Treasured In… August 2021

2021, Favourites

Hello!

Another month, another list of things that got me through the month! August has flown by in a heartbeat and I’m sure I spent 90% of it working or thinking about work – it’s been manic busy and I’m actually kind of glad it’s nearly over! September is my favourite month (not just because it’s my birthday month…), I love the back to school vibes and soon it’ll be cold enough for me to be snuggled under a blanket at basically all times.

But before I get lost in cosy autumnal vibes, here’s what I treasured in August.

What I bought

August was a big month – my phone contract was up for renewal and even though I haven’t ‘bought’ it, I’m still counting it. I upgraded my three year old phone to a shiny new one that doesn’t have a headphone port (and I’m still bitter about it), otherwise it’s basically the same and I’m realising I’m way less bothered about having the latest tech than I used to be. The fancy new Hasselblad camera is very nice though.

The big purchase of August was my beautiful new Macbook Pro – my previous one lasted a solid 5.5 years, but it couldn’t get me through my days of video meetings anymore and considering I use my laptop predominantly for work, I needed an upgrade. Hence, shiny new Apple product that I know is ridiculously overpriced but:

  1. It’s pretty
  2. I edit videos using Final Cut Pro which is exclusive to Mac
  3. It’s got the cool touch bar thing at the top of the keyboard
  4. It’s pretty

Don’t judge me ūüôŹ

What I cooked

I’m still on that HelloFresh hype (hit me up if you want to try a free box!) but my favourite recipe hands down in the cheesy oven baked risotto with rocket salad – I’ve never enjoyed a salad so much in my life, the risotto is so good and being oven baked means I don’t have to hover over it for 45 minutes. And it always cleans really well, no burning to the bottom of the pan! So delicious, thoroughly recommend!

What I snacked on

I’m going through a cake phase, and the mini Victoria Sponge cupcakes from Sainsburys are second to none. Otherwise, I’ve very much been enjoying a kitkat.

What I sang along to

What I watched

I’m knee deep in medical dramas at the moment – when my partner’s home, we’re watching Grey’s Anatomy for the first time (we’re halfway through season 2, I’m aware we have so much to catch up on) and when he’s not home, I’m binge watching The Resident on Disney+ at a probably unhealthy rate.

I don’t know why, I’m just loving a medical drama right now. The Resident is more serious, Grey’s Anatomy is more sitcom-y and if I want a proper comedy I’ll catch an episode of Scrubs but I’m having a great time with my TV viewership this month.

Wedding planning update

Last month it was fake flowers, this month it’s fireworks – not a huge update, I asked a company for a quote and I haven’t heard back yet but I’m hoping Bonfire Night this year will serve as great inspiration.

What I read

This was a much slower reading month for me – I started with the 500 page sequel to last month’s read Adrenaline, The Last Minute by Jeff Abbott which was really good but not quite as gripping as the first one, so took me a couple of weeks to finish.

Next up was The 39 Steps by John Buchan – written in the early 20th century, I’m not usually one for reading books of that era but I have a personal mission to read everything on my shelf and it was only 150 odd pages. 1 star read – it was fine, just not to my taste.

And I’m currently reading The Shelf by Helly Acton – I started it literally last night and read 99 pages in one sitting. It’s like reality TV in words and I’m lapping it up. Full review will be on my Instagram before the end of August I reckon!

I’m also currently listening to The Magpie Society: One For Sorrow by Amy McCulloch and Zoe Sugg – with the occassional two hour round trip to work and back becoming more frequent with starting to work in the office again, I figured I’m going to have plenty of time to listen to books! I’m almost halfway through this book and the acting is somewhat terrible, the story predictable, but a post private school murder mystery is funny to me – very easy listening YA.


Every month I wonder if these posts sound really fake and cringy and every month I absolutely fly through writing them because I love writing about things I enjoy! All the more reason to keep doing it!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

Treasured in: July 2021

2021, books, Favourites

Hello!

The time has come to once again wrap up the month with a list of things I’ve enjoyed or have made me happy! Is this a glorified favourites post? Absolutely, but I’d be lying about who I really am if I didn’t come up with pretentious names for things!

(I’m knackered and I’m losing it a bit, can you tell?)

Without further ado – the things I treasured in July:

What I Bought

I really struggled to think of something I bought in July (except books, I can’t stop buying books…) but I actually jumped on the Glossier hype a little bit – I’d seen the Anna Edit talking about the beauty bag which was marketed as the bag that fit everything in it. It has pockets, it actually holds all my make-up (like all of it, I don’t have a lot) and I’m really pleased with it.

And that order came with a free sample of their perfume ‘You’ – I’ve heard a lot of good things about the Glossier perfume but I wasn’t going to spent ¬£45 on something I hadn’t even smelled. But then I got the free sample and I literally couldn’t stop thinking about it. I can’t describe it, but it smells grown up without smelling floral or fake – it just smells really good and it’s probably the most I’ve spent on a beauty product ever but I don’t regret a single penny. It’s actually amazing.

What I Cooked

Last month I mentioned that I’d just got my first box of HelloFresh meals and I can’t lie, I continue to be moderately obsessed – we’re on our third or fourth box now and the meals are just brilliant and I love not having to think too hard about what we’re eating, buying the ingredients or finding recipes – the recipe cards are really easy to follow, the food is always good and then I just chuck everything in the dishwasher and it’s all ready for the next day.

Some of my personal favourites are the mushroom risotto, chicken korma style curry and cheesy oven baked risotto.

What I Ate

I’m really craving cake at the moment and Sainsburys do these wonderful little Victoria Sponge cupcakes and they’re delicious. That’s all I have to say.

What I listened to

I’m still listening to Bo Burnham’s ‘Inside’. This is the one I probably listened to the most:

What I Watched Online

I’ve not watched much YouTube this month either, but here are a selection from my history that I enjoyed:

What I Watched on TV

This month, I could have watched Loki on Disney+ with my partner once he returned from a long work trip to Italy.

What we did was start watching Pok√©mon Journeys on Netflix because sure it’s a kids TV show but it’s only 20 minutes long, it’s easy to watch and it’s not emotionally taxing so it’s perfect to watch with dinner and it makes my nerdy Pok√©mon boi very happy when we confidently shout the wrong Pok√©mon in the ‘who’s that Pok√©mon’ section.

It’s the little things.

What I Read

I have absolutely adored reading this month. I’ve finished three books and I reckon I’ll finish my current read before August too! I’ve read:

  • Remnants: The Mayflower Project, K. A. Applegate a book from my teenage years that I couldn’t remember much about, so I kept it to reread to figure out if it was worth pursuing and reading the 14 sequels (I’m not exaggerating). It was an okay concept but it was all a bit disjointed and I didn’t love it so it’s going to the charity shop.
  • Perfect, Cecelia Ahern – I didn’t love Flawed, but it had such a non-ending that I had to buy the sequel to find out what happened. It was a very stereotypical political riot Hunger Games Mockingjay ‘I’m the girl that’s different that can save the world’ YA that was 3 stars at best? It all felt very holocaust but not done very respectfully, it was weird.
  • Peter Pan, J. M. Barrie – I don’t have many classics on my shelf because I prefer the modern style of writing, but Peter Pan is my favourite Disney movie and it was short so one step closer to my GoodReads goal for the year. Wow the book is quite different to the film! Peter is a cocky little so and so, the Lost Boys are all murderers and I kid you not, there was a line about fairy orgies.

And I’m currently reading ‘Adrenaline’ by Jeff Abbott – I’ve had the sequel book on my shelf, ‘The Last Minute’, for literally years so last payday I bought a couple of prequels I was needing. It’s a 500 page book about spies and espionage and it’s not YA! I’ve read one Jeff Abbott book before and I really enjoyed it and I’m approximately 83% through and this one is brilliant too. I’ll be posting the review on my bookstagram when I’ve finished reading it.

Bonus shoutout for StoryGraph – it’s an alternative reading tracking app to goodreads and it does everything that goodreads does as well as more interesting statistics on what you’re reading (including genre, pages and pace which consequently gives you better recommendations) and it’s not affiliated with Amazon, so win win all round!

What I Planned for the Wedding!

This month was a sort of catch up month – I finally got wedding insurance, I spoke to the flower lady who makes silk flowers and I’ve got a consultation with her next month and I even found a sash and some Bride Squad pins on Facebook Marketplace for free so thought that would be a good one to pick up!

It still doesn’t quite feel real yet – I feel like I’m too calm about it but also there’s so much to do and it’s going to cost so much money, but I’m focusing on the short term for the moment, tackling my to do list one task at a time.


Every month I think these posts might be a bit too old school but then I write them and every month I feel positive and excited about the month ahead! Especially with what I’m reading. My bookshelves are looking really pretty and my database is looking really… unbalanced, so hopefully lots of reading in the sunshine in August!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

Treasured In… June ’21

2021, Favourites

Hello!

Another month has rolled around and wow June has been busy! My partner left for his work trip to Italy on the 2nd and I’ve kept myself fairly busy since!

Now it’s only a week till he gets back and maybe I’ll stop sad spending, but here’s a run down of my favourite things from June!

  • Purchase

I’ve been looking for a nice summer dress for probably years, and I picked up this one from SheIn and I love it! It’s such a good length for my 5’10 lanky self, the sleeves aren’t tight, it’s super comfy and not see through!

And to match the cardigan, I’m also a big fan of the sun loungers I bought from the Range – a special treat to us for sure, but if the sun even comes back to the UK they’ll be perfect.

And now, for the sake of my bank account, I will stop going to shops.

  • Food

Okay, I literally got the first delivery on the 28th so it’s barely June, but I succumbed and got Hello Fresh (5 meals for two people for ¬£20? Bargain!) and I cooked Cheesy Oven-Baked Risotto with bacon, mushroom and rocket salad and I am blown away. It was amazing.

The perks of actually being home alone this week means I have another portion for lunch tomorrow. But even the salad dressing on the rocket! I don’t normally like rocket but I actually went back and finished it rather than leave it for tomorrow. I’m definitely making the most of trying new things and I’m really excited about it.

It absolutely doesn’t look as good as it tasted.
  • Song

You’re welcome.

  • YouTube video

I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube, but I’ve recently discovered Chandler Ainsley and I’m obsessed – it’s fuelling my reading obsession and I love the way she talks about books.

I have a lot to add to my watch later, but right now I’m very much enjoying watching just book content that makes me want to quit my job and read for a living.

  • Books I’ve read

At the beginning of the month I finished Lore, by Alexandra Bracken and I really enjoyed it – it properly reignited my love for Greek mythology and proved to myself that I can read a 550 page book without getting bored!

Then I read A Nearly Normal Family, by M. T. Edvardsson and I felt like I didn’t want to read 500 page books anymore because it was actually quite bland and the ending was SO dissatisfying but I finished it and that’s the important thing.

I’ve now just started reading Flawed by Cecelia Ahern but not sure how I feel about it so far – it sounds very Nazi Germany and I’m sure that’s the point but WOW the parallels with the holocaust are insane. I’m less than a quarter through so I’m sure the first person narrative gets better but still, a fairly awkward start!

  • Snack

Kinder. Buenos.

That’s all I have to say.

  • Film

My mum has this film club with her friends and whilst I was staying with her I watched their pick of the week – in the theme of ‘based on a true story’, we watched Erin Brockovich starring Julia Roberts and it’s stuck in my head that it was actually based on a true story. Julia Roberts is so cool and the story was incredible, good pick film club!

  • Wedding planning update

This month’s task was to figure out what we want from our wedding cake. We’re asking our mum’s to make the cake because they’re both great bakers and whilst I was at home, mum and I were brainstorming ideas and it was brilliant.

This one is definitely my favourite because I think it’s just a lil bit nerdy without having Pikachu on it y’know?!

Probably not quite as many layers, but maybe something like this?

For July, I’m having my first week off work which I’m really excited about, my boy is coming back from a month of working abroad and hopefully the sun will come out again! I hope you’ve all had a lovely month and have nice plans for July!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

Treasured In… April

2021, books, Favourites

Hello!

Another month, another round of favourites – things I bought, watched and eaten that have made me happy in the last month the share a bit of positivity on the internet!

But we all know I like categories and lists so I couldn’t just manage a list of nice things – gotta give it some structure!

Purchase

I mean, I moved into a new rental house so I didn’t buy it per say but I paid a deposit on it and spent probably more money than I should have on new things for said house… but it’s pretty, it’s got a nice garden and it’s got more than two windows! The kitchen and living room are in separate rooms and I can work from home without my boyfriend playing video games in the background! So that is top of the list.

But also shops re-opened and I accidentally bought 5 new books but I spent less than £20 which is pretty good value!

Recipe / Food

Sometimes the food you love is the old favourites – my comfort food is either a jacket potato drowning in butter and cheese or pasta drowning in butter and cheese (I’m sensing a theme and it’s carbs as a vessel for butter and cheese…) and both of these have been great this month for comfort food and easy food whilst we’ve been unpacking.

But then we really treated ourselves this weekend by buying a small leg of lamb and cooking it in the slow cooker and wow it might have been the most expensive piece of meat I’ve ever bought but it was incredible. Not going to become a common purchase by any means but it was delicious.

YouTube video

I’ve not watched loads of YouTube this month, but here are some of my faves!

Books

I actually haven’t read a single book this month – the first weekend in April was the Easter bank holidays so I spent all of it packing, the following weekend we moved and my books have all been in boxes since then.

I looked out a few to tide me over until I get proper storage for my books, but I decided I was going to read ‘Why I’m No Longer Talking To White People About Race’ by Reni Eddo-Lodge, but turns out that’s a bit heavy when you’re anxiety is sky high about moving house!

So I thought I’d share the books I bought on my first trip into our new home town since the shops opened:

In a 3 for £5 deal from The Works:

The Start of Us, Hannah Emery
The Flatshare, Beth O’Leary
It’s Now or Never, Carole Matthews

And in a buy one get one half price deal from Waterstones,

Good Girl, Bad Blood, Holly Jackson
Lore, Alexandra Bracken

Did I need 5 more books when I’ve just admitted I haven’t read anything in April? Probably not but books bring me joy and I’ll make up for it in May I’m sure.

Something to watch

Other than continuing my Marvel Cinematic Universe marathon with my boyfriend (and thoroughly enjoying it), I’ve not watched too much this month because I’ve been trying to do a writing challenge so listening to music instead, but in the past couple of weeks I’ve spent about three days absolutely binging ‘The Good Doctor’ on Sky Go (thank you to my wonderful friend Beth for sharing her login with me!) and I absolutely love it.

Learning so much about autism and watching how it’s represented on the show is fascinating – autism is a spectrum, so it presents differently in every autistic person, but seeing how it manifests and how the other characters treat Dr Murphy is really clever.

And it turns out I really like medical dramas – I’ve been watching clips of House, Greys Anatomy and Chicago Med on Facebook and I’m definitely watching House after I finish The Good Doctor.


As the country starts to open up again, lockdown 3 draws to a close and Spring crawls into Summer, everything is starting to feel brighter and like there is a life beyond covid. I’m hesitant to let myself get too excited about it all, because we said the same last year and look where we are now, but I’m definitely making the most of nicer weather.

Things are still a bit scary, but they’re looking in the right direction I think!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

Treasured In: March

2021, books, Favourites

Hello!

It’s that time of month where I’m baffled about how we’ve got to this time of month and it’s nearly the next month, with a bonus helping of oh my god we’re a quarter of the way through the year already and it doesn’t even feel like 2020 ever ended.

But taking the time to think and write about the things I liked in the last month makes me feel a bit brighter and it’s nice to talk about happy things so here are the things I Treasured In March!

Purchase Other than putting the deposit down on a new rental house and having to get new glasses (which look the same but I can actually see out of them now), I actually haven’t bought a lot this month. I bought a box set of one of my new favourite book series ‘The Selection’ by Kiera Cass (which I’ll get to later) and I got some wool trackies from Asda that are glorious for working from home, but otherwise, I’ve actually been good at not spending this month and that is oddly satisfying.

Song – I’ve actually been listening to a lot of music this month, but nothing particularly new? I’ve made a few new discoveries and some new music has come out.

I’ve been watching a lot of Lottie Mednick on Twitch and she is currently designing an Avatar: The Last Airbender themed island in Animal Crossing New Horizon and she had Avatar music on in the background on one of her streams so… I started listening to Avatar music and ‘Kai’s Theme and Agne Kai‘ is a banger – if you’re a fan of soundtrack music, it’s fantastic and I can’t wait to listen to it whilst driving down a motorway in the summer.

All Time Low just released a new song called ‘Once in a Lifetime‘ and I’m obviously going to have it on loop for at least the next two months, it’s so catchy and I love it.

I’ve also been listening to the Georgia remix of ‘Hate Myself‘ by dodie, I just found ‘90s Kids‘ by Jax on tiktok and ‘weapon‘ and ‘that won’t save us‘ by Against The Current are also catchy af.

YouTube video – I’ve caught up on my watch later playlist! I give it approximately a week before it’s at 30 videos again but some of my favourites from the last month have been;

Books I’ve read

As I write this I’m reading my sixth book of the month, so March has been really good for reading but like I said earlier I bought ‘The Selection’ series having gotten the first book in a blind book gift my sister bought me from Etsy and demolishing it in the most ‘guilty pleasure’ way.

My first read was ‘Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist’ by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan and it was a beautiful little book about one night with a stranger in a beautiful city and reckless teenage abandon – it was lovely and I definitely need to watch the film now.

Then I read ‘The Elite’, ‘The One’, ‘The Heir’ and ‘The Crown’ by Kiera Cass to complete ‘The Selection’ series in about three weeks (very fast for me) – I don’t know how I can describe it because it wasn’t good, the fact the main character is called America Singer and she’s a musician irritated me from the off but the dystopian story with an old royalty feel (I’d just finished watching Bridgerton as well) all wrapped up in what is essentially a reality TV competition for the Prince’s hand in marriage and I gobbled it up. The third book in the series ended very abruptly and I did not enjoy the sequels about America’s daughter, Eadlyn, anywhere near as much but I still read the whole series in less than a month so I must have at least somewhat enjoyed it.

And I’m currently reading ‘In at The Deep End’ by Kate Davies and so far it’s a solid 3/5 – there’s a lot of sex in it, which usually I wouldn’t read as it’s not my thing, but the way the narrative voice is written just makes it all feel so normal? It’s not trying to be scandalous or seductive – it’s just a girl with real hormones and real feelings figuring out herself and her sexuality and a lot of it is really sweet. I’ve got about 50 pages left which I think I’ll finish tonight (on the last day of the month which is really satisfying!!) so if you want to see my full review it should be on my bookstagram sophiesreading in the next few days!

Something to watch

I think it was end of February that I watched Bridgerton but my viewing habits have been pretty standard this month – I’ve watched a lot of YouTube videos (as detailed above!), I watched Wandavision on Disney+ and I’ve watched the first two episodes of ‘The Falcon and the Winter Soldier’ which is brilliant so far.

My fianc√© and I finished watching ‘Avatar: The Legend of Korra’ which was brilliant and I’m so excited about the announcement of a continuation of the universe. But we’re looking for a new series to binge – we’ve finished Korra, Falcon and Winter Soldier is weekly episodes, so whilst we figure out what show we want to watch next we’ve started a Marvel marathon – so far we’ve watched Captain America, Captain Marvel, Iron Man and Iron Man 2 (we’re watching in timeline order not release order!) and I’m thoroughly enjoying that actually!

Wedding planning update

I feel like I’ve mentioned this approximately three thousand times, but I’ve broken down everything we (I) need to plan for the wedding and put it into monthly tasks, this month was researching wedding insurance and booking the photographer and videographer and I did all of the things! We’re going to buy the wedding insurance once we’ve moved (because we’ve got to space out the funds!), the photographer and videographer are officially booked and we’ve booked a photobooth as well which is really exciting! It’s all starting to feel a little more real now.

A new habit

I wasn’t sure how else to categorise it but I definitely couldn’t not mention it – I’ve started using Duolingo to learn Italian! I have always want to be better at languages but I’ve always struggled, so I thought I’d give it a go and I love how it’s laid out and I actually feel like I’m doing quite well! I’m not having a fluent conversation anytime soon but I can tell you that the insects are in the sugar and I don’t question why duolingo has come up with this sentence (i insetti sono nel zucchero! I think?).


As the world starts to reopen again, we’re packing to move into a new house and everything feels new and different, it’s definitely a little daunting and scary. I don’t really like change, but I’m excited about the new house and the new chapter it will bring.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

Treasured In… January

2021, books, Favourites

Hello!

Will I ever stop being baffled by the passing of time? Absolutely not –¬†how is it February next week?

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels like 2021 hasn’t really start and we’re just living in a strange extenuation of 2020 – most New Years feel fresh and new somehow but this year definitely hasn’t.

But there’s been plenty of new experiences – I’ve nearly finished my first month of work as a full time marketing and communications assistant, we’ve had our first proper snow whilst we’ve been living in Buckinghamshire and my fianc√© just turned 25 which feels¬†far too grown up.

I love doing this little series to talk about things I’ve enjoyed this month so here are the things I enjoyed in January 2021!

  • Purchase

I’ve not bought a lot this month because saving for a wedding is a lot¬†but there are two things I bought that I absolutely adore.

I bought myself a label maker from Amazon and I had no need for it, but I have thoroughly enjoyed labelling things. I’ve not used it for anything functional or important yet but one day I will and it’ll be¬†so satisfying. So far my plans are to use it for scrapbooking and in my bullet journal predominantly and I love the aesthetic of it.

The second favourite purchase wasn’t actually for me – as I said, my fianc√© turned 25 this month so I bought him birthday presents. I’m someone who likes buying things with function, so I decided that this year I’m doing presents that are ‘something you want, something you need, something to wear and something to read’. The thing I wanted to share was these jogging bottoms from 2tall.com with a 40 inch inside leg… 40! My boy is 6’7″ – he is a tall bean, so finding him trousers that cover his ankles and his bum is a mission.

  • Recipe

I’m not cooking many new things right now because full time work is exhausting and I don’t have the energy right now,¬†but I did try this slow cooker chicken casserole and it was really good! The fact I could just chuck everything in and leave it for 7-8 hours¬†and it made my house smell amazing while I was at work and that was very enjoyable.

If you have any slow cooker recommendations please send them my way because I’m obsessed with it and it’s perfect now that I’m working full time.

  • YouTube video

I’m slowly but surely getting through my watch later playlist, so here are some of my favourite videos I watched this month.

My Dad Died | The Michalaks (to clarify: not my favourite because Stef’s Dad died, it was just a really good video)

What Is Autism? | DSM-5 ASD Diagnostic Criteria

insecurity mashup 2 – dodie clark (Lauren Aquilina, Orla Gartland and Tessa Violet)

Something we want to tell you! | Amazing Phil and Dan Howell

I have a secret… | Jessica Kellgren-Fozard

  • What I’m watching

My one-track mind finds it difficult to watch anything that isn’t YouTube while I know that I still have videos on my watch later, but my fianc√© and I have been watching Avatar: The Legend of Korra and I love it! So far I think I prefer Avatar: The Legend of Aang, but it’s interesting to see how much the story universe has developed. We’re only on season 2 so we’ve still got a fair bit more to watch!

  • Books I’ve read

I’ve started my 2021 reading with a¬†bang so I’m just going to go straight into it!

Worlds Away From You (Charlotte Mednick) – this is a book my friend from uni self-published last year and it was lovely to read! It was a very modern YA book with lots of character traits I empathise with and it felt like a Disney Channel Original movie – thoroughly enjoyed! 4/5

Stranger Things: Suspicious Minds¬†(Gwenda Bond) – I wasn’t sure about reading a book based on the TV show and how it would add to the general story but¬†wow I was blown away. It felt like it properly developed the story universe of Stranger Things and I’d¬†love to see it made into a screen adaptation. I picked this book up in a charity shop for ¬£2 and my fianc√© picked up another book in the series in the Works so I’m adding that to be tbr list too! 5/5

A Quiet Kind of Thunder¬†(Sara Barnard) – This book has been on my tbr for¬†so long – someone I follow on my bookstagram account (@sophiesreading, if you’re interested!) was selling her copy for only ¬£3.50 to cover postage, so this is the only book I’ve bought this year (which I’m proud of!). I don’t think I’ve felt such a real world impact from a book before – I loved reading about selective mutism and deafness, I loved how the narrative easily changed from speech, sign language and written words so effortlessly and it made me actually want to learn sign language! It was a lovely story, it was nice and gentle and didn’t break my heart. It was worth the wait – full 5/5.

And I’m currently reading¬†See Through Me (Kevin Brooks) which I’ve had on my unread shelf for literally years and though the concept sounds very scifi and cool, I’m only about 60 pages from the end and nothing’s really happened? The reviews on goodreads are generally average so I don’t have a lot of hope for it, but I’m not the kind who can just stop reading a book so my full review will go on my bookstagram account when I’ve finished it.

Although time feels a bit funny, January has actually been pretty good! I’m still getting used to working 9-5 at home in a pandemic and I’m exhausted but I actually feel really good and like my work more than I thought I would. I don’t have a lot of energy, but I’m getting there – feeling mildly hopeful for this year!

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Treasured In… December

2020, lifestyle

Hello!

With the last month of the year drawing to a close, now might just be the best time to reflect on the things that have brought me joy this month in the hope that perhaps they can bring you joy too!

We all know 2020 has been crap, I don’t need to reel off my personal experiences because it’s been rubbish for everyone in so many different ways. But there has been moments of positivity and joy and though focusing on them doesn’t necessarily make it easier, remembering them can bring little pockets of happiness!

So here’s a few of my favourites from the month!

  • Purchase

Not particularly exciting, but I bought a coffee table on Facebook marketplace and it’s made my living room much more cluttered but given me somewhere comfy to work whilst my desk is in parts in the shed so I have somewhere for the Christmas tree! Only ¬£20, picked it up the same day and it’s been home to lots of crafts, most of my Christmas wrapping and some festive Lego building!

new coffee table with cotton wool snowman whilst we watched ‘The Wheel’ with dinner!

And my second favourite purchase was a boxing day sales one – a bit strange, but I bought a nappy bag… I don’t have a baby, I’m not expecting a baby, I’m just a big fan of¬†pockets. There are so many compartments, so many extra little inside pockets and pouches! I’m sure it would be a wonderful nappy bag, but I’m going to use it as a work bag and I’m¬†so excited about it.

  • Recipe

I’ve not been cooking much this month because I’ve not had the energy to actually prepare food, but I treated myself to a gammon joint for Christmas and cooked it in the slow cooker. I was aiming for a honey roasted ham but I did it on Christmas Day and I forgot how long it had been in for and I think I should have finished it off in the oven, so it didn’t taste very honey roasted at all, but it does taste lovely, it’s not too chewy and it was so easy to just chuck in the slow cooker.

It¬†was the most expensive cut of meat I’ve ever bought (because I’m cheap af and try not to buy meat too often) so I’m not going to be rushing to try it again any time soon, but I would like to try it again and actually pay more attention!

  • Song

There’s one song I’ve literally not stopped listening to but it’s not on Spotify so I’ve made a YouTube playlist and just listened to it on loop about a hundred times. The lyrics are stunning, the melodies are beautiful and it’s perfect for a sing song when I’m home alone.

  • YouTube video

I’ve watched¬†a lot of YouTube this month – I’m sick of having hundreds of videos on my watch later and I don’t want to be watching Vlogmas content in February (and it kind of feels like I have company when my partner’s at work!) so here’s some of my favourites!

It’s my 30th Birthday – KickThePJ

The /W/orst Letter – vlogbrothers (Hank Green)

Among Us with Proximity Chat is Terrifying & Hilarious – KickThePJ

How We Organise Our Joint Finances as a Millennial Couple | More Hannah

It’s Finally Happening!!! RawBeautyKristi x Colourpop Collection Reveal – RawBeautyKristi

  • Books I’ve read

I’ve finally got back into reading! After a three month slump of nothing, I finished¬†The Boy in The Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne last month and I started reading¬†A Girl’s Guide To Murder by Holly Jackson at the beginning of the month and stayed up to finish it on Christmas day because¬†wow¬†it was incredible.

A full 5/5 for amazing characters (my favourite thing), a suspenseful plot that just kept twisting and the most natural romantic subplot that was so subtle and so not important to the main plot, just beautifully integrated without being focal, it was lovely. I’m trying not to buy more books until I’ve cut down my ‘to be read’ pile, but¬†wow I want to read the sequel ‘Good Girl, Bad Blood’¬†so badly.

But I am resisting! I’m now reading¬†Warm Bodies by Isaac Marion because my friend lent it to me and I don’t want to leave it too long to give it back. I’m not sure whether it’ll be my last book of 2020 or my first book of 2021, but the 30 pages I read the other night were written in a really fun style and I’m enjoying it so far.

  • Something to watch…

With watching so much more YouTube in trying to catch up, I’ve not watched a lot of TV, Film or streaming services. But my partner and I have been watching one particular quiz show with dinner because our friend worked on it and it’s exciting and nice to support what our friends are doing (other than live sport, I just can’t bring myself to watch that) – so we’ve been watching a lot of ‘The Wheel’. It’s a Michael McIntyre hosted socially distanced quiz show that is just really fun (despite how annoying the theme song is). I love a quiz show, I love learning new things and I like how impatient my fianc√© is that he has to google all the answers before they’re revealed.

This year has been bloody weird, so finding favourites isn’t always the easiest, but even if it’s hard to remember, there are always good moments. Whether it’s a book, a quiz show or a good find in the Boxing Day sales, there’s always something good to be found.

This is my last post for this year but I’ll be back on New Year’s Day with my 2021 goals!

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Treasured In… September

2020, lifestyle

Hello!

Oh how my favourite month has come and gone and I feel like I missed it! The last six months have gone so ridiculously fast that I feel like I haven’t been able to keep up but another month has passed and it’s time for another instalment of my supposedly ‘original’ take on what is essentially a favourites post.

As we edge ever close to Autumn, cosy knits and hot chocolate season, my birthday has been and gone and the end of the year is drawing to a close. It’s been a busy month with trips to see family, a couple of socially distanced bowling trips and a ring on my finger to match the engagement my fianc√© and I decided on in January.

So these are some of the things I treasured in September!


  • purchase

I’ve got two favourites from this month and they’re both clothes! I bought myself a new hoodie from Primark that I’ve been¬†living¬†in because it’s so soft and cosy and I treated myself to some new Snag tights with some birthday money! I definitely need to stop ‘treating myself’ to new things in October but for now, I’ll snuggle down in my new hoodie and comfy tights.

  • recipe

I’ve been making a roasted tomato and bay orzo dish from The Green Roasting Tin book and it’s taken me a few attempts to figure it out (it takes about twice as long to cook than the recipe suggests!) but now that I’ve got it¬†it’s delicious! I’d never heard of orzo before making this dish but it’s like tiny rice shaped pasta and cooked in the vegetable stock makes it so flavourful and delicious. Although it negates the ‘vegan’ nature of the dish, it goes perfectly with garlic bread and a little parmesan!

  • song

The longer the pandemic goes on, the more I crave nostalgic music I already know all the words too! I’ve done a few long drives this month and I’ve listened to the Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (if you haven’t seen it, it’s a beautiful film where Matt Damon plays a sassy horse), Starstruck (a Disney Channel Original Movie that I’m worried to rewatch in case it’s not as amazing as I remember) and I’ve curated my own playlist of songs I enjoy singing at the top of my lungs in the car (apologies to any other drivers who may have witnessed this).

  • YouTube video

As ever, I don’t watch YouTube frequently enough to keep up with my subscription feed so I’m still watching videos from months ago but I loved this SFX/beauty make-up video from Mykie (Glam and Gore) making the most wonderfully extra¬†face mask.

This video of Hannah Witton teaching herself a dance routine to a song she loves made me think that I need to find some choreography dance lessons on YouTube because I miss dancing so much.

And this video from kickthePJ about moving house really stuck with me – I can’t say for why, but it’s beautifully sentimental, a lovely montage of memories and a little bit different for PJ but I’m always in awe of how incredibly creative his content is; massive inspiration!

  • books I’ve read

I knew this would happen but I didn’t think it would take this long – 8 months of reading 4-6 books a month and September was the month I didn’t finish anything. As I write this, I’m halfway through ‘The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas’ by John Boyne and considering I’ve seen the film and I’m aware of how it ends, it’s surprisingly not as heavy as I thought it would be.

I’m hoping to power through the last 100 pages before the end of the month and get back into it but I’ve definitely fallen off track for my little personal goal of 52 books in a year (my goodreads goal is 12 but when I hit that in March I did wonder if I could maintain one book a week!)¬†but in my defence, these past few weeks I’ve really understood when people say they’ve been ill with their mental health because I’ve never experienced anything like it. My routine (if I ever had one), completely fell out the window and my sacred evening routine (shoutout to my 9pm bedtime crew) was replaced with not sleeping before 2am and wasting most of the morning in bed.

I’m hoping to crack down and get back into it, not just because I love reading but because I need to make the effort for the sake of my own mental health. Any tips are more than welcome!

  • snack

Other than a craving for Malted Milk biscuits, the best snack I’ve had this month is actually something I’ve baked myself! My mum used to bake these amazing cookies with smarties on and I’ve made a couple of batches this month and they’ve been¬†amazing – the recipe makes about 12 (or about 6¬†big cookies) and when they’re fresh out the oven¬†oh boy I could eat the whole batch. I’m salivating thinking about them.

They’re¬†super easy – I’ve not done a recipe post for a really long time, would you like to see one?

  • something to watch

With my fianc√© being away at work and having a friend stay for a couple of weeks until she can move into her new flat (all COVID safe, I promise) I’ve been watching more Netflix and Disney+ than usual! We watched the new Millie Bobby Brown film ‘Enola Holmes’ which I thought was surprisingly heartwarming, a very interesting 4th-wall narrative and a mildly disappointing ending but a pleasant watch all the same.

I finally got round to watching Frozen 2 – I’m not a¬†massive Frozen fan, so I wasn’t obsessed with it (Tangled is a better film, don’t @ me) but it was fine, I guess? ‘Into The Unknown’ is a bop but¬†wow ‘Show Yourself’ is underrated!! Definitely need to give the soundtrack a listen but it was nice to have a bit of context for my sister’s Anna cosplay (follow her tiktok, it’s adorable).

Otherwise, we’re now rewatching a bunch of Disney classics – I’ve been fancying watching Treasure Planet for a while and last night we watched Mulan and Mulan 2 and had a wonderful time!

  • wedding planning update!

Not much to update on the wedding front! We’ve negotiated a quote with the venue and we’re just figuring out our finances to pay the deposit and book the venue! Then it’s booking the registrar and hunting for a photographer/videographer – if you have any recommendations for someone in the Rutland/South Lincolnshire region, please let me know!


I still can’t believe how fast this year is going – I don’t know if it’s the pandemic, my impending dissertation deadline (less than a month now!) or if this is just adult life now but I’m sure I’ll soon be baffled by how quickly October has gone in my ‘Treasured In…’ post next month!

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Treasured In… August

2020, books, lifestyle

Hello!

Another month has rolled around and I’m trying really¬†hard not to comment on how fast the month has gone but also, pretty sure it’s still April and summer’s just around the corner?

But alas! August has been an interesting month – I’m definitely getting more stuck in to my dissertation research as the deadline for that looms ever nearer, I’ve been trying some new things with my time management to work with my fluctuating mental health and I had a couple of splurges too so here’s a little roundup of the things I enjoyed in August.


  • purchase

I may or may not have had a sad spending trip to Hobbycraft earlier this month… I needed one last colour embroidery thread for my latest cross stitch project and I found a book on meditative crocheting and I picked myself up some crochet needles last month and I loved the idea that it came with breathing and meditative exercises to follow along with in the book. Perhaps a tad pretentious but I’m excited to give it a go next month!

I also picked up a couple of cross stitch kits that I’m working on intermittently and I just find it so much fun – if you want a new hobby that isn’t particularly skilful but is offline and you get a pretty picture at the end of it, I thoroughly recommend cross stitching!

  • recipe

I’ve been experimenting more with the ‘orange lid’ spicy seasonings in my cupboard this month and whilst I’m the worst at handling spicy food, cooking up a bunch of vegetables, mixing it with some rice and using turmeric, smoked paprika and a little cumin with a bit of garlic puree is so yummy! It’s so simple but makes the meal so much more tasty and I’m trying to acquire new seasonings every time I go to the supermarket – am I brave enough to try chilli flakes? Probably not, but I’m going to try some new recipes from The Green Roasting Tin book this month so maybe I’ll find something new there!

  • song

The only thing my boyfriend and I have been singing at each other is the tune to ‘Savage Love’ by Jason Derulo because we’re late to the tiktok trend… It’s just too catchy!

I’ve also just discovered Kings and Queens by Ava Maria but the chorus is the only bit I like so I’m mostly listening to covers on tiktok… I also ‘discovered’ tiktok this month, I can’t stop.

  • YouTube video

With my boyfriend going back to work and having the house to myself, I have watched a lot  of YouTube this month! Nothing jumped out at me immediately but from scrolling through my history, I picked out my top three.

This video from Carrie Hope Fletcher and Oliver Ormson was very fun and picked out some of my favourite Disney songs.

I’m not a¬†huge¬† fan of Dodie anymore but this arrangement of two songs was¬†beautiful and the video is very clever and creative.

And this video from Jessica Kellgren-Fozard was very fun and I love the dynamic she has with her wife – they’re both hilarious¬†and¬†adorable together.

I still have over 300 videos left in my watch later, so who knows how long it’ll take me to watch videos that aren’t a couple of months old…

  • books I’ve read

I’ve been reading¬†loads this month so here’s a quick run down (with links to my reviews on Instagram)

I only finished Checkmate last night so a few words – I was so impressed with Noughts and Crosses and the rest of the series has been such a disappointment. The beginning of Checkmate gave me hope because it was set a bit further down the line and I thought it had a different main character but it was just a new character and all the things that annoyed me about Knife Edge annoyed me about Check Mate too.

I’m about to start the fourth book in the series, Double Cross, because I bought the series and the painfully optimistic part of my brain keeps hoping that it will get better, but I don’t have a lot of hope. I definitely won’t be buying the fifth book that came out semi-recently.

  • snack

I have two very contrasting snacks for this month and I’ll start with the boring one first.

Tins of sliced peaches – I don’t know why I had these as a kid, but I recently rediscovered them and keeping them in the fridge on a hot day is¬†glorious and relatively healthy because it’s fruit so I can enjoy it guilt free. If you gave me a normal peach would I like it? I don’t know, I’ve never tried one and I’m not very good at trying new things but tinned peaches? Gimme more!

And the second thing is a small Victoria sponge cake with Harry Potter house themed crests as decoration on the top. My partner and I went on a cake run to Asda because something popped up on Facebook memories and we decided we needed cake to celebrate… and then I ate the whole thing. Then I got another one in our weekly shop.

I’m going to stop myself buying them now but a ¬£4 Hufflepuff themed Victoria sponge has brought me much joy this month!

  • TV/film/streaming thing

I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube this month so I wasn’t sure whether I’d have anything to write about, then my boyfriend and I binged the entire of Umbrella Academy season 2 on Netflix in a day and it was glorious. 100% on par with how brilliant the first season, amazing character development, same incredible sense of humour and generally so much fun and such a huge twist of an ending! Already eagerly anticipating season 3.

  • wedding planning update

It’s mostly been a month of waiting on the wedding front – we sent an inquiry to the venue we like to discuss the quote we were given but I haven’t heard back. Though I did spend an afternoon reading about how the heck a registrar works and how to arrange a civil ceremony so I’m all prepared to ‘give notice’ within 12 months of our wedding date and then just waiting for the venue to confirm before I ‘book’ (if that’s the right word?) for the registrar to perform the ceremony. It all feels a little more real now!


I’m sure September will absolutely fly by but with a couple of trips, my birthday and drawing closer to the end of my masters it’s looking to be an exciting month.

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Treasured In… July

2020, books, fashion, lifestyle, wedding

Hello!

Another month has passed, though I’m not entirely sure how because I’m pretty sure it was May yesterday but time has passed me by! More stuff has happened, I’ve bought things, reads things, watched things and I’m going to share it all!

Let’s jump right in, because otherwise another month will come and go without me noticing!


purchase:

Having had a couple of ‘no spend’ months, this isn’t a category I’ve included so far but I actually let myself by some things this month so I wanted to share. I wrote a whole blog post about the books I bought/acquired this month – I’d run out of physical books I hadn’t read in our house since we moved last year so I definitely made up for it at the beginning of the month. I’ve now had to stop letting myself by books because I’m never going to read them all at this rate!

Then there’s two items of clothing that I adore this month – what I’m calling my Explorer Shorts from Primark, they’re a khaki green stretchy denim short that give me Lara Croft vibes but they’re elasticated; big fan!

And then I picked up a lovely navy cardigan from M&Co in the sale that is super cosy, I’m almost disappointed when it’s really warm because I can’t wear it.

blog post:

Someone I went to school with shared this article about¬†Lockdown Weight Gain and I found it really interesting reading about the emotional impact of weight gain, particularly in a pandemic that is encouraging discussion about the impact of lockdown on mental health (though I’m not sure how much is being¬†done?).

recipe:

I’m not big on trying new things at the moment – eating food that I’m familiar with and recipes I already know how to do has been the only cooking I’ve really done, but last week I made brownies for the first time in years and it was¬†so good.

I definitely undercooked it, but it means I’ve got a super gooey fudgey brownie so I wasn’t gutted about it. Whilst putting a whole pound of brown sugar into a bowl was something that made me consider not making brownie anymore, it’s really good and the recipe I used was the one my mum gave me when I moved to uni so I can’t link it but I could make a blog post about it if there’s interest?

music:

I’m about two months behind on watching my YouTube subscriptions, but I watched Tom Fletcher and Danny Jones from McFly, Olly Murrs, Niall Horan and James Arthur covering¬†Shine a Light, an older McFly song, and I was blown away by how amazing the cover was. I’m a pretty big McFly fan, hence why I’m subscribed to Tom’s YouTube channel, but I’ve never paid too much attention to the other three artists, though I know most of their ‘super popular’ songs. I’m¬†obsessed with Niall’s voice and I need to listen to his most recent album.

Seeing how musicians are adapting to not being able to continue working as usual and making the most of remotely collaborating is very exciting.

YouTube video:

As I mentioned, I’m about two months behind on watching YouTube videos but my favourite video this month was from Mykie / Glam and Gore doing Halloween costume hacks from a 5 minute craft video considering my boyfriend is currently going through a phase of watching 5 minute crafts in secret (to the degree that he was watching them after I’d fallen asleep one night and I woke up at 6am to strange voices in our bedroom because he’d fallen asleep with them on). Either way! The video Mykie made was really fun and I thoroughly enjoyed it.

books I’ve read:

Where She Went (Gayle Forman) – after re-reading ‘if I stay’, ‘where she went’ was a pleasant enough unnecessary sequel. The first half was a whiney young man who couldn’t communicate his feelings and had an unhealthy relationship with medication and substances, then it actually starts to explore the relationship between the two main characters from the first book and the heart and poetic nature of the narrative returned.

The Memory Cage (Ruth Eatham)¬†– I downloaded this book for free from Amazon with Prime Reading on my Kindle because I ran out of physical books and it was definitely meant for a more middle grade audience, but it was a nice heartfelt story about adoption, family and loss. I actually really enjoyed reading on my kindle so I’m definitely going to buy more books on there in the future.

Masha Regina (Vadim Leventhal) – I picked up this book for 50p and I was really excited about getting such a bargain, but it turned out to be 50p for a reason. There just wasn’t much of a story at all. I wrote a full review on instagram, but I wouldn’t recommend – the review is potentially more entertaining than the book.

Currently reading:¬†Blame (Jeff Abbott) –¬†I don’t often read crime and whilst this book was in the grown up fiction second, it feels very YA to me because it’s about a girl in college and I think that’s part of the reason I’m enjoying it more than I expected. When you’re reading a book you expect to be able to trust everything the protagonist experiences to be true, but the more that I read the more I’m not sure who is trustworthy and it’s really interesting. Keep an eye on my instagram for a full review when I finish it!

snack:

When visiting my boyfriend’s family earlier this month, we went to Tescos for a meal deal and spotted these ‘French style’ Madeleine cakes and whilst we were in Paris last year, we became obsessed with these cakes called ‘Quatre Quart’ (or something) and we think we’ve found it! We think it’s the same cake! So we’ve eaten a disproportionate amount of them (they’re so good).

tv / film / streaming / something to watch:

As with eating food I already know how to cook, I’m not really in the mood for watching anything new and not knowing how it’s going to play with my emoTIoNs¬†but whilst we were on a little holiday at the beginning of the month we watched quite a bit of Escape to the Country and now I’m thinking about property a lot and I want to watch more trashy daytime TV.

wedding planning update:

We viewed a venue! The only placed we’ve viewed and I’m obsessed, it’s beautiful, it’s got everything we want, amazing accommodation and we could really see ourselves getting married there. The quote we received after the viewing was much higher than we thought it would be but for the venue that we love so much, we think we’re going to do some negotiations and work more to pay for it. There’s actually some wedding progress! Over two years in advance maybe a little premature but there’s still actual progress!


July has been mad and August is set to be much quieter, but who knows at this point!

Thank you for reading – I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Sophie xx

YouTube | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram