.

3. Focus on what you need and not what you want

It’s so easy when you get an email about 20% off on ASOS or you fancy some Bourneville Buttons to just go and buy them, but if you really want to make the most of your finances you have to think about what you really want from them.

If a treat every now and then is in your budget then go for it, if you’ve had your eye on a jacket that really fills a gap in your wardrobe then go for it, but if you really need to save and you’re looking at buying a new notebook for the sake of it then you really need to think about if it can wait.

Another thing I find helps with this is having a post it note or section in your journal towards a ‘big spend’ – if there’s something that you want or need to spend slightly more money on. I have a big spend post it note that I transfer to each monthly finance spread with each month and what I would like to be my ‘big spend’ if I can afford it. It’s meant that because I could plan it out, I bought myself a Nintendo Switch in May, a new car in June and I’m hoping to be able to get prescription sunglasses and pay the deposit on a rented property in August. It really is achievable if you set your mind to it!

It’s a difficult skill to master discipline and nobody’s perfect, but trying your best is the best you can do.

So there’s my top advice for helping manage your finances in a more realistic way than most of the apps will let you. I personally find them all too fiddly and they never track my bills right, but maybe I’ve just not put the time into them.

I think I’ll always be a pen and paper gal myself, but I hope this helps in some way!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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700 blog posts later!

2019, creativity, writing

Hello!

When looking for inspiration for my blog this month, I noticed that I’m really close to having published 700 blog posts – this one makes 699 and Saturday’s post will be my 700th blog post! Isn’t that mental?

Especially when I think that in 2015 I published 365 blog posts, so almost half of my blog posts were published in 2015 and let’s just say my style has changed a lot since then!

If you’re feeling nosy – here’s a link to my first post! It’s not formatted very well because I started my blog on blogger and moved to WordPress about 3 years ago. It’s so formal and pretentious and I thought I was being really unique by having a tagline at the end instead of saying goodbye like a normal person.

It’s so strange to look back on that post and know that it was almost 5 years ago – in 5 years I’ve finished sixth form, got a degree, done a whole host of things and still love blogging. Being able to sit down and watch a blinking cursor is somehow liberating, I can just write whatever I’m thinking about and having this platform to share my thoughts, feelings and advice on has been such an incredible creative outlet for me.

I would genuinely recommend for everyone to start blogging – if you want to refine your writing and really figure out your style, if you have a message you want to put out in the world if you want to blog just for yourself and the memories like an online diary I genuinely think it’s a great skill and a wonderful outlet.

And to be able to look back on five years of my life is so special – I’ve documented the day I got my first tattoo, my variety of hair colours, advice on starting university, fashion, beauty, bullet journalling, post-grad life, a bit of travel, my relationship – so much to look back on and I love it so much.

Writing isn’t for everyone – I know that it’s a skill that a lot of people just don’t want to invest their time in. It’s easier to scroll through Instagram or watch videos on YouTube but I really don’t think there’s anything more therapeutic than getting everything out in words, whether it’s in a journal or a blog post there’s such a relief in writing something out. It’s the longest version of writing out a text and not sending it!

I mean, granted there’s a difference between sending an emotion filled text and writing a blog post on the internet for anyone to read.

Nearly 700 blog posts and nearly 5 years really have flown by – I can’t wait to see what happens in the next 5 years and 700 blog posts bring! I wonder what style I’ll be writing in then?

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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being a fat person in summer

2019, fashion, lifestyle

Hello!

Now the main reason I wanted to use a word like ‘fat’ in the title of this post is because so many people have negative associations with it when it’s actually just a description – it’s just a kind of cell that is in every single person’s body and it shouldn’t be detrimental!

I’m fat! Am I okay with being fat? Not really! Am I promoting being overweight? Of course not! But should we be afraid of the word fat? Most definitely not.

And back onto the topic of the post! Being a fat person in summer has it’s own set of challenges – the biggest is chub rub, the second I think is feeling hot and sweaty all the bloody time and then third it’s definitely how every gosh darn person will judge you whatever you’re wearing. Something with sleeves? Why are you wearing so much?! Something without sleeves? Wow, it’s so brave of you to where clothes like that! Daring to wear a crop top? ‘I don’t think that’s very flattering for someone with your figure’. There’s no winning!

There’s so much pressure on women at this time of year anyway between ‘bikini bodies’ and celebrities getting shamed on the front of magazines for having the most natural belly rolls and thighs that actually touch, but there is something about summer that is extra difficult for those of that carry a little bit more insulation.

As well as getting judged for everything we wear, it is physically uncomfortable – it’s not just chub rub when you walk, it’s becoming so much more aware of your body and everywhere skin touches. I’d offer tips and tricks but anyone who’s experienced any of these problems knows the best way to handle it, but I’d recommending watching Hannah Witton’s video trying out lots of chub rub products and not wearing clothes that are too baggy because there can be a lot going on under there.

I wanted today’s post to be an outfit post but I didn’t have time to take photos – I love wearing summer clothes and experimenting with fashion and whilst figuring out new ways to wear my snuggliest jumpers is a thrill, figuring out how to love my body in nearly cropped tees and outfits that aren’t as floaty or flattering is a challenge that I’ve willingly embraced this year rather than hiding behind the one outfit that I could bare to look at myself in.

This post was more of a ramble than a point with a conclusion and I think sometimes those are the best posts because we can all vent and unite about how crap it is being sweaty in summer! Under boob sweat is the only reason I bother with a bra anymore! Tell me about your least favourite thing about summer and how you cope with it in the comments!

Don’t get me wrong – I love when it’s warm, when you go outside and it actually feels warm on your skin. My favourite ever time of day is summer evenings when there’s a chill in the air but it’s comfortable and it’s light but it’s getting dark and you’re in the garden with an ice cold drink and good company (and preferably a fire pit) and I wouldn’t get that without a bit of heat and uncomfortable sweat.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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planning for moving

2019, lifestyle, organisation, student

Hello!

It’s only been a week since I found out I’ve been accepted onto a masters course at Oxford Brooke’s and I’ve already gone head first into planning to move because I’ve only got 2 months to figure it all out! Renting is all quite a quick progress so I don’t know when I’m actually going to find a property with the right time span

But regardless of the fact I don’t have anywhere to live yet, there’s lots of things I’m planning to do different than when I lived alone as an undergrad student so I thought I’d make a list for two reasons – 1) I love planning and thinking all these things through and 2) it holds me accountable so when I do move, I stick with the plan!

1. Having a cleaning/laundry day every week

I’ll be honest, I’m not very good at cleaning where I live – it’s something I never got round to teaching myself when I moved out but in the era of Mrs Hinch it’s not hard to learn! I just know what I’m like so setting a day aside to do the bathroom, the kitchen, hoover everything, do all our laundry will make sure I definitely do it and I think it’ll be a nice relief from uni work. Get some music on the Alexa, comfies on, sounds like a pretty good day actually!

2. Making proper meal plans

Doing one bulk shop at the beginning of the month then using stuff out the freezer to make it last (especially because I’ll probably be cooking for one most nights when my boyfriend’s away working!). Something I really want to focus on is making an effort not to buy as much food on the go – the occasional McDonalds as a treat is okay but popping into Tescos or Costa every day is expensive and not that healthy, so it’ll be good for my healthy eating and for my bank account to plan ahead!

3. Move in parts – not all at once

I have a lot of stuff – ornaments, books, personal stuff and I’m definitely not going to be able to move it all in one go. Being in the Oxford area (rather than in Southampton where I was for uni!) and being able to drive (hopefully) between there and home means I can go pick up more of my stuff whenever I want, rather than having to lug it all on trains. My plan is to take the bare minimum and then as we unpack and figure out storage we can take more belongings or buy new things (I’m hoping for a new TV at some point!). Doing it more gradually will just be easier for everyone, luckily my mum’s happy for us to leave stuff at home!

In terms of actually starting uni – I’ve got my conditional offer, I’ve sent off my references and proof of my degree and applied for student finance. Once my boyfriend and I have taken our next driving tests (lol) we’ll figure out more in terms of logistics and then my mum reckons renting property is a quick process so we’re not really going to start looking until nearer September and then it’s all packing and actually moving, which is stressful enough!

I’m excited though – this is the most progress I’ve made in the year since I graduated (which is exactly a year ago tomorrow, 10th July!). I’m so ready to live independently and go back to uni and hopefully make a start on the rest of my life. Any advice is more than welcome!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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2019 Goals – Mid Year Review

2019, goals

Hello!

love goal setting and the end of June is always somewhat momentous for me because I know it marks the halfway point to the year, so it’s the best time to check in on my goals, adapt if necessary and see how much progress I’m making!

Quick context – I have three categories that I set goals in (personal, career, creative) and each of those categories has three goals and then I tried something new this year in setting some ‘bucket list’ style goals.

I’ll try to keep this brief but I do love a ramble about goals and progress so tuck yourself in lads! Grab a cuppa and tell me all about your goals in the comments please!

Personal Goals:

1. work towards my weight goals – eat well, build workout routine

I feel like I mention it in every blog post, YouTube video and Instagram caption but I’ve been trying to lose weird basically forever now. Progress has been slow over the last three months or so but I’m trying to eat much more intuitively and I’ve been running three times a week (or thereabout) for nearly 10 weeks now and I feel like it’s the longest I’ve ever stuck to something and I’m really proud of myself!

2. prioritise tasks and make time for hobbies – stop caring about ‘productivity’ so much

I’ve been refining how I make my to do lists and generally I am finding ways to make the most of every day as much as I can. I definitely haven’t been making time for hobbies but I have been more efficient with my productivity. I still care about productivity much more than I want to, but with how the rest of the year is going to go I think the time for hobbies will come. But in a way writing blog posts and YouTube videos are my hobbies so I guess that counts?

3. self esteem, I need some

This was a way of wording ‘fix my mental health’ whilst being a bit kinder to myself about it. I’ve tried my best to get to know each other and build better habits and I’m much better at recognising the triggers of when I’m not doing so good. I’ve had a bunch of doctors appointments, I’m on anti-depressants now and I’m on a waiting list for computerised CBT, which I’m hesitant about but know it’ll probably be for the best. This is the most progress I’ve made with my mental health in the ten years I’ve been internally battling with myself so whilst I don’t really have any self-esteem yet, the whole process is a work in progress.

Career Goals:

1. build freelance career – make my own work, be my own boss, superhero woman (essentially)

I set this goal in the beginning of the year when I had freelance work and that fell through within a few weeks (which was horrible, ngl) so now this goal is just about working hard for me. How this year has gone so far hasn’t been to plan for me, but I’ve gotten over myself and made my situation work and I’ve earned enough many to make a big purchase recently so it’s going okay! I’m making it all work.

2. build my own media kit (save for a camera/refine my skills)

This one is something I know exactly what I want but I’ve justified that I’m not going to spend the money on something as big as a camera and lenses etc when I’m not certain I’m going to use them or they’re going to be a cost-effective purchase. If I spend the second half of the year glued to a camera, then I can justify it, if I don’t then I’m not going to spend that much money on a camera. All justified!

3. make a future plan with work goals, house/relationship aspirations etc

I’ve done this! Not set in stone kind of 5 year plan because that just doesn’t work for me but I have the framework in my bullet journal and that I add to a change and adapt occasionally. It’s all flexible because I think life is too unpredictable to really make a solid 5 year plan.

Creative Goals:

1. continue towards making the most genuine ‘me’ content on my blog and youtube channel

Actually really pleased with this one – I’m really happy with the attitude I have towards my blog and my channel at the moment and cutting myself some slack when I don’t upload exactly at the right time or anything. I feel more genuine than I’ve felt in a long time and I’m really happy with it.

2. write a book? finish something? write more than I did in 2018 (may be some freelance writing?)

I’ve been planning little writing challenges all through this year in the build up to writing 50,000 words in November for NaNoWriMo and it’s been going semi-decently! I’ve not always hit word counts but I’ve been writing consistently for the first time since before I went to uni. This month I’m hoping to write 35,000 words but I’m significantly behind and it’s day 6 so I’m hoping to get a couple of really good catch up days in before the month is out.

3. work on photography – need to solidify basic knowledge and then work with better equipment

I spent a lot of time at the beginning of this year teaching myself the basics of photography – what all the settings really mean, getting to know my camera, figuring out how the core skills of photography really work. It’s something I want to develop further with more experience when I go back to uni in September but for now I’m pleased with the progress I’ve made so far.

10 ‘bucket list’ goals:

1. have a PT session

This one is centred around driving for me – I can’t walk to a gym locally and I’m moving soon so getting professional help with working out will come when either I can drive or I move. Another work in progress!

2. get another tattoo

Done! Got a series of tattoos to start my travel sleeve this week and I love them so much.

(photos)

3. read a book a month

I’m currently on 7 out of 12 books for the year! I haven’t read for a few weeks but because I was a little bit ahead it was a bit of pressure off and I’m going to get back to it soon, when I’ve fixed my sleeping pattern (lol).

4. do a grid drawing every month

For context – the premise of this is this is that I print off a line drawing, draw a 30 square grid over the top and colour in one square each day of the month. This is something I’m really enjoying – sometimes I find colouring books a bit daunting because I don’t know where to start or they’re so intricate but this one has been really good for my mental health and for my creativity.

5. listen to more music, use Spotify playlists

I’ve been writing my monthly mixtape posts for a few months now and I listen to my discover weekly playlist every week!

6. save for a canon 80d, 50mm lens and a 75-300mm lens

See previous photography goals – if I don’t do this one it’s a financial choice.

7. have a little trip away with my boyfriend every month

I wrote a blog post about how I’ve already broken this one for the year but finances and work have disrupted this one a little, but that’s alright – it was pretty ambitious anyway.

8. take my driving test + upgrade my car

I have taken my driving test once and failed but next one is booked and I feel so much better about it. And I bought a new car at the weekend! I’m genuinely so excited about it all, I can’t wait to see where my little H R Wheels and I will go in the latter half of this year.

9. improve my posture

A silly one, but one I’m trying to integrate into my day to day life.

10. find somewhere to live/get our own place

And following the brief mention of going back to uni, my boyfriend and I will be moving somewhere close to Oxford (probably Aylesbury because there doesn’t seem to property available anywhere else). We’ll be moving in the next couple of months!

And that’s a check in with all of my goals for 2019! I think checking in on goals like this is really important because if you’re on track and making progress it inspires you to keep going and if you feel like you’ve not made as much progress as you’d like it gives you the kick up the bum to focus!! Here’s to the home straight of 2019!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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July Goals

2019, fitness, goals, lifestyle, student, writing

Hello!

It’s that time again! We’re officially over halfway through 2019 and I’m not entirely sure how it’s gone that fast actually. It’ll be Christmas before we know it!

But with a new month, it means new goals! My June goals actually went relatively well – I made good progress on lots of things and I’m going to maintain that this month. So here are my achievable personal goals for July!

  1. Practice driving petrol – may sound dumb, but long story short I upgraded my car! I’ve been driving diesel since I started learning last September and this is the first time I’ve ever driven petrol and boy-o it’s different and difficult to get used to. I say ‘difficult’ – it’s only been two days and when it’s flat I’m mostly okay but I want to get lots of practice in so that when I pass my driving test (eventually) I’ll be ready to zip off here there and everywhere in my gorgeous new car! Aptly named H.R.Wheels by my creative boyfriend, plus points to anyone who watches the Flash and gets that reason.
  2. Confirm my place at uni and research where to move – literally yesterday as I was brainstorming what I wanted my goals for this month to be, I got a conditional offer email from Oxford Brookes University to study MSc Digital Media Production and I’m simultaneously nervous and excited. But what goes with that is moving – finding somewhere to live around Oxford (because I definitely can’t afford Oxford) and figuring out the finances of it all! July is a month of figuring out.
  3. Write 35,000 words – I’ve been setting myself lots of monthly writing challenges to train up for 50,000 words NaNoWriMo in November and this month is Camp NaNoWriMo. It’s just to maintain my habit for writing every day and making time for creative hobbies around work and other commitments!
  4. Run 3x a week and stop snacking – a little development on my goals for last months. In this last week is when I fell off my couch to 5k bandwagon and I needed a bit of motivation, so this morning I did the run from week 1 and I’m going to do a condensed version of the first 4 weeks, then build up on week 5 and 6 again because that’s where I started to struggle. It’s going to take me considerably longer than 9 weeks but I’m going to get there! This is the most committed to exercise I’ve been since I was dancing four times a week at school. And I need to get a hold of my eating habits again – it’s getting out of hand so step 1 for me is cutting out snacking. It’ll be tough but I want to feel better again so I’ve got to work for it!
  5. Make sure I can pay all my bills – having bought a car at the very end of June, July is going to be incredibly tight (because I may or may not have spent the majority of my wages before I got paid… haha?). It’s manageable as long as I don’t waste money on things I don’t need and am really careful with what I do spend. I’m not worried about it but I need to focus and having it as part of my monthly goals helps keep me on track!

A couple of days ago, I noticed in myself that I was feeling a bit spaced out – that I was stopping doing things that are good for me and feeling a total lack of motivation for everything but writing this post has really perked me up! If you feel a bit lost I thoroughly recommend setting a short list of achievable goals, it makes it so much easier to be productive!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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Couch to 5k update! | unfitness

2019, fitness

Hello!

I thought it was time for a little update on my Couch to 5k progress – if you’ve never heard of Couch to 5k, it’s a (supposedly) 9 week program to get you from no running, to 30 minutes of running, here’s a breakdown of the 9 weeks if you’d like to have a nosy!

I started my journey with Couch to 5k 9 weeks ago, which should mean I’ve finished the program and can comfortably run for 30 minutes right?

NO! NOT AT ALL!

The whole point of the program (to my understanding), is that you take it at your pace – repeat as many runs as you need to until you feel comfortable and ready to move on. Currently, I’m still working on week 6 – my life has been a bit hectic and I’ve missed a couple of runs, so to maintain my ‘no pressure’ approach, I’m not going to push myself over the weekend and I’ll get back to it on Monday.

And that’s okay! Personally, I think the Couch to 5k should have different levels – that splits at week 3, or maybe have different options to split depending how you feel at the end of each week, giving options with longer progressions as well as the one that jumps from 8 minutes of running to 20 minutes of running (wasn’t a fan).

Where I’m at currently is I’m not loving it, I like seeing the progress but it has massively slowed and it’s really demotivating to see that the program makes such giant leaps and I’m being left behind. But I’m trying my best not to focus on any of that and just take it in my own time – the fact that I’ve maintained running (just about) three times a week for nine weeks is a huge step for me! If you’ve been following my unfitness updates for a while you’ll know that normally I get really hyped about something for usually about three weeks and then I fall off the bandwagon and I’m back to square one.

The most important thing for me has been being able to fit it into a routine – the thing with at home workouts is you need equipment and space and you have to follow a video, but with this I just hop on the treadmill, have my phone with the podcast playing and I watch YouTube on my iPad so it’s much simpler for me to get my head around fitting it all in.

So as always – it’s a work in progress. I’m not seeing the progress I want at the moment, I’m having a real mental battle with food and all round I’m feeling pretty tired about the whole thing. But I’m still trying. I feel more like I’m closer to the ‘couch’ end than the ‘5k’ end, but I’m trying and at the end of the day? That’s all we can do.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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work work work work work | diary 6

2019, career, lifestyle

Hello!

If you watch my YouTube videos, you may have noticed I didn’t upload a weekly vlog for a couple of weeks (they’re coming I promise, I have a plan!).

And whilst I will be uploading something, my vlogs have been pretty bland recently because my ‘part-time’ job is hovering somewhere between part-time and full-time now and I want all the hours I can get – between upgrading my car and knowing I want to go back to university in September and I need to save as much money as possible, I don’t have much of a choice in terms how much I need to work.

So when I planned to write a diary post this week, I didn’t anticipate it would be in a week where I’m literally working every day and I don’t have anything particularly ‘fun’ to document.

I work for my mum’s business, we leave at 7.50am most mornings, we join commuter traffic into the city near where we live, we sit in an office until maybe 4.30 and then we join commuter traffic again to drive home for about 5.30pm and have dinner. It’s not a bland day – it’s busy, it’s always different and the people in the office are so lovely, but it’s not something I can really blog about and I definitely can’t vlog it.

So maybe the natural step would be to stop doing weekly vlogs or not to write a ‘diary’ post but my channels are for me – I don’t have a ‘niche’, I’m not something to slot into a market, this content is primarily for me to look back on and this is what I’m doing. When I was a student I blogged about student things and whatever industry I end up in I’ll probably end up blogging about that one day too, so this is just a toned down version of that really.

But I don’t need to justify why I’m blogging about it – it’s just nice to document work times as much as it is to document travel or adventures or shaving my head

I’m still trying to figure out where my blog fits into the blogosphere – I don’t feel like I have the authority to write any kind of ‘how to’ posts because I don’t know enough about anything, I love sharing my opinions on music, books and travel and that’s why my blog is just a little bit of me. The girl that sets herself too many goals and dreams as big as she can.

I don’t know if this really constitutes a ‘diary’ post but it’s what I’m doing at the moment so I’ll roll with it. I hope you enjoy this style of writing! My favourite are the rambly posts that write themselves, like a stream of consciousness.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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braving the shave for Macmillan

2019, lifestyle, mental health

Hello!

Well the title says it all doesn’t it! Tomorrow (Sunday 23rd May) I will be shaving my hair off for Macmillan Cancer Support.

Let’s take it back to the beginning – one whole week ago when I decided I was going to do this (because don’t we all love a spontaneous decision).

I was scrolling through Instagram stories, just relaxing as I do, when I see an ad for Macmillan’s Brave the Shave – I did a double take, scrolling back to watch the ad again and something in the back of my mind said: “I could do that…”

So I put a poll on my own Instagram stories – do I or don’t I? The results were surprisingly positive, so I turned to Twitter with another poll – do I or don’t I? And again, the results were swinging towards shaving my head…

Then I was chatting to my mum – she reminded me that cancer was one of the contributing factors when my nanny passed away two years ago and her birthday would have been June 24th. Since we lost her we’ve had a family gathering around her birthday so we would have everyone here as well.

And everything seemed to slot into place…

Before I could change my mind or regret it, I made a donation page on the Brave to Shave site and I got the first couple of donations that night and that meant I was fully committed – I have to shave my head now.

I feel so grateful to my friends and family who have donated – I reached my donation goal of £100 in just TWO days and the night before the shave I’ve managed to double that goal!

I’ll be honest – this is as much for me as it is to raise money for charity. It’s been roughly a year since I moved home before graduation and a year that hasn’t gone the way I wanted it to at all. It’s been tough but I’ve learnt a lot and things are just starting to look like they’re going in a more positive direction, so why not do something drastic and spontaneous to mark the occasion right?

I won’t be donating my hair to charity, mostly because it wouldn’t be accepted – it’s far too short, it’s been bleached and dyed to no end and no one’s going to want a wig made out of my hair I’ll tell you that for nothing! But now that it’s settled in that I’m really going to do it and I’m really going to have short fuzzy hair for a few weeks, I’m really excited. I’ve been describing it as ‘factory resetting’ my hair – I’ve not seen my natural hair colour since I was 17 and in that time I’ve bleached, dyed, damaged and cut my own hair so many times and my beloved hairdresser has done wonders for my hair in this last year… and now I’m about to shave it all off and start again!

This decision has come around very spontaneously and I’m so grateful for all of the support – from Instagram messages, friends and family, the women at my tap class, my driving instructor – I’ve had support from so many people that I’m genuinely so appreciative of and I can only imagine the amount of good this money will do for Macmillan Cancer Support.

If you’d like to donate to my shave, you can find my donation page here, otherwise I will be streaming live on Instagram (not sure what time yet, keep an eye on stories!) and I will be posting a vlog with the full story on my YouTube channel this weekend!

Here’s to braving the shave!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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June Monthly Mixtape

2019, music

Hello!

This months mixtape feels really short – my discovery weekly playlists have been mostly rubbish, there’s been lots of new releases and there’s one song I’ve had on repeat for most of this month (that we’ll get to later) but I don’t feel like I’ve listened to a lot of music.

I do still have a few songs to talk about, so here’s some of my highlights from my June music playlist!

Easier (5 Seconds of Summer) surprised me to be honest – I have such a weird relationship with what I think about the band and my favourite 5SOS era was ‘Sounds Good Feels Good’, but I really like how experimental this song is. They’re trying something new again within the pop-electric realm and I actually really enjoyed it. Some of the lyrics are a bit forced but it’s fun!

Forfeit (Arrows in Action) is a band and a song I never would have heard if it wasn’t for my discover weekly playlist but it gives me major Alex Gaskarth/old All Time Low vibes and I’m 100% here for it. Definitely going to be looking into the bands other songs!

I’m Not Okay (I Promise) (Robyn Adele Anderson) is a refreshing take on the classic teenage emo song – I love jazz/swing remixes of pop chart songs and this one really took me by surprise. The vocals are astonishing, the arrangement is true to the genre and the original song simultaneously and it made me smile on the bus, which is the best kind of song really!

Outside Looking In (Jordan Pruitt) – this song is on the playlist exclusively because I remembered it existed and it was a banger when I was 12. It got me through tough times of no friends and difficult friendships and boy-o I would belt it at the top of my lungs and rediscovering it has been a blast.

End Of The World (Plain White T’s) was a song I literally added this afternoon – I was giving this week’s discover weekly a listen on the bus and this is the only song I liked enough to engage with at all. It was a cute, catchy bop – nothing ground breaking, but a fun listen.

My shoutout of the month goes to the song I’ve had on loop – the song that at first I was very ‘eh’ about, then the melody kept cropping up in my head and then I started really listening to the lyrics and really fell in love with Guiltless (dodie).

It’s been a mixed month for music, to be fair to Spotify I didn’t have as much time for listening to music as I usually do and with a new routine settling into place I need to figure out how to integrate music into the time I have but as always, I love writing these posts – if you have any recommendations let me know in the comments! This months challenge is listening to my Release Radar playlist as well as my Discover Weekly on Spotify!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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