a little house update!

2019, interior homeware, lifestyle, photography

Hello!

What a whirlwind few weeks it has been! We picked up the keys to our new rented house about three and a half weeks ago and all of our belongings were delivered three weeks ago but actually, we’ve unpacked all the boxes and everything is feeling a little bit more homey!

I’ve put up fairy lights in almost every room (the bathroom doesn’t need fairy lights, the kitchen might be next though…), I’m slowly putting up pictures and finding homes for everything. Obviously we still need to ‘live’ in it to get used to it all and find homes for everything, there’s a few items of furniture that we can’t afford to buy just yet so that’ll take time but we’ve not been in for a month yet!

The kitchen is complete unpacked – the cupboards as a bit bare but we’ve got all we need, we’ve got all the ingredients for dinners and I’m making my packed lunches but as we live here we’ll build up a collection of seasonings and baking ingredients and more ‘long term’ cooking things. But the kitchen is done – after five days with no plates just having slightly fuller cupboards is really reassuring.

The living room is where I started – it was the first place I put fairy lights up, I spent a long time thinking about where I wanted the sofas and where the TV would go even though we don’t have a TV aerial downstairs (which is ideal…), trying to fit in a desk, figuring out how we’re going to store everything and deciding we need an IKEA trip soon.

That was mostly my decision but if my boyfriend doesn’t want to come then that’s fine.

We also bought a new TV for the living room… We definitely shouldn’t have, we were trying to set up finance with Currys PC World but it was going to take too long so we decided to just pay for it and suffer the consequences. We’re working it out!

Moving on! I want to get a shelving unit for the upstairs hallway because I think it would be the perfect place for my record player and other ornaments. I think I want to get a corner shelf so we can use it for storage and decorate it up a little bit (did someone say fairy lights…?).

The bedroom has so many nooks and bits to explore – starting with the main room, we’ve got the bed in the middle because I think that means we’re grown ups now (and no one has to climb over the other to get out of bed in the morning). The bed was kindly #gifted by my mum for my birthday (lol as if I would actually be gifted anything) and has ottoman storage underneath so at the moment we have spare duvets, blankets and bedding under there but there’s so much space we’re definitely going to have room for so much more down the line.

We each have a bedside table that my mum had going spare and I’m actually struggling to find enough things to put in them? I might swap my drawers out if I can buy a smaller bedside table and use the drawers under my desk downstairs that would be really convenient but for now it’s housing my current read, my phone charger and my glasses overnight!

Onto the first wardrobe (I know, the built in wardrobe and storage in this house is actually amazing) – this is my wardrobe because it’s the bigger one and my boyfriend decided that it would make more sense for me to have it.

I’ve unpacked my clothes but on the shelf side I want to get something to divide everything up a bit – I think maybe some IKEA Units and some drawers but I’m really not sure what to do to sort this out to be honest – any recommendations would be fantastic! Other than being huge, it’s a pretty average wardrobe, nothing too special.

My boyfriend’s wardrobe however it pretty cool – it’s a bit like a walk in wardrobe/changing room. It’s got a hanging rail, a little cupboard (that doesn’t have any shelves but we put an IKEA unit in there because we have a fair few…) and it even has it’s own light! With the wood panelling wallpaper I genuinely think it would make an amazing changing room. This is where basically all of my boyfriend’s belongings are and it makes me feel a little bit guilty that I have so much stuff.

The last (and potentially most exciting bit) is what we’re calling the alcove – it was a mutual decision to make it my little make-up/get ready corner. I’ve put an 8-square IKEA unit that I’ve dotted a few of my bits around but not really organised it properly yet. I shouldn’t have bought the vanity unit from B&M but I was feeling sad and I wanted to have somewhere to put my make-up and it really finishes the alcove! I don’t have to justify it but I also feel like I need to reassure my bank account. I’ve put lots of fairy lights up, I’ve set up my cloud light, I’m starting to decorate a little bit and I can’t wait till I’ve got a couple of months pay under my belt and I can start buying bits and bobs to decorate.

I’ve got so many ideas and I’m so excited to finally get everything unpacked but I’m also glad we’ve got the time to not rush it. We keep throwing ideas around and making plans and then saying ‘we just need to live in it first’.

Slowly, it’s all coming together and I love it so much.

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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4 Year Anniversary 💜

2019, lifestyle

Hello!

Today is my four year anniversary with my ridiculous boyfriend Lucas – ironically I spent my day at my new job and he’s away with work so we won’t actually get to see each other until tomorrow evening but we went to a wedding last weekend and we’re going to have a night in and it’s going to be fantastic.

Sometimes when I’m thinking about what content I want to make I think maybe I should talk about relationships because I really think I’ve found the person I’m going to spend the rest of my life with and we’ve worked really hard to make our relationship something we really cherish and I’m so proud of the progress we’ve made and oh-my-god-I-just-love-him-so-much-I-become-a-soppy-mess. But I don’t feel like I can really justify giving advice considering I think I’m just really lucky to have found him! I don’t think I’ve got anything else to say really.

Until I went to uni, I spent the first 18 years of my life being utterly repulsive to every male (and female, I guess) I encountered at school – I like to tell myself that it’s because all those people remember me as the nerdy, Twilight fangirl even when I actually started caring about my appearance as I get older. Then I got to uni and it felt like I was overwhelmed with attention which sounds cocky af but I wasn’t ready for it at all. I’d had one kiss when I was seventeen with an asshole that started dating someone else five days later (being a teenager is really bloody complicated!) so when I started dating Lucas I’d never dated before and I was incredibly inexperienced to say the least.

And here I am four years later at a point where I can comfortably say that I want to marry my first boyfriend. When we first started dating I was so overwhelmed by our relationship because I felt so much for him but part of me felt like I was missing out on only having dated one person (even though I didn’t want to date anyone else… it’s difficult to explain).

Sometimes people will talk to me about people they’re flirting with or their love life as a single person and I want to be able to give advice… but I have nothing to contribute! Lucas and I were put in the same flat at uni, we chatted on Facebook before we moved in together then I spent two months determined not to date anyone I was living with then I gave in and four years later we’re renting our own house together. I didn’t have to put any effort into convincing this boy to like me which is something I’ve literally just realised in writing those words right now!

So the conclusion is – I’m actually the worst person to ask for relationship advice! At least, getting into a relationship. I wish I could help but it’s significantly easier when you’ve got someone who definitely likes you. Sorry?

My best advice for a long term relationship is 1) make sure you have really open communication, 2) don’t have secrets, especially about money and 3) make time for each other, for us it’s playing video games together in the evening and sometimes going to bed a bit early and just lie together and talk and I love it.

Having a good relationship isn’t easy, but being with someone you really love makes the work feel easy.

I meant for that to be some sort of inspirational quote but I don’t think it went very well.

I’m genuinely shocked that at 23 I’ve been in a relationship for FOUR YEARS but I look forward to the day that I’ve been in this relationship for longer than I haven’t. I’m a soppy girlfriend and I’m only like 20% ashamed of it?

I could write a really heartfelt message to Lucas about how happy I am to have spent four years with him, but I don’t think I need to do that on my blog!

Should I talk about relationships more? I have lots of opinions but I really don’t feel like I have enough experience to talk about it – let me know what you think!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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November Goals ’19

2019, goals, lifestyle, organisation, writing

Hello!

How is it nearly the end of the year? My favourite month September went by in a FLASH and now it’s November and I feel like time is going by quicker than I can keep track of it! Not that I’m complaining – I’m getting better at handling the passing of time and I’m getting excited about the prospect of the future and a career again.

Rambles aside, it’s time for a new set of monthly goals – if nothing springs to mind I always refer back to my goals for the year that I set in January which helps me focus and make progress on my mid-term goals. Little top tip for you there! If you’d like a post about how I set goals then please do let me know, this is something I’d love to pursue but I feel like I haven’t achieved enough to warrant making this an aspect of my career.

I’m rambling again! Onto the goals…

One – be more productive with uni work
I don’t mean in the ‘getting more done’ sense, I mean working more consistently and achieving more in the long run if that makes sense. At the moment, I’m slowly trucking away and then I have to work just that little bit harder in the two or three days before an assignment is due to finish off. Even if I spread that work out over a week, I can work in shorter periods and get more done and work on more assignments at a time.

To implement this (another goal setting time – don’t just make goals, plan how to achieve them!) I think I need to start breaking my time down into more scheduled chunks. I’ve always been against this because I’ve taken the mindset that a task will take however long it takes but if I’m spending hours dragging my feet through one task, I’d probably be better off going and doing something else and coming back to it. SO if I set myself an hour of working on one assignment and then I’m going to spend an hour doing some reading for another unit and then an hour writing blog posts then I’ve at least made some progress in all three elements rather than taking all day to reach the point I wanted on a certain assignment.

Two – settle into my new job and the new routine
Getting a job has taken longer than I anticipated because I spent so long looking for jobs in the place where we were going to move and then we ended up moving somewhere else and then there was complications with my applications in the place we actually move to then there were complications with start dates but I’m finally due to start my new retail job next week.

I’ve made this one of my goals because my original intention was not to work in retail – I wanted an office job where I could refine my admin skills, but I just don’t really know where to look and the job I now have actually fits really well with where we live and where my boyfriend works so I just need to give myself permission to potentially enjoy it. I think I might be working in the homeware department so that’s always exciting!

Three – eat a bit more healthily and track my weight again
Now that we’ve moved and I’ve got a bit more control about what I’m eating (and I’ve rediscovered how much I love vegetables) I feel ready to start making small life changes to get back to the healthier lifestyle I had this time last year.

Being brutally hones, I’ve put on about seven pounds since my lowest weight of this year but you know what? That’s really not a massive setback and I can see lots of really obvious habits in my life that I can adapt so I’m looking forward to the challenge in a way.

Four – finish two books!
I made a good dent in catching up on my reading goal of 12 books for the year in September/October but fell off the wagon a bit with moving stress but I’d really like to be back on track by the beginning of December.

I’m currently reading ‘Our Stop’ by Laura Jane Williams and next I’ll be reading ‘The Black Book of Secrets’ by F. E. Higgins.

Five – NaNoWriMo/write every day
And last but not least – another writing challenge! This is what I’ve been training for all year and I actually don’t feel prepared at all but as with the first week of any writing challenge I do, I’m excited – the key now it’s to maintain that momentum.

Although the goal is to hit 50,000 words, I’m not too fussed about the word count because I haven’t had the time to plan the novel redraft that I wanted to write, I’ve got a masters to get and a life to deal with but my focus is making writing a habit. I will be writing a combination of my original novel, a bit of fanfiction and some creative writing exercises just to get words on paper. I did consider including blog posts and any uni writing I have to do but I feel like that’s taking the mick a little bit!

My wrimo profile is sophiecountsclouds, if anyone wants to add me!

So those are my focuses for November! Writing these posts always motivates me – I love a new start and a new month just gives me a little boost and after how hectic October was, I needed that.

Bonus question – I started drafting a blog post during the week of a ‘day in the life of a masters student’ and I started feeling very insecure about whether this would actually be interesting to anyone? So let me know if you have any thoughts on that!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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we FINALLY moved!

2019, goals, lifestyle

Hello!

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

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

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

Shock horror, that did not happen.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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what I want – Autumn lust list

2019, fashion, lifestyle

Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

Can you tell I’m passionate about these matters?

Still really like the sweater though.

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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new beginnings | diary 8

2019, lifestyle, student

Hello!

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

~ turning 23 ~

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

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

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

~ going back to uni ~

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

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

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

~ moving to Berkshire/Oxfordshire/Buckinghamshire? ~

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

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

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

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

~ first car accident ~ 

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

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

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

~ new beginnings ~

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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the eve of 23

2019, lifestyle

Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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remember when I blogged every day for a year?

2019, lifestyle, writing

Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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September Goals

2019, goals, lifestyle, student

Hello!

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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I’m moving! | life update | diary 7

2019, lifestyle, student

Hello!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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