This week. (w/c 22.05.17) | A reflection.

This week. (w/c 22.05.17) | A reflection.



I feel... weird, this week. It's been a terribly overwhelming week for everyone, which has left me feeling a little confused, I guess. I don't really know how I should feel, and I don't really know how I want to feel, either.

Monday morning started off different to any other Monday, mainly because of a piece of news that I'm really excited to share with you guys soon. It's going to bring about a lot of change to my life, but it's change that I'm excited about and (I think) I'm just about ready for. I'm also terrified about it, but that just means it's going to be a good change, right? 

And then Monday afternoon started to go downhill. A close friend of mine started to act differently with me. They seemed distant, and this started to really worry me. I'm the kind of person that will notice even the slightest change in someone's behaviour, and this always freaks me out. Because, why?

Why are you being different? Why are you distancing yourself? Why are you reading my messages and not replying when you normally reply instantly? Why are you going quiet? Have I done something wrong? Have I said something wrong? Has something bad happened? Have you decided that you don't want me in your life anymore? 

This sounds dramatic, but I'm an over thinker and I've probably had these thoughts about everyone at some point. It's often the little things that send me into overdrive. And then I got mad at this person, because I realised that they probably knew that how they were behaving was making me anxious and they were doing it anyway. Which hurt me, I think. All I needed was for them to tell me everything was okay instead of ignoring me, and they knew that.

And then I went to sleep and woke up at 5am to the terrible news of what had happened in Manchester. It was devastating. My social media was filled with tributes to the victims, with unfolding details of exactly what had happened and the pure scale of the tragedy. I drove to work listening to radio presenters breaking down on air trying to speak and make any sense of what had happened so close to home.


I felt guilty for getting so mad and worked up about something that seemed so trivial now the evening before. But then things were happening in work that got me excited about what's to come over the next few months. And then I felt guilty again for having happy thoughts just 12 hours after innocent children had lost their lives. 

And then the stories of pure kindness started to come out. Stories that made me cry all over again. 

Stories of people offering their rooms to people stuck in Manchester, of people offering the little things that would make a big difference, like somewhere to charge their phones and cups of tea to anyone who needed them. Hearing of people here in Liverpool spending their nights driving over the m62 to give lifts to anyone stranded and get children back home to their parents. Of the homeless men who didn't think twice to head straight over and help. And of the people who then set up online pages to raise money to then help these men and change their lives for the better.

It's at times like these that the words of Mr Rogers always ring so true;

Look for the helpers. You will always find people who are helping.

- F R E D  R O G E R S.

By Wednesday, the emotion of everything had left me an anxious mess. It was like my brain couldn't quite process everything - the excitement, stress and apprehension of the big change that's looming, the sadness of what had happened in Manchester, the guilt, and the worry because someone who I really care about wasn't speaking to me and I had no idea why.

On Wednesday evening, I broke for the first time in a while. I felt worthless and sad and angry. I felt guilty and alone and I so desperately just needed someone to tell me that everything was okay. I cried constantly for about 4 hours before I finally fell asleep, mentally and emotionally exhausted.

When I woke up on Thursday morning, I felt a little better. I could tell that I was still anxious and feeling emotional but I wasn't as fragile as I had felt the day before. It felt like, for the first time since Monday evening, the world had started to try and get back to 'normal' - whatever that may be now. While the victims were still being remembered, people were focusing on the love and kindness that had been shown over the last few days. I managed to grab time with my friend and we ate ice cream and did things we always do, and for a few hours everything really did feel okay again.




And then I woke up on Friday morning, determined to make the most of the last of the sunshine and took myself for an early morning walk before work. Appreciating the sunrise over the city, the warmth, the breeze, and taking photo's of the place that really feels like home and always calms me.

Now, we're here. I'm sat in my favourite coffee spot trying to process everything. Doing what I know always makes me feel better and writing. Attempting to get everything out and free up my mind a little. I know that I'm lucky. I know that I'm lucky to be here, to be alive and well and with the best friends and family. To have exciting opportunities ahead of me the chance to do anything that I choose with my life.

I know that I have every right to still feel sad and worry about the things that I did before Monday night. But somehow, there's that feeling of guilt that creeps in every time I do. I know that it's going to take a while for any of us to move on from on this, particularly those who have been hugely affected and who's lives have changed forever because of these events.


So, I guess it's important to remember now more than ever to be kind. To be kind to the people around us but also to ourselves. To check in with our family and friends and really cherish everything.


Soph

Cohorted Beauty Box - May Edition.

Cohorted Beauty Box - May Edition.


Cohorted Beauty Box - May Edition


The Cohorted Beauty Box is a monthly subscription box, filled with a gorgeous selection of beauty picks in the most beautiful of packaging (who doesn't love good packaging?!). When the PR email first dropped into my inbox, as always, the first thing I did was have a good ol' nosey on their website (which is just as beautifully branded as their boxes!), and it's on here I found their list of brands and partners that they work with.

With these including Dior, Bobbi Brown, Clarins, bareMinerals and SO many others (full list here), I knew that this box was not only going to pretty varied, but it was also going to be pretty good!

So, here's a quick run down of what was included in the May edition!


L O E W E  A U R A  B O D Y  L O T I O N


This was the first item that I pulled out from the box and oh my goodness, I can't tell you how amazing this smells. The lotion is actually of quite a thinner consistency than I would expect from most body lotions, and I actually made a bit of a mess when I first squeezed some onto my hand because it all came out so quickly! Luckily though, it does absorb really quickly into the skin and it didn't leave me feeling greasy.

From my first impressions, I love this product. It smells incredible and the fragrance softly lingers for hours. Oh, and it looks super pretty!


V I T A  L I B E R A T A |  L U X U R Y  T A N  M I N E R A L S  B R O N Z E R.

I'm probably one of the palest gals in Liverpool, and so I live for my bronzer, most days. I'm not one for using fake tan, so bronzer is often my little compromise to help give my skin a little extra glow. Now, this product is meant to do both, and leave you with a long lasting, self tan result that lasts for up to 5 days. Sounds pretty bloomin' awesome to me!

At the time of writing this, I haven't actually had the chance to try this out yet, as I'm giving my skin a little break from make up at the mo, BUT I am excited to see the results of this.


B E T T Y  H U L A  |  B O D Y  M O I S T U R I S E R


When I first picked this up and saw that the scent was Champagne & Spice, I was a little hesitant. I'm not a fan of champagne or most spices! I've also never been a huge fan of 'spice' scents, however this is actually okay! 

I do prefer the Loewe Aura Body Lotion that was mentioned above, as this is almost more of body butter. However, it has been made with sensitive skin in mind which is a huge bonus for me, as my skin is super sensitive and can react to almost anything. I've used this once at the minute, and so far, so good. 




L I N  &  L O  |  M A T T E  R E D  L I P S T I C K


In case you don't already know, red lipstick is my FAVE. It's my go-to colour whenever I need a pick-me-up, if I have a big day ahead, or just generally if I want to feel fabulous. I've been meaning to shop around for a matte lipstick for a while now, and the only thing putting me off has been that as much as I love wearing lipstick, I hate how dried out my lips get when I use 'normal' lipstick after a few hours, so I guess I've been a bit wary.

Would I recommend this lipstick? YES. It's soft, hydrating and long lasting and it's a proper, strong colour when applied to the lips. This is probably my favourite product in the box!

Soph

If they underestimate you, let them. And then prove them wrong.

If they underestimate you, let them. And then prove them wrong.


If they underestimate you, let them. And then prove them wrong.

I have had a lot of people underestimate me in my life, and for the first 18 years, I totally don't blame them. I wouldn't say boo to a goose or go anywhere near the edges of my comfort zone. I was very shy and quiet and I was happy keeping my head down, doing everything that was just 'expected' of me, keeping myself to myself, staying in my hometown and hanging out with the few, close friends that I was the most comfortable with. I didn't really 'do' anything. I made sure that I did well in school, I got myself a 'good' job and I had my hobbies, and that was about it.

And then all of a sudden, something clicked. I wanted to do more. I wanted to be more. I wanted to show people that there was more to this girl than just academic achievements and doing what was expected. So I started to do more of what I actually wanted to do, I started to push myself out of my comfort zone despite what I thought other people might think.

This might sound like a silly thing to remember, but I worked at my old job for 3 1/2 years. The first 2 years of those, I never really made an effort with how I looked. I'd wear a vest top or a t-shirt and a pencil skirt, with no make up and my hair pretty much the same as how I'd got out of bed. And that's just what people came to expect.

And then one day, I turned up in a killer trouser skirt, with my hair done and my favourite red lipstick on and it felt so bloomin' awesome. I still remember that day so vividly. I remember the way people looked and the things that they said to me. It was one of the first times that I really surprised people and I loved it.


And ever since then it's been something that I strive to achieve. Blowing people's expectations of me out of the water and showing them that I'm capable of a lot more than what they think.

Ever since this day, I've achieved a lot. I started my blog (and it's still here!), my career has totally changed and I've done things and taken risks that I'd never thought I'd be brave enough to do.

I used to often wonder why people underestimate me. Maybe it's because at 5 ft nothing, I'm pretty tiny. Maybe it's because at first glance, I still look about 12. Maybe it's because even though I'm more confident now, I'm still pretty softly spoken. And if I'm honest, I used to hate it.

But now I love it. If I can tell someone doesn't think I'm capable of something, I let them think just that. And then I work hard to prove them wrong. Because is there anything like someone telling you you can't do something to motivate you to do it?

Soph

I've learned how to love my body, but I don't know how to love myself.

I've learned how to love my body, but I don't know how to love myself.


I've learnt how to love my body, but I don't know how to love myself.

In the last 2 years, I've learned how to appreciate my body. I've learned how to get the best out of it and how to dress it best. But most of all, I've learned to love it.

Now, I really can't take all of the credit for this, because I most definitely didn't do this on my own. There's one person in particular who doesn't quite realise how much they've helped me with this, but through them, and through having someone else appreciate my body for the first time, I've learned to love and accept it too.

I've become self confident in the way I dress, in the way I walk and the way I carry myself. I no longer feel self conscious that my thighs are too big or that my boobs are too tiny. I know that I have flaws and I know that people will still see them, but it just doesn't bother me as much anymore.

Should it have taken someone else to help me with this? Probably not. But it did. And I'll be forever grateful that I met this person, even if it was just for this. Because accepting our own bodies, being body positive and body confident is hard. Really hard. But boy, doesn't it feel great once you get there?


But loving myself? I don't know how to do that.


I don't know how to stop those voices in my head from telling me that I'm never good enough, that I never have been and that I never will be. I don't know how to convince myself that I'm not a burden to people. I don't know how to stop feeling worthless.

I don't know how to stop myself from spiralling into bad thoughts, that leave me crying in bed for hours and with a whole evening or morning wasted. I don't know how to let go of negative thoughts about myself, instead I hold onto them and repeat them until I believe them.

I don't know how to let go and get myself out of relationships when they turn toxic. I don't know how to put myself first when I need to, I don't know how to not let others make me feel like nothing. I don't know how to forgive myself or stop all of the self-neglect, and I certainly don't know how to believe in my worth.
   

For me, body confidence and self-confidence are two totally different things. One, I feel like I've mastered most days, but as for the other, I'm way off. Maybe it's because I don't know myself well enough yet, maybe it's because I'm still dwelling on events of the past when I should've forgotten and moved on by now, or maybe it's been a series of unhealthy relationships.

My problem is that I'm not sure how to get better, most definitely not by myself. And I think, like most people, I have some really good as well as really bad days. It's like, just as I feel as if I'm starting to get a handle on it, something sends me spiralling right back down to the bottom. 

And so, I'd like to end this with an answer. A way of making the bad thoughts and self-neglect go away forever. But I really can't. It might be something that I'll always have to battle, because I certainly have had to up until now. But it'll always be something that, on my good days, I'll be determined to end because, honestly? I'm tired. 

I'm tired of always feeling like I'm failing and broken and like I'm not good enough. It's mentally draining and exhausting and something that I know will probably only get worse if I don't at least try to fix myself.

So, here's to working on me. In any possible way that I can.


Soph

L E O N A R D O. | The printed tee I'm obsessed with.

L E O N A R D O. | The printed tee I'm obsessed with.


L E O N A R D O.

Di Caprio or Da Vinci? Was the question I got asked yesterday while out for coffee, and if I'm honest, as soon as I saw the shirt in the shop,  Di Caprio was the only Leonardo that entered my head, so here's hoping it's a reference to him. Not that there's anything wrong with Da Vinci, I mean, he was a painter, sculptor, architect, musician, scientist, mathematician, engineer, inventor, geologist, botanist and writer..., so like, he can't have been all that bad. ;)

Anyway, can someone please tell me why it's taken me this long to purchase a statement tee. How amazing are they?! They're so easy to wear, they're comfortable and they'll basically go with anything. I only bought this 3 days ago and I've already created about 4 different outfits with it. I'm actually obsessed and considering going out and buying loads to add to my wardrobe, particularly for those days when I need to throw an outfit together super quickly!



This shirt is currently £18 in Topshop, and because loads of people have asked me this already, these trousers are also Topshop! The gingham trend has been one I've admired from afar up until now, but after failing to put myself on a spending ban, I've finally got myself a pair of these beautiful things.  ♥

Do you have any statement pieces that you're loving at the mo?

Soph



5 things to do at the start of your career.

5 things to do at the start of your career.

I may only be a week away from 23, but at 5 years deep into my 'career' after deciding that university wasn't for me, I've already made a fair few choices and decisions when it comes what my work life looks like and where I want it to go, and I'd like to think that I've learned a little a lot (I hope!) in this time too.

No matter what age you start your career though, I feel like there's always questions, There's always confusion and that feeling of being a little lost, right? There's the pressure of feeling like you need to have your shit together as soon as possible, and it really can be overwhelming. Like, how am I meant to know what to do?!

5 things to do at the start of your career.


So, I thought I'd jot down a few little things that I've learned so far from the last few years, or tips and advice that I've been given from other people around me, as to some of the things we should probably be doing while we're just starting out. 

I D E N T I F Y  Y O U R  P A S S I O N.

The start of your career is the perfect time to experiment and figure out what it really is that you want to do. It's the time to try different things, explore a little and identify your passion. It's totally okay to switch things up and follow different paths, we can't be expected to jump into our first jobs, and stick to it for the rest of our working lives.

I was as an accountant for 3 1/2 years, before I decided that I hated it and now I work in radio, doing something much more creative, much more fun, and in an environment that's much more 'me'. Will I stay in radio forever? Who knows. But for now, it's something that I love and I'm in a job and an industry that I'm motivated for and want to do well in.

I've been told a few times now to use my twenties as a time to explore. To remember that it takes time to figure out what you really want to do, and to never be afraid to try something new, no matter how different or whacky it may sound.

N E T W O R K,  N E T W O R K,  N E T W O R K!

The best way to get into anywhere and anything, is to know people. So speak to people, ask them what they do and tell them about yourself. Make it clear that you could be a value to them because you never know when you could use someone as a valuable contact, no matter what the industry.

Never pass up an opportunity to make new contacts, and always make sure that you're keeping good relationships with the ones that you already have. Business relationships are golden, so make some good ones!

S E T  Y O U R S E L F  G O A L S.

I wrote a whole post on this last year, but personal and professional goals are so important. They are a tool to keep you focused, to keep you motivated, and also to document how far you've come. They're also a way of holding yourself accountable, because you, and only you, can take steps to fulfill them and achieve what you want.

T A K E  R I S K S.

Taking any kind of risk is terrifying, but particularly so when it comes to your career, and ultimately your life and your future, but I think they're kind of necessary. I feel like it's definitely important not to get too comfortable in a job too early, because we should always be learning and growing as professionals.
We have a little poster up in the office that reads the quote;

'Do one thing every day that scares you.'

Taking small and gradual steps outside of our comfort zone every day will really help us to get valuable experience, and if a risk doesn't work and we make a mistake? Learn from it. One of the best ways to learn is to make mistakes. So go ahead, do it.

D O  I T  F O R  Y O U.

And finally, whatever decisions you make, make sure you do them for you. If you have a passion, chase after it. If you think an opportunity would be good for you, go for it. If you're in a job and you don't like it, change it. 

As sad as it may sound, we spend a large portion of our lives at work, doing our jobs and building a career, so you may as well make it something that you want to do, and something that you love.

Soph