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WELCOME

WELCOME
Hello, you! I'm Soph - a 22 year old girl currently living in Liverpool, spending most of her time writing, taking photo's, drinking coffee & trying not to eat too much cake.

Dear, 16 year old Soph...



You turn 21 in just over a months time, and you may be thinking, what on earth could you tell me just 5 years on from now? Well, 16 year old me, brace yourself. 

A LOT has changed since you left high school, you have changed, some of your friends have changed and what you want in life has changed. A few times, actually... Yeah, you're indecisiveness hasn't changed much either. 

Here's something else that hasn't changed. You still worry, ALL THE TIME. It's not good for us. You come to realise this eventually but as of yet, I can't help you with how to even try and do this a little less. I've got a feeling this is going to be one of those things we're just going to have to accept.



My attempt at a scrap book at 17. I think I got about 7 pages in...

Up until now you've always been quite a follower. You did whatever your friends did, you thought you had to like whatever they liked, that you had to think like they did and you were supposed to want what everyone around you did too. This has lead to you doing some things that you didn't actually want to do in the last few years and at times you weren't happy, but you didn't dare show this. BUT I'm pleased to say this is one thing that is about to change.

Something clicks in your head when you get to college. I don't know what or when exactly this happens, but it does. All of a sudden you're not too bothered about having to do what your friends do anymore, you finally start thinking about what you want. Or at least, you think you do. 

You're still quite concerned about what everyone around you thinks of what you do though. You feel like everything you do, everything you say and everything you wear is being judged somehow. You've got a few more years until this feeling passes, unfortunately. But, you're gonna get there!


In terms of going to University, I'm pleased to tell you, you stick to your guns! You've never wanted to go, and you don't! At 17 you realise that you need to do what you want to do. This life thing is a pretty big deal. Scrap what people are expecting you to do, and this goes for all aspects in your life, you really do start doing things for you... well, some things anyway.

However, don't go giving yourself too much of a pat on the back just yet. You still have a lot to learn.

I don't want to say too much because I don't want you to go changing any of the decisions you're going to make. You need to make them. Yes, some of them go absolutely tits up, BUT, you're going to learn from each one, and each mistake is going to make you that little bit stronger and wiser to the world around you. 

You're also going to have some times that are going to be tough. You're going to start questioning everything that you do. Is that what you're supposed to be doing? Is what you're doing good enough for people? Are you good enough for people? 

STOP IT SOPH. These kinda questions are just going to drive you up the wall. So stop thinking about them. Life will go on and you'll be happier if you ignore that little voice in your head that's trying to answer 'no' to each of the above.



The people in your life are going change quite a lot over the next few years too. And this is okay. It doesn't seem like it at first, and we both know you're not a fan of change just yet. But trust me, it's okay.

Initially at college and your first part time job (which FYI you're going to love. You're going to think you hate it at times, but trust me, make the most of that job and the people you work with). Then comes the end of college. People are off to university and you're off to work! You're going to be thrown right in at that deep end to sink or swim. You think you're going to sink. In fact, you're pretty sure you're going to need the lifeguard and that great big pole of his to drag you right back into your comfort zone. 

But you don't! You carry on, you push yourself and you should be proud! For someone who right now, at 16, won't say boo to a goose, in two years you've done amazingly well, if I may say so myself. 

This goes on for quite a while, you having to push yourself out of your comfort zone. But, it's good for you. And you'll soon see why. 


Here's a surprise for you. You move out at 19! I know, right?! Insane. You've never, ever, ever, even thought about this yet, and it's still a scary prospect. But that job you get makes you grow up, fast. So much so that you want more independence. You want to see if you can do this whole grown up thing yourself. So you go for it. And you're going to love it. Don't get me wrong, trips and visits back home are just the best, and you'll always look forward to, and make the most of these, but moving out will be just the best thing for you at this point. 

You learn a lot from this. Even if it is to never leave Lenor softener on top of the washing machine when it's on a spin, and to keep your bread in the fridge to keep it softer and stop it from going off.

This also enables you to meet even more people. People that are going to change your whole perspective on life and what's important. People that are going to fill you with confidence and others that are going to take that confidence right back again. But then it'll come back to you again, I swear. 



Your love for a good cup of tea clearly doesn't go anywhere either.

AND THEN YOU START THIS BLOG!

It starts out as an Instagram thing. And you like getting compliments on the photographs you take. It feels pretty good. You then accidentally stumble across the blogging and vlogging world and oh my goodness. It takes you a good few months to do it though. To build up the confidence to start a blog and pretty much put yourself out there on the internet for every man and his dog to see, and read what you're going to write. 

But it gets addictive and you can't help but start to write posts and spend hours on end googling what html code you need to do what. 

And then the most unexpected thing happens. You start talking to the best group of blogging girls and they suddenly become a big part of your life that you can't imagine not being there anymore. Seriously, these girls are amazing, not only for blogging advice, but for support with anything. Literally, anything. Pretty sure they've all had you giggling out loud to yourself at some point. Or they will do... you technically haven't met them yet, but you get my drift. Your drift. Oh, this has got confusing now!

And it's not just these girls, your blog enables you to start talking a great bunch of other people too, from a lot of different backgrounds, with a lot of different experiences to share, and life lessons to teach you, and once again you start thinking about life, an awful lot, actually!

And that kinda brings you up to speed as far as the nearly 21 year old version of yourself can tell you. You're in the middle of making a massive decision that as you'd expect, you're stressing about. You don't know what you want to do with your life, but it's okay. 

It'll work out in the end. Things always do. Just remember that, Soph.

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Parisian living & unconventional therapy



I'm finally reading more guys!

It was one of my New Years Resolutions to try and get back into reading more. I really miss getting stuck into a good book, and being able to immerse myself into the characters and their worlds, temporarily forgetting about my own little life for a while. 

So, a few weeks ago I went book shopping to try and kick-start myself back into reading. I ended up picking up these two books and I LOVE them both. They're not the kind of books I was thinking of when I set myself this resolution but hey ho, they're still books, right?

How To Be Parisian: Wherever You Are



I love this book so so much. It's one of my life goals to go and live in Paris for a little while, so my excuse for reading this instead of a literary classic is that I'm classing it as life project research. 

It has me giggling and smiling to myself all the way through so far. I love how even the book looks effortlessly stylish and chic, and the photography inside is also just beautiful! 

I've decided to treat this book as one of my new Bibles. I'm going to start living my life like the perfect Parisian woman should;

Never asking someone at a party what they do for a living, going to great lengths for a pedicure but constantly wearing mismatched underwear, to find 'my' perfume before I'm 30, and then continue to wear it for the next 30 years, never match my handbag to my outfit, keep things simple, and to never take oneself too seriously. 
Amen. 



There are parts of this book that also seem to describe my life perfectly. Like this. The number of times I lie in bed at the minute when my alarms gone off just thinking to myself, 'you need to get up Soph.' ..'Soph, you're going to be late.' ...'Get. Up.' And I'm having a LOT of 'off days' at work at the minute, as anyone who I've talked to recently will have heard. A few times. Sorry. 


And this! Oh my goodness. Every single day!


F**k it

(Sorry Mum, it's the title of the book.)

I'd have never ever ever have imagined myself to browse through the mindfulness and spiritual sections of Waterstones, but after reading a few blogs and writing my own little reflections on life recently I thought I might just have a look.  And well, this book just stood out like a sore thumb.



You can probably see why. 

The guy who wrote this book is an absolute genius. There's a lot of old theories in here about being happy, mindfulness and how to take on life, with a modern twist. You can guess what that is. 

The F**k It therapy.

I haven't read a lot of this, but it is fast becoming one of my favourites. John C. Parkin talks A LOT of sense. 

Supposed to be being good but you have that chocolate cake in the fridge? F**k it and eat it. 

Meant to go to the gym tonight but can't be bothered? F**k it and go and watch netflix in bed. 

Had enough of your job and want to go travel? F**k it and go and see the world. 

The theory behind this is that when we say this expression, whether it be out loud or to ourselves, we're letting go of something. We're recognising that something that mattered to us, now doesn't anymore, not for a little while anyway. We stop doing something that we don't want to do,  we stop taking things so seriously, you start to listen to yourself and 'you give up, let go, stop resisting and relax back into the natural flow of life itself.'


I also love love love this guys writing style. It makes me giggle oh so much. I read the first few bits of this book in a corner in Waterstones, and genuinely got some looks from people who must have been thinking I was completely nuts. 

When you say these two words you instantly release some form of tension from your body, and you 'jerk' yourself into a more relaxed state. One of my favourite bits of this book so far is this; while explaining how this whole concept is a 21st century spiritual act, it clarifies that one of the benefits to just saying this is that it doesn't involve any of the following;

- Praying
- Chanting
- Killing people
- Wearing sandals
- Wearing orange
- Singing songs to acoustic guitars
- Eating beans...

And the list kinda goes on, but he's got a point. 


So, if you're looking for something just a little different to read for a little while, I would highly recommend either of these books. (If you're a guy, probably not the first one though.)


What have you guys been reading lately?

Soph

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Paperchase Lovin' & A Belated New Years Resolution



I have a bit of an obsession with stationery. Always have, and most probably always will. I think it's a bit of a girl thing but I have so much stationery in the flat, not to mention the amount I've hoarded over my 19 years at home, that I don't really know what to do with a lot of it. 

Does that stop me buying more? No. Obviously not. 

I went into Paperchase to get a Mother's Day card, and came out with an additional 4, a recipe book and a budget planner. And very nearly bought myself a huge photo album and adhesive corners. But I stopped myself at that point, not out of self control but purely because it would be too heavy to carry home.. 

I loveeeee Paperchase cards so much! They're all just so lovely, and there were a lot that had me giggling to myself too! However, I bought myself these ones not to give anyone in particular, but I think I'm going to stick them up in my room as little decorations!




I've come to establish that thinking positive is key, and I think that all of these little quotes dotted around my room will help! If you start the day thinking that today is going to be your day, then it's got a much better chance of it turning out okay! 

And well, this little guy caught my eye first and I just love the message behind this!


If you believe in yourself, and you believe that you can achieve and do the things you want, you will.

Okay, so the next thing I picked up while admiring almost everything that was in the shop was this budget planner. This appealed to the accountant in me but I don't actually tend to keep track of my own finances. I'll always make sure that I have enough to pay rent, bills, buy food and save a little bit too, but in terms of everything else, I feel that if I actually kept track of what I spent money on, it might help me save even more for the all important, but unknown future! I'll let you guys know if it makes a difference!


Soooo along with the rest of the nation The Great British Bake Off is one of my absolute favourite TV programmes, and I probably don't have to explain why. However, as I mentioned in my last post I can't cook, and I definitely wouldn't know where to start with baking! 

But, this is something that I've decided I'd love to learn to do! How cute would it be to just be able to make cakes, cookies or whatever else takes your fancy! I'd also love to own my own little coffee shop, in a really cute little village, where I'd get to know all the locals, and the shop could become a little haven where they could come and cosy up and have a coffee and a cupcake! ...But I can't bake.


This is where this comes in! I saw this and thought it was so cute and I just had to pick it up! So, I've decided that I'm going to add a 6th New Years Resolution to my list:

To learn to bake.

By the end of the year I'd love to have started filling this book up with different recipes that I've mastered and love.

I'm not entirely sure where I'm going to get the time from, but yeah, I'm gonna try and give it a good go!


(This one just made me smile.)

Soph

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Smoooooothies!



If you read my 2015 Resolutions post, you'll know that number 5 on my list was to get back to the gym and start being healthy, and it's actually going pretty well! 10000% just jinxed myself there, but for now, I'm pretty proud of keeping this one up.

'Abs are made in the kitchen, not just the gym.'

As well as making sure you get enough exercise, a large part of keeping fit and healthy is watching what you eat. I can't cook. In fact my diet is pretty much just chicken and pasta, purely because I know that you have to leave the chicken until it's not pink, and well, if it wasn't for the boiling water, my 6 year old cousin could probably make you some pasta. 
I'm also not very good with veg, and my Mum force-feeds me broccoli every time I take a visit home.

One thing I've always loved though is fruit. I could eat SO much fruit and never get fed up, and I don't know why I've never thought of making smoothie's before. It actually couldn't be easier. 


For me, smoothie's make the perfect post-gym snack, or breakfast! There's a lot of travel involved in my job, normally rather early in the morning too. I used to grab myself a large coffee as a substitute for breakfast on the go, but now I drink a smoothie. It fills me up just as much, and is so much better for me at the same time!

One of my favourite ones to make is apple and banana. I use and chop 1 banana and 1 apple, grab a cup of milk and a pour a cup of vanilla yoghurt too. 

I bought myself the Breville Blend Active a few weeks ago after hearing and reading some pretty good things about it. Because I can't cook I'm not very familiar with electrical kitchen appliances and genuinely did not know all you have to do is press a button. It's so fab!


It's also super quick. The blender comes with two sports bottles, which I think are actually quite stylish too, although that might just be the sad side of me coming out.

If you remove the bottle tops, and replace them with the blade cap, then tip the bottle upside down and lock it into place, and well, press that big green button that says blend... your smoothie will literally be ready in seconds. Seriously, seconds.


This really has been one of my favourite purchases in the last few months and I absolutely love it!

I've also loved making my own smoothies and experimenting with different things that work together and which fruits definitely do not work together! Like seriously, probably too much fun.


Soph

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Why do we...?



We live in a society governed by rules, but those rules were decided long before any of us were alive.
So. Talk to me. 

A lot of my blog posts seem to be inspired by others at the minute. Other people, what they say and how they perceive this little thing we call life. I'm quite a thinker. Living on the docks gives me a lot of time and the perfect space to think. I like to think about what things mean and what they could mean to other people, probably a bit more than Harry currently sat next to me in this coffee house, who's been sat on his phone for a good hour before randomly turning and asking me, 

'Where in the nursery rhyme does it say that Humpty Dumpty is an egg?'

...I don't even want to know what he'd been doing on his phone all that time for that question to pop into his head. Although, to be fair, he's got a point.

Someone said the first lines to me a few days ago and it really hit me, hard. We abide by so many rules, both written and unwritten, every single day, that we never question. But why do never question them? Why do we go along so willingly with social rules in particular, that we never agreed to in the first place.


We all see things differently, and I don't think this was proved any greater than with 'The Dress' phenomenon that graced all our twitter feeds last week (I don't care what you say, it was blue and gold). 

I think we're all secret followers, even if we don't want to admit it. We look to everyone else and hope we'll figure out what to do. 

Oh, everyone is standing at this side of the escalator, okay, I will too. 
Everyone seems to be forming a queue over there? Maybe we should go join it...

One of the biggest things I think is the fact that we don't feel we can talk to an awful lot of people.  Of course, we all have our friends, family and partners, our best friends that probably think we're completely bonkers but love us for it all the same. But there's always things going on in our lives, things we think about, things we read that sometimes you just want to talk to someone about. But due to some of those unwritten rules, we feel like we can't.
We feel it's not appropriate, we don't want to trouble someone with something that they might find trivial or not care about, or think you're stupid for bringing up.

But, if you wanna talk about it, why shouldn't you be able to talk about it? You wanna tell someone something? Go tell them.  We shouldn't let rules of society govern our relationships with others, that could prevent insightful conversations with strangers, or create opportunities for us as individuals. 


I am SUPER guilty of not wanting to talk to people about stuff. If I'm feeling brave or feel particularly comfortable talking to someone, I might, just might, bring up a topic or question I've been wanting to discuss. But I'll always ask first. I don't really know why I do, but I think it goes back to not wanting to trouble someone with something. 

Other than this, I normally drive myself crazy. Overthinking EVERYTHING that pops into my head, making a massive issue out of what normally is actually nothing to worry about. I need to stop it. I know I do, but I can't help it! A lot of people laugh at how much I worry about things, and to be fair, looking back I laugh at myself at times. Like, what was I even thinking?!

I don't really know where I'm going with this post if I'm honest, if you're even still reading this at this point, then you're probably also thinking the same. You should also probably be recognised for that. Good effort!

I'm going to stop rambling now, I'll shut up and let you all get on with the rest of your days! But I don't know, it was just something I started thinking about and wanted to get some thoughts written down. 

What do you guys think? ...If you even got any of that!

Soph


P.s I just want to wish a massive happy 21st birthday to one of my oldest and best friends ever. 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY HELEN!


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Stratford and Scones.



I love blogging. It seems to have taken over my life in the last 3 months, and I'm not sure what I even did without it. It seems to have become such a big part of my day now, and I'll never go 24 hours without reading blogs, writing blogs, taking photo's for blogs, or, one of my favourite parts, speaking to other bloggers. 

There's a few girls that I've got particularly close to, and we talk ALL the time. I never realised a group chat could be so active before talking to these girls, and so we thought we'd arrange a little day out for ourselves a few weeks ago. So, yesterday we took ourselves off to Stratford for a bit of a girly day!

After a 3 hour road trip with Emma (Writing Essays with Wine) and Laura (Elelibee), reminiscing on how amazing the 90's was for pop music, we made it to Stratford and met up with Kayleigh (VeryBerryCosmo) and Mara (Mara Shares), with the first stop obviously being the Butterfly Farm! Obviously..



Butterflies are SO pretty!

Once we'd spent a fair amount of time admiring the butterflies, we decided to go and hunt out some food. Being in Stratford, we wanted to take advantage, and we managed to find a tea room with a lot of lovely character. And cake. We wanted cake.

We spent hours in here and it was really nice to just sit and chat to the girls! We chatted and giggled our way through lunch, tea and cake and we loved it! Even if Emma had a bit of a scone disaster... but we'll skip over that bit.





Places like this are so lovely! The decor in the tea room was really authentic, with wonky wooden stairs, low ceilings and the beams to match. I don't think I could ever get fed up of going for afternoon tea somewhere like this. 

Can you imagine just tucking yourself away in the corner of a cute little tea room with your favourite book? Bliss!

Next up we had a walk into town, and found and had numerous selfie's with Shakespeare's birth place, much to the amusement of passers by and onlookers! We did a little bit of shopping before then heading back for another 3 hour sing a long session in the car on the way home!

I had the loveliest day with these girls, and I'd forgotten just how much I love these quaint little towns! If it wasn't so far away for me, I'd definitely be returning here more often. I mean, afternoon tea and blogging chat in the prettiest of locations is just the perfect way to spend a Saturday afternoon! After a long week in work, this definitely cheered me right up!

Photo credit: Laura and her selfie stick.

Soph


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