Could you Escape?

Could you Escape?

On Monday I was more than delighted to be able to attend an evening at the brand new The Escape Room in Manchester city centre. I went along with Laura (Elelibee) and Emma (Writing Essays with Wine), and none of us quite knew what to expect having never attended anything like this before.
The Escape Room's website purposely doesn't give anything away, and with Laura getting her Professor Layton on, and me and Emma hoping to be part of a Crystal Maze type episode, it's safe to say we were a little bit excited.
On arrival we were greeted with prosecco and cupcakes, and all the guys hosting and working at this event were the loveliest, couldn't have been more welcoming, and well, cupcakes were always going to win us over anyway!
While we were waiting for some other groups to finish in the rooms, Chris Ward introduced himself as one of the owners, and gave us a grand tour of the venue, which can I just take a second to say, has a very chic and modern vibe about it, especially in the bar and social areas.
Each room has a different theme, and the rooms also vary in difficulty levels. Trust us to go straight in at the hardest one... we were rubbish. I don't think there's ANY other way to describe our first attempt apart from rubbish.

We were running around like headless chickens, making up our own clues from door motors, picture frame hooks and health & safety signs that had nothing to do with the actual puzzle. It was mayhem. Probably extremely amusing for the guys watching on CCTV, but for us, it was total mayhem.

Chris was a fabulous host for the whole evening, he practically became the 6th member of our team,  making us jump out of our skins every time he unlocked the door to come in to give us an extra clue!  ...It was dark and his teeth were glowing in the UV light. It was scary. I swear.

After finally managing to escape with 5 seconds to spare, and running screaming out the room like we'd all just won the lottery, we were very lucky to be able to have a go at a second room. I'd like to think we did a lot better in this one. We actually managed to solve some, not quite all, but some of the puzzles and clues on our own, which I was extremely proud of us for! We made progress girls!

I really don't want to say a lot more because I don't want to ruin the experience for anyone who's thinking of giving this place a go. ...Also explains the lack of photo's in this post! All I'd say is that I had an absolute ball and it was genuinely one of the best evenings I've had in a long time. Definitely never laughed, or screamed actually, so much in a while!

Each room will test your logic, quick thinking and team work skills, and is perfect for anyone thinking of trying to do something a bit different for an evening!

You can have a go in teams of between 2 and 6, and so is also perfect for socialising, or maybe a bit of a different team building exercise with your colleagues! Who knows!

I'd just like to say a massive thank you to Chris, Steph, and everyone else who was there on Monday. We all loved it!

If you'd like to check out The Escape Room, you can follow this link, or follow them on Twitter.
Oh, and go and follow Chris on Twitter too. He needs some more Twitter friends.

A little lost.

A little lost.

Does anyone else ever talk to someone, and have them point things out about yourself that you never even realised? This seems to be happening quite a lot at the minute, like when I got asked if I was happy in a previous post, I've just been told I'm a little lost.

I don't mean geographically lost, although I'm pretty good at getting myself lost in that way too... rather frequently, actually. 

But no, I mean lost in myself. 

I'm quite a worrier. In fact it was one of my New Years Resolutions to worry less... it isn't going well.

I worry that I don't know where I'm going in life. That I don't really know what I want to do, I'm not entirely sure what I want to have achieved by the time I'm too old to care.

I feel a little bit like Alice in Wonderland, the bit where she's trying her very best to find her way home, but every direction she takes just makes her feel that ever more slightly lost. 

There are SO many different doors you could open, that could lead to a dead end. Or, you finally open one that seems to be leading somewhere, and then it's like life just says, nope. You ain't coming this way. Turn around and try another one!

Not that this is a bad thing, I mean, it gives us the chance to experience different things, try new stuff,  meet new people that ultimately makes us who we are. 

Which brings me back to being lost in myself. Do you remember in school, and you'd have those odd lessons in R.E or something, and you'd have to discuss questions like 'Who are you?'. I think most of us would automatically answer this by stating our name, along with lots of what we think are important facts about ourselves, for example,

I'm Sophie, I'm a trainee accountant, I'm 5'1 (just), I live in the city and my favourite colour is white.

In our heads I think we also think about what we have as possessions, what has happened to us in the past, or maybe what we dream about when our heads touch the pillow. 

But that's not really us. It doesn't define our personalities, or the way we go about our lives, or what influences the decisions we make. 

Has anyone ever heard of The Enneagram Types? Its rather an ancient way of categorising personality types, and it's purpose is to help you try and see yourself more clearly. 

Have look at this link, and see if you can figure out which type you are. I haven't figured out which one I am yet. There's bits of me in a few.

I'm quite a perfectionist, and I'm really hard on myself at times like Number Ones. 
I like to be reassured, I can relate to people easily but I find it hard to say no like Twos.
I'm sensitive, committed and hardworking, but I'm a worrier and have little confidence in myself at times like Sixes.
I'd like to think I'm non-judgemental and accepting, but confused about what I really want like Nines.

See, it's rather difficult! But I find this kind of thing super interesting! 

Life has it's way of throwing things at us that we weren't expecting.

I know that I never feel like I've got my life together, I can not wait until the day I do, if that day ever comes. But for now, change is inevitable, and while its making me feel a little lost, and my head's being pulled in about a hundred different directions, I'm starting to see change as a good thing. A way of getting myself to my end goal... not that I know what that goal is yet, but I'll figure it out. I hope!

I think we're all quite guilty of comparing ourselves to others. We look at other people, we hear their plans, we see what they have, and I quite often find myself asking, is that what I'm supposed to be doing? Is that what I'm supposed to want?

But its your life. Everything that happens, every relationship, friendship, event, decision and path we take has one common denominator, you. 

I'm still lost. And I probably will be for a while, but since 'you' is the only part of all that that we actually have any kind of control over, taking some time to figure ourselves out, figure out what we want, and where we want to end up, is a pretty good place to start. Don't you think?


Something a bit different.

Something a bit different.

I've discovered rather a few new blogs recently, but one in particular has really struck me, and I found myself reading the whole blog. I couldn't stop reading the posts, I started at the top and just kept going. Literally.

I think my favourite type of post is one that makes me think a little. Since starting my blog I think I've learnt a whole lot of stuff, whether it be about myself or about life, I've loved reading about other people's thoughts and experiences. And this blog definitely got me thinking, about everything. 

Racing A Reaper is written by Aaron, and in his own words, gives 'an insight into the adventures of a Student Paramedic.'

I won't go into everything I've thought about since reading Aaron's blog, partly because it would take me a while, and partly because I want you guys to go and read it! Trust me, it's a really good read.

I've had some dodgy weeks recently, and with one thing or another, felt like complete rubbish, and/or a little stressed. But goodness, I think the first thing that hit me was that no matter how bad your day is going, someone else's is going far worse. From now on, I'm thanking my lucky stars for every day I don't have to dial 999.

The other thing that struck me was how many incredible things these guys must do on a daily basis, that you never hear of. Its insane. And quite honestly, I've never thought about it before. They just go around, casually helping and saving lives all the time! Like, what even..?!

When I think about this, compared to my day job, well... there's just no comparison! I think we all strive to help people, and we all want to feel like we've actually made a difference to someone, somewhere. I know for definite that I don't feel that my job helps anyone, and I'm definitely not helping someone with their life! Maybe sometime in the future this will change, who knows? But for now, reading how other people are making massive differences is actually really uplifting!

The paramedics we have here must be some of the strongest minded, most determined and compassionate people in our community, and who even knows what we would do without their hard work, and it got me thinking that they deserve so much more recognition for the stuff they do!

When I talk to Aaron about his job, and reading the posts, you can tell that these guys don't do their job for the recognition, they do it because they genuinely want to help people, and I think that's the most lovely thing. 

I can also tell that Aaron's probably telling me to shut up and stop rambling now, as he has no idea I'm writing this, so I'm going to. I really just wanted to share the most recent blog that I (if not a bit unconventionally) stumbled across, and that has become one of my new favourites, with all of you lovely people, and if you have a spare 5 minutes, seriously go and have a read!


Let's take a walk.

Let's take a walk.

My new favourite past time at the minute appears to be going for walks and taking photographs. Now this is something that both I, and my bank account is enjoying at the minute, as it's stopping me from hitting the shops when I've got nothing else to do!

There's something about just taking yourself off, and properly taking things in, and I think this is something a lot of us don't do enough of as our lives are now busier than ever, and quite often, we just don't have the time, or we're in too much of a rush to stop and look. 

The aim of my walk this weekend was to find a photograph of the word 'University' (it's a bit of a long story, don't ask!), and so I set off to try and find the University campus's in Liverpool, as I figured this was probably a good place to start. 

However, I got a bit distracted on the way! I started finding that there were so many little hidden places and lovely things to photograph that I just haven't discovered yet. After living in Liverpool for almost a year, you'd think I'd know the city pretty well by now. But no. Turns out, I don't even know the city centre yet!

Take the square in the top photo, I walk down the other side of this pretty often, but had never spotted the traditional english phone boxes on the other side.

Is it just me, or does this remind you a little bit of Diagon Alley...?

This gorgeous hidden away little avenue is slap bang in the middle of the city centre, literally round the corner from the main shopping area, and I've never been down here before. I didn't even know it existed even though I practically walk past it every, single, day. Crazy.

The more I spotted these little things the more I started to wonder, what else have I been missing?

The franticness of life, while yes, it gets things done, can often get in the way of seeing and appreciating the best things in life. The little things that can be the most beautiful, weird and wonderful things, the things that could inspire you, or just simply places to go when you need a bit  of space.

I took these photo's on a Saturday afternoon. The city centre would have been at its busiest, but yet, there was no one else to be seen here. It was so peaceful, and I stayed and explored this little piece of the city for ages, completely undisturbed. At one point, an elderly gentleman came wandering down and I could tell he, himself was as amazed by this little space as me. Crouching down at the shop windows to see what had been there in the past. We never spoke, but it was weird, it was like we both knew what each other was thinking. 

After admiring this avenue for a while, I headed up through to the other side of town. Again, I've not ventured up to this side of town a lot at all, most probably because I get as far as the shops and get distracted. A lot. 

But this time I forced myself to walk straight past, didn't even stop to window shop! And eventually, I stumbled across one of the university campus's, although by this time, I hadn't a clue where I was! Normally, this would make me nervous, but I was really enjoying myself by this point and wasn't bothered at all!

These streets were just behind some of the university buildings, and I love the old style of these houses.
I'd love to live somewhere like this at some point, it just feels so homely and neighbourly, something you kind of miss in an apartment. Again, the place was so quiet and calming, with only the odd person passing and nodding a hello. 

I did, eventually manage to get a photo of 'University', but I won't bore you with that photograph!

Yesterday afternoon really proved to me just how many places I haven't stumbled upon yet. But then also, how much of life I haven't seen yet either. From now on, I'm going to open my eyes a little bit more. Really make the effort to see things, take in my surroundings more and appreciate the beauty of things like this!

'Can't see the wood for the trees.'

My Grandad says this a lot, but this is definitely how I felt yesterday.


Feeling a little drained...?

Feeling a little drained...?

One thing that I have noticed recently is how physically and mentally tired and drained I have been feeling. Over the last few months, it would take me close on 45 minutes to drag myself out of bed, I'd go to work, get back to the flat and have little energy to do much else. Not much of a life if I'm honest!

And it seemed to be getting worse. It got to just past 2 o' clock one afternoon and I genuinely felt I could drop off for a nap at my desk and sleep for a week. This feeling was a bit of a wake up call that something wasn't right. I'd been blaming my tiredness on revision and exams before Christmas, and during January it was 'getting back into the swing of things' that I thought was my problem.

But then I got talking to someone who works in fitness coaching & knows a lot about nutrition, and he told me what I'm about to share with you lovely people that has genuinely made me feel 150% better!

Thinking about it, the following 3 facts are facts that I probably already knew, but just didn't have the motivation to get going with them.

So, if like me, you've been feeling constantly exhausted, these 3 little changes might just help you feel a whole lot better, and give you a lot more energy!

 1. Drink plenty of water || If you google the benefits of water, you'll start to wonder why you haven't downed more of this stuff before. From energising your muscles to giving you healthier and better looking skin, it is vital that you get enough water. Some recommend that women should drink around 1.6 litres of fluid a day, with men recommended to drink 2 litres, which is the size of the bottle pictured.
Now I'm not sure about you, but I definitely don't drink this amount of water, and I do well to drink a small bottle in the day! I also drink quite a lot of coffee when I'm in work, which can obviously make you feel more dehydrated, which isn't good!
I've definitely tried to swap the caffeine for water, and do you know what, I've definitely noticed a difference in my skin! The bags around my eyes just aren't as prominent anymore!

So the green tea wasn't in the advice I was given, but again, the benefits of this stuff are huge! Green tea is super good for you, and has even been proven to speed up your metabolism (and hence aid with weight loss)! I haven't quite got used to the taste of pure green tea yet, so I drink Green Tea with Jasmine, which I'm loving at the minute.

2. Eat Well || Do you remember when your Mum used to tell you to eat you your fruit & veg because it will make you big and strong? Turns out, she wasn't far from the truth! Your diet can have a massive impact on both helping to tone up, as well as giving you energy. Eating the right foods is essential. If you clean up your diet, your body will reward you with good energy from good food.

Try and make sure you get a lot of fruit & veg, a lot of rice, pasta & potatoes will give you energy, fish is a really good source of protein and try and avoid foods with high sugar or fat content.

3. Exercise, Exercise, Exercise! || For me, this consists of getting my bum back to the gym. Once I get myself in a routine, I actually really enjoy going, and I feel great afterwards! I like challenging myself while I'm there and I find myself setting myself little personal goals, which has really helped me get back motivated.

The one thing I did notice though is how quickly your fitness can disappear after just a few months off! I actually found it really frustrating but by setting myself goals (and with the odd little treat thrown in there) I'm slowly getting it back!

With any form of exercise, you are definitely going to feel tired afterwards, but our bodies love to repair themselves and it will repair and restore your muscles, and your heart, so you feel fitter and have more energy next time.

As always, things take time to improve and see the bigger benefits. But having implemented these things into my own life over the last few weeks, I can honestly say I've noticed a massive difference, and I have bags more energy than I did! I genuinely feel great!

Do you guys have any advice?


Life | Change & Choosing.

Life | Change & Choosing.

It's crazy how things change. How you can change as a person, how your life plans, goals and career choices can change pretty much in an instant. How people that have been quite a big part of your life can just leave, but also how new (and much more amazing obviously) people can enter your life in a heartbeat. 

I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason though. Sometimes those reasons take a little longer to make themselves known to us than others, but there'll aways be a reason. There's a pretty well known saying that seems to be making the rounds on social media at the minute, but,

'It'll be okay in the end. And if it's not okay, it isn't the end.'

sums it up just perfectly I think. Things always turn out for the best, and determination and patience will always pay off. 

Yesterday, I took a walk around the old Albert docks in Liverpool. I live right next to here but have never really took the time to have a proper wander round the old part of the docks! It struck me just how many different types of people there were, and it got me thinking.. again.

You are going to meet SO many different people in your lifetime. Some are meant to stay with you, others will simply be there for a brief visit. But going back to the point above, I think there will always be a reason. There will always be something that we can learn from others, and that we can take and help ourselves with in the future. Whether it be a life lesson in terms of who you should trust, or something that has helped you to improve yourself, and made you a better person. 

On a similar, but quite a different note, however, you should always be yourself. 

People change. Fact. And so do you. This time last year, I would have never have dreamed of starting up my own blog, and my thoughts on work and my general outlook on life was completely different. Slowly, this perspective started to change, mainly due to meeting different people since I moved to Liverpool. 

There are so many different things that I now want to try and places I'd love to visit! However, I think it's always hard trying to change people's perceptions of you. They say that first impressions are important, and that they can last a lifetime, and this is SO true. The people I've known for a while, most probably still see me as the person I was this time last year. But the people I've met in the last 6 months, know the real me, and I just wish everyone could see this! ( I realise how cheesy that sounds, and I apologise, but it's true!)

Who knew Liverpool has it's own Love Lock Bridge!

My confidence has grown massively, hence enabling me to start writing posts and actually putting them on the internet! My priorities have changed as well. I used to think that work was the be-all and end-all of life. That you weren't successful in life unless you were successful at work. But now, I'm not so sure. 

Yes, work is important, and it's important to always do your best, and getting ahead in your career can open so many doors and offer so many opportunities. But, at the end of the day, there are also so many more things in life that can mean you've been successful than work experience and qualifications. Your friends, family, personal achievements, hobbies, over-coming fears and anxiety, and quite simply, are you happy?

When I say, are you happy? I don't mean just for little moments at a time, like when you've had a lovely day with friends, or are watching your favourite movie, in bed, with a cup of tea and some chocolate (yes, this does make me very happy before you ask..), but I mean, genuinely, wholly, and constantly happy. 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. 

No? Nope, me neither. 

I got asked the same question yesterday by someone who currently has the same answer. But they're going to do something about it. They're making rather quite a life changing decision to go and be themselves. To start again, open even more doors and give themselves the chance to be happy. It really gave me the motivation to start to change even more things in my own life. To focus on what does make me happy, what I'm passionate about and what I really want to do in life.

So what am I adding to my 2015 To-Do list? I'm choosing to be happy. 


London, Ladies, and Lots of popcorn! #nyLDNmeet

London, Ladies, and Lots of popcorn! #nyLDNmeet

First things first... how cool is Camden!

As usual I'm about 4 days late with this post, but better late than never right!

Last Saturday I was super excited to go along with some of my new found blogging friends to London for the muchly anticipated #nyLDNmeet. The actual event was held in a tucked away bar in Soho in London, and I'll get onto this in a sec!

My day started at about 5am (I know, on a Saturday too!) and I headed over to the train station to catch a train to London, grabbing a obligatory coffee on the way. I'd reserved my seat weeks in advance and it was sods law that the one seat I'd reserved was on a table of four, and three guys heading to a football match had decided to park themselves on my table. 

Seriously. The rest of the train was empty and they decide to sit with me!

So after 2 hours of listening to their 'banter' and attempting to point them in the direction of the tube.. although I'm not entirely convinced they ever got to their final destination, I arrived at Euston, and made myself comfortable in Cafe Nero waiting for the rest of the girls to arrive!

We then had a bit of time to spare so we thought we'd pop along to The Bloggers Market that was being held at Camden Market at The Foundry. This was such a lovely venue and I definitely need to go back here at some point! Unfortunately, we didn't have a great deal of time here, and ended up rounding up some more lovely bloggers and making a group trip back to Oxford circus to Bitter Sweet for the #nyLDNmeet event!

As someone who's never really ventured into London too much, Bitter Sweet was so cool and such an amazing choice for a venue! For a relatively small space there was so much going on and the 4 hours just flew!

Hairdressers, beauticians, henna tattoo's, cocktail classes, you name it, #nyLDNmeet had it!

My most favourite part of the day has to be the presentation and introduction to the MooGoo skincare and brand new Dusty Girls make up range!

MooGoo are an Australian company that pride themselves in using purely natural and safe ingredients for the goodness of your skin. Their skin care range has a massive variety of products from deodorant, to moisturisers, cleansers and fake tan, and even dry shampoo for your pooch!

They are also about to launch a brand new make up range with a similar ethos. The branding of Dusty Girls is just so pretty, and they had me hooked before we even got talking about the make up!

I had a fabulous day, met the loveliest bunch of people, and even the goody bags were amazing! Here's just a few of the bits and bobs that were in there!

I actually can't wait to try out the protein shakes! And did I mention there was popcorn...?

I would just like to say an absolutely huge thank you to Lauren, Amy and Tamsyn for making it such a fab event, and I thoroughly enjoyed it all!


When Caitie met Soda* ♥

When Caitie met Soda* ♥

This week I've been so lucky to be sent this absolutely beautifully wrapped package from When Caitie met Soda. I discovered this gorgeous independent online shop via Instagram and I'm so glad I stumbled across it. I think I literally like every post!

Everything that you can buy on the website is so lovely, and for me, so fabulously British that it is right up my street! From delicate jewellery to beautiful monogrammed mugs, there is such a range of products, and I really do think they would make the perfect gift for any of the ladies in your life!

I got sent the most perfect make up bag and gold keyring which you can see in the photo's. I actually adore this bag purely because of the design on the front, and also how deceptively spacious it is! I've been seriously running short of room in my current bag, and this fits everything in without a problem! 

And of course, as was put in the note that came along with the gift, 'We just love a little bit of gold'.

Who doesn't love a little bit of gold!

Genuinely urge everyone to go and check out this shop, you'll just love it, I promise!