5 of my favourite places on the internet for everyday inspo

5 of my favourite places on the internet for everyday inspo

We've all experienced a creative slump or two, and when you're constantly trying to come up with new content ideas, sometimes you need a little inspiration to kickstart your own creativity. Before I start writing any of my blog posts, I'll grab myself a coffee and scour my favourite places on the internet for some of the fabulous stuff that's already out there. I find it really helps to get myself in that 'creative' mindset, when I've already consumed a lot of it. 

But even if I'm not sitting down to write that day, I still love to visit some of the following places for a little everyday inspiration.

M Y  F A V E  B L O G S

Of course, one of my first stops will always be my favourite blogs and bloggers that I will probably forever continue to check daily to see if they've posted any new content that I can devour over my coffee. Gals like Audrey, Holly, Martha, and my most recent discovery - Victoria, are all included in here along with so many more, and are always killing it with their fresh content ideas. 


P I N T E R E S T

Ok so who doesn't head over to Pinterest whenever they need a little bit of inspiration? If I'm really struggling to get my creativity going, I'll spend 15 minutes pinning pretty things to my boards and just generally getting myself in the right mind set. I always feel so much better after a good Pinterest sesh!

M E D I U M

If you haven't discovered Medium.com yet, where have you been?! Medium is a place where anyone can write and publish articles about whatever they like. It's a platform for everyone to voice their ideas and perspectives and it's one of my favourite places on the internet. The posts range from thoughts on current affairs, to anonymously written personal essays. There's even a 'creativity' section - so go have a good nosey if you haven't visited before!


S T U M B L E  U P O N

In a way, StumbleUpon.com is similar to Medium, in that it shows you a whole range of articles, and allows you to publish your own work, too. However, StumbleUpon is a little more fun. You chose the categories and topics that you're interested in when you first sign up, and then you just press the big red 'Stumble' button at the top of the page, and it gives you a random article from around the web that has been published here too! And then you just keep pressing it each time you want to read something new! I love this website for finding new blogs, sites, and just some really useful and interesting pieces of content. 


I N S T A G R A M  E X P L O R E

I'm half reluctant to put Instagram on here atm (although am I right in thinking it's may be getting ~slightly~ better????), but I have to admit, I do love scrolling through the Instagram Explore page. Again, it's a fab way to find new bloggers, instagrammers, and some bangin' photo's!

Where do you head to when you need a little inspiration?

Soph

100 things I'm thankful for.

100 things I'm thankful for.

The last few months have been pretty hard, and it's like life is throwing as much as possible at me right now to see how much I can take. Seriously though, why does everything always happen at once?? But, I'm trying my absolute hardest to deal with everything, to look on the positive side of things as much as possible, and I know that in another few months, everything will ~hopefully~ have sorted itself out, but I'm just going to have to deal with everything first.

And so, after a particularly tough and emotionally draining few days, I thought I'd make a huge list of everything that I have to be thankful for in a bid to cheer myself up a little!


1. Coffee.
2. Being able to watch the sunrise & sunset over the docks.
3. My wonderful job.
4. My family back home who I love very much.
5. Our dog, Jake, who is also back home, who we arguably love more than each other, at times. ;)
6. All of my past experiences, good & bad, that have made me who I am.
7. My blog.
8. The amazing blogging community & friends that have come with it.
9. A good nights sleep.
10. A cup of tea when I'm feeling down.
11. Netflix.
12. Pizza.
13. Long, tight hugs.
14. Good hair & make up days.
15. Having somewhere warm to live.
16. Rainy days snuggled under my duvet.
17. That feeling after a good work out.
18. All of the chocolate.
19. Bread.♥
20. My health.
21. Freshly washed bedding.
22. Long, hot baths after a hard day.
23. The kindness of my friends in London who have been letting me stay with them.
24. Brunch dates.
25. Red velvet cake.
26. Going through old family photo albums.
27. Laughing so hard that you can't breathe.
28. That one film that always makes me laugh.
29. Funny dog videos (because these always cheer me up!)
30. People that hold doors open for you.
31. Dry shampoo.
32. The internet.
33. Being able to travel if I wish.
34. Walks along the beach and the sea front.
35. My bed. ♥
36. My independence.
37. Finally finding that pair of jeans that fits me perfectly.
38. Lazy weekends.
39. Cosy jumpers.
40. Scented candles.
41. Music.
42. Memes - because the internet is amazing sometimes.
43. Walks in the sunshine.
44. Exploring my favourite city.
45. Taking & editing photos.
46. My glasses. Because I'm blind as a bat without them.
47. Being able to drive.
48. Good body confidence days.
49. Flowers.
50. A good book.
51. Finding money in a jacket pocket I haven't worn in months.
52. That feeling after a good cry.
53. Feeling safe.
54. Sex.
55. Listening back to old songs I used to love.
56. And singing along really loudly.
57. Popping the bubble wrap that came in my latest parcel.
58. The snooze button.
59. When I've collected enough stamps for my free coffee.
60. The cold side of the pillow.
61. My favourite, most comfortable trainers.
62. Harry Potter - because the best way to forget about the real world, is to immerse yourself in a magical one.
63. Ice cream.
64. Clean water.
65. Having a good clear out.
66. Sunshine in the summer.
67. And sunshine in the winter - those crisp & beautiful days when you can get all wrapped up.
68. My phone.
69. Exploring somewhere new.
70. Meeting new people.
71. Google. Seriously, where would we be without google?!
72. The smell of lavender.
73. Having the best work friends.
74. Free wifi. ♥
75. Creativity.
76. Warm socks.
77. Having a good pamper night.
78. Getting my nails done.
79. Strawberries. (They're my favourite fruit)
80. Pineapple. (My second favourite fruit)
81. Those small and silly family traditions.
82. Hearing the birds chirping in the morning.
83. When people ask me for advice - because at least I must be doing something right!
84. Ticking everything off my to-do list.
85. Getting good feedback at work.
86. Hummus.
87. Warm towels straight out of the dryer.
88. My favourite hand cream.
89. The concierge for keeping all of my parcels even when I forget about them.
90. Blue skies.
91. Long drives.
92. Having people to aspire and look up to.
93. Motivation & ambition.
94. Contraception. Because babies are cute but no thank you.
95. People who text back fast (even though I'm the worst).
96. Bralettes.
97. Red lipstick.
98. A stranger giving me a good morning smile in the street.
99. My fairy lights making my room look cute.
100. The fact that I have a future to make whatever I want.

What are the things that you're thankful for?

Soph

Corporate to Creative: how I went from Accountancy to Radio & why it's never too late to change your career.

Corporate to Creative: how I went from Accountancy to Radio & why it's never too late to change your career.

If there's one thing that I've always believed, it's that you have to absolutely love what you do for a living. We spend so much of our time doing it, that no matter how much you try and convince yourself that it's not important, you're never going to be totally happy unless you're happy with your job. I most definitely learned that the hard way. 

As you've probably figured out from the title of this post, I made a jump from accountancy to radio at the very beginning of 2016, and if I'm completely honest? I still can't quite believed that it happened. At the end of 2015, I was the most unhappy I've ever been. Like, I was genuinely miserable and I hated life. I hated my job, I hated the company that I worked for, and I hated my bosses. I cried about 4 times a day, had multiple panic attacks a week and was told to 'get over it' by my manager. Choosing to leave that job, and the whole industry, was without a doubt the best decision I ever made.


I realised that my happiness and wellbeing was far more important than any job. And at the time, part of me felt like I'd failed and was taking a step back, but then I realised that it had made me understand exactly what I wanted, or didn't want, from my next job. I wanted to be in a more creative environment, surrounded by creative and like minded people who shared the same goals, values and interests that I did. I wanted to be somewhere fun, exciting and a place where I could be me.

The media industry seemed like the perfect fit for me, and after multiple (unsuccessful) applications and interviews for social media & digital marketing jobs, I came across this job in radio that was practically made for me. I'm not even kidding when I tell you that I did a little happy dance when I saw the job description because the core skill set for this job was exactly what I'd been writing on all my applications previous. It was creative and analytical. It was in an industry that I was already curious about and it was exciting. Needless to say, I screamed down the phone at my Mum when I was offered the job because I was just so bloomin' happy!

I'd proved something to myself that 6 months before, I'd thought was impossible. But I'd done it. And from that point, I was determined to make an absolute success of it.


So, how do you make a career change?

K N O W  W H A T  Y O U  D O N ' T  W A N T.

I think one of the huge things that helped me, was that realisation of exactly what I didn't want. Kinda like when you go through a break up and you realise what you don't want in your next boyf? That. I was actually offered a job 2 weeks before I was offered the one I took, but there was just that little niggle at the back of my mind that was telling me I wasn't going to be happy. There were too many similarities to where I'd just come from, and the last thing I wanted was to go through it all again. So, thanks to wonderful advice and support from my Mamma, I declined the job offer. Even though I needed a new job so, so badly, I wasn't prepared to take anything less than what I wanted. And I normally get what I want. ;)

T R A N S F E R A B L E   S K I L L S.

No matter what job or career you've come from, you'll have picked up more transferrable skills than you realise. Focus on these, and apply your other experiences to prove to your prospective employer that you'd be able to smash the job as well as anyone else. Things like teamwork, leadership, initiative, adaptability (this is a key one), time management and motivation are all wonderful examples to have.

B E  P R E P A R E D  T O  T A K E  A  S T E P  B A C K.

But it's not really a step back. When I was looking for my next job, I understood that I might've had to start again. I wasn't ruling out traineeships for the right job, as I knew that if I was going to really have to start fresh, there was a chance I'd have to work my way up from the bottom again. But it was something that I was more than willing to do if it was a career that I was going to love, and it felt right. 


Personally, I don't think it's ever too late to make a career change. If you want to do it, do it. Because like I said the beginning of this post, you'll never be really happy unless you're happy with your job. And if you're constantly thinking about trying something else, it's probably a sign that you should.

I promise you that it's not as scary as you think.

Soph

F E A T U R E D

Featured in this post are also these beaut Sudio Sweden headphones that were very kindly sent to me. Working in radio, I absolutely love them because I now fit in with the rest of the headphone wearing lot in the studios and the office. I chose the white ones (obvs), and I can't even tell you how much I love wearing them. I've always just used the headphones that came with my phone, but now I've made the switch to wireless, I'm never going back!

If you would like to grab yourself some (and I would v much highly recommend), you can use the code SOPHIEROSIE15 for 15% off!
13 reasons why you absolutely need to have a blog.

13 reasons why you absolutely need to have a blog.

Okay, so this may sound dramatic, but I am in no doubt that blogging has absolutely changed my life. Not only has it allowed me to develop new skills, it's given me invaluable friendships, and it's helped me to get to where I am in my career. It enabled me to get out of a job that I hated and into an industry that I love, and it's brought me some of the best and most fun experiences and opportunities.

Like everyone, I've had a number of different hobbies in my 23 years of life, but none of them have quite brought as much positivity and satisfaction as my blog has. I started blogging 2 1/2 years ago as a kind of personal journal to document my life, my thoughts, my outfits, just anything. I never in a million years expected it to get to where it is now, and I have no plans to stop anytime soon. It may not be the biggest or best blog in the blogosphere, but it's my little blog and I love it. 

And so, here are 13 professional and personal reasons why you should most definitely have a blog.



B E C O M E  A  B E T T E R  W R I T E R 

As with anything, the more you do it, the better you become at it. And one of the core parts of blogging is of course, the words that go along with all of the pretty pictures. Writing is a skill that we'll always need, it's one of the most used forms of communication that we use every day; tweeting, Instagram captioning, emailing - it all requires a different form of writing skill in order to capture your audience. So, whether you're preparing a presentation at work or writing for yourself, blogging will naturally make you a better writer and communicator.

Y O U  H A V E  A  P L A T F O R M. 

And not just any platform, but your very own platform. Somewhere to use your voice if you so wish, for anything that you like. Talk about your interests and things that you're passionate about. Write down your thoughts and opinions or just chat about your life. Showcase your talents, your photography, and show people what makes you, you. Or don't talk about any of that. The beauty of blogging is that there are no rules - make the most of it.

Y O U  M E E T  N E W  P E O P L E.

I briefly mentioned this at the beginning of this post, and I talk about this a lot whenever anyone asks about my blog, but one of the best things about blogging is the people that you meet. The blogging community is huge, there are so many like minded people out there ready to strike up random conversations with you on Twitter, to meet you at events and become a whole new support network. Oh, and actual friends. So many of my closest friends now are from blogging, and I couldn't be more thankful for that.

B E  P A R T  O F  T H E  1%.

I read somewhere (I think it was on the Huffington Post?) that only 1% of people on the internet create content. 9% will interact with or react to it, while the other 90% of people simply consume it. It's pretty cool being part of that 1%, right? And it will most definitely make you stand out.

C R E A T E  A N  O N L I N E  D I A R Y.

Who doesn't love to look back on years gone by and reminisce on everything. The clothes you wore, the things you did, how you felt, the people you used to know, and just generally see how much your life has changed and how far you've come. I started this blog just for that, as a kind of online diary and it's one of the reasons I will always throw personal posts in here. I think it's going to be so, so great to look back on.  

S E L F - C O N F I D E N C E.

Blogging has done wonders for my self-confidence. It's made me comfortable with putting myself out there, it's made me confident enough to walk into a room full of strangers and strike up conversation. Whether you have just 1 reader, or 1 million,  blogging opens you and your life up to the outside world, and you'll become more comfortable with being 'known' by a whole community, and you'll get less nervous with every blog post or Instagram of yourself.



E X T R A  M O N E Y.

I'm just gonna stress that this should most definitely not be the only reason that you start personal blogging, or your highest priority. But, it's still a perk. However, if you're blogging for business, or you have a business plan around monetising from an online space, it's definitely possible with a lot of hard work. If you're a personal blogger, getting approached for brand collabs that pay, is one of the best feelings, and it also shows off a little bit of your entrepreneurship.

I T  F E E L S  G O O D.

And it's addictive. The number of times I refresh my stats page to see if I've had another view or another comment on my latest post is probably quite insane. But it really does actually gives you a little rush every time you get a positive comment on one your posts. It's truly lovely.

O N L I N E  W O R K  P O R T F O L I O.

Just like a blog can be a form of an online diary, it can also be like an online CV. Blogging and writing about things that are relevant to your industry or career, or the job that you want to get into, is an instant win with potential employers. It's a way of showing that you're passionate and that you're willing to spend your own time building relevant experience. And, you never know, you may just be able to teach your boss a thing or two about blogging and social media to help their own business!

I N S P I R E.

My creativity and inspiration levels sky-rocketed when I started blogging. But as well as it doing wonders for yourself, you have the chance to inspire others through your own work and creativity. That's pretty amazing, don't you think?

L I F E  S K I L L S.

As well as writing, blogging helps you develop all sorts of skills. From time management, to photography and editing, to social media, having to know your finances and showing you can commit to a project. Being a blogger means you have to master a multitude of professions all in one go. Oh, and you'll probably be able to reel off the menu of your fave coffee shop from spending so much time in there, too. 

B E  A  B E T T E R  T H I N K E R.

I've always been a thinker, too much of a thinker, if you ask my friends. But I've always been a thinker. Blogging requires you to the think, to think about what you're going to write, about how to get your thoughts onto paper and just generally about everything that you have to say. And I can guarantee that you have more to say than you think. 

I T 'S  F R E E.

And finally, one of the best things about blogging is that it's completely free. I wrote a post here about how you don't have to spend a penny in order to create and maintain a blog. Blogging is free, it's fun, and it brings all of the benefits (and more) that I've just mentioned.

Soph

What it's like being a ~very~ young professional.

What it's like being a ~very~ young professional.

I didn't do the Uni thing. At 18, instead of heading to University, I headed straight into the big, adult, and (very) corporate world. I had an office to go to and I had clients. I had to wear business dress every day and be up at 5.30am. I had a 2 hour commute (each way) and I had meetings. I had a manger and we reported to the partners of the firm. Basically think Suits but much less fun. Although tbh if there was a partner like Harvey Specter I probably wouldn't have left this job tbh. ;)

I stayed in this job for 3 1/2 years until I wanted to do something more fun, more creative, more me, and somehow landed myself a job in radio. Fast forward another year and a half and I've just moved down to London to take up a role as Digital Services Manager for the biggest commercial radio group. And I love it.


Being in this position at still only 23 is amazing. I feel very lucky for the opportunities I've been offered but I also know that I've worked really hard to get to where I am. And while there are many pro's to this, my age along with the fact that I'm a girl and I look about 12, there were a fair few cons to this, too. 

It's a lot harder to be taken seriously. | I don't really find many of these in radio, because well, radio is awesome. But when I was in my old job, it was pretty much a daily occurrence. People who are higher up in a business, particularly clients, will take one look at you and think that they can just walk all over you because you're young. They presume that you'll do everything that they say, that you have no experience or knowledge and it used to drive me insane. 

People can be a lot more strict with you. | You may have only stopped by your friends desk for 2 minutes to ask what they're doing for lunch, but it'll be presumed that you're just trying to avoid doing your work and you'll get stared down right back into your seat. But y'know, it's totally cool when your older colleagues do this because it's good internal networking and all that. 

You get 'I bet you don't even remember xxx!' a lot. | Actually yes Janet, I do remember dial up Internet, cassette tapes and I was around for the Spice Girls. I may look like I'm 12, but I'm not. 

People at the same level as you presume that they're better because they're older. | This one. This one drives me even more nuts. We are at the same level professionally. So clearly someone, somewhere, thinks I'm just as capable at my job as you are. So please don't be all patronising, try and delegate your work to me or act like you're in charge. I'm more than happy to work alongside you, if you are.


However, there are a lot of pros!

Most people actually do respect you, a lot. | When they find out your age and what you must've done to get here, most people actually do respect you, your place in the team and your decisions. It generally starts with a 'oh, I couldn't have done that at your age!', but as I say to everyone - of course you could. We can all do anything we put our minds to, right?!

Surprising people is the best feeling. | I wrote a little post here about proving people wrong, and it's a similar thing. People underestimating what you can do, and then you showing them just how much they did indeed, underestimate you, is the best. It's a total confidence boost and can really make you believe in yourself a lot more.

Life skills & experiences. | There's no doubt that I wouldn't be where I am today if I hadn't had the experiences that I have. Being thrown into the adult world suddenly is very scary, but it also means you have to learn very quickly, and there really isn't a downside to this.

Getting ahead in your career. | Again, there's really no downside to this. I've always been rather career driven, and getting a good job has always been a priority for me that I've wanted to work hard for and it's one that I'll continue to work towards.

If you're a young professional, let me know if you can relate to any of these! I'd love to swap stories & hear your experiences!

Soph

I'm just tired.

I'm just tired.


It's only 10am and today has already not been my day. I've somehow misplaced my headphones so I couldn't listen to music on the tube, I've found a hole in my top that I only bought 2 weeks ago, a coffee date with a friend that I was v much looking forward to has been cancelled, so I'm now sat in a coffee shop by myself typing this instead. However, the trainee barista made my coffee practically cold (and I don't have the energy to go downstairs to get him to make another one), the wifi isn't working so who even knows if this, or any of my other posts are going to ever save, the Instagram algorithm is really getting on my tits now and oh, I've had about 4 breakdows about whether I'm doing the right thing or not, and I kinda just want to jump on the train and go home. Except I can't because I haven't been paid in over 6 weeks so I can't afford the train fare.

*breathe*

Do you know when things just all start getting on top of you, and then the smallest of things can make you break? Yeah, that. I'm just tired, right now. I'm physically and emotionally tired. I'm tired of feeling all over the place and I'm tired of feeling like I've lost myself a little. I'm tired of feeling alone over the last few weeks, I'm tired of things constantly going wrong and I'm tired of people not taking me seriously when I'm trying to tell them that I'm really struggling and need their help.

Maybe I'm being a little harsh here, becuase actually, I have a few amazing people that have really tried to lift me up and help me over the last week or so. And I'm very grateful to have those people right now. In fact, I'm not entirely sure what I would have done without them. But then, I'm about to lose one of these people very soon and I don't even know how I'm going to cope when that happens. So much so, that I'm just trying not to think about it because it hurts too much. 

Many of you tell me that you come to read my blog becuase it's always positive and uplifting. And I love that, and it's always been something that I've wanted to create. But I also made a promise that I'd always be honest and I'd always be 'real'. I'm sorry that this post isn't very positive and isn't very uplifting. But life isn't always easy and we all have days, weeks, or months when life isn't all happy and rosy. 

I'm not even entirely sure what the purpose of this post is, I guess I just needed to write to calm myself down. I hope you don't mind.

Soph

Live kindly.

Live kindly.

Live kindly. I saw these two words on a poster as I was walking around London this weekend, and something about them just really resonated with me, and the phrase has stuck with me ever since. There's so much meaning wrapped up in these two simple words, and they could probably mean such different things to different people.

When we think of living kindly, I think it's quite easy to jump to the assumption that this has to involve big gestures, but for me, it's sometimes the smallest of things that can make the biggest difference to your own, or someone else's day.

We should live kindly for others, but also for ourselves, too.


When I started thinking about this, I realised that we should start with ourselves. Live kindly for yourself. Don't dwell on the past or on things that are out of your control. Don't compare yourself to others. Don't think of yourself in a negative way or put yourself down. Spend time being kind to yourself, because just like you'll never get the best out of anyone else by constantly putting them down, you'll never be your best self if you don't start being kind to you.

I've recently found that it's when things get hard, you really start to notice the smallest acts of kindness around you. Whether it be a friend simply listening to your struggles and saying the things that they know you need to hear to push you on. Or someone remembering your morning coffee order, or simply just smiling at you when you're having a bad day. There are so many little things that we can do to live kindly. 

Send someone an unexpected text message telling them that you're thinking of them, check in on someone you haven't spoken to in a while, leave someone a nice comment on their Instagram photo who you may not normally interact with. If it would make you smile, it'll probably make someone else smile.

It literally costs nothing to be kind, so why don't we start making this a new life mantra?

Soph

5 European cities I want to visit next year.

5 European cities I want to visit next year.


Okay, so I know you've probably read that title and thought; 'Soph you've still got half of this year left yet - go this year?' and I know, I so wish I could jet off somewhere in the next few months because goodness knows I could do with a little break from life. However, I want to wait until I'm fully settled  in London, and I also want to save up a little bit for the rest of this year, so that I can experience everywhere properly. Because as my boss noticed the other day, I don't like to do things by halves. If I'm gonna do something, I'mma do it properly.

That doesn't mean I haven't started putting my wishlist together already though! I've never really 'travelled'. I mean, I've been on holiday to beautiful beaches for a week or two, but I've never really explored any of Europe. So, this is what I want to do. I've started to read more travel posts recently, and it's inspired me to think about where I'd love to visit in 2018. 


P A R I S


Paris is somewhere that I've wanted to visit ever since I was about 7 years old, after all the Mary-Kate and Ashley Passport to Paris movie vibes. It's only 2 (and a little bit) hours on the Eurostar, it's the worlds most romantic city, and let's not even get me started on the architecture that I could spend my days wandering around and photographing. 

I also, of course, would like to go (window) shopping, and visit as many local cafe's as possible to sit in the sun, read the newspaper, drink coffee and eat croissants, because apparently they taste better in Paris. I want to stroll around the gardens of the Palace of Fountainebleau, visit The Louvre, The Eiffel Tower, and walk down The Champs-Elysées and do everything else that a tourist should do on their first visti to this beautiful city.

V E N I C E


I think every single photo that I've ever seen of Venice has been so beautiful and colourful. I want to take a trip on a gondola or the waterbus (I love boats), I want to visit St Mark's Square and I want to see the Canal Grande in the evening when it's all lit up and looking magical. I want to learn about the rich history of this city and see the Rialto Bridge and then, of course, go find the shops that line both sides of the canal.

I've not visited yet, but Venice just seems like no other city in the world, and it's most definitely on my list of places I have to visit soon.

C O P E N H A G E N


My flatmate visited Copenhagen at Christmas and oh my, her photo's are so wonderful and you can literally feel the cosiness and hygge oozing out of them at that time of year. Apparently, you don't fully understand hygge until you've visited Copenhagen, so this is definitely up there on my reasons to visit this city.

I want to go visit the harbour (again, boats.), and experience the city from the water as well as on a bike, because well, if I'm going to explore a city on a bicycle, it's going to be here or Amsterdam, right? I want to photograph the castles and the museums, the old streets and all of the historical buildings I can find, and just really experience the culture here. The people of Copenhagen are the happiest people in the world, so I'm gonna go make some friends and figure out their secret!

M I L A N


Being the architectural lover and geek that I am, Milan would be like my own little heaven. From The Duomo (Milan's gothic cathedral) with it's 135 spires and 500 years in the making, the Galleria Vittorio Emanuele II, or the Piazza dei Mercanti, I'm 100% sure I'd love this city and would come back with thousands more photo's than I'd care to admit.

Oh, and obviously I'd go shopping too. Not sure I could visit one of the top fashion capitals of the world and not go shopping.

A M S T E R D A M

 
My PT (lol, remember when I had one of those?!) went to Amsterdam last year, and all he came back saying was how amazing all of the sweet treats were and how much he'd eaten on his trip, and to be quite honest, I was already sold just from this. Like most of the cities I've mentioned, I'd head straight to the canal and take a canal cruise as it's meant to be one of the best ways to see the city. 

I've always been fascinated with the story of Anne Frank, so I want to make sure that I make time to visit the Anne Frank house as well as take in and learn about as much of the city's history as I can. Amsterdam is known for it's artistic heritage and charming atmosphere, and while I would obviously spend a lot of time exploring, I think this is one city that I'd also be happy finding a wonderful coffee shop and watch the world go by.


I may be a little optimistic in wanting to visit all of these places in one year, but even if I get to see just a few next year, I'll be a very happy gal.

Where in the world would you like to explore?

Soph

I'm not very good at dealing with change, & there's a ~lot~ of it heading my way.

I'm not very good at dealing with change, & there's a ~lot~ of it heading my way.

Considering I'm in my early twenties, and this time of my life is meant to be the time of being young and carefree and going with the flow, I'm really quite terrible at dealing with change. And there's A LOT of it fast hurtling towards me and if I'm being honest, I'm terrified. I'm really not sure how I'm going to deal or react to it and every time I think about whats to come, it scares me.

I'm about to uproot everything I know and move south. I'm about to leave behind everything that's made me feel settled and safe and all of the routines that I have are about to change. The people in my life are about to change, too. People who currently live 2 minutes away are going to be 2 hours away. So popping round after work when I need cheering up isn't really going to be an option anymore, is it?

And it's this. This is what's scaring me the most.


I care very deeply about the people that I'm closest to, but I also depend on a lot of those people now when I'm feeling anxious or unhappy. I feel like this is a flaw of mine, and one that I never really wanted to admit. But when someone is able to calm you and lift your mood just by being in their company, it's hard not to crave this over and over again. I guess it's a pretty natural thing to feel, but when things are suddenly about to change and you realise that this isn't going to happen anymore, it's scary and overwhelming.

I know, I know. I'm moving to LONDON. I'll meet so many new people and make new friendships and there'll be so much to do that I'll love it. And I probably will. But I know that the transition period  is going to be so bloomin' hard that without wishing my life away, part of me just wants to fast forward to Christmas so that part will all be over and I don't have to feel all of the emotions.

I'm so sentimental, and when I have good things and people in my life I never want anything to change so that I can have them and appreciate them forever. But I know that this isn't realistic and I know that change is good. I also know that you're meant to do things that scare you and that they normally end up being the best things.

As you might be able to tell, I'm feeling very confused about everything right now. I'm feeling every possible emotion you could think of and I think it's one of the reasons why I feel so mentally exhausted, and why I'm getting very anxious and upset very easily over the smallest of things at the mo.


But, as I mentioned in my post last week, I'm trying this new thing of facing things head on and just handling it. So this is what I'm going to try my hardest to do. I've already jumped head first into this and my new boss has already noticed that I don't like to do things by halves. So I can't stop now.

I'm just hoping that this experience, and all of the change that is about to come, is going to make me stronger and more capable of dealing with things in the future. Because goodness, I already know I'm going to be crying A LOT over the next few months. I'm determined to make it worth it.

Soph

'Lifestyle' blogging; what is it & how do I fit in?

'Lifestyle' blogging; what is it & how do I fit in?

Check any of my social media bio's, and you'll see that I describe myself as a Lifestyle blogger. This used to say 'Fashion & Lifestyle', but lol, I couldn't even tell you when my last fashion post was so I've dropped that for now. But, what even is 'lifestyle' blogging, and what comes under this title?

I feel like it's the most general category of all the blogging categories. If you're a beauty blogger, your main content focus is beauty, if you're fashion, your main content is fashion. If you're a food blogger, it's food. If you're a travel blogger, you blog about travel. But lifestyle? It doesn't really narrow it down or give much away, does it? 


I hadn't really thought about this much until recently. Starting a new job means getting to know a whole bunch of new people, and when someone finds out you have a blog, it's often quite a talking point, with the conversation normally going like this;

Them: Oh, you have a blog? What kind of blog is it?
Me: I'm a lifestyle blogger so I just blog about anything, really. 
Them: Ahh I see. So, like what?
Me: ....

And then I get all stuck because I find it's actually really hard for me to explain what kind of content fits under this category for me. I know there are some lifestyle bloggers that put themselves under this category because they write about a mix of everything; from fashion, to travel, to food, they have it all, so it's much easier to put themselves all under one. 

But for me? I feel like I don't do this either. I don't blog about travel or food or beauty. I write about the things that I've been thinking about. I write about stuff that's been going on in my life or I write about things that I've learned that I feel could be helpful for others.

And I also find, and you may have noticed this, that my blog seems to have little phases. Like, some months everything will be super personal, and others it'll be rather reflectional. Some months there will be fashion posts and others none at all. 


Truthfully? I think this is actually one of the most wonderful things about blogging. You can blog about anything. Your blog is your platform for your content. And while yes, you'll meet bloggers and others that will insist you need to find a niche in order to be any kind of successful, I really don't think that that is the case, and it really shouldn't be, either.

Lifestyle blogging should be just that. A curated mix of the writer/blogger's favourite things, daily activities and interests. And I guess it's therefore natural for a lifestyle blog to change and evolve as we, ourselves grow and go through different stages of our lives and experience different things. We should be the ones to define our blogs and not get so stuck trying to find your niche or putting a label on it.

As a lifestyle, or any other kind of blogger, your niche is you. And I think that's rather special.

Soph

Life happens, coffee helps. Handle it.

Life happens, coffee helps. Handle it.

And oh man, have I needed my coffee over the last few weeks. I feel exhausted. Like in a constant state of tiredness that will just not shift. Although, to be fair to myself, I've had a pretty tough few weeks, so maybe I need to stop being so hard on myself and give my body a proper break and treat it to a little pampering instead of just going around and exclaiming how tired I am to every poor soul that I talk to.

Anyway. I mentioned very briefly at the end of my last post about how life is all about choices. And it is. While I'm a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, I also believe that everything is linked. A small decision one day could lead you to something huge the next. And if we had made any decision that we've made in our lives differently... well, our lives might be totally different today. 


However, life just happens, sometimes. Doesn't it?

Things happen that are outside of our control, things that we weren't expecting or prepared for but things that we have to handle all the same. I have a new lightbox in my room, and instead of some fancy quote or cute saying, I've literally just written 'handle it.', as a little reminder that;

a) I can.
and
b) that sometimes you just have to and get on with it.

My first two weeks in London were great, I loved it. But they also threw up so many challenges that I had to overcome that I hadn't in a million years planned for. And when things are thrown at you like they were with me, you realise a couple of things. You realise who your friends are and who really cares about you, and you realise that you're stronger and a lot more capable than you think. 

If you don't already know, I'm a little worry-pot. I worry about everything and the smallest of things can throw me off and leave me in a mild (huge) panic. The last few weeks though, I've just tried to take everything in my stride. I've had wobbles and I've had moments of feeling like there's no way I can do what I'm doing and considered giving up and going home. BUT, I've also tried my best to just take a minute, grab a coffee, and handle it. And if I'm honest? I am a little proud of myself for this.

So, this is going to be my new mantra in life; Life happens. Coffee helps. Because we can't control everything that happens, but we can control how we react to it and all that. That's the saying, right? Oh, and I love coffee. So that's always been my go-to anyway.

Soph

I want to live more simply.

I want to live more simply.

I've spent the last 2 weeks living out of my suitcase. And while it's been tiring and frustrating at times, it's made me realise that I really don't need so much stuff. I've not needed all of the crap that I've hoarded over the years that is sat in my wardrobe or taking up space in the rest of my room. I don't need 57 jackets or 24 pairs of jeans to survive. Ok, slight exaggeration, I promise. But you get the gist. And do you know what? I've really quite enjoyed not having as much choice. It's taken me less time to get ready in the morning and I've just felt less... cluttered, and subsequently less stressed.

And it got me thinking, it's not just my unnecessarily overflowing wardrobe thats making me feel all cluttered. Our lives are constantly full of stuff. Stuff that we don't need. Stuff that we don't use. But stuff that we have because, well. We thought we wanted it or we convinced ourselves that we did need it. 


I ~love~ the idea of living a more simple and minimalistic lifestyle, and every time I read a minimalism blog or article, I make a mental note to go home and throw everything out immediately. And then I get to my flat and convince myself that I do, in fact, need everything that I've got because I can't bear to throw out any of my clothes.

WELL. This time, I'm doing it for real. I meant it. Yep. 100% going to give it a proper go.

And I'm not just going to de-clutter my wardrobe. I want to try and declutter other parts of my life, too. Like, I'm going to start really tracking my expenses and make sure that I'm not making constant unnecessary purchases. I'm going to cancel my gym membership considering I haven't stepped foot inside there since October, and now I'm moving to London... it's really pretty useless. I'm going to stop wasting hours sat on my bed scrolling through social media when I could be doing productive things or practising more mindfulness. 

One thing I have already done recently is get rid of our TV. Whenever I say this, everyone always looks at me like I've got two heads. BUT just hear me out for a sec. We never watched it. Everything I watched was always on Netflix or iPlayer on my laptop. So why did we need a TV? We got rid of it and rearranged the living room and I love that it's not the main focus of the room anymore. We can have flowers and fairy lights and more space and the living room now feels a lot more cosy and homely and I love it. It has also meant that I've spent less time getting distracted by pointless TV programmes that I didn't actually want to watch.


I read something today that said;

Time and money are two of the most valuable resources people have. When life gets simpler, the amount of these two things that a person has available will rise. That is the benefit of a simpler life in today's world.

At the end of the day, life is all about choices. So I'm going to start changing the choices that I make in order to live more simply, and hopefully, happier.

Soph

How blogging & social media has actually helped me with my anxiety & mental health.

How blogging & social media has actually helped me with my anxiety & mental health.

We read a lot about how social media can be bad for your mental health. And I totally agree. There's nothing worse than comparing your real life to someone else's edited one or highlight reel to make you feel like you're constantly under achieving or that you're not good enough. And there are definitely times when we all just need to to take a step away from the online world to take care of ourselves and our own mental wellbeing. 

However, there are also ways, and have been ways, in which blogging and social media has actually helped me with my anxiety and mental health. Which may sound silly, but just bear with me while I try and explain!




Blogging helped me realise that all these things going on inside my head, or those extreme feelings of fear and anxiousness around the smallest of things, didn't happen to everyone, but at exactly the same time, reassured me that I most definitely wasn't alone or the only one to experience what I had. I still remember the very post that I first read that made everything click. It was by a blogger who's now a very close friend of mine, who's one of the loveliest and kindest humans on this planet and I'll be forever thankful to her for this post, as well as for her friendship since.

And it's not just been this post, it's been every post I've read on the topic since by a huge range of bloggers, and every single one of them has helped. Whether it's been reassurance, tips on how to manage it, or the inspiration to talk about it more openly, they've all made a positive difference to me and it's one of the reasons that I'll never regret starting this wonderful hobby.

So while yes, Instagram is highly edited and perfectly curated, and it's very easy to fall into the comparison trap, my social media and blogging journey so far has actually really helped me in figuring out what's best for me and giving me advice that I might not have stumbled across otherwise.

The internet can be a horrible place sometimes, but it can also provide some of the best communities and introduce you to the best people.

Soph