Treasured in… September 2021

2021, books, Favourites

Hello!

Another month, another list of things that brought me joy. This month has flown by and I’m hoping October will feel like it lasts a little bit longer, but for now we’re in the last few days of a month that was full of birthdays, adventures and a lot of stress.

It’s been busy with trips, lots of driving and lots of good food but I can’t wait for it to get colder, to get all my jumpers out and sit with blankets and candles in the evening. Bring on the cold!

But first, here’s the things I loved in September.

What I bought

I’ve definitely been a bit contactless-happy this month, but my favourite purchase has been this NaNoWriMo shirt in a size that’s almost certainly too big but has brought me immense joy. It took three weeks to arrive and I spent far too much on import charges to get it sent over from America but it brought me joy and that’s the most important thing right? Right?

I also bought many accessories and materials for my new Cricut which my wonderful fiancé got for my birthday, lots of Hobbycraft supplies and probably too many books but is there really such a thing as ‘too many books’? (the answer is no)

What I cooked

We had many good HelloFresh meals this month, but I actually want to talk about a restaurant my fiancé took me too – it’s somewhere we hadn’t been before, but apparently it’s the highest rated restaurant in our down! It was a lovely Italian restaurant that apparently was very authentically Italian (the boy who spent 5 weeks in Rome reassured me of that whilst pronouncing everything with a questionable Italian accent). It was wonderful, not only the food but the effort he went to in finding somewhere new for us to go.

Then, when I was visiting my parents at the weekend to celebrate my mum’s birthday, we went to a lovely pub in a tiny village near my home town and had the most incredible roast dinner. I barely thought about eating until the next day I was so full, but it was the most wonderful meal.

I’ve been very lucky to be treated to many meals this month, I feel like my birthday has lasted all month long and I’ve been very spoilt.

What I snacked on

A family friend sent me these cakes in the post from Simply Cake Co and I made 12 slices of cake last much longer than I anticipated. Especially, considering I could have eaten all of the salted caramel brownie in one sitting it was delicious. I’ve always been a bit dubious of cake delivery services but they were fresh, lasted really well and were incredibly delicious.

What I sang along to

I’ve listened to Audiobooks more than I have music, but this song is a bop.

(the video is weird and I don’t get it though)

What I watched

I’m still on the medical show hype, so when my fiancé is home we watch Grey’s Anatomy (or Battle Bots), when I’m home alone I watch The Resident on Disney+ but the biggest hype of this month without a shadow of a doubt was Sex Education series 3.

The characters are perfect in every way – they’re flawed, they’re trying, they’re so gosh darn realistic but also so sweet, the storyline was hilarious, the cinematography was beautiful and I’m so intrigued as to what series 4 will look like.

All I can say is, the scene with the cat was scarring. If you know, you know.

What I read

This is the bit I’ve been looking forward to.

When I first got Audible, I wanted to rant and rave about it straight away but I made myself wait till I was more familiar with the app and how much use I actually got out of it.

Three and a half books in a month later, I’m still very much on the Audible hype train – I love listening to books when I’m driving, I love having the extra capacity to engage with more stories and read in a brand new way and explore books I never would have read before with the plus catalogue.

So here’s what I listened to:

The Magpie Society: One for Sorrow – Zoe Sugg and Amy McCulloch – 2 stars
I was so intrigued about Zoe Sugg’s latest attempt at fiction and I was so disappointed. It read so childishly, but with a few swear words thrown in because it’s about teenagers, but the murder didn’t feel like it was really resolved and (my biggest issue) – there was no ending. There was nothing conclusive about the ending, it was just a big old pause to make the reader buy the sequel. I don’t mind a cliffhanger, but at least give the book some sort of conclusion, some sort of ending, not just drop it and pick it up in the next one.

And out of principal, I absolutely won’t be buying the next one.

Beach Read – Emily Henry – 5 stars
A book about writers living in their own romance story? Yes please. Beach Read is in line to be one of my favourite books of the year – January Andrews (despite having a really dumb name) is a wonderful narrator – she’s self aware, brilliantly sarcastic and witty, but human and flawed and sad and excited so realistic. I loved her, Augustus Everett was a total sweetheart and I loved getting to know him beyond the stereotype January thought he was in college.

Fantastically narrated, thoroughly recommend.

MumLife – Louise Pentland – 4 stars
My first (and probably last) non-fiction read of the year, this read like one long, monologue podcast from Louise and it was wonderful. Heart warming, heart breaking and hilarious in equal measure. I feel like I learnt so much about myself, even though I’m not a mother yet, I learnt so much that I’d like to carry forward if I’m ever lucky enough to have my own children.

The only paper book I managed to finish this month was Tarzan of the Apes – Edgar Rice Burroughs – 2 stars – it took me nearly a month to finish reading this one. I’m not a fan of classics or books written a long time ago, not my style, it made it harder to read because I had to concentrate more and after a one chapter (sometimes not even that) I’d be exhausted and fall asleep within minutes. But I finished it – it was nothing like the Disney movie and the ending literally finishing with an asterisk that said ‘read more about Tarzan in the next book’.

It wasn’t written badly, but I didn’t particularly enjoy it and will be donating my copy to the charity shop.

And I’m currently reading Good Girl, Bad Blood by Holly Jackson and listening to The Cove by LJ Ross and thoroughly enjoying both.

It’s been a long month, but I’m ready for another one for sure!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

September Goals 2021

2021, goals

Hello!

Although I can’t believe we’re 8 months through the year, we’ve arrived at my favourite month – my birthday month, the start of a new academic year and the time where I will always get excited about a new pencil case despite the fact I haven’t bought a new pencil case in years and I am never going back to school again.

(but the stationery hype is always real)

A new month means new monthly goals and August was generally good, but I’m really motivated for September – the big event I’m part of at work is on the 7th-8th so I’m excited for that (both because I think it’ll be a great event and because it’ll be over) and I’m turning 25 which feels oddly significant and has been on my mind for about 6 months since I got my letter about booking my smear test (which I did, don’t you worry!).

So here are my September mini goals:

Writing challenge – 45,000 words

My fourth writing challenge of the year in the run up to November’s NaNoWriMo – 1500 words a day, seems like a reasonable ask to me as long as I’m dedicated and manage my time. I really want to focus on writing original fiction rather than falling back into fanfiction like I usually do. But if I do, hey ho, it’s about having fun and enjoying writing rather than making it feel like a chore!

Cosplay costume work

I’ve been slowly working on this costume all year but I’m struggling at turning this bigger project into smaller achievable tasks and going from just about knowing how to use a sewing machine to making actual clothes. This month I’m going to buy part of the costume on Etsy and make another part, because I figure for my first cosplay costume, a balance of both is a fair place to start.

Wedding planning

As we creep closer to November and the wedding will be less than a year away, it’s starting to feel more and more real – I don’t even know what I have left to plan but also I feel like I have everything left to plan. This month I want to make a mood board of any of the decor I want to make myself, I want to think about designing our invites and planning what our wedding favours will be. These all feel like little things in comparison to the venue and the photographer but I think they’re going to take more than I expect!

Review Yearly Goals and make stretch goals

With only four months left in the year, I want to make time to evaluate my goals and see how I can adapt them to fit what I want now. There are a few goals that aren’t relevant to me anymore and there’s definitely time to squeeze in a little more before the end of the year. I might do a whole post on evaluating my goals and resetting them, because apparently I have to post all my goals online!

Project 333 Update

I started trying this Project 333 thing over the summer and I never quite made it down to 33 items, but I had a big sort and it’s made me think a lot about what I’m wearing, how adaptable my wardrobe is and how I want my clothes to work more cohesively together.

I think this will take a few more cycles to truly figure out how to make my wardrobe work with only 33 items (it’s meant to include jewellery and shoes but I think that’s potentially a bit excessive). But I can say for sure I’m excited about getting my cosy jumpers out again for sure!

Along with my recurring monthly goal of reading 2 books, putting money in savings and having a date night with my boy. My reading goal is very much on track with only one more until I reach my goal for the year, but then it’s just seeing how far I can get by the end of the year!

I’m looking forward to this month, I think there’s going to be lots of big changes this month and I’m kind of excited about them.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

new (school) year, new start

2020, student

Hello!

The end of summer and September is my favourite time of year – I feel like there’s a certain type of person who’s favourite month is September and it’s either:

  1. People who enjoy school (whether it’s educationally or socially)
  2. People who love stationary and buying a new pencil case is very exciting.
  3. People whose birthday is in September

I am all three – I’m pretty sure everyone has a soft spot for their birthday month in the same way that December is always exciting because of Christmas, I am somewhat of a stationary nerd (though I’ve been on a pencil case and pen spending ban for, like, years and I still have so many) and my birthday is September; the full trifecta!

For so long, the start of the new academic year is more impactful than the New Year – 14 years (minimum) of new school uniform, new stationary, new shoes, seeing your friends every day after 6 weeks of not being able to meet up because everyone’s on holiday at different times, a new planner, a new timetable! I’m getting excited just thinking about it and I’ve not had a new planner for six years!

This year I feel a bit different – this is the second time I’ve not been going back into education in September since I was a toddler and even then it’s still a bit strange because my masters dissertation deadline is at the end of October so I’m still somewhat in education and having been at home for the last 23 weeks (not that I’m counting) the whole ‘new school year’ feels so much less significant this year.

But outside of school, using September as an excuse to have a fresh start is an opportunity that I think many of us will be taking this year! Any time is a good time for a fresh start whether it’s a Monday, a new month, any time but sometimes it takes these markers to feel like we have the opportunity to put something into practise. Hence why I love setting my monthly goals!

Maybe it’s because I’m still working on my masters dissertation which should have been nearly ready to hand in but now the deadline is six weeks later – I do feel like November is going to be my ‘fresh start’ because I’ll be officially done with education (though I said that after my undergraduate degree and here I am… but I mean it this time!).

New starts and this time of year can always feel exciting and nerve wracking and both significant and vastly insignificant simultaneously – for some getting out of the habit of feeling like a new school year is easy because they leap straight into a full time ‘grown up’ job, for some it’s nice to have that time of year as a little mental shift and for others it’s just another month.

As per, I think I’m making a much bigger deal out of something that’s not that big! A new month always makes me feel a little bit excited – like I can reset and refresh a little, but then suddenly it’s the 25th of the month and time feels like it’s going too fast and I can’t hang on to the present for long enough to enjoy it.

Today was a day I just needed to have a little ramble! I consider my corner of the internet to be a personal space for expressing what’s going on in my life – whether it’s new exciting things like moving house or reading a new book, less exciting things like navigating my mental health in a pandemic or things as trivial as an outfit I enjoyed wearing or a place I went on holiday! I love having my little space and a time capsule of who I was at so many different points in my life.

2020 is a weird ass year, we can only hope that 2021 gives us a bit of a break!

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

Sophie xx

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20 Things I Learnt Before 20

2016

Hello!

It was my birthday yesterday and I thought just to round off my 19 years, I’d write about 20 things I’ve learnt before being 20! And that’ll be the last I mention my birthday I swear.

1. Life goes on – things keep moving whether you want them to or not and more often than not it’s best to let yourself have a moment and move along with it (and more often than not, it’s easier said than done).

2. Don’t pretend to like stuff for others – music, make-up, clothes – you’re your own person and not liking something doesn’t have to be personal.

3. Don’t blame yourself for everything – while it’s so easy to think everything your fault, nobody’s perfect and beating yourself up isn’t going to change anything.

5. Savour those who make you feel loved – because people who put as much effort into a friendship as they get out are truly valuable people.

6. Don’t leave assignments to the last minute – just, do your homework. Seriously.

7. Sometimes, jam on toast is the answer – particularly at 2am.

8. If you don’t like something, you’re the only one who can change it – bad people in your life? Get rid of them. Bad habits? Change them. Only you can make your happiness.

9. Blogging is something I can do forever – it’s not a life lesson but genuinely, someone find me a job where I blog all day every day because I would love it.

10. I’m actually way more indie hipster than I realise and I don’t care – I actually quite like it.

11. Growing up is terrifying.

12. Travelling is the only thing I know I want to do – the list of places I want to go is longer than the list of actually concrete ideas for my career.

13. Wishing you could do something is useless, go learn to do it – you won’t be good at it straight away, but you’ll be better than if you didn’t try.

14. Music shows a piece of the soul – and it’s so expressive.

15. Art is everywhere and everyone has the capacity to be creative – but no one shows it in the same way.

16. Cooking is such a valuable skill – and it’s so much fun too.

17. Learn and embrace culture – because being narrow minded and blindly patriotic for your whole life is boring if nothing else.

18. Study and learn forever – just to keep growing as a person.

19. Always make things – for me it’s blogging and writing, for others it can be anything but staying active and making things is so satisfying.

20. Your 20s are the best years of your life – they can’t be any worse than being a teenager.

Happy Birthday me?

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

 

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