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 fiancé 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 fiancé 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

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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

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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

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Treasured in… May

2020, books, creativity, film, lifestyle, student

Hello!

As we come to the end of our second full calendar month in lockdown, little posts like this full of things I enjoyed and want to share are more important than ever. Everywhere I look people are complaining about the government, singing the praises of the NHS and arguing about what are appropriate social distancing activities (though how anyone could defend packed beaches I really don’t know) so having this little list of happy things will be a nice little mood boost for me as well as you!

Here are my the things I treasured in May!


blog post:

I really made more of an effort to read more this month – I’ve been on the hunt for bloggers that don’t exclusively talk about beauty, fashion or other stereotypical ‘successful blogger’ categories. I really want to find people like me who don’t necessarily blog for income, writing about the ramblings trapped in their heads and talking about all their random hobbies without limiting themselves to a ‘niche’.

I’m still hunting, but these two blog posts from YouTube influencers I follow were topical and well written.

recipe:

I don’t think I’ve tried anything that particularly blew me away this month – I made this creamy chicken chorizo pasta bake which was nice but we’re not rushing to make it again. I’m still really enjoying the bacon and pea risotto that I linked last month, I’ve somewhat rediscovered a good jacket potato and we made a really nice lasagne but it all came out of jars so it wasn’t anything to do with my ability to cook!

Top tip for ‘homemade out of jars lasagne’ – use a Mac and Cheese sauce rather than a white sauce, it worked really well for us and is making me hungry just thinking about it!

online course:

Again, this month I didn’t find anything new – I had one last big assignment to finish off my semester 2 work for my masters and with lockdown and a generally not good course, my friend and I who were working together on it (group project, not cheating I promise!) spent more time teaching ourselves than knowing what we were doing.

So I learnt a lot about the Maya animation software, modelling environments, materials, different animation types and multi-camera set ups, but I didn’t find a course online to take myself.

Next month I’ll be starting all the self-teaching I have to do for my dissertation project so I’ll be rambling all about designing a video game, making a 2D animation and writing scripts for both!

music:

The only time I really listen to music is when I’m cooking – when I’m trying to write or work, it means I can’t concentrate and if I’m knitting or doing my cross stitch I use it as an excuse to catch up on YouTube videos (I’m 300 videos deep on my watch later…).

With everything that’s been going on, I’ve been craving a bit of nostalgia so my partner has been finding playlists on Spotify along the lines of ‘year 6 disco’ and ‘the best of the 2000s’ and we’ve been listening to everything from S Club 7, Steps, Hannah Montana, Jonas Brothers to Bob The Builder’s ‘Big Fish Little Fish’. Thoroughly recommend a throwback disco if you need a little boost!

YouTube video:

Most of the YouTubers I’m subscribed to are vloggers, so watching vaguely ‘normal’ home life vlogging has been most of what I’m watching and it’s been nice to feel that little bit ‘normal’ by watching the creators I’ve been following for years just living their daily lives.

So I’m going to use this section this month to talk about one of my own videos – it’s currently unlisted on my channel because it’s for a uni assignment and I always feel funny about publishing my work while it’s still being marked (so it’s a fun little secret for my blog!). But this is the animation my friend Agata and I made for our assignment – the main character is animated from motion capture data and we built pretty much everything in the environment ourselves.

I’m so ridiculously proud of this little animation and I loved working on it with one of my best friends (even if we did the majority of the work in the three days before it was due…), so here is Life After Lockdown; a little topical comedy animation for our  assignment.

books I’ve read:

loved this book – this take on life after death and the way the characters have conflict without antagonising each other (except Evie’s mum, she was actually evil). It was one of those books that made you think about what life after death really is like – I genuinely think this is a pretty good idea and worth a read in these challenging times.

I read this because my boyfriend loves the Game Grumps and recommended it but it wasn’t for me – I didn’t find it funny but it felt like they were trying way too hard to be funny, the murder mystery was a bit too Scooby Doo for me, but it was entertaining enough.

This book is taking me actual weeks to get through – I like the writing style, but it feels almost non-fiction and there are so many characters that Pomerantz clearly expects the reader to remember who they are, how they were relevant and details about their life and career. It’s about a plane crash and it’s really depressing and long and there’s not much of a story yet and I’m about 75% through? I think the main thing putting me off is that on the back it declares that this back will become a classic but… it definitely hasn’t and I just can’t vibe with someone arrogant enough to assume their work deserves to become a classic. But I’m nearly done and a review will be on my Instagram when I do!

snack: 

I never thought I particularly liked minty chocolate – I can appreciate a few After Eights at Christmas and maybe a packet of softmints every now and then but not big on mint. I thought I’d prefer plain chocolate aero bubbles to the mint aero bubbles but my boyfriend opened my eyes and I have to stop myself buying them or I will eat the entire packet.

I also picked up a packet of Tesco’s own Salted Caramel Munch Bars thinking it would be an easy breakfast option – they’re really good but they’re so not good for you in any way that I’d be better off going back to a slice of toast in the mornings. But they’re really yummy and if you’re not really a breakfast person then something is better than nothing right?

visual entertainment: 

I’ve not watched any new TV this month but my mum, my sister, my boyfriend and I have started a remote film club using a 52 Week challenge book my mum picked up on Amazon – 52 challenges, divided by 4 people means 13 categories each. This month we watched Pulp Fiction, Eighth Grade, Dumbo (the live action one) and Top Gun and I’m really enjoying the excuse to watch all the ‘classic’ films I haven’t seen but should have as well as some newer films that I want to see.

Pulp Fiction was an interesting choice and having done a unit where one of my lecturers tried to teach us artsy-fartsy film theory (when he shouldn’t have been) it did make it more interesting to think about the decisions the director made, but then I thought about if a film makes you think about the decisions the director made and takes you out of being fully immersed, is it really a well made film? Either way! Eighth Grade was fun and a really accurate portrayal of life as a 13 year old, Dumbo was alright but I prefer the original (and Colin Farrell’s character was literally useless) and Top Gun was an action for the sake of action, ‘put it on in the background’ kind of film that really proved that Tom Cruise literally only plays one character in all his films.

Other than that I’ve watched a lot of Kim Possible on Disney+…

wedding planning update: Before lockdown, I attended a couple of wedding fairs and one of them was near my old hometown. There we spoke to a lady who was representing the most beautiful venue near a lake that my boyfriend and I are very sentimental about. It was beautiful, it’s a great location and it makes me feel a little bit emosh just thinking about it! We’re 90% sure it’s the venue we want to go with but we don’t have the deposit money yet. However, with two months of lockdown, people are re-planning weddings for years to come and our date of November 2022 is looking like it’s going to get infringed on quite quickly, so I want to contact the venue and at least get our foot in the door for our date so we don’t lose it. Otherwise, there’s nothing much more I can do in lockdown other than coming up with more and more ideas on Pinterest…

So I’ve not done any wedding planning this month but we have reached this decision, so there’s a bit of progress there!


On the one hand, I hope that the country is safe enough for some restrictions to be lifted in June so we can do more things, I can visit my family etc, but I really don’t want restrictions to be lifted early just because people are getting grumpy about not having their hair cut, so I’m apprehensive.

I hope you and your loved ones are happy, healthy and staying safe!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Treasured In… April

2020

Hello!

Whilst in isolation, I thought it would be fun to come up with a new series to work on whilst I’ve got a little bit more time to think about blogging. Essentially, I thought of a more structured ‘favourites’ that I’ve decided to call Treasured In… [insert month here]. But there’s the scope to do more – if I go travelling I could do it themed to a place, or I could do it about a year around New Years or…  other stuff…

I’ve selected a bunch of categories that I’m going to pick ONE thing I’ve loved this month and share it! I’m really excited about this and I hope you enjoy it too.

First category: blog post – though going to go with the ‘bad news’ first… I’ve not really read a blog post that I loved this month? I know I need to make more of an effort to read blog posts but it’s so much easier just to scroll through Instagram. If someone links a blog post on an Instagram story I generally read it but generally my favourite bloggers are the ones that don’t have enough followers to do swipe up. So this is a note to self to do better and read more engaging bloggers posts’!

Recipe: I’m not very good at trying new things but I love learning to cook new things. I’m really enjoying risotto at the moment and I found this recipe for a bacon and pea risotto which we tried and I loved. Granted, it doesn’t sound like it’ll be nice because anything with ‘pea’ in the title isn’t usually promising, but it’s risotto rice with bacon lardons and peas – it’s SUPER SIMPLE and it was really yummy, thoroughly recommend.

Online course: I’ve been ‘self-teaching’ for over a year now – I was working on Google Digital Garage’s Digital Marketing course for the best part of a year, then I worked through a bunch of the other free courses but this month I did the first week of An Introduction to Screenwriting course from UEA via Futurelearn. I’ve been creative writing for over a decade now but never had the facilities to learn about formal scriptwriting, so I’m teaching myself! There are so many free courses out there that I’ve found, would it be useful if I wrote a blog post on it? I’m no expert and it’s not difficult to find them but having a bunch of links all in one place might be helpful!

Music: two new albums that I’ve really enjoyed came out this both so I’m already going to cheat and give two for this one – firstly, my all time favourites All Time Low released their first album in a couple of years Wake Up, Sunshine and I’m obsessed. It’s fantastic, it’s fun, it’s beautiful; Alex Gaskarth is my favourite singer of all time and always will be.

The second album I loved was CALM by 5SOS and I still kind of hate to admit it because I’ve had such a rocky relationship with the band, but it’s a banger of an album and I had a good dance in the kitchen while I was making dinner so I had to mention it.

YouTube video: ‘The Crippled Suffragette’ // Rosa May Billinghurst // Historical Profiles [CC] – Jessica Kellgren-Fozard

I only recently subscribed to Jessica Kellgren-Fozard though I’ve been aware of her for a while (that’s a weird sentence when you don’t think of it outside the context of YouTube). I really love the variety of her content and I actually thoroughly enjoyed the way she told the story of this woman who I never would have heard of without this video. Always love a bit of unintentional learning!

Books I’ve read: My intention for this category is to list everything I’ve read in the last month and give you a couple of lines of whether I actually enjoyed it or not!

Love, Rosie (Cecelia Ahern) (previously published as Where Rainbows End) – absolutely loved this book, such an interesting writing style and just wonderfully kind and lovely characters. 10/10!

The Centauri Device (M. John Harrison) – refusing to link because I think it was awful. Overly complex unnecessary language to mask a pushover protagonist, a lack of plot and no emotional engagement between characters. Amazing potential as a concept for a sci-fi adventure but literally hated reading it.

Skarrs (Catherine Forde) – kind of stereotypical YA book ‘good kid fell in the wrong crowd’ but I was taken aback by it’s subtle way of describing how grief can effect people in such different ways.

One Day (David Nicholls) – I get the hype around this book now and I think Love, Rosie took a lot of inspiration from it. Kind of anticlimactic ending through, didn’t really see the emotional side that I’ve seen people talk about…

Currently reading: The Eve Illusion (Tom and Giovanna Fletcher) – I’ve been waiting for this book for what feels like ages but has only been a few months. I’m about halfway through and currently very intrigued about what will be left until the final book in the trilogy… keep an eye on my Instagram for a full review!

Snack: I’m all about the snacks and in lockdown, resisting them is even harder. When I finally got my hands on some self-raising flour, my boyfriend and I made dark chocolate chip banana bread muffins and they’re to die for. Far too many calories than I should have in one sitting but so good.

Visual Entertainment: this is the way I’m describing all things film, TV, Netflix, etc! With the release of Disney+ I’m almost ashamed to admit I’ve barely watched it, but I have been watching a couple of episodes of Kim Possible with dinner and having a fantastic time.

The other thing I’ve started is a 52 week movie challenge – my mum sent me this little review book in the post and rather than doing it on my own, between my mum, my sister and my boyfriend we’ve all been allotted 13 categories and each week we’re having a virtual movie night. We started by watching Forrest Gump, a film which I definitely should have seen but haven’t and I really enjoyed it.

Then because we had to pay for the Now TV Cinema pass to watch it, my boyfriend and I watched Fantastic Beasts: The Crimes of Grindelwald to make the most of the pass – considering all the negative hype I got, I thought it was pretty cool and we’re excited for the third part to see how it all ends.

Wedding Planning Update: Literally nothing. When I planned this series I thought it would be nice to see month by month progress but now that we’re in complete lockdown there’s no progress to be made, but I thought I’d introduce the category regardless!

And that’s ‘Treasured In…’! I’m really enjoying this new format to talk about things I love so I hope you enjoy it too. Let me know your favourite things in each of the categories in the comments if you like!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Creator Corner | My Favourite Creators right now!

2019, creativity

Hello!

Between ‘follow Friday’s, Instagram story shoutouts and #likeforlike left, right and centre sometimes it can be a bit overwhelming on social media between who you want to follow, who you feel you have to follow and who you follow to support the blogging/creator industry.

I’ve never been the ‘if you like my blog post then I’ll like your blog post’ kind of person because I think that’s really un-genuine – I’d rather someone liked my blog post because they enjoyed the content and not because they wanted more hits on their own posts.

With that in mind, I thought it would be nice to shout out my favourite creators at the moment! All three are YouTube Influencers but two are published authors and one is a twitter Queen if I do say so myself.

You’ve probably heard of them all, but I thought it’d be nice to share the people who’s content I’m really enjoying at the moment!


Anna is a Brighton based fashion, beauty and lifestyle creator and is the perfect example of someone I watch not because of what she talks about. I don’t dislike what she talks about but luxe make-up and expensive beauty technology is never going to be something I engage with on a financial level, but I just think Anna has the nicest personality and that’s more important to me regarding the creators I engage with.

She talks really genuinely, she’s funny, her relationship with her husband is just the sweetest and her videos are great to put on in the background while I scroll through Instagram (because I definitely don’t do that really regularly). Her content is also fantastic, really varied, covers a lot of basis and her style is just so on point.


I’ve followed Hannah for years and years now and watching her grow and develop her business while talking so openly about so many topics that a lot of people are afraid to talk about online (including sex, disability and how she makes money on YouTube) and all round she’s bubbly, full of opinions and got sass to boot.

I’m so excited to see more of what she does with her second channel More Hannah – whilst I find the sex education side of her channel interesting, it’s one of those things that isn’t my go to because I’m an awkward hermit, essentially. However her second channel where she talks about organisation, lifestyle and basically anything else is my jam.

Most creators I’m subscribed to I engage with because of who they are as people (or at least, how they present themselves online) more than their content – it’s like having a one-way conversation with a friend, it’s a friendly voice in the background whilst I’m doing my make-up or eating dinner or writing a blog post… (I’m actually not watching YouTube right now, lol). Hannah is constantly growing and developing and has a really strong identity of how much she shares and how much she keeps private online and I think she’s brilliant both as a viewer and I look up to her as a business woman.


If you’re here for sarcastic, self-deprecating humour from an Essex girl with fashion to boot, Fab Han is your girl.

I first found Hannah on an article of ‘if you like Zoella you’ll like these channels’ on Shout magazine’s website or something and I was drawn in by a video she made about short hairstyles and I’d just got my hair cut short so I was drawn in! I’m utterly baffled that this girl is like two years younger than me because she’s so on it and I love her style.

Her vlogs are so funny, her clothing hauls are really cute and overall, I think Fab Han is such a girl boss and she deserves so much more attention and love than she has. This girl is going to take over the world and I am here for it!


Apparently my favourite creators at the moment all have names that sound like ‘Anna’ and y’know what? I’ll go with it!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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May Monthly Mixtape!

2019, music

Hello!

I’ve got a whole 20 songs that I’ve been loving this month to share with you! Between belting Heathers at the top of my lungs and listening to School of Rock and Dear Evan Hansen on loop (it’s been a very musical month) I have actually been listening to my Discover Weekly and adding music I’ve heard in general day to day life. So here’s the sound to my May!

Brand New (Ben Rector) and Flatliner (Cole Swindell, Dierks Bentley) are both songs that my boyfriend has on his playlist but I feel like I properly listened to them this month – Brand New is a really lovely, very romantic song that is bright and indie-pop-ish.

Flatliner has more of a story – one of my boyfriend’s assessments involved picking a scene from a film, recreating all the sound and essentially recreating all the sound for the scene. They picked Cars, the film famed for the most wonderful Rascal Flats song ‘Life is a Highway’, and to find a song similar to that – they found Flatliner. I now associate that song with a film it’s not in, but it’s properly catchy and it makes me think maybe I don’t hate country music? It’s fun, a lil bit rocky and you can imagine Lightning McQueen, what more could you want?

GUM (Jule Vera) is a song I found on my discover weekly – it’s a bit of a weird song, takes some twists and turns that don’t fit the stereotypical pop mould but that’s why I like it. I’d love to see someone with a proper creative eye for dance choreograph something for this song because I definitely can’t do it justice.

ME! (Taylor Swift, Brendon Urie) and I don’t care (Ed Sheeran, Justin Bieber) are songs I added because I do actually somewhat keep up with new releases and Brendon Urie and Ed Sheeran are two of my faves. I think ME! is a fun, empowering tune and I don’t care isn’t what I was expecting at all. I thought it would be about being a cool kid that doesn’t care about the #rulez but it was actually a surprisingly romantic song, Sheeran and Bieber’s voices really suit each other and it’s just a nice, gentle song. Big fan.

Mark My Words (Doll Skin) feels like a little bit of a throwback – it feels like the kind of pop-punk/rock I listened to when I was 14 or 15, a little bit Paramore esque but more rocky and I love the chorus.

Alone Sometimes (The Mowgli’s) is another one that my boyfriend likes, but it was also on my Discover Weekly spotify playlist – I thought I recognised it but I also really enjoyed it! And I keep getting the lyrics wrong and singing alive sometimes instead of alone sometimes, which I think still fits but does somewhat change the meaning of the song. This is another indie-pop track with two lead vocals that fit really well together and a lovely message.

Shoutout of the month goes to a song that isn’t new and probably isn’t a lot of people’s first choice, but I’ve been loving The Way We Are by Alesha Dixon – I heard it in a performance at a dance convention I went to at the end of last month and thought it was such a catchy bop! It makes me smile every time it comes on and I genuinely think it’s really hard not to dance to, even if it’s just nodding your head – it’s happy, it’s upbeat, it’s fun. Love it.

If you want to have a nosy around my Spotify, I’ve got a bunch of badly organised and incredibly varied playlists you can have a look at here. I’m really enjoying writing about music at the moment, so as always recommendations are always welcome, all my social media is linked below!

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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May favourites

2017, lifestyle, music, photography, student

Hello!

Another favourites post! I’ve done this one a little differently and separated it into different categories, but I’ve been loving a lot of things this month so let’s crack right on!

beauty

Highlighters are my new guilty pleasure and for the first time in my life I don’t mean the florescent stationery kind. My ‘go to’ every day make up is eyebrows, mascara, lipstick and highlighter because it just makes me feel cute because I have glittery cheeks. I picked up these beauties while I was home last week in the shades Iridescent Gold and Pink Shimmer from MUA and they were only £3 each! They’re super pigmented and the colour is really clear – it’s not very subtle but I like to go a bit overboard on the highlighter so if that’s what you’re into I’d definitely recommend them!

organisation

As I’m lacking in the florescent stationery highlighters, I need a new way to organise! Not really – I love my bullet journal and it’s good for organising the finer details of things but for an overview of what my month looks like in a more general way then I like putting everything into Apple Calendars. I like being able to have different categories and I can sync with my other Apple-product-using friends and I like having it on my computer where everything else is in my journal. I like the combination of the two.

food

I think it was April when my mum and sister came to visit and we drove to the beach and had ice cream but this New Forest Toffee Crunch Ice Cream was beautiful and I can buy it in big tubs at Asda but they’re £3 a pot and somehow a highlighter feels like a better way to spend my money. If you’re on the South Coast of the UK at any point over the summer I thoroughly recommend it! I might have to treat myself.

watching

Fairytale – my boyfriend is really into anime and he’s been asking if I want to watch this one for a while. He gave me no context of what it was about but the other day he said to me “I just want to show you the title sequences!” and then proceeded to show me all of episode one. Whilst I wasn’t too pleased to be manipulated into watching his show (when he outright refuses to watch anything I suggest even when he watched a couple of episodes and enjoyed it… not that I’m salty) it is actually really good – I often find animes to be too melodramatic and serious (which I don’t mind, like I still enjoy them but it’s a tiny grievance of mine) but this one is really funny and the title sequence song from the first arc is amazing, I thoroughly recommend putting this cover by NateWantsToBattle on repeat for a while.

Doctor Who – I’m one of those Doctor Who fans. I’ve been watching the series since Freema Agyeman was David Tennant’s assistant in 2007 and I’ve watched every episode since and this season is really close to being one of my favourites (but nothing will ever beat Matt Smith and Karen Gillan’s series 5) – I wish this was what Capaldi’s first season as the doctor had been like because I feel like fans would have liked that so much more (though I have a lot of opinions on Series 8/9 Doctor/Clara Who). It’s something I could write a whole blog post about so let me know if you want that!

Guardians of the Galaxy 2 – I saw this film right at the beginning of the month so I couldn’t write a full on review for it, but all I can say is if you like comedy go see this film, even if you’re not into action superheroes and even if you’ve not seen the first film it’s absolutely brilliant. Personally I think it matched the first one in the perfect way without overshadowing it – the special effects were absolutely astonishing, the action moments were incredible, it was hilarious, surprisingly heartwarming and I wish I could afford to go and see it again!

Also Baby Groot – I’ll say nothing more.

things I’ve created

I wasn’t so sure of this as a segment but I’m really proud of this content and why not a favourites post to be able to share what I’m proud of?

2017 beginner’s bullet journal flip through – this whole video was really last minute and took me a surprisingly long time to edit but I’m really proud of it and the comments are so positive! I’m can’t wait to do another flip through in a few months or when I finish the book! I got to nerd out about organisation and stationery and I loved it.

https://www.instagram.com/p/BUxDHOLg6lB/?taken-by=ahealthiersophie

New instagram – ahealthiersophie – I started this because I watched John Green’s series ‘100 Days‘ and he said he found it was much easier to control his diet when he made himself document it all and that’s what sprouted the idea. But I didn’t want the account to be 100% food so I post twice a day to break it up a bit. The intent was to post lots of workout photos and show how I was being healthy in that aspect but that only really started in June when I started this 30 Day Ab Challenge but it’s been an outlet for me to talk a lot about my mental health. May has been a really tough month and I’ve multiple people message me like ‘u okai??!11!’ and I’ve had some amazing conversations with my friend Sarah about a potential diagnosis (obvs not going to say anything ‘official’ (???) until I’ve been to the doctors but I’m working on the courage for that) and it’s been very therapeutic. It’s also highlighted a lot of scary things that go on in my brain but I think that’s a good thing.

Lupton and Luckett – new YouTube channel with Alice! My friend Alice and I kinda joked in Instagram comments about starting a channel now here we are – Video 1 live, Video 2 filmed (it’s a baking video, I thoroughly recommend subscribing for that going live next Thursday!) and videos planed all summer. I love Alice and I’m so ridiculously excited to create with her. She’s so little and cute (and I look like a mouldy purple potato next to her) but I love this girl and I think you’ll love her too.

my ‘no spend’ month – the blog post I wrote literally two days ago! In May I found out that I had a savings account that I’d completely forgotten about and I closed it and withdrew the cash (which was vewy nice) but it’s going straight into my other savings account for my travel funds but on a similar note, I’m trying to really save my money and get out of my overdraft right now so I cut back a lot in May and I wrote a whole post about it which I’m really excited about because I tried a new kind of format and style and I’m really excited about it.

These posts always end up being really long and I don’t think I mind, because it’s nice to share things I like and just type and type and type and suddenly there’s a thousand words. Blogging is really therapeutic for me and I’m very excited about not having uni distract from it for a few months.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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Monthly Music: March

2017, music, student

Hello!

I love writing about music – it’s no surprise that music is a huge passion of mine and especially studying a music journalism unit at uni right now, I want to write more about music.

I know I already do a monthly favourites post but I thought separating music and doing it in a separate post where I can talk about each album or song in more detail than I would if it was in my favourites.

So I’ve picked five songs and albums that I’ve been listening to a lot this month – not just music that’s been coming out this month, it’s just stuff I’ve been listening to and thoroughly enjoying.

But first I have picked something that was new in March:

Divide, Ed Sheeran: I have made no effort to hide how much I love this album – obviously there are songs I like more than others but there is not one single song that I dislike. I talked about Supermarket Flowers in my March favourites and it’s one of my favourites, but also Eraser, Galway Girl and Nancy Mulligan are so much fun and I just absolutely adore this album. It’s so fun but also so lyrically poignant and heavy and important. I love the placement of Happier (a song about seeing an ex happier now that they’re with someone else) and New Man (a song about seeing an ex going a bit of the rails now that they’re with someone else) following each other on the album, that has actually made me laugh a lot, probably more than it should have.

I love the lyric in New Man ‘He’s got his eyebrows plucked and his arsehole bleached’ – again, because it’s really funny and it makes me laugh.

I loved listening to this album on the underground when I was commuting into London for my BBC Three placement, even when I started commuting from home into London to be with my family this album cheered me up more than it made me sad, it was a bit of a nod to normalcy before everything went to shit and this album just fitted into my life at a really convenient time.

I have literally no bad things to say about this album. Literally none.

Dirty Laundry / Last Young Renegade – All Time Low: I might make it a personal challenge to put All Time Low in my monthly music post every month because they’re my favourite band and I can’t go a whole month without adoring them.

So with a new album coming out in just a couple of months and new songs being released fairly regularly, there are two new songs from the unreleased album ‘Last Young Renegade’ and they’re so good and I’m so excited about it.

They played ‘Dirty Laundry’ when I saw them live in London and Southampton in the beginning of March and hearing it live made me fall so much more in love with the song. I’m still trying to figure out exactly what kind of meaning the song has but I’m thoroughly enjoying listening to it on loop while I try and understand what it’s meant to say.

Last Young Renegade I haven’t listened to as much, I’ll be honest, even though it’s the lead song on the album. I was listening to Ed Sheeran and I was grieving and I just didn’t connect with the song but I adore the video – I love the idea that the first video for Dirty Laundry and this video for Last Young Renegade may be somehow connected but I also just really appreciate the representation of love where it’s just dealing with something bad happening to just go and enjoy a concert in the most basic sense of the word. Music really does bring people together and going to a concert with someone you love is a really different kind of concert and I loved being reminded of that when I watched this video.

Totally rate these songs and thoroughly recommend them.

Keep Me Crazy – Sheppard: My boyfriend and I found Sheppard as a band on our way back from Weymouth at New Years (I think) – we listened to their album on the train on the way back to Basingstoke and their new song is just so happy and so much fun and I love it so much.

It’s so jolly and happy go lucky and it’s a really happy listen. It’s now on my bucket list to go to Australia to see Sheppard play live. They’re Australian, for context. I bet they’re fab live. I can’t wait. I just love Sheppard, a lot.

Little Shop of Horrors: Definitely not a new musical or a new release but I’m now in my university’s drama and performance society’s musical medley, which includes Little Shop of Horrors in which I have like a semi-main supporting-ish role and I’ve just really got into the musical, even though I refused to be in it in my school production when I was in year 11.

I’m loving learning the songs properly and also having a couple of solos is really fun because I’m a very needy person and I like attention in small bursts. Also I like that ‘Sing it child’ is one of my lines and the sass levels hit a hundred. I’m really enjoying Little Shop right now.

Also, I don’t know why, but at the end of Skid Row when Seymour and Audrey are singing about trying to get out of Skid Row and it makes me surprisingly emotional because I get really scared about being stuck in the same place for a long time and it scares me a lot and it just really gets to me. Not sure why but I love that song a lot.

Awake – Josh Groban: Bit of a last minute, weird one this – I got back from work and a stressful evening at uni on Wednesday night and had a craving to listen to ‘So She Dances’ by Josh Groban which is an astonishingly beautiful song and I am desperate to choreograph to it and it’s just really mellow and I was so stressed and I needed something really chill and I’m really glad I listened to Josh Groban.

He’s an incredibly talented vocalist and his music makes me very chilled and happy. He’s got a great twitter too.

How I want to end these posts is with something that I want to listen to over the next month and I’ve been meaning to listen to You Me At Six’s newest album Night People – I love Cavalier Youth and I just haven’t spared the time to listen to the song yet and it’s my aim for the next month to listen to it.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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