July Goals 2022

goals, 2022

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and put them in a scrapbook and on our photo wall but I haven’t done it in well over a year and the photos are getting out of date!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

Our Proposal Story

2021, wedding

Hello!

In a few blog posts now, I’ve mentioned my fiancé and wedding planning but I don’t think I’ve ever shared our proposal story – this is predominantly because it’s quite anticlimactic and not particularly romantic but it does come in three parts and anyone that knows Lucas and I knows it’s so painfully stereotypical of us, it’s almost funny.

So it starts last January…

Part 1 – Deciding the Date

We were lying in bed – I’d just spent the day in London with my oldest friend and we were talking about exciting things like getting married and having babies so it was on my mind. Lucas and I have talked about getting married on our anniversary 1) because we’re lazy and it would be less dates to remember and 2) our anniversary is bonfire night so it makes sense. So out of curiosity, I looked up when our anniversary next fell on a Saturday – and it was 2022.

This is the point where I started referring to us as engaged and calling him my fiancé – it was after this we told our parents we were getting married so this is kind of the ‘official’ proposal.

At this point it was early 2020 – nearly three years away – it felt like a million years. But my mum booked us to go to two wedding fairs and it was exciting to actually start planning… then the pandemic hit and it went on hold for a while.

But that’s how we ‘officially’ got engaged.

Part 2 – My Ring

Lucas made it relatively clear that he still wanted to ‘propose’ in the traditional sense – pre-pandemic he was scheduled to be working in London and Rome for the Euros in the summer and there was plans for me to meet him in Italy but obviously that never happened.

In the end I found a ring I really liked, I sent it to a friend who sent it to Lucas, he then ordered it but had to ask the same friend to pick it up from a store in a different town and he then gave it to me on my birthday.

But was it romantic and emotional? Absolutely not.

He stood up after giving me my presents and said ‘You know what’s next’. I had to ask him to actually make a thing out of it, and he said ‘I’m not creative’.

He did then get on one knee and say traditional romantic things after that but I don’t think he was planning to.

Part 3 – His Ring

I, on the other hand, am an expert in grand romantic gestures.

I planned a homemade advent calendar for Christmas, where each day had a clue to where a little present was hidden and each clue had one highlighted word that read as a hidden message. The hidden message was my proposal and while he was piecing it all together on Christmas day I got out the ring box I’d hidden days before and found out it was too big but then I bought him a replacement one and it was fine!

Now our wedding is less than two years away and it feels like we’re properly engaged! It’s been about a year since we first decided on the date that led to every decision since that we have made.

We’ve booked a venue, I have monthly goals set for the next (nearly) two years and we’re going to get married! It still feels too grown up, but it’s exciting and I love wearing my ring every day and being someone who can say ‘my fiancé’, however cliche it makes me.

And there’s our story! It’s not very exciting, but not many people have a proposal story in three parts.

I’ll almost certainly be documenting more of our wedding planning over the next 21 months and I have a new ‘joint’ instagram (that Lucas isn’t signed into) called mrandmrsrockett (Rockett is a joke surname we came up with because Roberts + Luckett = Rockett) where I’m documenting the wedding stuff! It’s quite sparse at the moment but I’m sure it’ll get busier as the date gets closer.

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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how I’ve planned my wedding planning!

2021, organisation, wedding

Hello!

My partner and I have technically been engaged for a year now (we picked a date we wanted to get married this time last year but we didn’t ‘propose’ to each other until much later in the year, I could write a whole blog post about it…), and after two wedding fairs and a pandemic, I’m starting to think more seriously about planning.

I’d say ‘we’ but anyone who’s planned a wedding with a man knows they probably don’t have a lot of opinion. I know mine still doesn’t feel like it’s real because it’s nearly two years away. To clarify: this isn’t me saying he isn’t allowed an opinion, oh no no – he just is vastly indifferent to anything I try to talk to him about.

But now that we are inside of two years away from the day and we’ve paid the full deposit on our venue, it’s time to really start thinking about planning! I know nearly two years in advance is probably a bit eager, but surely the earlier I start the less stressful it’ll be right? Apparently wedding planning is super stressful and I’m sure I will get stressed and nervous the closer the date gets, but the more I can plan it advance the better, right?

So starting from the beginning, deciding what date we wanted to get married was a very casual decision, we told our parents over the next month or so and immediately my mum booked us tickets to a wedding fair in Birmingham and another local one near our home town and luckily we managed to go to them both in the two weekends before the first lockdown in the UK. Mum also treated me to a wedding planning folder which has been helpful! I found a venue I loved at the local wedding fair, then after showing it to my fiancé we booked a viewing tour thing in July and confirmed the contract with the final part of the deposit this month.

One of my 2021 goals was to make some progress on planning the wedding, so over the New Year I went through and made a long list of every step and every task I’d need to do to plan the wedding – not including payment deadlines and things like that because those are finer details that I’ll know more about closer to the time.

Knowing what I’m like I’ll make a spreadsheet of some sort because that’s who I am as I person.

I made my master list using the wedding planning folder I got from Paperchase and the recommendations from Bridebook which I’ve found really useful, but I’m not using every suggestion it makes (it’s been very useful for budgeting guidance though). I then split that up into tasks that can wait until 2022 and what I want to do (or at least start) this year and now I’ve got 10 tasks I want to start this year (and I’ve already ticked one off).

My 2022 list currently has 19 things on it but it makes sense that there’s more tasks in the year of the wedding right?

I still don’t know how the heck to plan a wedding. How are people ‘good’ at this, or do they just get wedding planners?

I’ve found having a longer list and knowing everything that I have to do in the long run makes it easier and feel less daunting. Wedding planning is daunting – it’s such an unknown and it’s not something you tend to get practice in, as well as being a huge financial commitment. And if you’ve been following any of my other posts, you know I love making a list more than anything!

I’m excited to start planning and for it all to feel more real as we get a bit closer, fingers crossed 2021 takes a different path to 2020.

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

Sophie xx

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Treasured In… November 2020

2020, lifestyle

Hello!

I feel like I haven’t done a ‘favourites’ post for a while – I’ve been trying to reevaluate my relationship with feeling the need to buy new things to show and talk about in these posts but I think the format I’ve built for myself works quite well and with ongoing lockdown announcements and all the other stuff going on in a pandemic world, I think we can all use a post about nice things that make us happy! Especially with the festive season right around the corner!

  • purchase

Just talked about not feeling the need to buy new things and first category is my favourite purchase; I see the irony! I haven’t actually really bought anything for myself recently, but I’ve been doing all my Christmas shopping online as everything’s closed at the moment and I’ve made an effort not to use Amazon and to shop small and I’ve bought so many cute bits from Etsy! I’m not going to link anything specific for obvious reasons, but being able to search for literally everything, specify my price range and that I want to shop in the UK has been great. So far delivery has been mixed but I think it’s COVID making everything slower. And the one Amazon order I did make one of the items isn’t going to arrive until December 23rd, so it’s definitely not that much more convenient than shopping from independent creatives!

  • social media

A slightly strange category, but with applying for jobs in marketing and digital media, I’ve been thinking a lot more professionally about social media in preparation for potential interviews – I’ve been looking at view to subscriber averages on YouTube, trying to understand Instagram’s new layout prioritising shopping and forever pretending I’m young enough to use tiktok like I get how the app works. There are so many hashtags that I don’t get! I’d love to start making tiktoks but I’m a little overwhelmed with where to start… I mostly watch Harry Potter cosplayers and I’m loving just spectating too.

  • music

I drew the conclusion earlier this year that I’m not as into music as I thought I was, but as I’ve been needing sounds to distract me from my overthinking brain, I’ve been watching a lot more YouTube and listening to way more music!

I’m really enjoying working to instrumental music (I can’t concentrate when there are lyrics, I get distracted) so I’ve been listening to a pianist called Ludivico Einaudi who I loved when I was 16 but his album Islands is beautiful and you’d recognise some of the songs from TV adverts! I’ve also loved listening to the Avengers: Endgame soundtrack and a playlist called Cinematic Chillout.

And I’ve found a love for acoustic music as well? Hearing the raw instruments and stripped back vocals chills me out at the moment so my favourite playlist is Easy Acoustic, but I also love Calming Instrumental Covers and I’m looking forward to listening to Autumn Acoustic too.

  • YouTube video

I feel like I’ve been a broken record about how I’m behind on watching YouTube videos and have been for about five years now – I’m currently up to just over 200 videos on my watch later playlist and the videos are from about six weeks ago, but I only really watch YouTube when my partner is away with work because when he’s home I want to make the most of him.

So I don’t have specific videos, because they would be from months ago, but I’m really loving The Anna Edit‘s videos even though I’m 100% a different class to her and don’t have the money to and wouldn’t spend as much as she does on high end skin care, fashion or anything, but I just love how chatty and friendly she is. I’ve always said, I subscribe to channels based on the people, not the content.

The other channel I’ve loved for so long now is Fabulous Hannah – the same principle of liking the person not the content, but I also love the content. Hannah and I would get on so well – she has my same sarcastic, self deprecating humour, we’re kind of at similar points in life, and watching her videos just feels like I’m having a one way video call catch up with a friend and that’s the kind of cosy vibes I love on YouTube.

  • books

I finally finished The Boy In The Striped Pyjamas! I had eight months of an amazing reading habit that has now completely gone out the window, but I managed to finish the one book I had started. I liked it – I was apprehensive of the ending because I’ve seen the film, but I thought it really captured the perspective of a 9 year old boy. Apparently it’s a controversial book, but I thought it was interesting to express the naïvity of children in Germany, though I’m not sure how historically accurate it is.

I’m yet to start another book, but I definitely need to get back into the habit because I miss it.

  • snacks

I may have built up an unjustified anxiety about eating, but recently I’ve started getting my appetite back and with Christmas treats and the Great British Bake Off as inspiration for the last few weeks, I’ve enjoyed a few treats.

Cadbury Snow Balls are my favourite seasonal treat (though a special shout out to creme eggs), I’ve been very much enjoying Victoria sponge cupcakes and malted milk biscuits were all my anxious stomach could handle for a while.

I’m definitely a sweet snack kind of girl.

  • TV/film/streaming/stuff to watch

Speaking off The Great British Bake Off… it’s the only thing I’ve been religiously watching every week since it all began. Lottie was my favourite, I very nearly stopped watching when she went out, I think Dave was robbed in that final but the whole series was the light relief we needed amongst a new tier system and a second lockdown.

I’ve not really watched anything else to be honest – with catching up on 200 YouTube videos and Bake Off on a Tuesday night, I’ve not made time for anything else. I did start rewatching Harry Potter and a few Marvel movies of an afternoon though, which has been nice.

  • wedding planning update

We paid the first half of the venue deposit! There’s been a lot of back and forth since we viewed the venue in July, but with the pandemic they agreed to let us pay half the deposit and the other half in January, so the ball really is rolling! My plan before the New Year is to make a detailed list of everything that needs doing and when I need to start thinking about it over the next two years so I keep up with planning and we save enough money for the right times.

I think with all the new lockdown rules, it hasn’t really sunk in yet – part of my mind wonders if the pandemic will effect us by the end of 2022, but I have to stay optimistic and hope for the best!


I wasn’t sure about writing this post, because it all feels incredibly self indulgent, but talking about nice things that make us happy is what we all need at the moment. Do we need to share them all on the internet? Probably not, but I’m part of a generation that has an issue with oversharing online so here we are.

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

Sophie xx

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Treasured In… July

2020, books, fashion, lifestyle, wedding

Hello!

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

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


purchase:

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

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

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

blog post:

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

recipe:

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

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

music:

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

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

YouTube video:

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

books I’ve read:

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

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

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

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

snack:

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

tv / film / streaming / something to watch:

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

wedding planning update:

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


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

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

Sophie xx

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Treasured in… May

2020, books, creativity, film, lifestyle, student

Hello!

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

Here are my the things I treasured in May!


blog post:

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

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

recipe:

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

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

online course:

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

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

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

music:

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

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

YouTube video:

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

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

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

books I’ve read:

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

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

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

snack: 

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

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

visual entertainment: 

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

Thank you for reading,

Sophie xx

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attending my first wedding show!

2020, lifestyle, wedding

Hello!

In my head, I’ve not stopped talking about how my partner and I have decided to get married and we picked a wedding date and we’re kind of engaged but there wasn’t a proposal (yet?) and there’s not ring, but every time I post about it someone new comments saying ‘how did I miss this?!’ so here it is: my boyfriend Lucas and I are engaged. I’m going to make a video talking about ‘how it happened’ and answering any questions about the whole thing this weekend so if you have any questions let me know!

My mum has been super excited about it all ever since I told her and last weekend we went to our first wedding show together – we attended the National Wedding Show in Birmingham and I thought I’d collate a few thoughts on the whole thing because… it was a lot.

The reason we decided to go to a wedding show was because the whole ‘planning a wedding’ thing is very overwhelming – the date we’ve picked isn’t until the end of 2022, but everyone keeps telling me it will fly by but it still feels a very long way away. So going and speaking to lots of exhibitors, seeing what I’d need to be thinking about and getting some inspiration was a really great way to start.

We went into it all with a very open mind – with nothing booked and over two and a half years to go I’m in the very early stages of planning. Most of the venders I spoke to were venues because that’s the first thing that needs to be decided (I think?). Most of the venues we spoke to were surprisingly local for a National wedding event, so they were all based around Birmingham – this isn’t an ‘issue’ per say, as neither of us are dead set on a location, but it did surprise me a little whilst also making a lot of sense. I don’t know if I’m making sense, but after speaking to 10-15 venues and picking up loads of brochures, there are a couple that I really liked the sound of that I would like to consider in the long run.

The most annoying thing about the whole show was that there were loads of music venders that were super loud – they were dotted all around the stalls and it made it really difficult to hear anyone you were trying to talk to. Personally, we thought it would make more sense to have a stage that cycled through all the musical performances as the day went on (like the catwalk show that was going on in the middle of the event) and would have been fairer on the other venders who must have really struggled to get as much business when no one can hear or wants to shout to have a conversation with them.

It might make me sound like a grandma, but it didn’t make me want to work with or hire any of the performers that’s for sure.

On the brighter side, there were so many freebies – from loads of cans of lemon flavoured drinks, make-up and skincare samples, sweets, vouchers and even a bottle of rosé, we definitely made the cost of the ticket back in the free things that were handed out.

Overall, the event was busy, really crammed into an unnecessarily small space (there was another half of the hall that was completely empty at the back?) and I feel like it may have been too early to really make the most of the deal and offers for a 2022 wedding, even though the venders said it wasn’t (though that might have been because they wanted my money).

But we had a lovely day out none the less! Though, in most of this wedding planning process I’ve not decided if ‘we’ is my and my boyfriend (fiancé?) or me and my mum? In this situation is was me and my mum!

I’m actually going to another wedding fair this weekend so hopefully I’ll continue to get more ideas and really figure out all the steps I need to take to plan ‘the big day’.

I don’t plan on going to wedding fairs every weekend between now and 2022, just to clarify, if just happens that these two were consecutive weekends!

I’d love to make lots of wedding planning based content around here, particularly when it gets a bit closer to the day but let me know – do you want to see that kind of content? What planning I’m doing, spreadsheets and lists etc? I’d love to hear from you!

Thank you so much for reading,

Sophie xx

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