we FINALLY moved!

2019, goals, lifestyle

Hello!

I wanted to post this on the day we moved but it turns out even when you’re not doing a ‘full move’ (i.e. it’s just a couple of car loads of stuff, the rest of our things are coming at the weekend) it’s still a really busy day! Unfortunately blogging didn’t happen, but here we are a couple of days later.

It’s only been a two months round journey but here we are! My boyfriend and I have our own place – a rented, terraced, one bedroom house in High Wycombe with a fireplace in the living room, a cute little garden and incredible built-in wardrobe storage and I’m in love.

Let’s have a little recap of our journey so far – my boyfriend got a job on his graduation day in 2018 on the condition that he had to have a full driving license. Cut to a year later and he passed his test, I passed my test, I had decided to apply for a masters and we wanted to move to Reading – we went to property viewings in and around Reading, we saw a flat that we loved and we paid the security deposit that evening with a set move in date of four weeks later.

Shock horror, that did not happen.

Three days before we were due to move (and the day before my birthday, might I add) we were told that flat wasn’t safe to move into and the move in date had been pushed back two weeks. However, Lucas (the boyf) still started work and my uni course still started so we spent the best part of a week living in a hotel room then our friend Nick very kindly gave us his spare keys and we stayed in his flat in Reading until we could figure out what we were doing.

It was then that we started to think that Reading wasn’t for us – High Wycombe is where Lucas works and overall, Reading just wasn’t as convenient for my commute to uni or anything. So we went back to viewing properties – and the first viewing we arranged was for this house that we loved and I went that afternoon and it was like fate, it was perfect for us. We saw another flat that was nice but it just wasn’t the house.

The thing that really solidified the decision for us was that we knew where we wanted a Christmas tree to go. We could picture ourselves living here – we wanted to put fairy lights in the bedroom and tinsel on the stairs and if that doesn’t say to us that it’s the right place for us then I don’t know what will.

So we put our application in, paid our security deposit, then initially got rejected by the landlord who didn’t think we could afford it, we then reapplied with some more information (we begged) and we got approved! Then we sorted all the referencing, planned the move in date and everything went to plan. The letting agent was generally much more friendly and much more open about setting a realistic move in date and the work that needed doing and it was just a much more pleasant experience that didn’t feel like fighting.

And here we are! If you have any questions about renting in the UK or anything like that please do let me know! I’m sure I’ll post more updates when we’ve unpacked and started doing as much decorating as we can in a rented property – there’s going to be more shopping, I want to do an Ikea and a B&M trip, I bought a washing up bowl and a drainer and a worktop saver today. It’s all a bit grown up but I kind of love it as much as I resent how much it costs.

I’m starting to feel a bit more relaxed now – everything is slowly falling into place. We’re getting there. I’m getting there.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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what I want – Autumn lust list

2019, fashion, lifestyle

Hello!

The internet is the place for hauls right? YouTube hauls, blog hauls, Instagram hauls, even Twitter hauls are a thing but today I’m going to flip it – rather than stuff I’ve bought, here’s a list of stuff I want to buy.

(I’m fully aware this isn’t an original idea, just thought it would be fun!)

Lucy and Yak dungarees – I think every blogger under the sun has seen someone on Instagram wearing Lucy and Yak dungarees. The pair I’ve linked are the glorious rainbow stripe dungarees that are unfortunately sold out, but there’s rainbow trousers that I’m kind of obsessed with, these mid-wash denim dungas that look super comfy and these bluey-purple striped dungas to make up for it! I’m massively exploring my relationship with clothes I’ve never thought ‘suited me’ and incorporating bold patterns into my wardrobe and whilst I’ve had my eye on these for a while, I just can’t justify the price. Maybe further along the line when I’ve got something to reward myself for but right now where I’m focusing on sustainable fashion and getting lots of wear out of the clothes I’ve got, Lucy and Yak are staying on my Lust List.

Dr Martens – yes I already have a pair… no I don’t have a black fur-lined pair so obviously I need them. The choice is between the fur-lined Chelsea boots, the fur-lined traditional boots or… just a pair of black Docs. I love how these look when styled – how they can make a really feminine outfit look a bit more edgy (or am I just a nerd trying to look ‘edgy’?). I’ve worn my maroon pair so much and I can’t wait to get back into styling them in the winter months, maybe this is the year for another pair…?

& Other Stories sweater – this one is new to the Lust List – I saw Rhiannon Ashley wearing this on her Instagram a few days ago and fell in love with it. Then she shared the link and I saw the price tag and suddenly it became infinitely less appealing, but still looked so soft and comfy – it’s the combination of cosy Autumnal knitwear and easy to throw on hoodie that gets me. The £75 price tag is a massive negative for me and brands like ‘& Other Stories’ don’t tend to cater to a plus sized audience so their L (because obviously they have an XS but not an XL) is probably a size 12, maybe 14 at a push and making girls everywhere feel ‘large’ and inconvenient for being an average (below average) size.

Can you tell I’m passionate about these matters?

Still really like the sweater though.

Space necklace from Eclectic Eccentricity – I first heard about this brand from Hannah Witton in one of her favourites videos – she showed me space jewellery and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. This gorgeous necklace captures everything I love about cutesy moon drawings and delicate, subtle silver necklaces and pairs them together in a lovely £38 bundle. If Santa’s listening, it’s on my Christmas list (is it still too soon for the C word?).

Pajamei Slippers – maybe a little bit niche but here we go – the only video game I really play is a franchise called Overwatch. One of the characters in this game is an ice queen better than Elsa – Mei is an environmental scientist who’s the only surviving member of her team when she wakes up in a cryo-chamber. One of her skins (‘outfit’ in video game terminology) is a chilled out skin called Paja-Mei (I love it so much). I really wanted to cosplay this outfit at MCM Comic Con next year but I think the jumper and potentially the PJ bottoms have been discontinued, that doesn’t stop me from wanting these slippers more than anything. Again, I think they’ve sold out because there’s no size options left but a girl can live in hope.

And those are the items I can’t stop thinking about – a lot of these items are much more pricy than I would ever spend on clothes/things to wear usually. If I did buy them they would be special treat purchases for sure but when I weigh up these things against the amount of clothes I could buy in Primark or the pens I could buy on Amazon, quantity usually wins but hey! We’ll see what happens in the long run.

What are the ‘luxe’ items that you yearn for but can’t bring yourself to buy? Any brands that I should be looking at for plus sized clothing? Let me know!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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new beginnings | diary 8

2019, lifestyle, student

Hello!

September has been a whirlwind and I can’t believe it’s nearly over – it’s not gone quite to plan, the whole ‘moving’ thing hasn’t really happened at all, but there’s a lot of amazing life things that happened or are happening this month so I thought I’d collate into one nice succinct blog post.

~ turning 23 ~

No, having a birthday doesn’t feel all that different but I don’t know why it felt important – I think because there’s 9 months between my boyfriend and I it means I’ve been mentally preparing myself for being this age for so long and now it’s here it doesn’t feel real.

Mentally, I still feel like I’m 19/20 and being this far into my 20s just feels wrong – I’m dealing with stuff for my car or talking to letting agents and in my head I’m thinking ‘do they have any idea how naive I am about all this?’ and it just feels like I’m pretending. But I think that’s what adulthood is meant to feel like.

I’m all about new starts – I love a Monday, I love New Years and I think that’s why birthdays feel so significant to me. It feels like a new chapter.

~ going back to uni ~

This was always going to be a big change – having decided when I finished third year that I didn’t want to go back into education and I’d ‘make it on my own’ I then spent a year faced with rejection and heartbreak and further reinforcement of my incompetence in being ignored for literally hundreds of jobs. It was about May time when I decided to take matters into my own hands and apply for the masters I said I wanted to do at the beginning of third year to steer my career away from journalism.

In the last week I’ve felt so many almost-overwhelming emotions about whether I’m doing the right thing and whether I can actually do this but I’ve met some amazing people and I’m more driven than ever to build the career for myself that I really want. I can have a dream but it’s not going to come true by itself and I’m going to work my ass off for it.

So I’ve had my first lecture and I have homework to watch pretentious film student films and think of critical analysis, but I’m going to make this year work for me and 2020 is going to be a different story to 2019.

~ moving to Berkshire/Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire? ~

I’ve spent the last week and a half driving between three counties pretty much everyday and not only is it a very different driving scene to where I’m from, but the whole ‘moving’ thing has been a drama.

I feel like I’ve mentioned it about three million times, but we were all set to move into a flat in Reading and then three days before the move we get an email saying the flat is not safe to be lived in and our move in date is pushed back by two weeks. Cue nearly a week living in a hotel in High Wycombe (because uni and my boyfriend’s job still started, even if we hadn’t moved) and then our incredible friend Nick said we could stay in his flat while he’s working in Japan.

And what we’ve learnt from this is that commuting from Reading is more difficult than commuting from High Wycombe and realistically living there would be much more convenient. So with less than a week till we’re potentially moving into a flat in Reading (the move in date has still not been confirmed!), we went back to viewings. The first property we viewed was a terraced house in High Wycombe and we fell in love – it’s a proper house, it has stairs and a breakfast bar and a little front garden and a shed and we’ve applied for it and hopefully we’ll be able to move in there soon.

So in terms of an ‘update’ there isn’t really an update on the moving front – we’re still living in Nick’s flat and just waiting for things to happen now, but hopefully we’ll get to move into this amazing little house and I’ll show you every step of the process on my YouTube channel! Keep an eye out if you’re interested in that – it’s linked below if you’d like to subscribe!

~ first car accident ~ 

Not the most positive of updates but it’s a first and a life thing and I’m learning a lot from it – whilst I was away in London at the weekend my boyfriend was caught in a three way collision that wasn’t at all his fault (literally, no sarcasm here, it was just collateral damage). Fortunately no one was hurt, but the back bumper of my car is looking a bit worse for wear and I’ve spent so much time on the phone with my insurance company, the intermediary company who are coordinating getting it fixed and the garage that’s actually going to do the work.

Considering I passed my driving test less than two months ago and have only owned the car for nearly three months, I didn’t think I’d have to go through all of this so soon, but I do and I think I’m actually handling it surprisingly well.

I’m the kind of person who names their car and my boyfriend refer very fondly to our little Harry (Harrison Wheels, if you watch The Flash you’ll get it) and I feel guilty about all that he’s been through. Can you imagine how much worse I’d be if I had a pet or a child?? Definitely just going to have to stick with the car for now!

~ new beginnings ~

I wouldn’t say I’m a big believer in fate or anything but I think things happen for a reason – if we moved straight into our flat we would have immediately run into commuting issues and we’d have been tied into a contract without knowing that there was somewhere more convenient to live.

If I’d got a job I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to move somewhere brand new and explore a bit more of the country I live in. I wouldn’t have thought to go back to uni to refine my portfolio and what it is I want to do. I wouldn’t have learned to drive or been able to buy myself a car.

Life happens – it’s never smooth, it’s never easy, but it’s what you make it – I feel like I’ve rattled off these reasons time and time again in blog posts but it’s trying to convince myself as much as anything else. Things are going to be okay, even if I feel a little bit like I’m drowning at the moment, it will all settle down eventually. By Christmas we’ll have settled!

Change is something that daunts me, but I wouldn’t do without it – if you don’t embrace change than you’ll only grow to resent it, which just makes it all more difficult when it happens anyway.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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the eve of 23

2019, lifestyle

Hello!

It’s my birthday tomorrow – normally I spend the few weeks leading up to my birthday getting excited and looking forward to it, but this year it’s really snuck up on me. My boyfriend and I are moving to our new flat in Reading this weekend and that is most definitely taking priority but that doesn’t mean I haven’t thought about it.

slight update: between drafting and publishing this blog post, our estate agents (with three days to go) have pushed our move in date until September 28th so, all round very emotional and frustrated tbh

I’m a very reflective person – New Year is my best and worst time of year for that very reason – and my birthday always has me looking back on the year that’s gone passed. And 22 was an… interesting year.

It was the most challenging year of my life so far – having been home for a couple of months after graduating, having no luck in getting a job in any way shape or form, spending the next few months in denial that I couldn’t get a job and feeling particularly inadequate in every way, shape and form. 22 will always be the year that the only thing that mattered to me was being able to get a job and starting my career and, to be honest, that still stands now even though I’m less than a week from starting a masters degree in Digital Media Production.

Whilst this thought that I wasn’t good enough still lingers in my mind today, 2019 picked up a lot after realising that things weren’t going to get better if I didn’t try. I took a more permanent role working at my mum’s business as an office assistant and consequently worked enough hours to be able to consistently add to my savings account, upgrade my car and pay the deposit on our new flat (lol), as well as taking on a post-graduate certificate course in Professional Development Planning and decided to apply for a MSc in Digital Media Production. As well as getting my driving licence, a first aid qualification, doing lots of volunteering and making lots of self-development progress.

So 22 was up and down – I accidentally took a ‘year off’ though my mum doesn’t like me calling it that. My career isn’t where I want it to be, but I can’t change it and I can only make 23 better than 22 was. There’s no point dwelling on a past you can’t change! At least that’s what I’m trying to remind myself.

23 holds a lot of hope – having a place with my boyfriend, starting a new course in a new place, having a list of professional and career related things I want to achieve and knowing what I did wrong in my undergrad that I can amend in my post-grad hopefully will mean I can get this career off the ground (and maybe I’ll fish my self esteem out from the bottom of the ocean too!).

I’m hoping to go on a holiday abroad again, I’m planning to go to a festival with my mum next summer and I want to do everything I can to make 23 better than 22.

Sounds completely unrelated but hang with me – my boyfriend loves singing badly to songs and making up his own lyrics and the other day he came up with ‘dancing queen, young and sweet only twenty three’ and you know what? I’ll take that!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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remember when I blogged every day for a year?

2019, lifestyle, writing

Hello!

My blogging journey has just passed it’s FIVE YEAR anniversary – in that time I’ve written literally hundreds of blog posts, spent hours at my keyboard and learnt a lot about my writing style and myself in the process.

Blogging is something I literally recommend to anyone – got a niche skill? Blog about it! Want to document your life to look back on with your family in the future? Start a private blog! Just got lots of opinions that you’d like to share with a community? A blog is for you! I genuinely think blogging is for everyone.

And I love blogging – knowing that I can allot maybe an hour twice a week to just spill my heart out through the tips of my fingers and then curate those words and make sure there’s at least one decent picture to go with it all and promote it over my social media channels, I find it so therapeutic. Especially in the last few months where I’ve really solidified what purpose I have my blog for and what I want from it (and that not being a career or audience growth, particularly – though that would be lovely!), my blog is my little safe space of the internet to share my thoughts and feelings and pictures and I really do love it.

But then I think back to 2015 and one of the most… interesting snap decisions I ever made.

On New Years Day 2015 one of my cousins posted a picture on instagram that said ‘page 1 of 365’ and I immediately thought that would be a fantastic series for a blog that I had just launched because every university open day I went to said I should have one… and then I was writing and I was committed to writing 365 blog posts.

This is the year where I was trying to recover my A Level grades from the disaster that was my AS results, I was fundraising to spend a month in Ecuador with Camps International, I moved almost 200 miles away to go to uni, started uni, also happened to meet my now long term boyfriend all whilst writing a blog post pretty much every single day. The more I think about it the more impressed I am with 18/19 year old me – I pre-wrote over 30 blog posts for whilst I was in South Africa and I bossed my A Levels (considering what they were), I suffered some of my lowest lows and lost some important friends whilst meeting the people that were a huge part of my transition to university.

2015 was a huge year for me which is part of the reason I decided to do the blogging series, but the fact that I managed to maintain and successfully write three hundred and sixty five blog posts is just another achievement in itself!

Looking back, a lot of the things I wrote about are things I wouldn’t write about now. I think my style is a lot less formal and more chatty, I have much more confidence in what I want to write about and I feel like I’ve learnt a lot about life – not just from blogging but I was 18 when I started my blog and next week I turn 23, a lot changes in five years and I have grown up a lot.

I couldn’t do another year of daily blogging I know that for sure – I don’t think anyone’s creativity really let’s them make good, original content every single day and the quality would have to suffer to make that much content. Even if blogging was your full time job there’s still days with meetings and interviews and business stuff and social stuff that takes whole days and unless you were incredibly organised all the time I think it would be a real challenge for anyone. Now I definitely prioritise my own sanity and the quality of my writing over posting more frequently.

And to be honest? I don’t think I’d want to – having that much time to spend on my blog would be amazing but I’d rather spend all that time making really good content once or twice a week. I’m busy to be honest – I’m going back to uni, I’m going to be working part time, I have a social life and friends to catch up with, I like spending time with my family and I’ve worked so hard on my personal development this year and I’m so proud of myself. My time management and productivity has come on in leaps and bounds – I regularly get all the things on my daily to do lists done because I’ve really refined what works for me and throwing ‘publishing a blog post every single day’ into the mix isn’t something I want to commit myself to.

So what’s the purpose of this blog post? A little bit of self reflection and a delayed pat on the back – I achieved so much in 2015 and it stands as one of the best (and worst) years of my life and I’m really glad I documented it. Daily blogging definitely has it’s place, but I’ve done my time I think!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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September Goals

2019, goals, lifestyle, student

Hello!

I spent all of July wishing for August, then August flew by quicker than I could follow and now my favourite month of the year has come round. September – the month of the last dregs of summer blending into the beginning of Autumn, lots of birthdays and back to school season (I’m a nerd, it excites me).

My September has lots of fresh starts – turning 23, moving to a brand new city and starting studying at a new university. Lots of ‘new’ but whilst trying not to think about how daunting all of that is, here are the mini goals I will be focusing on this month:

  • Get a part-time job in Reading – for one, moving house is really expensive, for two, post graduate loans barely cover anything and for three, my partner isn’t going to be around a lot of the time and I don’t have any friends in Reading so I want something to fill the time, pay the bills and make some friends! I’ve applied for a job I actually kind of subtly really want but what I’ve learnt from a year of applying for jobs is not to put all your eggs in one basket! When I know more about my university course and my timetable I can throw myself head first into looking at working and (hopefully) by the end of the month I’ll have something lined up.
  • Stay on top of my finances amongst all the moving costs – did I mention that moving is really expensive? Not only am I now paying for my personal bills and insurance for two new drivers, I’m paying for utilities and WiFi and a TV license and all those things! Obviously I’m not complaining, it’s just adult life, but as we move things are going to be tight tight tight so I need to stay on top of my budgeting!
  • Finish PG Cert course, start MSc Digital Media Production – this one isn’t so much of a goal to strive for as a marker point to get to – I’m going to finish my post graduate certificate and I’m going to start my masters, but it’s about not losing momentum at the end of one qualification and making sure I’m prepared to start the other. There is literally one week of crossover but in a busy month where I’m also moving about 150 miles (ish) away, staying on top of my education is another important thing!
  • Focus on content – making four regular posts on time every week – my YouTube content in particular is massively slacking at the moment. I feel like I have nothing to film for my weekly vlogs, I’m working so hard in the office I don’t have time to film or edit other videos, blogging is something that comes very naturally to me and is less time consuming than YouTube (at least for me at this very casual level) but it’s important to me to maintain the two, especially where this month is going to be very busy. Time management is key!
  • Do something for self care every single week – and in a much less ‘productivity focused’ manor, things like taking my make-up off and brushing my teeth are the first things to fall off when I’m stressed or my mental health dips. My mum and I call my stress ‘subconscious stress’ because I feel okay about things but I feel a lot of physical symptoms of stress, so I want to make an effort to have time to look after myself – I bought a Lush face mask while I was in Reading and I want to use it! I want to look after my skin! I need to have a home routine and not rely so heavily on external routines and self-care is something I need to prioritise so much.

September is going to be a challenging month – financially, it’s so tight and it’s going to be super busy, but it’s also got numerous birthdays, a brand new city to explore and a whole new chapter to begin! I’m genuinely so excited and can’t wait to document it all.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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I’m moving! | life update | diary 7

2019, lifestyle, student

Hello!

Time for a little life update / little insight into what I get up to day to day at the moment I think!

August has been manic – in July I was accepted by Oxford Brookes University to study MSc Digital Media production, so I knew I’d be moving back to uni and I spent a lot of time wishing it was August to get the ball rolling.

Then my boyfriend passed his driving test, then I passed my driving test, then we arranged a few property viewings in the Oxford/Reading area and then we attended four viewings and by the evening of the second day we’d put a deposit down on a river-facing ground floor flat that we’ve fallen in love with?

So the August I’d been yearning for has literally flown passed – I can’t believe it’s nearly September, we’re moving in like three weeks and I feel over-prepared and in no way prepared at the same time.

My life at the moment is generally working 9-10 hour days in my mum’s office to save for things like hoovers and bed frames and other necessities for an unfurnished flat (I’m so glad I bought sofa’s on gumtree when I was at uni) and then making lots of lists of things I still need to pack, household bills I need to look into and listing all the places I need to change my address.

Really I’m in my element – it’s something I can take responsibility and ownership for and I get to make lots and lots of lists. I’m excited, but it is a little bit daunting too, especially financially – I’ve lived with my mum for a year and part of me feels like I won’t adjust to adult life again, along with the fact my boyfriend is about to start his new job and I think I’m going to be alone most of the time, it does feel a little scary… but I’m trying to focus on the exciting!

I’m going to make a video all about the steps between paying the deposit and picking up the keys nearer the time but it’s all moving very quickly – there’s no free weekends between now and moving and there’s a lot to fit in, but I think I’m on top of it and I think I’ll have enough money to buy essentials (I hope).

Having a birthday literally three days before we move is probably going to come in handy too!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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one month since I shaved my head

2019, fashion, lifestyle

Hello!

July 23rd marks one calendar month since I braved the shave for Macmillan Cancer Support – one month since two of my cousins and my sister took to my hair with scissors and an electric razor and I watched all of my hair (surprisingly grey) rain down around me.

A month later, I’m mostly surprised by how quickly it’s growing back – it’s very nearly at a length where it has direction and hopefully soon I’ll get to start playing around with a fringe. I’m actually really excited about playing around with a fringe – I’ve been toying with the idea of a full fringe for a couple of years now and this is the perfect time to figure it out, because if I don’t want it I just brush it to the side and carry on growing it out!

I’ve been making a list of things I’ve noticed about having a shaved head and next month I’m going to make a video for my YouTube channel with some of these observations, but mostly? I’ve been showered with love and praise – so many people have told me how brave I am and in all honesty? I don’t really think it is that brave – all I did was cut my hair off? That’s nothing compared to the people who benefit from charities like Macmillan – it’s literally nothing, hair is so unimportant and it baffles me why as a species we’re so attached to our hair and how it can define us so much.

I get it – I’ve spent five plus years dying my hair and using it as an expression of myself and I guess I don’t see it as confidence to be my own person without my hair, to not be defined by it. But I suppose some may see that as a really confident move, even though I am without a shadow of a doubt the least confident person I know!

Even though it’s been a month, I still don’t really feel used to it. Even getting in the shower I thought ‘oh I have to take my ponytail out before I get in’ and I have to remind myself fairly regularly that it’s not a ponytail, it’s just gone!

So far there’s not a lot of downsides – it’s so easy to wash and dry, I never have to think about styling or anything because it’s not long enough yet and on a windy day it’s wonderful not having my hair stick to my lipstick!

I think as it gets to that in between length it’ll be less fun because it won’t be long enough to do anything with but too long and look a bit silly. I’m genuinely excited to have the opportunity to see what my hair looks like at every possible length, even if the in between stages aren’t as flattering.

There was a few times I thought I might regret shaving my hair off and so far, I’m not feeling that at all – I’m excited for the regrowth and sometimes I will it to grow faster but between experimenting with styling and colour I’m genuinely really excited.

So far it’s not got any shape to it and my hair before I shaved it was pretty curly and I’m fascinated as to when (or if!) it’ll start curling again. There’s so much potential and possibilities and I’m genuinely so excited about it.

Maybe when I make a YouTube video about it I could do a Q&A? Do you have any questions about my decision, the process or my time since I shaved? If you do, leave a comment and I’ll answer it in my video!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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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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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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