3 Weddings Ideas That REALLY Worked!

2022, wedding

Hello!

Yes, I am going to be talking about my wedding for a quite a while (we just got the pro photos back and I. Am. Obsessed) and whilst the whole day was perfect from start to finish, here are three of my favourite parts that just made the day that little bit extra special. Two of which I’ve not seen anyone else do before and one of which is a popular wedding idea that is popular for a reason!

Bookcase Gifts

For our gift list, we didn’t want to make an online registry or anything and I hate the expectation that people would spend a lot of money on us, so we decided to ask our guests for a copy of their favourite book to make a library. I honestly had no idea how much of a conversation it would start but it really got people thinking!

Getting home on Sunday evening and opening all the books, reading people’s reasonings for their choices and all the cards was truly lovely – there was such an amazing variety and it was such a perfect way to have really personal gifts that didn’t cost loads. I even bought a little stamp that marks them all as part of our library and I cannot explain how lovely it was to see what everyone had chosen.

Plus, it made a lovely opportunity for a theme – we had table confetti which was from book pages, one of our ceremony readings was an extract from ‘The Amber Spyglass’ by Phillip Pullman, and our tables for the wedding breakfast were named after books from the Horrible Histories series. It was absolutely perfect.

Photobooth

A Photo Booth is definitely not an original idea, loads of weddings have them but they are such a brilliant way of getting really fun group photos with fun props and silly faces. Especially when one of those props is a pair of glasses with a penis for a nose… and the six year old gets hold of them…

But we got some nice ones too – I managed one whole set of photos with my husband!

Photo Frame Guest Book

I spent a long time thinking about a guestbook – I didn’t think a whole book would get filled and it would be awkward if it was half empty, I saw lots of different options on Etsy for wooden jenga pieces, puzzle pieces or leaves on a tree and none of them quite fit us. I’m not sure where the idea for a frame came from, but with an A1 frame from The Range, an A1 piece of paper from Hobbycraft with the middle cut out and an A4 print from Snapfish (from a Photo Booth at my cousins wedding!) – ta da! Some squiggles from my cousin’s two year old little boy and lots of lovely messages from our closest friends and family that we’ll put on the wall in our home.

It’s the perfect way to have messages from our favourite people in a way that we can always see them, we can swap out the picture in the middle for one from our wedding day and it’s a stunning keepsake.

I could spend all day every day talking about the wedding – it was the most beautiful day, I’ve been looking at the pictures for days and I will be spending a lot of the Christmas period figuring out which ones to put in scrapbooks and photo albums and the likes. There’ll definitely be a few more blog posts, that’s for sure!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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I’m back and I’m a WIFE!

2022, wedding

Hello there!

I was so optimistic about having a post scheduled for my wedding day and writing another one when we got back from our mini-moon when I should have just not bothered putting that much pressure on myself! I was in the mindset that I wasn’t too bothered anyway, but three weeks later I’m BACK and I’m a Mrs now!

(still feels surreal and simultaneously exactly the same, very odd)

The day was honestly perfect – the morning was relaxed and easy, the ceremony was absolutely perfect (the closest point I got to crying the whole day), all my favourite people were there and the reception was such a good party. It was perfect from the moment I woke up till the moment I fell asleep.

My mum was an absolute god send, taking care of things I didn’t even know needed to be taken care of throughout the day, making sure I was hydrated and fed, and looking absolutely gorgeous all the while – I cannot put into words how grateful I am to have such a wonderful mum. I didn’t have an official Maid of Honour, but mum was one anyway, not only helping me organise basically everything, attending consultations and meetings with me, but throwing me a surprise hen party when I’d come to terms with not having one. I love you so much mum (and I know you read these posts ๐Ÿ’œ).

I think my dad was really nervous bless him – I don’t think I’ve ever heard him be so quiet before, he’s normally full of stories and chatter! But he made me feel so special and his speech was so heartfelt and lovely. I was very lucky to sit between two brilliant men at our wedding breakfast (who both said such lovely things about me in their speeches).

Less sentimental, but I’m so proud of how I matched all the purples together – everything looked so good!

Then there was the ceremony – it was fantastic from beginning to end. Our registrars were incredible! They made us feel immediately at ease and spoke as if they’d known us all our lives. We had two readings from two wonderful women – my oldest friend Katy and our mad family friend Heather (who was my mum’s best friend at school) and I think we did pretty well with our personalised promises because lots of people told us they cried. It was so sweet and it’s the bit I’m most excited about reliving when we get to see our video.

And it was official – husband and wife! It was at this point I actually let myself look around the room at all the eyes staring at us and rather than feeling overwhelmed I felt like I was in that bit at the end of a movie where everyone comes together for the happy ending. People from all aspects of our lives – family and friends from all walks of life all in one room just for us. It was magical, so magical.

This was the weirdest part of the day – walking through a room while everyone claps and cheers for you was a surreal and unusual moment. If I’m being brutally honest, at this point of the day, all the adrenaline was catching up with me – I had a banging headache and I was borderline panicking. But during the meal, my mum took me outside for a bit and I had a moment and then I was fine. The strangest feeling was completely losing my appetite – throughout the whole day, I had a sausages sandwich and a croissant for lunch, I ended up having a piece of bread and a sticky toffee pudding during the breakfast and I had one slice of cake in the evening. As someone who very, very rarely looses their appetite, it was very strange!

Not that this put a dampner on the day in any way, but I just wanted to be honest! Every other woman I spoke to that day who had been a bride said they felt the exact same way and it was so reassuring that no one put any pressure on me to eat, but people kept checking in to see if I wanted anything. I have the best people ๐Ÿ’œ

Just before all the hoo-ha with the meal were the speeches – now all three of the guys were very nervous; my dad had learnt his speech by heart but later confessed he only managed about half of it (it was still wonderful), Lucas finished his the morning of but as you can see it did spill onto a second side of A4! He did a wonderful tribute to those who couldn’t be with us on the day and that was so touching. And his best man, our wonderful best friend Nick, made a fantastic speech with all the right in jokes and he brought his dummy’s guide to being a best man book, which kept him and my mum entertained for most of the breakfast!

I couldn’t not include a picture of the cake – it was so good and so ridiculously big, the entire middle layer is in our freezer and I just hope it’s as nice defrosted as it was on the day. I have no regrets having a chocolate fudge cake, regardless of how ‘untraditional’ it is.

Our first dance was simple – whilst I have been dancing since I was 3, Lucas has three left feet so we just swayed for the entire song. In that moment, I couldn’t see anyone else and I was very grateful I’d changed shoes (you can see a peak of Lucas’s converse, I had matching ones and they were so comfy). Our first dance was Never Seen Anything (Quite Like You) by the Script and it was perfect, I’m so glad we chose it.

And between dancing the night away, we got the whole party outside for sparklers – it was magical and I’m obsessed with this photo. I can’t wait to see the professional ones, but seeing the night through our guest’s perspective is just lovely.

And one last picture because it makes me giggle – we made our post box for cards look like the TARDIS from Doctor Who (because of course we did) (and when I say made, I mean used my cricut to precision cut all the lettering and the windows, which we are disgustingly proud of), so my bouquet went in the slot at the top and our cake topper balanced inside as a temporary home!

I bought a nice vase so now my flowers are in there, but I still thought this was too good not to take a photo for memory’s sake.

Even through just a few photos, I feel such a sense of joy in reliving the day – when we get the professional photos and videos I have absolutely no doubt I’ll be sharing those too.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

my wedding is next week!

2022, wedding

Hello!

From a random night in bed deciding our wedding date in January 2020… to seven days to go.

In six days I’ll be a wife. I’ll have a husband, I’ll have a new surname and I’ll be legally bound to spend the rest of my life with my best friend (and that bit I’m very excited about).

Overall, I’m way more nervous than I thought I’d be – everything’s coming together, it’s all organised, there’s a few little bits that need crafting and I need to double triple check everything’s packed but everything’s ready. My dress is hung in the spare room, I keep getting messages about how excited all our guests are and everything’s paid for (that bit was painful).

I feel like everything’s going to be different after the wedding, like it’s when everything really starts – finding a new job, getting back into weight loss, setting myself a proper routine with exercise, being a wife? What does ‘being a wife’ mean? I don’t think our married life is going to be that different to our life as a couple so far.

Our wedding day is also our seven year anniversary – seven years is a long time and I’m pretty sure people have been calling us an old married couple since just a couple of months after we started dating. We fell hard and fast – Lucas tried to tell me he loved me only a couple of weeks after we started dating, but around the one month mark we went to visit my dad for his birthday and the Christmas light switch on was happening in my home town, so we saw them flip the switch, browsed the festive market and momentarily thought the fake snow was real as he told me for the first time that he loved me.

When I first said it back, I wasn’t sure I meant it – he was my first ever relationship, I’d never been in love, I didn’t know what it felt like. But when I realised I meant it, I didn’t realise how much it could grow – I’m baffled every day but how much I can love and care about a human being and that qualifies me as the worst person to give relationship advice ever because I’m literally so lucky. Move into uni across the hall from someone else who doesn’t want to go clubbing and would rather stay in with fish and chips and watch Doctor Who? That was basically it – two months later we were dating and literally no one was surprised.

Weddings feel like such a big deal – it’s so much planning for what is essentially signing some paperwork and a party, but there isn’t much that’s really going to change for us. Eight days after the wedding, Lucas is off to Qatar for three weeks to work on the World Cup but then he’ll come back and we’ll still be the nerdy couple who will stay in to watch Doctor Who and get take out.

But we’ll share a name.

If I miss posting next week, I think you’ll know why!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

In 4 Weeks I’ll Be A Wife!!

2022, lifestyle, wedding

Hello!

If we flash back to January 2020, before we knew what social distancing was and knew what it was like to spend months away from our families, my boyfriend and I picked a wedding date in what was potentially the most anticlimactic (but most us) engagement ever and this moment felt a million years away.

Even now, I don’t think it’s properly settled into my brain that I’m going to be married and have a husband in just under a month. I’ll be the one wearing the gorgeous white dress, we’ll have said our vows and signed the paperwork! How mad is that??

With four weeks to go, all the planning is done, but there’s still a fair bit to do in terms of centre pieces, favours, name place cards, crafting signs and letterboxes, making sure everyone’s on the same page with where they need to be and when etc. It really is exciting and although it sounds worse than I intend it to, I’ll be so glad when the day comes so I won’t have to do anything else!

The main thing on my mind at the moment is the more exciting aspect of marrying my best friend – our wedding day is our seven year anniversary and I honestly can’t believe that 1) it’s been seven whole years we’ve been together and 2) it’s only been seven years, when I feel like I don’t really remember a time when he wasn’t there and we didn’t experience life together. I’m excited to read my vows to him (I’m really pleased with what I’ve written), I’m excited for our first dance and I can’t wait to see him in his suit and spend all day being sappy and no one rolling eyes at us!

I love our venue, I love the choices we’ve made in decor and clothing, I love the people we’ve chosen to be part of our day and although I’m still a little overwhelmed by how much there still is to do, I’m trying to focus on the part where I’m excited.

The pros of suddenly being unemployed mean I have plenty of time to get everything done (whilst the cons mean my mental health has taken a nose dive and I often don’t have the motivation to do anything… it’s a fun game). Even just glancing at my list of what still needs doing it’s predominantly really specific questions for our coordinator, lots of logistical organisation, and crafting, but I do have a habit of making my to do lists really detailed so even though it’s currently a very long list, it’s all actually very achievable.

Whilst he was at work the other day, my fiancรฉ was given a work phone (he’s been banging on about wanting an iPhone for weeks, so it’s nice that he’s been able to scratch that itch, not that the hyper fixation has worn off!) and he was very proud to show me when he got home that he only set up one contact – he’d added me in with his surname and it was actually quite shocking, I didn’t recognise that it was me! The name thing still freaks me out a bit – it will definitely take some getting used to, but I’ve got the rest of my life to do that!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

September Goals 2022

2022, goals

Hello!

I love September.

Is it the childish part of me that loves the month my birthday is in? Probably. Is it the nerdy part of me that always looked forward to going back to school? Probably. Is it the maybe-autistic part of me that craved routine and structure that school and education gave me so this time of year will forever be associated with new pencil cases, a new timetable and a new start? Almost certainly.

But a culmination of all of that means that I love this time of year – it’s cooling off, my jackets and cardigans start to get some use again and we’re creeping towards Doc Martin season, I love it.

This year, things are very different – I’m two months away from getting married and starting to feel the wedding planning stress that everyone talks about, for the first time probably ever I haven’t been counting down the days till my birthday and it’s snuck up on me and my mental health is pretty shaky right now. I’m in the process of changing over to a new medication and honestly, I’m kind of terrified of how it will effect me with so much other stuff going on, but I have the support of my wonderful family and friends and some surprisingly nice doctors so I’m letting myself trust them (because if I trust my gut, then my gut is full of anxiety and it’s not very reliable).

My August goals were very mixed – I only achieved one goal fully and that was to choreograph a tiktok which I did in approximately thirty minutes. The rest were kind of half finished and in progress with fitness goals, wedding prep and a writing challenge that I absolutely wasn’t prepared for.

I didn’t even finish my reading goal! It’s been a long, stressful month.

But a new month is a fresh start, I have new goals and I’m working on being more forgiving with myself. The key part being ‘working on’.

M Y S E P T E M B E R G O A L S

Start a new morning routine
I’ve been using this weight loss programme called noom (which was a massive waste of money, but that’s for another time) and one of the psychological tricks it’s taught me is ‘habit bundling’, which is taking a habit you already have a training yourself to associate another one with it.

So I want to make time for stretching more (because although I’m not a dancer in any way, shape or form, I still want to work on my flexibility for my ballet classes) and actually doing some body skincare and moisturising my skin every day, so I’m bundling those with brushing my teeth and taking 20 minutes in the morning to do something that’s for me and off a screen! As I’m writing this it’s September 2nd and I’m 2 for 2, so a strong start!

Wardrobe update
I had a go at the 333 challenge last year some time (33 items of clothing in 3 month rotations) and 33 items just isn’t achievable, I don’t think, but I really loved having a seasonal wardrobe and I’ve found it’s been great for making me wear more of what I already have and feeling like I get a ‘new’ set of clothes every few months.

Hopefully we’ve seen the last of these horrible heatwaves, so I’m going to be going through my most summery items, donating the ones I haven’t reached for, packing away the pieces I’ve loved and getting out the warm cosies!

Research ‘producer’ role and find out more about working in TV/Film
Do I see myself working in TV or film in the future? Realistically, no, but that is where the hierarchy of job roles within video media was forged so I want to learn more about it. The thing with working for a start-up is that I’ve been given the role of ‘Media Production Executive’ and the founding member of the media team, but I think having more of a TV like structure could be beneficial for us and I want to figure out more about what the role entails and what I could go on to next in my career, as right now I’m pretty clueless.

Wedding tasks
My wedding is approximately two months away and wow the stress is hitting me really hard at the moment. Here’s the list of things I need to sort this month:

  • confirm bridesmaid’s dresses
  • confirm plans with venders and suppliers
  • go for a dress fitting and schedule alterations
  • buy guest favours
  • write ‘personalised promises’ (non-religious vows)
  • book manicure/pedicure

Alongside appointments for a make-up trial, a florist check in, a fashion show with my bridesmaids trying on options, getting our matching wedding converse embroidered (I know), getting our guest book, sorting my partners shirt, shoes and ties, booking the ushers suits, sorting their shirt, shoes and ties, having a trial manicure, a hair trial, meeting with the coordinator at the venue (twice) and lots of crafting bits and bobs for centre pieces, order of the day signs and a photo board!

I think this explains why I’m stressed.

And my monthly goals that I aim for every month are to read three books, have a date night and do a craft project (which I’ve not successfully completed once this year, but I can dream!).

It’s getting manic and I’m very much looking forward to our mini-moon in Dorset by the sea in November, but for now I’m riding the wave!

And still trying to get used to the concept of calling my silly boy my ‘husband’ and having a different surname!

Lots of big things happening, but it’s exciting too and I’m trying to savour it all.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

I’m Getting Married in 4 Months!

2022, wedding

Hello!

If you’ve ever gotten married or know someone who has, you probably understand that it becomes all consuming, especially as the big day gets closer and closer!

In the last couple of weeks, my partner and I attended the wedding of one of his oldest friend’s and we then had a week off work together, in which I properly got my act together and made a lot of planning developments because attending a wedding had both inspired me and freaked me out a little. But after reviewing my to do lists and making some decisions, doing lots of research and making my partner actually get involved in some of the choices, I feel like the mental switch flipped and I’m really excited about it all now.

The biggest thing is the dress, always the dress, and since ordering it four months ago, I’ve been getting increasingly more excited about getting my own – the one I tried on was absolutely not my size and I chose a different colour so I just can’t wait to see it and wear it and feel like a princess. Although we’ve been engaged since January 2020, it hasn’t started to actually feel real until very recently and I think being in the dress will be the icing on the cake.

Speaking of which, I had a very in-depth and serious conversation with my mum about our wedding cake today as she is very kindly making it for us and we’ve come up with something that feels much more us than what is considered ‘traditional’ but fits all the right vibes perfectly and will no doubt be delicious.

It doesn’t have to be a wedding for me to be excited about cake.

And now that we’ve sent out the majority of our invites, we can properly get excited with other people and our friends and family are sharing their excitement with us and it’s honestly so lovely. There really is nothing like a wedding!

Don’t get me wrong, it’s a lot of coordination and planning and figuring out all the finances and seeing some of the quotes of anything wedding related can be mind blowing, but if you’ve ever read any of my posts before you’ll know I love a list, I love goal setting and I love planning so actually, whilst at surface level it feels stressful, it all just feels like one big problem solving exercise that I’m very much enjoying watching slot into place.

The thing that’s really hitting me at the moment is that I will have a different name by the end of the year. I’ll be a Mrs. I still feel too young to be living in a house with a ‘real adult’ let alone to be a Mrs! Honestly baffling.

Alongside important discussions about cake, mum and I planned things like getting our nails done, getting massages and buying gifts for my little bridesmaids (I say little because they’re 6, 9 and 10, not as a reference to their height ๐Ÿ˜‚) and it’s been really lovely to feel everything fall into place.

Honestly, I feel a little bit emotional thinking about it all – I’m in such a wonderful place right now to be able to marry my best friend and have such wonderful support network of friends and family that are genuinely so excited for me and I feel incredibly grateful. Nothing’s perfect, but it’s pretty good.

Thank you for reading!

Sophie xx

July Goals 2022

2022, goals

Hello!

June has been a really good month – my goals were really sensible and achievable and by being able to actually achieve some of them, made me feel really motivated to carry on working for the rest! Having a week off with my partner in the last week of the month has meant I feel pretty good going into July – I’ve just watched Season 4 Volume 2 of Stranger Things (oh my god), I’ve been to a new gym in my area and I’ve had a super productive week with wedding prep so I’m ready to go into July. I was going to say ‘with a spring in my step’ but I think I’d need about a month to catch up on sleep for that.

Here are my goals for this month:

Career Analysis
I’m having a mild crisis with what I do – I’ve been randomly thinking about completely retraining and changing my industry, then I get a wave of passion for what I do and who I work with and then my ongoing identity crisis hits and I have no idea what I want, what I can do and if I’m even any good at anything.

So this month I’m going to carve out some time to do some quizzes online (because I love a quiz and absolutely put way too much faith in them), make some colour coded spider diagrams and evaluate my key skills, what’s important to me in terms of work logistics (hours, location etc) and maybe talk to some friends and family about options.

Doing a masters I didn’t love and starting my career in a pandemic has made things feel very jumbled up and I want to try and figure it out; unjumble it in my mind, then I can make progress with my actual career.

Sort my photos
I love timehop and use it every single day to look back on what I’ve shared on past year’s on social media, but more and more recently it’s old screenshots, a hundred takes to get one good photo and random crap from group chats on WhatsApp (though, the family group chat has the pictures of all my cousin’s kids and they’re wonderful, I love them). But there’s thousands of photos there and it needs a good sort out!

I used to order 50 prints a month on SnapFish and put them in a scrapbook and on our photo wall but I haven’t done it in well over a year and the photos are getting out of date! Even if I spend just ten minutes a day going back and deleting unnecessary photos and deciding which ones I want to order, I’ll probably be done in a week!

Wedding
I was feeling so overwhelmed with all things wedding, especially having attended one this month, but with my week off I’ve done some research, made lots of lists and actually feel much better about the whole thing!

For this month, I’m going to finish planning our wedding cake with my mum (who is kindly baking it for us), finding and booking a make-up artist, consulting with my florist especially regarding hair pieces, and researching bridesmaid’s dresses to start ordering them for trying on in September.

Make fun videos on TikTok
Have I said before that making creative things into goals absolutely kills the creativity? Yes, but honestly I’m making really good progress on my annual goals and I had a gap so I thought I’d fill it with something fun.

I made a big fuss about trying to make structured TikToks and only making videos for a certain niche, then I thought fuck it and just had fun – I’ve posted some book stuff, some silly sounds and even a dance and I wanted more of that spontaneity!

Is it spontaneous if I make it a goal? Not particularly, but we’ll gloss over that bit!

Recurring Monthly Goals
Read 3 books
Save money (tick – always do it on pay day or I know it won’t happen!)
Date night with my soon-to-be husband
Do a craft project

One thing I think I’ve definitely made progress in this month is taking things at my own pace – for so long, I felt like if I wasn’t getting up at the crack of dawn and doing something ‘productive’ immediately, then I was a failure and it would feel impossible to get anything done for the rest of the day. But whenever I’ve had a day at home recently, I’ve let myself stay in bed for as long as I want, and slowly made my way through my to do list and it’s been wonderful to take a slower approach and potter through my to do list and realise by about 5pm I’ve done everything and I feel significantly less tense!

I’m working on putting this practice into other aspects of my life, but I’m pretty sure buzz words for every company ever are ‘must thrive in a fast-paced environment’ so not sure how well that’s going to go!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

7 mini blog posts – Fitness, Life, Reading, Wedding and a Film Review!

2022, career, fitness, lifestyle, review

Hello!

I’m feeling a bit in-between with my blog at the moment – I want to write but I’m quite stressed and I don’t have the creative energy to think of original ideas to write about. In the last 24 hours I’ve developed a rather disgusting cold (that thankfully isn’t covid!) and I’m very bunged up and my brain feels like cotton wool, which is absolutely not helping!

So I thought today I’d write a few mini blog posts of ideas I had that aren’t long enough to make a whole post. There’s a mix of mini life updates, random thoughts and even a film review, I hope you enjoy!

One – Making Progress With Exercise

I think if you’ve been following my blog for a few years, you’ll know I’m quite good at getting over excited about something when I start it and then not really following through. And to go with that – I started Couch to 5k this week… for the third time! Have I ever finished the nine-week running program before? No, but will I try again? Absolutely!

But what I wanted to say is that pairing running with having been doing three dance classes a week for nearly eight months now, I’m finally starting to see an improvement in my fitness. I’m very particular about monitoring my statistics on my FitBit and the section for ‘Cardio Fitness’ has always been rated as ‘Poor’ for me, but in the last few days I’ve actually got into the ‘Fair’ category and although I’m not losing a ton of weight and both my dance classes and runs absolutely exhaust me, I can feel a difference! And that progress is more motivating than anything else.

Two – Fantastic Beasts: The Secrets of Dumbledore

My partner and I booked a random week off a couple of months ago, just to be able to spend some time together and actually take a break from work, because we were both exhausted. When we realised it tied in with the release of the new Fantastic Beasts film, we decided to treat ourselves and drive up to the Showcase Cinema near my mum’s house because they have the fancy pants comfy recliner seats and now I’m a cinema snob.

The film itself at surface level was fun – the music was incredible, there were some really funny moments and the magic will always be a place of home for me, despite all the controversy around the Wizarding World, I can’t help but feel comforted by it.

As proper nerds, there were a lot of points we made as we came out of the film that made it no more than a 6/10 (for me at least). Personally, I feel like the whole trilogy wasn’t really thought through and the intention of the plot got lost along the way, but I want to keep this a spoiler free review so I won’t go into it too much.

The one non-spoiler thing that really stood out to me is that a couple of the accents were really patchy? Jude Law, as an English actor, sounded both American and Irish in parts and appeared to struggle to maintain his English accent and the charms professor, we had no idea whether she was a Hogwarts teacher or an Ilvermorny teacher because her accent consistently switched. A little distracting. But still a 6 out of 10 film.

Three – The wedding is coming together!

Part of the reason we came up to the Showcase near my mum’s is that it’s also near our wedding venue and we had an appointment with the woman who’s helping us organise the day and I had a consultation with a hair stylist.

I had been using our week off to spend some time on some of the more tedious admin tasks around the wedding and I was just getting to the point where it was feeling a bit stressful and overwhelming, but our meeting went really well and we got a little tour of the part of the venue that’s being renovated so I feel much more calm about it all now!

It’s all coming together and is slowly starting to feel much more real.

Four – I did a dance show

I spent my entire childhood going to more and more dance classes – starting with ballet, then trying acro, starting tap and modern, adding hip hop – basically going to as many classes as I could and doing a big show at the local theatre every two years.

Never did I think at 25 I’d be doing it again but I donned my sparkly waistcoat for a tap duet and a jingly jangly ballet costume and performed for the first time since dancing at a cheerleading competition at uni.

It’s a funny one, because I don’t feel like it’s me in those photos – it’s not new information that I’m very insecure about my weight and I don’t feel like I look like me, but outside of seeing the photos and videos, I loved being back on stage and I feel very lucky to have found such a wonderful dance company to do it with.

Five – Work feels stressful in a good way

Despite having this week off (having desperately needed it!), work actually feels stressfully rewarding at the moment.

The department I work in has grown and changed exponentially in the six months I’ve been with the company and just a couple of weeks ago we did a massive content overhaul and started working to a new content plan and don’t get me wrong, it’s been incredibly busy, but it’s given us more structure to work with and I’ve somewhat been given the responsibility of making it sustainable and it’s getting there!

I’m learning a lot of organisational and management skills, which is nothing like the marketing job I thought I’d signed up for but I think I like the more ‘producer’ side of my role. I never thought I was the right person to work in media, but it turns out I’m actually not too bad at it!

What makes a huge impact is that I have the most amazing colleagues – I adore the people I work with and I feel like we work so well together as a team, the media production team are going to do big things this year and at surface level I will appear to be very stressed about it, but having had a week off to reflect I’m so proud of what our little media team has achieved.

Six – I’ve hit my reading peak already this year

I mentioned it briefly in my April Goals, but I’m basically not reading at the moment – I managed to listen to one audiobook in March (it was a bloody good one though) and in April so far I’ve not listened to or read a single word.

With my audiobooks, I feel like I’ve not got the brain space to listen to a story when I’m driving and to read a physical book before I go to sleep? Not a chance – I get into bed and I’m asleep within about 10 minutes!

I’m not sure what the solution is, I imagine I just have to ride the wave and get back to it when I feel ready, but I do miss it! When the weather gets better I can’t wait to get the sun loungers out and sit in the garden with a book.

Seven Why is it so hard to find plus sized active wear

This has always bothered me, but particularly recently – my ballet friend and I decided we want to go back to wearing tights and leotards to class (because why not?) and although I still have a bunch of leotards from when I was a teenager at dance (because I’m sentimental af), I’m not quite the same size I was then!

But finding leotards that go to bigger sizes are ridiculous! I’m lucky if the Large is bigger than a 14 and there’s no such thing as a plus sized leotard that’s not lycra and shiny – I want the pretty leotards too!

It’s not just the lack of availability that bothers me, it’s the teenage girls who did as many dance classes as I did being told that they’re ‘Large’ because they’re bigger than a 10. God forbid being tall! Or having broad shoulders! Let’s not even talk about boobs. The industry is so discriminative and sure, they want professional dancers to be a certain size, whatever – no random girl on the internet is going to change that – but there’s so much more to dance than being a professional ballerina.

But it’s not just dance wear – even just fitness clothes are difficult to find if you’re plus sized! It baffles me that we have to have different sections for ‘plus sized’ and ‘petite’ and ‘tall’ when surely it would be better if everyone had access to exactly the same options but available in all sizes, with a petite, regular and tall option.

I know I’m not the only one who thinks it but it is just another way to make people feel bad about themselves, isn’t it? Because there’s no way that anyone who shops in the ‘plus sized’ section should be allowed to feel happy with how they look?

Why are we gatekeeping exercise? I go to three dance classes a week and getting clothes to exercise in has been a nightmare, and I’m lucky enough to be a size that is sometimes catered for in the main range.

Maybe I’ve just not found the right places to shop, but the whole thing is incredibly frustrating!


Not quite the note I wanted to end on, but there’s a few thoughts I’ve had recently!

Of course, in the process of not being able to think of one complete blog post, I’ve written one three times the length I normally would! But like I said at the beginning, I love writing and I very much enjoy writing on my little blog!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

2022 Goals

2022, goals

Hello and Happy New Year!

Usually the Christmas holidays feel slow and almost drag, but they’ve gone so fast that I can barely comprehend that we’re in 2022! How mad is that? I’m getting married this year?

Outside of the astonishment at the passing of time (and still processing March 2020), a New Year means new goals and a time to refocus, figuring out what’s most important to me and how I want to spend my time this year and I love it.

I spent my Boxing Day looking within myself (read: staring absentmindedly out the window) to figure out what I want to spend my precious free time on this year, knowing that there isn’t that much of it around a full time job, dancing three times a week and getting enough sleep!

So here’s a basic summary of how I ‘design’ my goals, for want of a better word – I have three categories; Professional, Personal and Home; and in each of those categories I have three goals (I like the number three). Then, I have a list of 10 goals that either don’t necessarily fit into any of those categories or just make more sense in a ‘bucket list’ style (but I feel weird calling it a bucket list because it’s not a bucket list).

Is it perfect? Probably not. But it works for me and I’ve been doing it for three or four years now so I’ll stick with it!

Professional:

  1. Stay in the same job (if that’s what’s right for me) – the fact I got a job so quickly after my previous contract ended still baffles me, but I’d like to stay here for the whole year if I can. With the caveat that if it isn’t right for me anymore, for whatever reason, I don’t have to make myself stay for the sake of a goal. I know it sounds like a silly stipulation, but it’s what works for my brain!
  2. Learn to use AfterEffects – an Adobe software I’ve never been taught how to use before. I need to find a course or an online class or something, but I’m trying to do a lot of AfterEffects style editing in quite obscure ways and I think it would make everything simpler and streamline my editing process.
  3. Update my Portfolio Instagram page once a week – maintaining a portfolio has been a bigger challenge than I should probably admit, but rather than doing ‘update’ posts every six months, a little round up each week seems much more manageable. I’ve included this weekly goal in my new bullet journal set up so I get to colour in a square every time I do it, which is incentive enough for me.

Personal:

  1. Use DuoLingo every day – with the way DuoLingo works with it’s ‘streak’ feature to encourage you to come back every day, it’s almost difficult to forget. I started trying to learn Italian last year but fell off the bandwagon after a month, so I thought I’d go back to a language I’m semi-familiar with (to a very basic level), so I’m now learning French. I really like how DuoLingo teaches and how the app is laid out and I’ve really enjoyed spending 10 minutes a day learning.
  2. Blog once a week – I covered this in my last blog post but I accidentally stopped blogging for the last month of 2021 and I missed it! A lot of my goals this year are focused on adjusting doing what I love to make sure I don’t overbook myself and burn out. Going from 2 blog posts to 1 a week should be a good way to maintain doing something I love but not getting stressed about it. So far so good, if you’re reading this!
  3. Cosplay – no, I never finished my 2021 cosplay goals but (pandemic allowing), hopefully I’ll be able to go to MCM ComicCon again this year and I’d love to get a costume together. I’m thinking along the lines of a female Doctor Strange (mostly for the cape), the 13th Doctor and/or Luna Lovegood. All of these I think would be relatively easy as they’re more about buying pieces than making something from scratch, but we’ll see if I actually get round to it!

Home:

  1. Wedding – not just planning, but the actual wedding! I’m getting married this year and there’s still a fair bit to do, including buying my dress (I tried some on before Christmas!), getting my partners suit and all sorts of finer details. I don’t know if I’m excited or nervous, but it’s going to be a big year for sure.
  2. Weekly saving challenge – I had a go at this 52 Week Saving Challenge in 2019 and made it to approximately week 40 before I had to stop to be able to pay for things like bills (boring). But it was really satisfying and I saved more than I ever have before so I wanted to try it again this year to have some money in my personal savings as well as the wedding savings and my Help to Buy ISA. Not being a student and having a full time job should really help with this and I’m looking forward to the challenge that the latter weeks of the year will bring!
  3. Go on a budget summer holiday – I just want to go somewhere and lie in the sun and read, preferably with the sound of the sea in the background. I haven’t done enough research on this yet and with the wedding I’m not sure whether it’s financially viable, but we’ll see!

10 aims (that aren’t a bucket list because it’s not a bucket list):

  1. Read 36 Books – this is my StoryGraph reading goal for the year! As part of my update to my blogging schedule, I’ll also be doing a monthly round up of what I’m reading. 36 books in a year is 3 a month, so if I can review roughly three books a month till the end of the year then that’s my goal met!
  2. Book buying ban – I have over 200 books on my shelves at home that I haven’t read. There’s absolutely no way I’ll finish reading them all this year but I’d like to make a good dent!
  3. Go to a museum – my partner and I use to have date days in London and go to the museum pre-pandemic, but I’d love to be able to do this again this year.
  4. Go to a concert – I love live music and I feel like one concert this year is a good aim. Minimum.
  5. Go to a new place – I wanted to include some more ‘one off’ goals on my list this year, can you tell? After the wedding, my partner and I want to go on a UK break to have some time off together before we can afford a proper Honeymoon in 2023. I always feel drawn to places I’ve been before so I want to use this opportunity to see somewhere new and scratch that travelling itch! I’m thinking maybe Scotland?
  6. Continue updating my wardrobe seasonally – this was something I started in 2021 that worked really well for me – it helped me figure out what I actually enjoy wearing, what I look forward to getting out again and it saved so much space in my drawers! I need to start being properly ruthless with the clothes I don’t wear. Right now, I’m thinking I need to throw out some hoodies because I very rarely wear them (but they’re so cosy…)
  7. Writing challenges – I’ve been banging on about it forever, but I love creative writing and every other month (ish) I like to set myself a challenge of writing a certain amount in a month. I find if I don’t do this, I don’t write at all so doing it this way helps it become something I prioritise and actually work on!
  8. Monthly date nights – a way to make sure that my partner and I spend some dedicated time together at least once a month!
  9. Do one craft project a month – I have enough craft kits, materials and gadgets to fill up a whole room in our house, except they’re currently gathering dust and I hate it. So I figure if I can finish one project a month then it clears the room a little bit and gives me a creative project to work on!
  10. 1 Second Everyday 2022 – this will be my third 1SE video and I love making these. Here’s 2021 if you missed it!

And that’s it!

I’m really pleased with my goals for this year and I’ve started developing a routine to maintain those daily habits and trackers for the weekly and monthly habits so nothing is forgotten and I can make consistent progress!

I hope you had a fantastic Christmas, a wonderful New Year and I wish you the best for 2022!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

6 years down, 365 days to go

2021, wedding

Hello!

November 5th is my anniversary with my partner – 2021 is six years since I literally said ‘fuck it’ at 5am after we’d stayed up all night together and kissed him. Then, on our first date a few days later, we ordered Chinese food, sat in a park too far away too watch the fireworks and then accidentally threw away our forks with the empty take out containers on our walk to the docks.

Six years feels like a lifetime ago – we’ve been through so much together since our first year in halls at uni. We’ve both graduated, we’ve learned to drive, we’ve both starting building on our careers and all the while we’ve had so much fun, vastly expanded our collection of cuddly toys and had probably too much fun leaving messages for each other with our letter fridge magnets.

But this year feels more significant, not only because it’s another anniversary but because it officially means it’s less than a year until our wedding. And we finally get to use these countdown cards that our lovely friend Beth got us for Christmas last year!

I should probably start actually dress shopping!

So I thought it would be nice to do one of those check in memory question things – like when people ask their kids on their first day of school what they want to be when they grow up and compare their answers every year.

How long have we been together? Six years!

What did we do for our anniversary? A trip back to Southampton, as we’ve not been here together since we graduated, and we watched the new Marvel Eternals movie that was released today.

What’s our favourite thing to do together? Snuggling in bed and watching a George Clarke property programme, always referring to it as ‘amazing spacies’ even though we finished all available series of Amazing Spaces and we’re currently watching Old House, New Home.

Where do we most want to travel to? Greece, probably Athens because we’re both history nerds (but I really want to go to Santorini)

Current favourite date night? An activity like bowling or going to an arcade (we have a favourite one in Bournemouth) and probably going for dinner, preferably somewhere Italian because carbs and cheese.

What are you watching on TV / what episode of Grey’s Anatomy are you on? We’ve just finished Season 4, Season 5 Episode 1 is ready to go. We’re also watching Battle Bots (an American ‘Robot Wars’) on Netflix and avidly watching ‘The Great British Bake Off’ and ‘Doctor Who’ every week.

What was the last concert/show we went to? Andrew Lloyd Webber’s new musical ‘Cinderella’ at the Gillian Lynne theatre in London.

Current go to bop for kitchen dance parties? Shivers, Ed Sheeran.

If we had a baby, what would we call them? Annabelle, shortened to Belle. But we have a list of silly names, like Dinah (short for Dinosaur), Mark (short for Marksman, Question Mark (the symbol) or Exclaimation Mark (the symbol)) or Anna or Tommy (either could be short for Anatomy).

We are clearly not ready for children.

What’s our biggest goal for the next year? Save for the wedding.

That was lovely! The real question is, will I remember that I wrote these questions when it comes to our anniversary next year? We will be getting married though, so I think it can be forgiven!

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx