a lovely family Christmas ūüéĄ

2018, lifestyle

Hello!

First off, I hope everyone had a lovely Christmas day filled with the best people and infinite food!

I just wanted to write a quick little post on a pleasant boxing day (with The Greatest Showman in the background, might I add) just to have a little ramble about what a lovely Christmas I had with my family.

Maybe it sounds vein or spoilt or whatever but as a kid, Christmas was all about the big Mr C and the presents but thinking back at it now? My strongest memories are of the times with family – I don’t remember the presents (other than the year I got my first laptop, that meant a lot) because it was always about having my closest family there and spending time with them.

Ever since my nan passed away last year, my family have been closer than ever – it’s the best thing that came out of 2017 for me and this Christmas was just perfect. There was laughter and chatting and games and a pub quiz and we almost entirely forgot to take pictures but we got some great family photos in between phone calls from Sri Lanka, China and just down the road from my cousin’s family!

When I went to bed last night, I’ve not felt so grateful or content for such a long time – so grateful that I had such a caring family, grateful that they gave such thoughtful gifts when they really didn’t have to and grateful to have that day to celebrate with them.

At the end of the day, my family have been there for me through everything – friends come and go but I will always have my family and valuing people and experiences over belongings and ‘stuff’.

Towards the end of 2018 I decided there was a lot of clutter in my life – mostly in my bedroom and various rooms around the house. So I decided I only wanted to keep the belongings that have a purpose or a use, except the sentimental stuff – my photo albums and scrapbook are such important memories that I want to keep forever and build on for my family, 80 years down the line.

Christmas and New Year are an incredibly sentimental time of year – I get very reflective and think a lot about what’s changed, particularly who I’ve got in my life. I’ve got wonderful friends, a supportive family and an amazing relationship and 2019 is going to be a big year.

I hope you all have wonderful holidays surrounded by people you love, looking forward to the New Year!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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eating ‘healthy’ at Christmas

2018, fitness, goals, lifestyle

Hello!

I think we all know that December and Christmas time is the hardest time of year to have control over your diet and maintain good healthy eating habits! Which is why everyone joins a gym and sets themselves New Year’s Resolutions to lose weight and eat better in January.

But it’s not impossible to keep some sort of control over what you’re eating at Christmas and I’ve made such amazing progress that I’m so proud of in the last couple of months and I don’t want to throw that all away so I’ve made myself a little plan for some ways to try my best to not blow the diet over this holiday.

So I’ve condensed into three tips, if you can call them that – maybe goals is a more suitable word! I’m not an expert in any way, shape or form and I definitely don’t think I’m qualified to give advice. These are my Christmas diet goals!

One – give yourself a¬†break – at the end of the day, it¬†is Christmas! I’ve decided from the 24th-26th I’m not going to worry about what I’m eating, enjoy all the chocolate, cakes, desserts and food that Christmas brings guilt free.

Two – stock up on the healthy stuff – when serving food for Christmas dinner I’m going to try to fill about half my plate with veg and then I physically won’t have room for the less healthy stuff on my plate. Whilst Christmas is filled with lots of unhealthy treats, there’s also lots of veg and cold meats and leftovers that aren’t too bad, so it’s mixing those in with the stuff that’s really tasty and not so good.

Three – everything in moderation – not really specific to Christmas but as relevant at this time of year! As long as you’re not going absolutely mad and completely binging on the things you normally try to stay away from, then it’s not so bad – moderation is key. Last Christmas I got a fair few chocolate Christmas presents and I rationed it all out and it lasted me till Easter because I just didn’t let myself gorge on it all at once. So I still got to enjoy the chocolate, it lasted me so much longer and it saved me money on buying snacks because I already had it! Moderation wins!

But the most important thing at the end of the day is not to beat yourself up about what you eat – it’s more important to eat something that nothing! It’s a time of year for happiness and love and family and in January we can all get back to proper healthy eating and exercise and set New Year’s Resolutions like everyone else.

Lots of love, hope you all have a wonderful Christmas and I’ll be back with a new post on boxing day!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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what I got for Christmas 2017

2017, lifestyle, photography, student

Hello!

Christmas is a time full of love, thankfulness and gifts. I wasn’t sure about writing this post but looking at the gifts I got this year and the ones I have chosen to include, this isn’t a list of me showing off how much money my family spent on me and I think the controversy around these posts are kind of centred around that. Assuming people that write these posts are in the same mindset as me, these posts aren’t boasting about anything – I just want to share some of the wonderful, thoughtful gifts I got, take some pretty pictures and show thanks to those who went to the trouble of buying me a gift.

So with that in mind, let’s get into what I got for Christmas this year!

Long story short, I have a collection of cactuses and plants (some real, some felt) and I’ve named them all David – David I is a felt plant from Tiger, David II is a real succulent that I always forget to water, David III is a DIY cushion that I never made, David IV is an Ikea toy, David V, VI and VII are a set of three plants from Ikea and this, is David VIII. I love my little collection and I love that these coasters can be arranged in whatever fashion I like, I think it’s so fun. My mum has a way of finding the weirdest and most amazing little gifts.

It’s only within the last six months of the year that I’ve really got in to any kind of gaming. I’m still completely head over heels obsessed with Overwatch and the depth to which the creators go with the characters and their story arcs. The basic story about this character, Bastion, is that he’s a kind of robot built to fight in a war – the one in the game gets lost and finds a bird in the woods who becomes his friends. Ganymede, the bird, teaches him about love and friendship and the robot essentially becomes sentient. So this is a Ganymede toy and the box is shaped like Bastion’s head and it’s really cute.

I don’t know if I’ve done the game any justice in my description but if you want to add me on X-Box my handle is ‘sophieislame’.

To be honest, I was really awful whenever my mum asked me what I wanted for Christmas because there really wasn’t anything I wanted this year. But she did offer to take me to Long Tall Sally¬†so I picked up this gorgeous loose turtle neck jumper in grey and my new favourite yellow jumper. I’m really into yellow right now and the fact that the sleeves are long enough that I can actually wear it properly make me unreasonably happy. Also it’s like wearing a hug it’s the softest thing I have worn in a very long time.

I don’t know if there’s much to be said but wow I’ve got a lot of food this year, like a lot. I’ve eaten so badly.

Also shout out to the honey roast ham my mum made because¬†oh my god I’m salivating thinking about it.

It could be said that I’m somewhat of a stationery nerd – I have a rather large collection of pens and, my oh my, did my family build on this – my mum bought me two different sets of pens and a cute little elephant pencil case with stencils for my bullet journal (I’m actually dead excited to start putting these to use!) and my sister bought me a book on fancy lettering and brush pens to go with it! I’m so excited to learn about writing all fancy and making my bullet journal just that little bit more beautiful. It’s going to be stunning.

Now I don’t think it would be a ‘what I got for Christmas post’ if I didn’t include what my gorgeous boyfriend got for me this year – he’s truly spoiled me, pre-ordering the new Fall Out Boy album, a ‘merch voucher’ for when we see them in January, a Hufflepuff scarf (that I’ve wanted for¬†so long) and amongst other things, this frame – that makes absolutely no sense out of context. Here’s the context – two of my favourite albums of all time are ‘Save Rock and Roll’, Fall Out Boy, and ‘This Is War’, Thirty Seconds to Mars, (let’s leave all opinions to one side please and thank you) and I’ve been saying for ages that when we have a permanent space I want to get them properly framed and hang them in an office space. So Lucas bought me new copies of both albums so I could cut them up or whatever if I needed to and then drew this wonderful interpretation and stuck fairy lights on the frame. I actually adore it, I think it’s really cute and I’m excited to have it in years to come.

This post ended up being way longer than I thought it would, but tell me all about what you got for Christmas in the comments! I feel like the memories that come with the presents are the best bit and that’s what I want to savour.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Merry (belated) Christmas!

2016

Hello!

Christmas is probably me favourite time of year – I love all the decorations and the festivities, I love giving presents and receiving presents, I love all the brilliant TV and I really love that eating unhealthy food is actively encouraged at this time of year.

For my family, it started off with just the four of us opening the presents from each other – I¬†finally got to tell my sister that I’m taking her to see Busted next year and I got to talk about films all day but I also got lots of really practical presents such as a hard drive, a new set of kitchen knives and salt and pepper shakers that look like the TARDIS from Doctor Who. Very happy with all of my wonderful presents this year (and got lots more to come when I go to my boyfriends house next week, I’m so excited to see all his family!).

Then all the family started arriving, we exchanged more gifts before lunch and then spent the afternoon playing quiz games and Heads Up, predominantly. It was a really fun and day and no family arguments, surprisingly!

We had twelve people over for Christmas and it was so nice to have so many family around, I’m not used to such a big Christmas but it was so lovely to have it being busy and loud and my cousin brought her little chihuahua too and it was very fun having a dog running around all day. One day, I’ll have my own dog. One day.

I’m so grateful that I don’t have any uni assignments over this holiday because I can properly relax and I’m really enjoying not having to think about any more work I have to do or any work I have to prep for. I can really mentally prepare myself for finishing second year!

I’ve got some really good vibes about 2017 – I’m going to try and take real control of my mental health and be as productive as ever, I want to be making things! But the New Years Resolution post is for next week.

I think I’ve talked about this before, but there have been a lot of New Years where I’ve thought about how much I didn’t want the year to end and I didn’t want the next year to start but I’m excited for 2017 and I think that’s a good start.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Where for Christmas?

2016, travel

Hello!

I’m at home with my family for Christmas (well that answers that question doesn’t it!) but as someone who really loves travelling, the thought of Christmas in another country sounds really interesting! Here are a few places I’ve thought about spending Christmas and would like to in the future!

Somewhere sunny – as I’m from England, ‘nice’ weather over Christmas just isn’t something that happens but I think it would feel completely different. Part of me feels like I might not feel Christmassy but then I wonder how they decorate for Christmas in sunny areas like do they still have the image of snow and Santa in his big suit or is it different because they have sunny Christmas’s? The silly things I wonder about! I’d love to go to Australia or perhaps somewhere in Africa, culturally I think it would be really interesting.

Somewhere that doesn’t celebrate Christmas – I imagine if I wanted to go somewhere on my own and be a bit reclusive it would be interesting to completely separate yourself from Christmas. I know I’ve already used the word ‘interesting’ far too many times but these are the kind of things I find intriguing, this is what I think about! I’d need to do some research as to where I’d go if I was going to do this but, dare I say it, it would be interesting!

Somewhere really snowy¬†– just like the sunny thing, England doesn’t get proper snowy, England doesn’t get ‘proper’ anything except rain but it would be so cool to spend Christmas in the snow. I feel the cold a lot anyways so I’d probably freeze but with seven layers and the biggest boots you’ve ever seen, I’d love to have a proper White Christmas. Maybe I could learn to ski too! I’ve never been skiing, don’t think I’d be very good at it, but it would be fun. Somewhere like Canada, Switzerland, maybe somewhere in Scandinavia – there are so many snowy places, especially at this time of year!

I fully intend to go everywhere, I really want to travel a lot and all these places will go on my list!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Christmas Photography!

2016, Uncategorized

Hello!

I’m really excited about having this monthly photography series because I’ll learn more every time I take photos and post them and this post will hopefully make you all feel super festive, however I’ve not got the same amount of photos I had in my Autumn Photography¬†post because December up to this point has been manic busy – with deadlines, travelling home and having a social life, getting into town to take pictures of the lights and festivities while the light was low was really difficult, so this is what I’ve captured this month!

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My nan really wanted me to get a picture of this Santa model ‘playing the piano’ – I didn’t realise there was a smudge on the right hand side of the lens but I told my nan I’d take the picture!

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There were lots of Christmassy colours and I got excited.

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I took most of these photos in the Christmas section of my local garden centre and I don’t think this was a bad decision.

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I like this photo a lot but the flare on the fairy lights is annoying, but I didn’t use my DSLR I just used my Canon M10, so the depth of field on these photos make me really happy.

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More photos of baubles with a very blurry background? My favourite kind of photo.

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This is my favourite photo – I love gingerbread men and this decoration is so cute, I nearly wish I’d bought it but I’m very pleased with this picture.

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I’ll be honest, this photo was just for reference because I really like this scent a lot.

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It’s not at the garden centre! I went to my local shopping centre today and they had some gorgeous lights and I really liked them and I knew I was writing this post. Conclusion: I like fairy lights.

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Not so obviously Christmassy (other than my dress!), but my friends and I had this Christmas party just over a week ago and I love them a lot and this party was so much fun so I thought I’d throw this photo in at the end.

I love Christmas and the Christmas season – I think it’s picturesque and cosy and comforting and that’s not something you can always catch on camera. I’m so excited for Christmas this year and I’m so excited to see what I can capture on Christmas Day itself (which I’ll definitely post here!).

January is a bit more difficult in terms of a standout theme to photograph but I think I might do a more location based shoot. I’d love to do a model based shoot but I don’t know how to find a model to work with me for free so we’ll see what happens!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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Christmas Bedroom Tour!

2016, lifestyle

Hello!

I moved into my flat for the next academic year nearly 4 months ago now and I’ve not done any kind of room tour or anything so I thought I’d show you round my living space right now with a few little Christmassy touches!

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This is my door. To anyone who knows where I live, now you know what flat I’m in. I thought this would be a nice introduction to the post.

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This is the entry way to my room, yes my room is tidy and no, my room isn’t that messy it’s just that there are a lot of things and I can’t fit it all in, I’m still working on it four months later. It’s not a massive room at all but I do what I can to make it mine.

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This is where I keep my coats, hoodies, scarves, hats and shoes (I built the shoe rack myself, very proud) – it’s a bit messy and one day I need to ruthlessly get rid of a lot of my clothes and shoes but today is not that day. I like shoes but not like ‘pretty’ shoes like sneakers, pretty sneakers.

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This is my whiteboard that fell off the wall and my collection of musical instruments that I’m going to play¬†so much in the time off I have this Christmas, going to teach myself a bunch of songs on guitar in preparation for some covers I’m making on my YouTube channel next year (stay tuned lol).

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My desk area is quite messy, but again that’s to do with too much stuff and not enough space – it all has it’s place and it’s purpose and I’m working on becoming a more minimalistic person so it’ll hopefully tidy up towards the end of the year.

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This is the shelf area above my bed – I’ve got my knitted dalek and my baby Groot and my mine turtle (and the TV I don’t use because we have one in the living room) but I love the more personal touches here.

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These are the shelves above my bed, they’re quite busy but again – working on it! I love my elephant bunting but I had to add tinsel somewhere! My pin board is okay but for some reason it’s too thin for the pins to go in properly? But it holds up my calendar and my dance medals and my little ‘notes to self’. I do love working at my desk area, I find it quite productive.

Hence why I’ve just edited and uploaded my Vlogmas for today and I’m writing this before 9pm. I haven’t done any uni work but it’s actually been a busy day, so I’m going to start it tonight (I’m so behind, this is quite a composed paragraph considering how freaked out I am).

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I love my poster wall and I had to Christmas-ify it! I know there’s a big gap but I’m going to get a bunch of polaroid pictures printed to put in that gap but there’s fairy lights and I love my wall a lot. I put a lot of effort into that wall. Very pleased (even if the push pins don’t go into the wall properly and they fall down¬†all the time).

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And then there’s the piano at the end of bed because it doesn’t live in the living room anymore and it doesn’t quite fit. And those plastic bags are Christmas presents, how exciting!

And that’s my room! It’s very little but it’s quite and I love it, even if it’s not worth the rent in any way, shape or form!

I hope you liked this post, thank you for reading!

Sophie xx

 

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November Favourites

2016, lifestyle, music, Uncategorized

Hello!

Now that it’s December, it’s time again for another monthly favourites and these are the ten things I’ve been enjoying most this month. You’ll notice there’s no beauty, a lot of TV and entertainment and a camera which translates to: this month I am particularly poor and procrastinating.

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To do lists – I know, I mention to do lists basically all the time but they’ve saved my life this past month when I’ve been buried under deadlines and stressed and they’ve helped me stay on top of what I need to do for uni as well as not forgetting to blog, making YouTube videos or go to meetings or social events. If it’s not written down there is no way I’ll remember to do it.

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Panic! At The Disco Winter Tour – this is the second time I’ve seen Panic this year and the first time I’ve seen them since Death of a Bachelor was released fully and it was incredible. We happened to bump into Jack Howard and Hazel Hayes while we were there and it was amazing, it was an incredible concert. And I’m obsessed with this t-shirt, it’s so me.

And yes, I do have more stupid pictures of my boyfriend pratting around posing for this picture.

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Also, I have a plant now, his name’s David the Second, he’s a succulent. I picked him up from Ikea, I’m pretty sure I’ve watered him like four times total and he’s not dead. I love him because he’s not a cactus but he’s cute and when I get my own space I’m definitely filling it with plants and succulents.

And why is he called David the Second, I hear you ask?

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Because this is David.

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I know I already talked about Dodie Clark’s debut EP Intertwined (blog post here if you’re interested!) but I really love it – I’ve had it basically on repeat until today, when I finally broke out the Christmas tunes as I was decorating the flat with the guys I live with today but I’m still obsessed with Absolutely Smitten and I’m trying to learn it on my ukulele. One day I’ll do a cover, but I’m not very good at playing ukulele.

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Going to sound like an odd one, but cold and flu tablets really helped me get through this month – I just keep getting really bad colds and this one came around one of my assignment presentations which couldn’t have been more badly timed. I did manage to get a first on it though and if I didn’t have cold and flu tablets and infinite tissues I don’t think I would have.

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I thought I’d have to find a picture online for The Grand Tour but I got this Amazon parcel with Christmas presents in it today so it was perfect timing. The reboot from the Top Gear team is hilarious, everything Top Gear wasn’t with Chris Evans as host and the budget per episode is literally astonishing and it’s worth every penny. Not so impressed with episode 2 if I’m honest but I have high hopes for episode 3.

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I didn’t realise how much I loved Harry Potter and the magical universe until I saw this film because I adore it, I love finding out more about the world in which wizards live and seeing it all in 1926 was so much fun. The music is truly astonishing – when Scamander is being taking to the American Ministry MACUSA (Magical Congress of the United States of America, yeah I’ve done my homework) and the string section really hits my heart melts and I want it on loop forever.

I wrote a full review for Solent Journalism and you can read that here if you like!

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Another TV favourite, a lot of good TV came out in November! I like David Attenborough documentaries but watching Planet Earth with my flatmates is insane because they’re TV tech students so they keep talking about the cameras that are being used and how they got the shots. It’s a beautiful, beautiful show and I’m glad that shows like this are still popular.

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I’m so lucky – my dad came down to visit last weekend and he bought and gave me my Christmas present early, a new vlogging camera. It’s beautiful, the depth of field is stunning and it takes incredible photos too, I’m so obsessed with it, I’ve vlogged so much more in the past week than I have in the past couple of months and it’s amazing, I love it so much. I have no words.

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Yes, I’ve talk about Pokemon a lot. I’ve blogged about it on¬†multiple¬†occasions¬†but Pokemon Sun and Moon came out just over a week ago and I love it. I played it a lot on release day and the day after but I’ve had to restrain from playing any more because I’ve had a super busy week and deadlines and lots going on, but December 13th, the day after my last deadline before Christmas, I’m going to wake up, reach for my DS, maybe relocate to the living room and play¬†all day long.

No regrets.

So those have been my favourites this month, let me know of anything I’ve missed or should look out for in December and here’s to getting excited about Christmas!

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Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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