Sophie’s Book Club #8

Apparently I needed to zone out from the outside world after finishing a levels. But I’m properly back and ready to start posting (hopefully) twice a week. There will be 100% more book reviews- I’m onto reading my fourth book in a week. Anyways to change this post a bit, I asked my Mum to tell me what she thought of the books as well. Its not super common when we both read the same book/s. However, since that’s occurred I thought it would be interesting to see how opinions can differ and/or be similar.

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‘Dear Amy’ Helen Callaghan

What a way to start my Summer reading with this gripping book…

A local schoolgirl has been missing for weeks when Margot Lewis, agony aunt of ‘Dear Amy’ advice column, receives a letter. Dear Amy, I’ve been kidnapped by a strange man. I don’t know where I am. Please help me, Bethan Avery. This must be a hoax. Bethan Avery is another young girl, who went missing twenty years ago. As more letters arrive, Margot becomes consumed by finding the sender and- unlike the police- convinced that the girls’ disappearances are connected. Solving this puzzle could save someone’s life- but could it also cost Margot her own?’

My opinion on this book is that it is such a good read, it had an unexpected twist and overall it was just incredibly written. It had just enough detail to leave you feeling quite disturbed and towards the end had my heart racing.

My Mum’s opinion: This book is definitely a great Summer read. Twists, turns and mood swings, a great who is it book. Once you start to read, its hard to put down.

3‘The Book Of Souls’- James Oswald

This was an interesting one…

‘Every year for ten years, a young woman’s body was found in Edinburgh at Christmas time: naked, throat slit, body washed clean. The final victim, Kirsty Summers, was Detective Constable Tony McLean’s fiancée. But the Christmas Killer made a mistake and McLean put an end to the brutal killing spree. Twelve years later, and a fellow prisoner has murdered the Christmas Killer. But with the festive season comes a body: naked, washed, her throat cut. Is this a copycat killer? Was the wrong man behind bars all this time? Or is there a more sinister explanation? McLean must revisit his most disturbing case and discover what he missed before the killer strikes again…’

Personally, I found this book difficult to get into, I’m not sure whether that’s because a detective drama isn’t usually what I go for. But I did find myself hooked and wanting to know what happened. Definitely think it had a surprising ending. Although I found with some aspects of the book I wasn’t quite certain how it ended, whether it was mentioned and it just didn’t click? Overall it was a good read, but I partly felt I lacked intelligence to fully comprehend it.

My Mum’s opinion: its a great police thriller, keeping you on the edge of your seat from start to finish. It definitely got my heart racing. With a fabulous ending.

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Probably one of the longest book reviews I’ve done. But it makes me so happy that my Mum also got her opinion on the books in the post too. Hopefully, it can occur in future reviews.

Last book club post I gave away the books I mentioned, this time I can’t do that as I gave them to charity. But the mini giveaway will carry on, just maybe not for every post because that could get expensive haha.

*Side Note: Text in italics is not my wording but the description on the back of each book*

Sophie’s Book Club #7

What was the last book you read?

Lots of Love,

Sophie

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Sophie’s Book Club #7 & GIVEAWAY

It has been an embarrassingly long time since I have done a book post. However, to make up for the loss, I am making this one extra special. You’ll see how, at the end.

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Jojo Moyes- The Girl you left behind

‘In 1916 French artist Edouard Lefevre leaves his wife Sophie to go fight at the front. When her town falls into German hands, Edouard’s portrait of Sophie stirs the heart of the local Kommandant and causes her to risk everything…Nearly a century later, Sophie’s portrait is given to Liv by her young husband shortly before his sudden death. Its beauty speaks of their short life together, but when the painting’s dark and passion torn history is revealed, Liv discovers that the first spark of love she has felt since she lost him is threatened. ‘ Copied from the back of the book, so you really get a feel for what its about and don’t have to guess from my what-would-not-do-it-justice-summary.

I LOVED this book. Having read a couple of Jojo Moyes’ books before I knew I wasn’t going to be disappointed. I really loved how it was set in two different time periods and I really got attached to the characters. It got to a point in the book where I was really torn and could see the situation from both sides. I didn’t know what the outcome would be and that’s what made it such an addictive read.

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Laura Marshall- Friend Request

‘Maria Weston wants to be friends with me. Maybe that had been the problem all along: Maria Weston had wanted to be friends with me, but I let her down. She’s been hovering at the edge of my consciousness for all of my adult life, although I’ve been good at keeping her out, just a blurred shadow in the corner of my eye, almost but not quite out of sight. Maria Weston wants to be friends. But Maria Weston has been dead for more than twenty five years.’

I actually bought this book at the airport but because the flight wasn’t very long I didn’t get a good way through it. When we got home, my Mum started reading it too. Let me tell you, its difficult to share an addictive book. Neither of us wanted to put it down. Of course, I finished first, I just had to have a couple late nights. One thing we could agree on is that we both LOVED the book and neither of us were expecting the ending. We also had a few debates about our opinions on the characters. Honestly, thriller type books aren’t usually my go to but Laura Marshall has swayed me.

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On to the exciting part of this post, I want to start giving away the books I’ve read so you can enjoy them too! Starting with this one.

Heres the situation in bullet points to make it clearer…

  • Pick either ‘The Girl You Left Behind’ or ‘Friend Request’
  • Let me know in the comments which book you’d like. Leaving me a social media username (or email) so I can contact you.
  • After 24 hours (Sunday GMT 18:00). I’ll use a random name generator to pick a winner for each book.
  • You can only enter if you live in the U.K (not quite ready to do international giveaways just yet)
  • Would be much appreciated if you were following my blog. (I’m so close to 900 followers!)

Hope that all makes sense! 

Lots of Love,

Sophie

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OOTD #17 Interview (no.3)

Recently, I haven’t quite been in the right head space. It seemed to be bad news after bad news, stress after stress and I found myself dragging myself through each day. Currently, I’ve decided to be grateful for the little things; the weekend being sunny for once; getting to take Alfie for long walks and the ‘Your Time Capsule’ Playlist on Spotify.

Anyways, into the post, this is my (maybe) last university interview. This is my ootd I wore for Manchester Metropolitan interview. I didn’t get accepted. (While I was gutted) Everything happens for a reason.

5Top: New Look

Trousers: H&M

Boots: River Island

*Things I can’t find I still include the brand I bought them from.

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How are you?

Lots of Love,

Sophie

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8 Ways I Unwind

Lately, I’ve had a lot of college work on and its been affecting me a lot more than usual. A couple weeks ago, I ended up making myself ill from the work I was piling on myself and doing it so late into the night. I came to the realisation I needed to remind myself the ways I unwind and put more of a focus on them and try to include them into my daily routine.

Here are the 8 things I came up with…

1. Yoga

u3This year, I’ve seen quite a few people also joining in with Yoga With Adriene’s TRUE- 30 Day Yoga. I have been following Adriene’s videos for quite a few years now and I find her practices so beneficial. I’ve set myself the goal of doing a yoga video a day for a year, I love having that time that can just take me away from whatever is stressing me out to re-evaluate and to ‘Find what feels good’.

2. Plan what you need to do

u7Some would say its counterproductive to spend time writing down what you need to do rather than actually doing it. However, I find it so helpful to have a list of everything I need to achieve because it means I don’t forget to do anything. It also feels amazing to be able to tick things off. I LOVE to use the Reminders app on my IPhone because its more likely I’ll have my phone on me than a piece of paper.

3. Stop Working after 9pm

After I’d made myself ill, I decided it was for the best I set myself a time for when I have to stop all college work and settle down for the night. I’ve found it so helpful and its actually made me more productive because I think  ‘damn I have an hour before I need to stop’ so I get on with more work instead of just procrastinating and waiting until 9:30 and thinking ‘damn should start work now’. Another quick tip I have is I’ve stopped working in my room/on my bed. The majority of the time, I don’t enjoy working and I feel like if I do it on my bed/in my room I’m leaving that stress and negative energy in that area. My room should be where I can instantly relax.

4. Go for a Walk

u6Recently, I haven’t been making many plans, probably because its gloomy January and because I don’t feel like I have the time to go out. However, I feel so much better for getting some fresh air and taking this one for a walk. Even though the majority of the time Alfie takes me for a walk.

5. Clean

I feel that I’m definitely in the minority with this point. But to unwind, I clean. No, I don’t know what’s wrong with me, its weird, I know. Its just therapeutic for me to have a good ol’ clean. I don’t even just mean a quick polish. I mean I’ll rearrange rooms, sort out cupboards, clean places you wouldn’t think to. I’m not saying clean as heavily as I do, but try it out, it makes you feel productive. It sounds daft but whenever I’ve cleaned a part of the house, it makes my mind feel a little bit lighter. I feel like I’m Monica Geller clean (Friends reference.)

6. A Routine

u1We all have our routines, whether that’s skincare, morning, evening or exercise. Recently, I’ve adapted a much smaller one, every night before sleeping, I put on this Soap & Glory hand cream and apply some Carmex lip balm. Its not set in stone, I can always switch it round as seasons change.

7. Tea

u2If I’m feeling particularly tired or stressed then I’ll make sure to have some Green tea before bed, it puts me in the right frame of mind before sleeping.

8. Read

u4Whether its a book or a magazine, I appreciate having time to take my mind off things. I’m loving reading ‘How to be an Overnight Success’ as its really motivating me to do well. Also, can you really go wrong with VOGUE?

I guess you could say Blogging helps me to unwind as much at its still a passion. I always feel better after a long chatty post.

How do you unwind?

Lots of Love,

Sophie

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My Bedroom

I see my Bedroom as my safe space. I don’t know about most people but I’ve managed to create my room, somewhere that I can fully relax. And after a bit of a stressful few days (which I’ll have a post on next week) I thought I could show you my bedroom, for anyone that’s interested in that type of thing.

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Bedding

Throw

When I first got this winter bedding as a gift my initial thought was ‘maybe its a bit too warm to sleep in?’ But I can assure you, it is not, and it is in fact a very cosy way to sleep.

Is it annoying anyone else that that canvas isn’t central? That’s going to have to change… Anyways, I would really like to buy some other art pieces for my wall so if anyone has any recommendations it would be greatly appreciated.

Bedside Table

Book

On to my bed side tables, up until Christmas I only had one but my parents kindly bought me a matching second. (Hence the picture is off centre because the bed moved).  One side I have a lamp and book, having a book there reminds to read it, usually before sleeping. The other side I have my calendar and some fake flowers, that I think brighten a dark-ish corner of my room.

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Dressing Table

This part of my room is definitely the most ‘cluttered’ and its not even that bad. I love this corner, its where I’ll sit down every morning and get ready for the day.

In the mirror of the dressing table you can see the other mirror I have which I’m obsessed with and I’m so annoyed I forgot to take a picture of.

Full length mirror

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Wardrobe- B&Q

White board- Tesco

There’s not much to say about this area of my room. Apart from I have a whiteboard that I bought, that tells me what time I’m in College and what for and it was supposed to be a motive to revise but alas it has not been.

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Chest of Drawers

Finally my T.V and other drawers. I finally got my T.V moved from my old room after probably about a year and I’ve been very excited.

Sorry this post was short, will be back next week with a much more in depth upload.

Is your bedroom your own safe space?

Lots of Love,

Sophie

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Hello 2018

Happy New Year!

I hope you all had a really great New Years Eve and your head is not too sore. And of course I hope you have an AMAZING 2018.

Whilst I’m not really on board with Resolutions because they just don’t work for me, I still acknowledge its a fresh start. I, like everyone else have things they want to achieve for the year.

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Honestly, for a little while the idea of the New Year was kind of making me anxious, for numerous reasons. But to combat this I thought I’d make a bullet journal, I first found out about this from Lily Pebbles video and after a couple of Pinterest searches, I’d gained ideas that could work for me. I don’t know how long I’ll be interested in filling it out but I really feel it will help me feel less stressed about life events.

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I turn 18 in February and for me that’s pretty exciting.

 

I’m not too sure what will happen after I finish College. Whether I’ll get a place at University or if I’ll go complete a foundation year first. Which ever it is, I need to not stress over it.

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On the same wavelength, I’m really hoping I come out of College with 3 great grades at A Level. Obviously the only way that will happen is putting the work in and I’m 100% ready and have already been doing that.

Finally, I really want to do more Yoga. It’s something I’ve been interested in for a few years but never done it as much as I’d like to.

Do you have any plans for 2018?

Lots of Love,

Sophie

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Goodbye 2017

I’m not too sure how this year is coming to an end, it kind of just feels like one big blur. Nonetheless I thought I should recognise the last day of 2017 with a post. I wanted to write about a few highlights of this year and how I’ll be spending my New Years Eve.

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During the Summer, I had the absolute honour of being one of my cousins’ bridesmaid’s for her wedding. I think because her wedding had been in planning mode for a couple years it was a definite highlight for it to finally happen.

img_3529Next, I was super fortunate to spend a week in Ibiza. It was a lovely getaway from life in general.

The event that took up a big chunk of my life this year was learning to drive. I surprisingly really enjoyed learning and was ecstatic to pass first time on the 6th of November. But then to get a car of my own for Christmas just made me beyond grateful.

Finally, a definite highlight of 2017 has been this month. Most years, December, is always such a joyous time. But specifically this year, I’ve enjoyed every minute, from Christmas shopping in Durham, to the little bit of snow we had, to Christmas itself. Its definitely one of my favourite Christmases.

IMG_4575So tonight when many are at parties bringing in the New Year, I’ll be sat at home having a pamper evening consisting of painting nails and face masks. Because if you can’t go into the New Year treating yourself with nice nails and good skin (the latter being debateable) then when can you?

Lots of Love,

Sophie 

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What I’ve Bought My Parents for Christmas

Can you believe this time next week it will be Christmas Day?! Argh I’m so excited. Anyways, at the weekend I wrapped up my parents presents and thought I’d share what I bought.

But before I get into that, I wanted to mention Liam Birkner: Whiskey and Words blog. He uploads ‘Get Involved’ posts, which you NEED to participate in and he’s about to start a Book of the Month series where you can win a free book. I’ve linked both posts so you can get more information. I’ve followed Liam’s blog for a while now and think he definitely needs some more recognition for his work.

Also, if anyone would like to be featured in my posts either like I’ve done above or on a collaborative post, then just let me know.

IMG_4493I don’t understand why my Dad is soo difficult to buy for, I just never have any ideas. It usually ends up as clothes and alcohol, he doesn’t complain, so success right?

I also wanted to kick myself at these pictures because I could have got some much better flatlays but I think my excitement to wrap them all just got too much.

My family have this tradition-type-thing where we save a ‘special’ present for each other for the evening on Christmas Day. The way it works we each get 2 presents. My Dad’s present for later is this Jumper from M&Co.

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My Mum on the other hand is the easiest person to buy for. I’ve told my Mum this, but because she never buys herself anything all year round, Christmas and her birthday are the times when I can just buy her everything she needs. If I could afford the world both my parents could have it.

Anyways, my Mum’s ‘special’ present is a watch that you may be able to see that’s slightly in the middle of the picture. We were in the post office a while ago (I didn’t even know the tiny post office in my tiny town had a jewellery bit) and my Mum commented on this watch and I think she thought I wasn’t paying attention because I was trying to put together a parcel at the time. But I was paying attention and I can’t wait to see my Mum’s face when she unwraps it.

Have you finished your Christmas Shopping?

Lots of Love, Sophie

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November Favourites 2017

Usually November is the time of waiting around for Christmas, but I’ve had a lovely little month, so here’s what I’ve been using, doing and enjoying…

Quickly before that, I don’t think I ever said THANK YOU SOOOO MUCH for 800 followers. I’m super grateful and didn’t imagine my blog would reach that milestone. Wouldn’t it be crazy to reach 1,000 before my 3 year blogiversary?! Anyways back into the post.

IMG_4302I can’t say my bank account thought November was a ‘lovely, little month’. I may have had a little splurge on clothes (twice). However, it’s all good, it just means I’m set for clothes for a long while and I can post a clothes haul next week. In all seriousness, I FLIPPIN’ LOVE my recent purchases and they’re all now my wardrobe favourites.

Jack Dean ‘JaackMaate’.

He’s a youtuber I’ve been subscribed to for a while now (well before his video on Zoella’s Advent Calendar) and I’ve always had a huge amount of respect for him. Mainly because he just seems to speak truthfully which some would say is a rarity in that industry. I also really like his sense of humour so if you’re not already, go and subscribe here.

I’m A Celebrity Get Me Out of Here.

I’d like to think if you’re from the U.K, you also watch this programme or at least know of it. I’ve watched it every year, a slither of proof for my love of this show is that I mentioned it in my favourite posts for the last two years.

November 2015

November 2016

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I don’t think this counts as a ‘November’ Favourites because I took this little getaway on the 2nd of December. However, I knew I needed to include this here because I LOVED the weekend, spending time with my Mum, Christmas shopping and walking around the beautiful, historic city of Durham.

Taylor Swift ‘Reputation’.

It shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that I have been loving Taylor Swifts new album. I pretty much like ALL of the songs and there’s not any I dislike. I love the shade in ‘This is why we can’t have nice things’ and Ed Sheeran’s feature in ‘End Game’. I just can’t pick a favourite, the whole album is constantly on repeat.

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To conclude this favourites post, I’m adding probably a couple random things. First, are earrings. It takes a lot for me to change my ‘go to’ earrings, the ones I wear every day. But I’ve finally changed it up and I’m really loving them because they’re hoops (small ones) and for so long I’ve just been stuck in a rut of wearing studs.

The last favourite from the month is green tea. A bit weird, I know. However, I’m enjoying it a lot recently and I figure its healthier than hot chocolate. I’m also really liking this particular brand, ‘Twining’s’, I’m not too sure what it is but I’ll definitely be picking it up again. (Definitely feel like an old lady after this favourite).

What were some of your November Favourites?

Love, Sophie

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DIY #2: The Porch

It would be pretty impressive if I had built a porch. But alas, I just repainted it, added a couple accessories and in my opinion gave it a bit of life. Like the chairs, I thought I’d blog the process…

The inner door was the first to be painted and I was so surprised that it made such a difference. I was also very happy because it meant I wasn’t doing this whole process for nothing.

Here’s the outer door before and then part of the outer after it was painted. This one definitely needed the lick of paint.

On the left this was the colour of the walls before painting (I realise it was all very bland) and on the right was what it looked like after the first coat. At this point, I wasn’t too sure I liked the colour but I knew I had to do two coats because the first just wasn’t enough.

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     After the second coat, I was much more comfortable with the colour, it was subtle but it still looked much better than it did before.

I added a couple little bits to finish it off. I still need to take a bit of paint off the windows in certain areas but apart from that its done and I’m very happy with the results.

Love, Sophie

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