Month: June 2013

Currently Reading.

Having now been on holiday for the past two weeks I have had quite a bit of free time on my hands. I am not working for another week so I’ve been making the absolute most of this time off by filling my time with coffee with friends, sitting out in pubs in the evening, having fun on the dance floor with the girls, watching trashy TV and films (Legally Blonde – love it!), spending the day in comfy yoga pants, lying in in the morning, reading to my heart’s content…

I know a lot of you also love to read in your spare time so I thought it would be fun to write a little about the three books that I am currently reading. If you read my Book Q&A then you’ll know that I don’t actually enjoy reading multiple books at once, however unfortunately at any given time I’ll have two on the go thanks to studying literature! Long gone are the days when I could devour novel after novel to my heart’s content. Now it’s all about snatched moments tucked up in bed either upon waking up or just before I fall asleep. These days I’m lucky if I don’t fall asleep with my laptop still open on my bed and a book in my hand. However for the last two weeks, when I haven’t been out I’ve been spending my evenings curled up with my favourite reading company, Poppy, and a new book. Here are my book plans for this week:

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The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness

This book was completely unknown to me, I’d never heard of the author prior to being introduced to the book by the fantastic Emily. It’s a YA book which is not usually a genre I’d chose but so far the story is incredibly thrilling. Here is what the people at World Book Night have to say about the plot:

‘Todd Hewitt is the last boy in Prentisstown.
But Prentisstown isn’t like other towns. Everyone can hear everyone else’s thoughts in a constant, overwhelming, never-ending Noise. There is no privacy. There are no secrets.
Or are there?
Just one month away from the birthday that will make him a man, Todd unexpectedly stumbles upon a spot of complete silence.
Which is impossible.
Prentisstown has been lying to him.
And now he’s going to have to run…
Astonishingly powerful and breathtakingly exciting, The Knife of Never Letting Go is an unflinching novel about the dangerous choices of growing up.’

We’ll see how the story develops and maybe you’ll get a review soon 🙂

The Madwoman in the Attic by Sandra Gilbert and Susan Gubar

Although I have several months off from university I am using this summer to start (and hopefully do most of) the research for my third year dissertation. I’m planning on exploring the relationship that characters have with food, and look at the development of self starvation. This book is absolutely amazing when it comes to women in literature, particularly in the Victorian period and it’s proving a great help so far. I’m actually pretty excited to be starting my dissertation, it’s so satisfying to get to study something you are really passionate about.

NW by Zadie Smith

NW stands for North-West London and the book follows four main characters – Leah, Natalie, Felix and Nathan – through their lives in London, highlighting their different paths and their choices. I love Zadie Smith’s writing so I knew I’d love this and when it was nominated for the 2013 Women’s Prize I ordered it straight away. I love novels that explore human psychology and the way we interact together and make choices in life and I have high hopes for this one!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this post and maybe be inspired to read a new book, let me know what you are currently reading or if you’ve read anything fantastic recently.

Sophie x

Most Loved – May.

So I didn’t do a Most Loved April post because the month of May was comprised almost solely of essay writing and revising for my end of year exams. Now that my assignments are handed in and my essays completed I still can’t quite wrap my head around the idea that I’ve finished my second year at university… I only have one year of undergrad left! This post is a little delayed as I have to admit I made the most of my first week of freedom and enjoyed having a social life again 😉 However I really wanted to share my favourite things from the last month as there were a few good’uns.

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First up is this beautiful tank top from Warehouse, I fell in love with it in the shop and then when I saw that it had a special label saying that 30% of the sales were going to breast cancer research it was the little extra push for me to buy it. I love the leaf print in the lovely bright summery colours, and paired with some blue skinny jeans, some sandals, and a pair of sunglasses it always puts a little spring in my step. Do some clothes do that for you too or is it just me?

The three beauty bits I have been slightly obsessing over this month are the Clarins Liquid Bronze Self Tanning for Face and Décolleté which has helped me hugely to look a little more alive over the last couple of weeks. I definitely plan on making this a daily staple for at least half of the year! I’m not one for making myself really brown but I do feel like I look a bit healthier with a light tan. Then to go with my slightly more glowing skin tone (it really works that well) I’ve been loving this little Bourjois Cream Blush in no. 02. It’s a really pretty coral peach colour and looks perfect for the warmer sunnier weather. Anything to add a little more life to my fatigued appearance! The last beauty item is also pretty summery, I decided to try out the Rimmel Salon Pro Nail Colour in the shade Hip Hop which looks gorgeous on both my nails and toenails. Red nails are my absolute favourite and I definitely plan on keeping mine that colour for the majority of the summer.

The other two things I have been loving are both books although they are completely different. The first is the adorable little book entitled The Writer’s Block: Ideas to Jump-start Your Imagination. It’s a little book full of ideas and suggestions for getting into writing and getting over writer’s block. I’m always looking for new tips on writing and little ideas to inspire me. I have always loved to write, even as a young child I used to fill up endless notebooks with stories and diary entries, now I write this blog, I write countless essays, I write for The Daily Quirk, and I still fill up endless notebooks! The other book is a novel called The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness which I won from Emily’s World Book Night giveaway. I haven’t actually finished reading the book but I’m including it here because I’m really enjoying it and I was also ridiculously excited to win the giveaway as I never really win anything. So thank you so much to Emily! 

I’m sorry this post is so late into the month, next month’s will be more on time (hopefully!) and will definitely be including some delicious food that I’ve been eating recently 😛 Last week we had some gorgeous sunshine and warm temperatures but we are back to typical English grey skies, hopefully it’ll improve again soon. I hope you are all having a lovely week and do let me know if you have any favourite things from this month or anything you’ve been obsessed with recently!

Sophie x

Summer Goals – Be More, Do More.

So this year, I didn’t set myself any new year’s resolutions. I decided that I didn’t want to make myself a list of things to achieve, a list of things that needed to be ticked off or I’d have failed. Who wants that kind of pressure? Instead, I resolved to throw myself into new opportunities and to maybe push myself a little more out of my comfort zone.  Now, almost halfway through 2013, I feel like I’m doing well. I have definitely welcomed new challenges and made the most of any opportunity given to me: I’m moving out to live with friends next year despite that not having originally been on the cards, I’ve made scary decisions about forging ahead with my plans for the future (more on that later!), and I’ve challenged myself to live more for the moment and more like a 20-year old and not an 80-year old!

Despite this talk of no lists, I now feel as though it is time to write myself some new goals. I have four months of time off university ahead of me and I have so much to do that I can’t let the time just disappear. So these are my aims for the months ahead, they are not concrete or particularly quantifiable but they will give me some focus and make everyday more motivational.

Read everyday!  The thing I miss most during term time is being able to read whatever I fancy. My weeks are consumed by the texts on my reading list, and not all of them are very enjoyable, I’m left with almost no time to read purely for pleasure. So this summer I have a huge reading list all of my own and I will be writing lots of blog posts reviewing those that I enjoy the most.

Make the most of the sunshine. Recently we have been enjoying lots of lovely sun and it’s marvellous. I’m already a little browner because I’m spending every minute that I can outside to make the absolute most of it. What this goal is really about is spending more time outside. I love being outdoors, especially when it’s a little warmer, and I really want to get all of the fresh air and sunshine that I can.

Get set for the future. I won’t go into this one too much as I’m going to write a post about it but I’m aiming to make some more finite plans for my future after graduating, I’ve never really known what I wanted to do but I’m starting to find my feet in the world and figure out what I want in life!

Research. As I am about to embark into my third, and final, year of my degree I now have my dissertation on the horizon. I want to combine two of my interests and explore the ideas about food and self-starvation in literature and this summer is the time for research, research and more research.

Look healthy, feel good, act confident. During exams I tend to eat more and gravitate towards more unhealthy food, I don’t really mind or feel guilty because I have more important things to focus on then, but now that I am finished for the year I’m back to my healthy choices and I’ve started lifting weights again. I have the most gorgeous red bikini and I want to be able to lounge by the pool run around on the beach and feel confident with my body and my own image!

Have fun. One of my closest uni friends, Sophie, is staying here to work during the summer, all of my friends from home are back, Tom is here (or I’m in London) on the weekend, and my sister and best friend, Alice, is here too. Friendships are so important and I cherish every single one of them, this summer I want to make the most of what is possibly our last shared summer holiday and do lots of fun things. Day trips, coffee dates, picnics, nights out, I want to see everyone and just enjoy the time off 🙂

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So here you have my goals or resolutions for the summer months ahead. I have a feeling it’s going to be a wonderful time, I’m so blessed to have so much. I hope you are all having a really lovely week! I’d love to hear your summer plans! Are you going on holiday? Or doing anything exciting in the next few months?

Sophie x

Where Have I Been?

A good question!

For the past month I have more or less disappeared from the realms of the internet. No blogging, no emails, no tweeting… It comes down to being incredibly busy with university work. I had a 3000 word essay and another 3000 word portfolio to write and put together, then along came exams and I was just completely swamped with it all. I finished my last exam of my second year on Thursday and I can’t tell you how much of a relief it is to have finished. I feel as free as a bird 😉

So from now on you can expect regular posts again on my blog and I will be spending tomorrow catching up with all of yours because I have missed you all!

I thought that to introduce myself back into blogging gently I’d just fill you in on what I have been doing when I wasn’t revising. Here are a few Instagram snaps from the last few weeks:

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Breakfasts recently. I have to start the day well when I have little to look forward to!

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Typical: the weather is gorgeous during exams. At least this means I get to enjoy eating outside in the sunshine.

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Poppy was my constant revision companion | Quiche | I have a lovely mother who buys me motivational treats!

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Spring flowers | Fancy dress beginning with ‘A’ for Aimee’s birthday party, I am Alice | Avatar anyone?

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Making the most of the sunshine | We took a break and cycled to a pub, my dinner was rather classy for pub grub. The main was amazing. 

Well I hope you’ve all been having some nice weather, recently between grey days we’ve enjoyed a lot of lovely sunshine and even some warm temperatures! Now that I’m free I’m spending a week resting and seeing lots of friends from home before I start reading up for next years modules and my dissertation. Stay tuned for book reviews, May’s monthly favourites, and hopefully some recaps of summer fun 🙂

Sophie x