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7 Happy Things.

Sorry I’ve been rubbish at posting this week, I have spent two days in bed and my pain levels have been extremely elevated. Things are difficult but I don’t want to dwell so here are this week’s 7 happy things and hopefully a promise that you will get a second blog post this week!

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{Image via Pinterest, originally from j-siddhartha tumblr}

1. Having a lovely dinner at Wagamama with the beautiful Ellie. It was her birthday a few weeks ago and we hadn’t had a chance to meet up and celebrate but we found the time this evening and I got to give her her present.

2. Finally getting my hands on the NARS creamy concealer (in vanilla for anyone who’s interested), it’s really difficult to find and Ellie got it for me in Bath so I’m excited to use it!

3. Spending the weekend at home with the family. As I’d been feeling so rough all week I thought it would help and I have to admit my motivation to come home was partly down to how ridiculously comfortable my double bed is, you just sink into it, it’s such a luxury compared to student living.

4. Eating the traditional Swiss dish called Raclette, what can beat melted cheese, potatoes and charcuterie (cooked meats like ham and salami)?

5. Doing a morning in a Year 2 class in a primary school. Helping the class to learn about directions and right angles was so fun and I just adore the children so I’m really pleased that I get to go back there this week.

6. My dad’s toffee apples. I may not have been able to go to Bonfire night because of my pain but I did get to munch on one of the best toffee covered apples.

7. Looking forward to next weekend with bated breath – I’m going to Rome and I can hardly contain my excitement! I have a deep love for Italy ever since I visited Florence for the first time when I was 14, I love the country, the scenery, the culture, the food, the classical music, (although perhaps not so much the politics). I’ve never been to Rome and I can’t wait to discover the city, we’re visiting the Vatican and many celebrated monuments. We might only be there for what seems like a couple of hours but it’s going to be amazing!

Hope you all have a good week, after a bit of a right-off week I’m looking forward to hopefully having a much better one :-)

Sophie x

Thoughts at 1.28am.

It’s 28 minutes past 1 in the morning.

Although my head hurts with the ache of tiredness there is no sleep to be had, my back throbs with too much intensity for my body to rest.

It’s times like this that I have to just admit defeat. Tomorrow morning will invariably be a write-off.

Such is life.

With endless reading to get through, piles of dissertation research on the go, a PGCE application in the process I guess it is really no surprise that I find myself here on a Friday night. My health is taking a turn for the worse. Again. I’m starting to wonder whether the cold weather that these months bring with them that is having the biggest impact on me. Or is it the amount of work and stress I am under at the moment. Or if it is being busy and living alone? I don’t have the answers.

My pain levels have spiked and I can’t pretend I am not concerned. So it is back to the doctor’s surgery. Maybe back to the hospital, who knows…

I’m not going to let it get the better of me though.

I have wonderful people in my life who will help me through. My lovely friends who text me to check whether I’m okay. My lovely friends who offer to get my shopping or who just pop round to check I’m okay. My lovely family who always have time for me.

You know you’ve got good friends when you have a lengthy Skype session and they don’t get tired of the fact that your brain is slow and sluggish and you probably weren’t very lucid (or interesting) to talk to!

So here we go again, it could be another long path. But I know I’m not alone, so thank you to everyone who looks out for me, thank you to everyone for being so understanding and caring, you mean the world to me :-)

Sophie x

Life Lately #4.

Well my first week back at uni has definitely been crazy busy. I have an unbelievable amount of work to do with two 3000 word essays to write and a whole lot of revision to do, plus obviously I wanted to catch up with all of my lovely friends. Being students this of course means a night out on the town dancing the night away! So yeah, as you can imagine I am pretty tired. However, the week isn’t over yet by far. Tomorrow I’m off to London to have afternoon tea in a hotel with Tom, his mother, and his younger sister for her 18th birthday. Unsurprisingly, I’m super excited. I’ve only ever had proper afternoon tea once, at Betty’s (amazing – people in the UK you should all go!), and it’s definitely my cup of tea haha…

Exams are coming soon so stress levels will be mounting, hopefully my blog won’t fall completely by the wayside. In the mean time, I thought I would make up a little Instagram filled post with my life recently in photos. Enjoy!

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My favourite spring flowers | Intellectual breakfast ;-) | Tuna Parcel

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Calamari | Delicious goujons, chips, and tartar | Alice’s quadruple layer caramel chocolate cake!

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Lasagna – so good | These smell amazing | More calamari…

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Time to get my hair done | It’s a good look for me huh? | Highlights!

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My beautiful anniversary present from Tom | Anniversary brunch at Bill’s | Fabulous hot chocolate

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Easter | Family breakfast | Nigella’s Easter Egg Nest Cake

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Blue | Buttery hot cross buns | Fish is fast becoming my favourite thing to eat :-)

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Watercolour with the children | More daffs | Name badges (the best part of my job!)

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Lunch with Baiba | Beautiful hot chocolate art | Poppycat <3

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An amazing cupcake from the market! | St. John’s, Cambridge | Spring florals

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Getting excited about Barcelona this summer | Ready, set, go | Classy photo in the club bathroom!

Highlights of the past few weeks definitely included my birthday, my anniversary with Tom, getting my hair dyed for the first time, Easter, and a great talk on Jane Austen. It’s been a good few weeks, if you ignore the week I spent in bed anyway! As you can see from the last breakfast photo, this summer my family and I are off to Barcelona for a week and I already can’t wait. I’ve been to the city once before and adored the experience so we’ve been planning all of the fantastic things we want to do whilst there. My second year at university is almost over (which is terrifying) but it has been an amazing year. I’ve made some really wonderful friends and I’m having the time of my life. Who says being ill has to dominate and ruin your life!

I hope you’ve all been having a great week, I’m sure you’re all as glad as I am that it’s the weekend :-)

Do you have any fun plans?
Any trips planned this summer? 
What’s your favourite thing to do on a night out?

If you have Instagram too then you call follow me @loveliveandlearn to see my photos as I post them!

Sophie x

What I Ate Wednesday No.41

Hey lovely readers!

I can’t believe it’s already Wednesday in the second week of August, this summer is just flying by. I find that the older I get, the quicker time seems to pass. It’s a little scary sometimes but in many ways I’m excited about the near future so I don’t mind too much. September brings many changes and I want to embrace them all!

As we are in the middle of the week it is, of course, time for another round of WIAW thanks to the lovely Jenn over at Peas and Crayons. This is going to be a fairly short post as I really need to go to bed!

This morning I had my typical breakfast as nothing satisfies me and energizes me more:

Enjoyed a rather lovely bowl of weetabix soaked in milk then topped with fresh blueberries.

Because I’m working this week I have to prep my lunches the night before so that I can just pop them in my bag in the morning and be on my way. I’ve been putting together various versions of a summery salad, using couscous, bulgur wheat or pasta as a base and then adding chopped vegetables, chicken pieces and a lemony dressing.

Today was whole wheat pasta with rocket, tomato and cucumber. Filling and fresh tasting so perfect for a midday boost to help me through the afternoon. The children are full of seemingly endless energy and somehow this seems to sap my energy away. It’s hard work keeping up a bouncy and smiley countenance but I enjoy my job and working with children makes me happy!

After work today I met one of my lovely friends from my old Sixth Form, the gorgeous Ellie. Although we used to get on really well back at college I feel like we’ve bonded even more since leaving for uni and I always have so much fun when we meet up. We both have a slightly guilty love of shopping (or window shopping seeing as neither of us has much money!) and we both adore going for coffee and cake.

When I got home after several hours of chatting away and wandering around town my mum had already cooked a gnocchi dish for dinner, one of my favourites.

It’s a dish containing several of my ingredients: courgette, chorizo and Parmesan :-) It’s quite indulgent feeling and so delicious.

Anyway I’m off to bed now, two more full days of work before I can rest properly. I hope you are all having a great week!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten recently?
Do you enjoy working with children?

Picnic.

Hey everyone :-)

Still enjoying the weather? I know I am. It feels like a complete novelty after two months of solid rain so I am absolutely making the most of it!

As I mentioned in my last post I am working this week and so far it’s been great fun. The children are all lovely this week and with the weather this gorgeous we get to spend a great deal of time outside. It’s quite a satisfying job as I love helping the children to create things and develop their artistic ability, teaching in any capacity is such fulfilling work.

With the sunshine and the high temperatures we’ve been eating outside a lot recently. Yesterday evening we enjoyed a delicious dinner outside in the garden which was so relaxing – this truly feels like a summer holiday now!

Then this evening two of my lovely friends from my old sixth form came over for a nice long catch up. We put together a delicious picnic and went for a picnic in the nearby park. It was fantastic to be able to meet up and chat for a few hours and we had some lovely food!

I made one of my favourite pasta salads and we ate it with crisps, sausage rolls, grapes, and cupcakes – the perfect picnic.

Baiba and Ellie both looking lovely :-) It’s so nice to be able to just pick up where we left off and chat as if no time has passed, those are definitely the best kind of friendships!

I have another physio appointment tomorrow morning before work so I will let you all know how it goes. Having now been off uni for almost two months I’m already feeling a lot better, all the walking I’ve been doing has definitely strengthened me and helped with the pain, plus the resting has really lessened my fatigue. Fingers crossed things are looking up!

Are you a fan of picnics? Favourite picnic food?
Do you have any plans for the rest of the week?

How do you like to spend hot summer evenings?

What I Ate Wednesday No.38 + a Fitness Update.

Okay so I said you would be getting lots of posts from me and then I disappeared for two days so apologies. In my defense I’ve been having a really lovely couple of days, I was too busy enjoying life to blog!

I can’t stay away from here for too long though. In the year that I’ve been blogging now I’ve come to absolutely love the blogworld, it’s such a great part of my life – so fulfilling and enjoyable. I love writing my posts, reading other people’s blogs and getting to connect with others all over the world :-)

I owe some of this connection to the fantastic WIAW!

Go check out the lovely Jenn’s blog to find out what this is all about and to discover heaps of other foodie bloggers…

Breakfast this morning was my typical sort of start to the day:

Weetabix soaked in milk and topped with blueberries and cinnamon. As is fitting with this month’s WIAW theme of food and fitness I enjoyed breakfast with a side of this month’s Women’s Fitness. I’m not that much of a magazine person, I tend to prefer home decoration magazines to fashion but I do rather like receiving my monthly dose of glossy fitness info. It’s a little treat as I never really expect it.

Today was centred around a great trip into town to meet my friends from my old sixth form for lunch and then to see Ice Age 4 (don’t mock our film choice, it was a nice bit of light-hearted fun!). I love meeting up with my lovely girls (plus a couple of boyfriends) and I was having so much fun that I completely forgot to take any photos of my food! It was such a fab lunch, we chatted away for about two hours and I had a brilliant dessert – a cinnamon waffle with vanilla ice cream. I wish I could show you a photo but I was clearly a useless blogger today…

This month’s WIAW is all about the fitness as well as the food so I thought I’d update you a little on my exercise at the moment.

You may have noticed an absence of ‘Weekly Workout’ posts over the past couple of weeks and this is because at the moment the physical aspect of my life has had to change a little. Last week I had an appointment with my physiotherapist and we discussed how I have been over the past few months, looking especially at my energy, activity and pain levels. Now first of all let me tell you something, it is really really difficult to give your energy levels as a percentage or to express your level of pain as a number out of 10! We established that at the moment the thing I am struggling with the most is my energy levels on a day-to-day basis so this is what we want to target.

However, this is easier said than done. I won’t bore you with all of the details (if  you’re particularly interested drop me a message and I can explain in full!) but basically we’ve brought things right back to the basics and I am on a fairly strict regime of 15 minutes of medium cardio, 5 times a week. Those of you who know me reasonably well will know that although I often struggle to workout lots, I actually really enjoy exercising! So you can imagine it’s pretty frustrating to only be able to do a tiny 15 minute workout, especially on days when I’m raring to go. But this being said, I am willing to give almost anything a go if it will help me to have an easier life!

Anyway that is what I am currently doing and I am also keeping an hourly activity log (time-consuming and pretty dull) which should hopefully help me to be able to gradually build up my activity levels and therefore my energy levels!

Now, back to the food :-P

This evening’s meal was almost as enjoyable as the lunch with my friends.

This beautiful bowl is full of potato gnocchi, slices of delicious chorizo and shredded courgette. It is such a fantastic dish – I love the mixture of flavours and it just tastes like summer.

I’ve ended up posting this really late so I am going to say goodnight and tuck myself in to get a good night’s sleep!

What’s the best thing you’ve eaten today?
Have you seen any films recently?
Do you have an exercise routine? If yes, what’s it like at the moment?

Free as a Bird.

Yep, that’s right. I am finally free. This afternoon I sat my final exam and I think it went reasonably well. I am just so relieved and excited to have finished because it means that I am finally able to relax.

Plus, tomorrow morning I jump on the train to spend two weeks with my boyfriend. SO EXCITED.

As soon as I was finished with my exam I met the beautiful Kathryn and we trotted off to my favourite local cafe to get a celebratory drink. I haven’t been drinking alcohol lately so I decided to go for an iced chocolate chip frappe which was delicious and we got a bowl of celebratory chips to celebrate being finished with exams till at least January next year!

It was in no way healthy but it was pretty damn good.

I don’t know if those of you outside of Britain know but the country is getting ready for the Diamond Jubilee weekend (which means that the Queen has been on the throne for 60 years) and almost every high street is decked in bunting. The cafe was no exception…

I have to say, I’m not the most patriotic person but I do like a chance to celebrate and ever since the Royal Wedding last year I’ve had a soft spot for royal celebrations. Not to mention that bunting is just cute.

Kathryn and I had a nice long chitchat because I won’t see her for about three weeks now. It was so brilliant to be able to chat and not have to mention exams and stress once! I’m really going to miss this girl but watch this space because we are forming plans to meetup this summer which should be fantastic!

I have an enormous to-do list of things to do before I leave for Tom’s tomorrow, I have so much to pack. But my last evening here could not go by without a visit from one of my favourite people, Chloe! She came over and we chatted away for over an hour. She’s off on a 17 day sponsored cycling trip in India in a couple of weeks which is so exciting and she’s raising money for Childreach International. It’s an amazing opportunity for a great cause and I’m slightly envious!

Well I’m off to finish my packing, my suitcase is going to be incredibly full…

What are your plans for the weekend?
If you’re in Britain are you doing anything for the Jubilee?

Are you as excited for the summer as I am?