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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.
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Spring clichés that are worth the hype



Spring clichés that are totally worth the hype.

I literally adore Spring. I think it's the start of the lighter nights, the sun coming creepin' in every now and again, and just the general feeling of it being the season of new starts. I love all of the seasons, but I don't think that it's coincidence that the first day of Spring is also International Day of Happiness! 

So, here are a few Spring clichés that are totally worth the hype, and one's that I'm going to be all over again this year!

B l o s s o m.

Prepare for your Instagram to be inundated with photo's of blue skies and pretty pink bloom. I remember there was a point last year when this was literally all that filled my feed. But do you know what, it's SO pretty though that I totally love it and will most probably be posting 7689 photo's of it myself.


L i g h t e r  n i g h t s.

OMG it's 6pm and it's still so light outside! As much as I love getting all cosy in bed with a cup of hot chocolate and my blanket in Winter, there's something about the lighter evenings that just lifts my mood for longer. The clocks go forward this weekend which means we can all go back to taking photo's in the evenings again, too! I can literally just feel the relief from bloggers everywhere. 

F l o r a l  t r e n d s.

Particularly of the embroidered type, this season. There are SO many beautiful pieces out there this year that I literally just don't know where to start. I've basically not took these shoes off since I bought them in January, and these boots blew up on my social media when I found them in New Look a few months ago, too! Charlotte did a gorgeous post on so many of her favourite embroidered finds a couple of weeks ago, so if you need any inspo, check out her post


P a s t e l s  &  b l u s h  p i n k.

On a similar note, Spring is the time to pack away all of those autumnal hues (although maybe not quite all of your cosy knit's just yet because, oh hey, British weather.) and brighten up your wardrobe with pretty pastels, instead. The blush pink trend is another personal favourite of mine at the minute, and I'm having to try really hard not to buy everything. This suede biker jacket from Zara however, I just couldn't resist!

E a s t e r.

Cheap chocolate, Easter egg hunts and an extra few days off work. What's not to love about Easter!?


What do you love about Spring?

Soph


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Mothers Day treats & THAT Disney inspired jacket.




Mothers Day treats & that Disney inspired jacket.

On Thursday evening, me & my lovely Mum were invited along to the Metquarter in Liverpool for an early Mothers Day event, hosted again by the guys at Sassoon Salon, who I'd only recently visited a couple of weeks ago (read about my fab experience here). It was pretty much an evening of Prosecco, cake, styling and little beauty treats. What could be more perfect for Mothers Day?

We had Sassoon offering consultations and styling tips, Urban Calm giving us all the best mini massages and Illumination LED facemasks, and the girls at Illamasqua offering express treatments through the evening.

My favourite part of the event though (apart from the cupcakes from Patisserie Valerie... these were incredible omg) was when celebrity stylist Martine Alexander picked out some of her favourite pieces from around the centre. Let's just say, if my Mum hadn't have been there to stop me, I'd have probably bought half of the rail, including this to-die-for Beauty & the Beast embroidered jacket from the MinkPink and Disney collection, and these amazingly beautiful Kurt Geiger heels. 


It was such a lovely evening being able to chat to all the familiar faces at Sassoon, catching up with local bloggers and their Mums, and learning about what else there is to offer in the Metquarter. Events like this are my favourite, smaller events where you can really chat to everyone properly, have great conversations and network with bloggers & brands in a really relaxed atmosphere that's totally beneficial to everyone. 

Everyone at the event was super lovely and friendly, and I loved being able to give my Mum a peek inside the weird and wonderful world of blogging and events. Even if it was just to show her it isn't just me who has to take photo's of all of the food before anyone's allowed to touch it! 


What do you have planned for Mothers Day?

Soph

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How to get out of living in a 'I'll be happy when...' mindset.


image credit: used with permission from Nina Holst, Stylizimo.

How to get out of living in a 'I'll be happy when...' mindset.

I'll be happy when I have the job that I want.
I'll be happy when I can have a walk-in wardrobe.
I'll be happy when I hit xx followers on Instagram.
I'll be happy when I can buy a new car.
I'll be happy when I lose some weight.
I'll be happy when I have that Pinterest inspired home office.

I'm fully guilty of living in a 'I'll be happy when...' mindset. I'm constantly looking at things that I want, thinking about things that I'd like to achieve, or watching others do things that seemingly have made them happy and thinking that if I can do or have that, then I'll be happy, too.

We all think about the future a lot. I mean, we kinda have to. And focusing on what you want isn't a bad thing, in fact it's pretty bloomin' essential and it's a way that we can keep our eye on our goals and ambitions and help us do some pretty amazing things. However, thinking too much about our 'ideal' lives, can sometimes just leave us exhausted and constantly unsatisfied.

So, here are a few little ways to live in the present a little more.

A p p r e c i a t e  w h a t  y o u  h a v e.

This probably sounds pretty obvious, but taking a little time each day to sit and appreciate what you have, instead of lusting after what you don't, can really help you to realise that you may be closer to your goals than you think. Recognising all that we have to be grateful for, is something that I'm not sure we do enough, and it might just be the key to living a little happier.

D o  w h a t  y o u  l o v e  o n  a  d a i l y  b a s i s.

If you're not doing something that you love, of course you're going to be thinking about something else. Quite often, we think that before we can do something that we love, we have to have reached some kind of personal or career goal. But, this simply isn't the case.

Ensuring that we're doing something that interests us all the time, we're enjoying our time now and creating new experiences, that may end up helping us in the future anyway! We're not thinking about how we may be enjoying our time in the future 'if' we manage to do something else.

D e c i d e  t o  b e  h a p p y  n o w.

Shift your focus from the future and bring it back to the present.  Turn your 'I'll be happy when..' into a 'I'm happy now.'

How?

Well, we're all in control of our own happiness, right? I read something once that said, what if the reason we're happier now, is because we decided to be. How powerful would that be?

Do you find yourself living in a 'I'll be happy when...' mindset?

Soph

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Social media & me.




Social media & me: My relationship with living online.

Social media has become a vital part of our everyday lives for most of us. Our whole worlds revolve around it, and in a lot of ways, it has had a real positive impact to the modern day life of a twenty-something. We're creating careers from it, influencing and reaching others in a way that has never been possible before, and of course, remaining connected to our loved ones no matter where in the world they are.

However, I've recently started to realise that my relationship with social media isn't always that healthy.

I often wonder how less anxious I would be if read receipts weren't a thing. If 'last active' wasn't available to us or if our whole online lives were left unfiltered and we could see everything or nothing. I mean, I'm not stupid. I know that the things that people share online isn't always an accurate representation of their life, but it's always hard not to compare and get yourself down about it, isn't it? There's been so many times when I've felt like I'm failing at life because I've seen something on Instagram or Twitter.


I'm not afraid to admit that I'm the kind of girl that freaks out if I can see you've read my message and not replied to it. I have a huge fear of people leaving my life suddenly, and it's like a read receipt and no reply is a trigger for this fear. No matter how much I try and convince myself that they're just busy, at work, distracted, eating (or y'know, anything else normal), my brain just won't have it. Instead, it convinces me that this person now hates me for life, is never going to speak to me ever again or that I've upset them in some way. That is until they text back 30 mins later having just gone for an impromptu nap.

This girl does not need this kind of anxiety multiple times on a daily basis.


And it's not just read receipts. There's seeing them having been active on Facebook, tweeting someone, viewing your Instagram story, 'last seen' on WhatsApp, or their snapchat score has gone up so they're obvs on their phone because how else would all of this have happened?

The reason I hate it so much, is because I know that without social media, I'd be blissfully unaware of everything, and not causing myself unnecessary stress and panic.

So, how am I making my relationship with social media better?

Well, I'm trying to restrict the time I spend on it, but we all know how hard that can be, even with the best of intentions! 

However, I'm also removing as many things that I can, in an attempt to control the anxiety I get from it. I'm muting toxic people on Twitter, I'm turning off read receipts on WhatsApp and the chat feature on Facebook. I'm unfollowing people on Instagram who's content makes me feel shit and I'm turning off my push notifications so I don't get into a panic if no one likes one of my fave photo's.

Hopefully, some of this will help in making me feel a lot better most days, and I won't be sat here worrying myself silly that I'm behind in life, that I'm super boring because my day doesn't look like hers or that my best friend has left me.


What's your relationship with social media like?


Soph


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A work-life balance: How to find one & keep it.



A work-life balance: how to find one and actually keep it.

A work-life balance is a lifestyle choice. It's being able to prioritise your work and your career, but still being able to enjoy and have time to yourself. It's being able to have a life outside of the office, too. It's being able to be driven and ambitious, but also being able to switch off, spend time with family and do things that you enjoy, for you.

My previous job didn't allow for any kind of work-life balance. It was a full time job where managers expected constant overtime, and any spare time that I did get back home was filled with studying and revising for professional exams under the constant threat of losing our jobs if we failed. 3 years down the line and guess what? I was done. I couldn't give myself 100% to my job anymore, and I didn't want to. I realised that while yes, I wanted a good career, this wasn't the way I wanted to do it. I knew that I needed to find a job that would allow me the forever coveted work-life balance.

Just over a year later, and I'm so much happier. I can't even express in words what a difference it has made to my mental health and my life. So, here are a few little tips and tricks I've learned along the way.

D e v e l o p  a  r o u t i n e  &  b e  s t r i c t  w i t h  y o u r s e l f

The nature of both of my jobs so far have meant that I've been provided with a work laptop and access to my work emails on my phone. While this is great because it means that I can work from wherever I like (*ahem* my bed), it also means that I'm constantly online and contactable. So, learning how to switch off 'work mode' once the working day is done, is something that's been really important for me.

There's always going to be something else you can do. There's always going to be another email you need to reply to. There's always going to be the temptation to check your emails if you have access to them. But creating boundaries and sticking to a routine, is oh so important. When it gets to the end of your working day, it's the end of your working day. Switch off, go home, relax and enjoy your 'you' time.


B e  e f f i c i e n t  w i t h  y o u r  t i m e 

Whatever your average working day is, make the most of it. Procrastination is the devil, and is generally what then forces us into working into our evenings. Set yourself manageable goals at the beginning of each day, and split your day into little bits to ensure you gradually but effectively tick off your to-do list. 

BUT, also make sure you take breaks. Working straight through the whole day without having little breaks or taking your lunch, is always counter-productive. Trust me, I've done this so many times with little effect.


C o m m u n i c a t e  e f f e c t i v e l y

If you feel like you're getting overwhelmed and your work load is getting too much, it might be time to have a little chat to your boss. Let them know them know how you're feeling and tell them if you are feeling overwhelmed. Any good manager will listen, help you, and set out a plan as to how to make things better for both you and the business. Don't be afraid to ask them for help either, they've been there themselves at some point too.

Another little trick is to make sure you manage expectations. Be realistic with time frames you give out to your boss or colleagues. There's nothing worse than saying 'I'll have that with you tomorrow', if you know you're already swamped, because this is just going to stress you more, and most probably have you working into the night. Set yourself a longer deadline, if only then to pleasantly surprise everyone if you manage to get it done sooner!


I m m e r s e  y o u r s e l f  i n  a  h o b b y  &  a  s o c i a l  l i f e.

For me, this is quite obviously blogging, but whether it's yoga, netball, dance, meditation - anything that you enjoy, keeps you active, but also helps you switch off from work is a good thing. Get yourself a hobby that means you have to leave work behind for a little while. 

Make plans with friends, see your family and just create the 'life' part of your work-life balance, and don't let anything get in the way of it. 


FEATURED IN THIS POST

Calvin Klein bag - c/o Tessuti Women | I can't even explain how much I adore this bag. It's sophisticated and elegant, but it's so spacious. I was a little concerned I wouldn't be able to use it for work as my current bag is a little bigger, but honestly, it's like a Mary Poppins bag in here! As always with Calvin Klein, the quality of the bag is also great - I can see it being durable and putting up with me for a while yet!

Flared sleeve jumper - Chicwish.com | LOADS of you guys have been asking where this jumper is from ever since I posted it on my Instagram. I purchased it here, however, I will just say that although I love this jumper, I've had an absolute nightmare with Chicwish & I'm still waiting on a few issues to be resolved. I won't go into details, but just go ahead and purchase at your own risk!
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Blogging: 5 things I want to be better at.




Trying to be a better blogger: 5 things that I want to improve on.

Sometimes, I sit down at my laptop and think 'omg, I'm actually the worst blogger in the world' and I feel like I'm completely failing. And then other days, I realise that I need to cut myself some slack, because I'm trying to fit running this blog alongside my full time job and attempting to be a successfully functioning adult, which I'm sure we can all agree is a lot harder than we expected.. 

However, I had a good little sit down and a think a few days ago, and I made a list of 'blogging goals'. A list of things that I really want to improve on and hopefully be a lot better at by the end of the year. 

I also had a good little brainstorm, about things that I really want to write about, the kind of content that I want to produce, and the kind of blog that I want this to be, and it filled me with so much motivation that I'm hoping this is going to be just the start!

So, here we go. Here are 5 things that I really want to get better at.


R e p l y i n g   t o  e m a i l s  o n  a  m o r e  t i m e l y  b a s i s

This is most definitely a priority, oh my goodness. There's that meme that's been going round the internet recently about how life is just a constant stream of 'sorry for the delay in getting back to you', and this could not describe my blogging inbox more. I'm literally the worst, and I'm so sorry. There's probably so many people currently still waiting on a reply back from me right now, and this is something that I'm going to 100% focus on.

Partly because I've missed out on opportunities before because I've read an email at work, and then completely forgot to reply until a week later, and by then it was too late. 
Party because it's just a lot more professional. 
And partly because a building inbox of unread emails just triggers an anxiety switch in me, and then I just put it off even more and then the thought of it makes me more anxious. A vicious circle I don't need.

So, a simple fix for this? Just reply to the email straight away, Soph. And don't be afraid to say no.

R e p l y i n g  t o  b l o g  c o m m e n t s

And on a similar note! I started doing this rather successfully at the beginning of the year, and then I hit a blogging slump and failed again. But, I'm determined to try this again, and make it such a habit that I don't stop ever again.

I know a lot of bloggers have split views on whether you should reply to comments or not, particularly on blogger when you don't get a notification anyway, and also because when I comment on someone else's blog, I'm not doing it for a reply, and I don't tend to expect one. But, it's always nice, isn't it?

S h a r i n g  t h e  l o v e

It always gives me such a sense of pride and happiness and when I spot that someone has given me positive feedback on my blog. Whether that's just being included in a blog post, or simply someone has shared one of my posts on Twitter, it really does feel great, doesn't it?

So, this is something I really want to do more of. I want to create more blog posts filled with my favourite blogs, and I want to start to share some of the hundreds of blog posts I read that I really love and that have really inspired me on my social channels, and hopefully help you guys discover what I love, too!

S c h e d u l i n g  t w e e t s  &  u s i n g  s o c i a l  m e d i a

Something else that I'm currently terrible at is scheduling tweets. Anyone else just find it a really boring and monotonous task?! But, at the end of the day, I do really love it when the content I produce is actually read, and I know how much of a traffic booster Twitter can be. So, this is another priority for 2017 - using and analysing social media a lot more to my advantage!

P r o d u c i n g  &  c u r a t i n g  b e t t e r  c o n t e n t 

I really want to work on the content that I create, after all - it's probably the most important thing we do as bloggers, right? I quite often find myself focussing on what my blog looks like, such as the layout and just making it look 'pretty', rather than the actual stuff that goes in it. I'm going to take the old quality over quantity mantra, and really try and create posts that really mean something instead of just getting a post out there for the sake of it. 


Soph

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Hair care, treatment and a little change with Sassoon & Metquarter.



Hair care, hair treatment, and a little change with Sassoon Salon and Metquarter

I've never been one to do much with my hair. A quick shampoo, condition and towel dry was about as much as I used to do with it. I was never concerned with how healthy my hair was, or the products that I was using. And to be quite honest, I'd go years without visiting a hair dresser. But the guys at Sassoon have really changed my opinion and my approach to my hair. After all, as they quite rightly pointed out, we all skin care routines, so why should we not create one to look after our hair, too?

So, before I get into details about my visit a few weeks ago, I just wanted to touch on a few products I was so, so kindly gifted as I left.

T h e  p r o d u c t s

First up, was this really cute heart shaped gift set which includes a travel sized Illuminating Shampoo and Conditioner, as well as a Heat Shape styling protection spray. I was also given a full sized version of the heat styling protection spray as well as the Illuminating oil (I think this was after I accidentally admitted that I don't use any products on my hair before blow drying or straightening my hair, and I think Jon was a little mortified!)

The one thing I love about these products is that they are SO light. I've briefly used a heat protection spray before, and it just felt all sticky and not very pleasant. The Sassoon spray is totally different though. And the illuminating oil is described as a multi-protection primer for your hair. Again, this is a really light product, that not only helps to protect your hair, but really gives it a boost in terms of shine and softness. I've been using this over the last few weeks and I genuinely love it and have noticed a real difference. Oh, and it's got almond oil in it so it smells divine!

And lastly, is the colour save shampoo and conditioner. On my last visit, I was gifted the hydrating conditioner and smoothen shampoo from the same range, as this was really what my hair needed at the time. However, it seems to have done the job as Jon didn't seem to think I needed those anymore! 

This is one of the things I love about Sassoon - they really tailor your experience to you.

T h e  t r e a t m e n t  &  m y  v i s i t  

So, a few weeks ago, I was invited back to their Liverpool Salon in Metquarter, to try out their new Prestige Cut & Care Service, which includes a personalised cut, a tailored treatment (depending on your hair needs) and a choice of two take home products. Sounds amazing, right?

I was mostly looked after by the Salon Director, Jon, who has been amazing and fabulous each time I've popped in. In fact, the whole team there are so friendly and welcoming, I've genuinely loved my visits. After a quick initial chat and consultation, we decided that the best treatment for my hair would be the repair treatment, mainly because the end of my hair in particular was a little dry and damaged. 

The treatment involved a head massage from one of the team too, which felt amazing and had me so relaxed I was most definitely close to falling asleep in the chair. Then, I was passed back over to Jon for the cut and style part of my visit. He asked me what I wanted, and while I wanted to keep the length, I wasn't over fussed. So, we decided to not do anything too drastic, but play around with adding a fringe in - and even then, Jon had so many different ideas around what would suit me, that I felt whatever he did, it would be totally fine.

T h e  r e s u l t


I came out of the salon feeling like my hair had genuinely had a total refresh. It felt smoother and softer, and even though it was only a little change by adding a fringe, I absolutely loved it.

I cannot tell you how friendly the whole team are Sassoon, no matter whether I've been a paying client or there as a blogger (I've been both!), the service is fabulous, and they've totally convinced and converted me into a girl who takes as much care of her hair now as her skin!

Have you ever visited a Sassoon Salon?

Soph


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4 ways to keep yourself balanced when life gets a little busy.



4 ways to keep your mind & body balanced when life gets a little busy.


I think I say this a lot, but sometimes I feel a little overwhelmed with how busy life gets. Only last week, I was trying to juggle multiple blog projects, sort out my insurance and MOT for my car, catch up with old work colleagues and friends, do some sort of exercise, buy food, see family, and that's before I've even thought about my working day for my 9-5. 

It's easy to get lost in the 'hustle and bustle' of life as a twenty-something, so here are 4 little ways I use to help keep myself feeling balanced, calm and a little more grounded.


E a t  B r e a k f a s t

I'm not even going to pretend that most of my mornings don't consist of me running out of the door 15 minutes after getting out of bed - this girl loves her sleep. But, I do always try and grab a bowl of porridge at my desk when I get to work. 

I'm sure we all know how important breakfast is, but I'm sure we also all know how easy it is to skip when you're in a rush. If you can't grab something at work, all it needs is an extra 10 minutes in the morning to grab yourself a nutritious breakfast to set you up for the rest of the day.

S t a y  o f f l i n e  f o r  a  l i t t l e  w h i l e

If there's one thing that triggers my anxiety, it's social media and just generally being constantly online. I've checked Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and my emails before I've even rolled out of bed most mornings. Feeling balanced  means that sometimes, you need to keep your focus on you, and not on what anyone else wants from you or their lives. Setting aside time to just 'be offline' every day, can really help. Grab a book, cook or bake, or pamper yourself instead.

G o  f o r  a  w a l k

You're probably sat there thinking, 'Soph, what are you talking about. I have zero time to get up and go for a walk.' - But just bear with me a sec. 

I've recently discovered that fresh air really is good for the soul. If I'm feeling a little ill, fed up, down, or in a bit of a creative rut, getting outside can make all of the difference. And even if you can't manage to get outside, have a little walk around the office. Moving around during the day will help you to stay more focused and energised - trust me and try it!

J u s t  t a k e  a  m i n u t e

How often do you find yourself able to just sit with your own thoughts for a second. I find that being able to mentally switch off and reflect for a few minutes can be quite tricky, particularly if we go back to the point above about being constantly online. Most things in life can wait. Those emails can be replied to tomorrow. The washing can be done later. The world isn't going to end if you don't write that blog post tonight. - You get the idea.

Taking a few minutes each to just be still is one of the best things I've ever tried, and I've found a little bit of meditation a day has really helped with my mental health. It doesn't have to be anything huge, just lying on my bed with gentle music playing in the background can be enough to relax you again.

How do you keep yourself balanced when life gets a little busy?

Soph

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