shopping

7 Happy Things.

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{Image via Pinterest, originally from Iulian Dumitru}

1. Celebrating Halloween with some of the best people I know! Prancing around as a black cat with some extraordinary looking people was so much fun it made up for the fact that we came home a little early because the club was so atrociously busy.

2. Getting to meet up with the lovely Baiba for coffee when she was back for her reading week, it is always nice to get to catch up with friends away at uni.

3. Reading J. M. Barrie’s Peter Pan books (yes there are two) for my children’s literature module – perfect for moments of escapism.

4. Listening to songs like Rusted Root’s Send Me On My Way perhaps a little too often whenever I need a bit of cheering up!

5. Having a mini book and beauty shopping spree (also to cheer me up) because whilst it may be materialistic, buying a couple of lipsticks and a beautiful copy of Brothers Grimm fairy tales is definitely the little pick-me-up I needed.

6. Getting organised. It’s difficult to stay on top of everything when you’re feeling exhausted because it destroys your concentration but I’m just about managing with all my to-do lists, note books and diary. I will get through this term. I will.

7. Looking forward to Bonfire night on Tuesday. Wrapping up warm, a huge bonfire, fireworks, candy floss, a funfair, and friends – what could be better?

Sophie x

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This Week #9.

I’m going to keep this post brief because I have developed a cold and combined with my fatigue it has left me feeling awful. I have an early start tomorrow and I need to get some sleep! I’ve had an okay week, I had a lovely day yesterday – I went shopping with my mother in the morning to buy presents for my next-door neighbours as they have just had a little baby boy. He’s so precious, I held him for such a long time and he is just a lovely baby. Then to give the mother some time to herself with the new baby I offered to look after their little girl, Ellen, who is five. She came round and we had heaps of fun baking and decorating biscuits 🙂 Unfortunately by the time I went to bed I wasn’t feeling very well and this morning was even worse. I only get a couple of colds a year but I’m hoping it won’t last long, I don’t need this on top of everything else!

A childhood favourite – mashed banana with yogurt | Roman holiday surprise (no idea why it’s called that!) | Monday seminar

Spaghetti with courgettes | Legs & Bum Pyramid workout | Spicy hula hoops

More pasta 😉 | Poppy’s sleep spot | Fish and chips – so moreish

Sweet baked potato for lunch | Breakfast reading | Honey toast comforts

I received a fantastic package from the lovely people at Total! I will be reviewing these next week – they’re delicious 🙂

Reading up on evolution for Victorian lit | Cheeky veg chow mein takeout | Raspberry and pomegranate yogurt from Total

My breakfast companion as always | The cutest babygrow for baby Arthur| Ellen’s decorating skills, they’re so cute!

Jamie Oliver’s 30 min meals Rogan Josh | Late night hot chocolate for poorly Sophie | Sunday afternoon studies

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

I hope you all enjoyed this post and had a lovely weekend 🙂

I also want to say that I am so overwhelmed and touched by all of the wonderful, supportive comments you left on my last post. Reading through them gave me a lot of comfort and I will be taking the time to reply to them all properly. I’m so lucky to have such amazing readers and blog friends!

This Week #2.

Well this has certainly been a busy week! I’ve got heaps of lovely photos to share with you after a looong afternoon doing my one-off shift at my favourite cafe. It was really fun but my back is killing me, I don’t know if I’m quite ready for cafe work just yet…

On to the photos 🙂

Rose | Comfort food Marmite toast | Beautiful new Zara bag

Barry M Strawberry Ice Cream | Moby Dick | Favourite TV show of the moment

Sunlit breakfast | Received a huge package of books = happy | Cinema and Nando’s with Tom!

Moby Dick with Weetabix | Grumpy Poppy | What working with children does to you…

Chocolate coconut macaroon | Morning strength training session | Jammy waffle – so so good

Caramel latte | Roasted butternut squash five grain salad | Delicious macedamia, cranberry and white chocolate blondie

Waffle breakfast with raspberry greek yogurt | Primrose Bakery love | Baking efforts

Today’s food: Tomato and homemade pesto tart | My wonderful plum cake | Sweet and sour pork stir fry

Looking at all of these photos, I really do concentrate on my food a lot! I don’t mind though, I love food and cooking and everything to do with it, baking is such a lovely therapeutic thing to do and the plum cake really is delicious. I’ve been reading a lot this week too, I got two huge deliveries of books which was so exciting, my new copy of Moby Dick is really nice (if a little intense!). I have a massive to-do list to get through this week so it’s going to be really busy. Tom moved to London yesterday and starts his new job tomorrow which is really exciting, I can’t wait to go visit him and discover new parts of London 🙂

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

What have you been up to this week/weekend?
Are you obsessed with food like me?
What are you reading at the moment?

This Friday in Food.

Today has been a really lovely day. Apart from a few dizzy patches I’ve felt great and I’ve done lots and even been sociable 😉

I started out my day, after an indulgent little lie-in till 9am, with a buttery wholemeal English muffin.

Truly delicious, the taste reminds me of being home when English muffins were an afternoon treat, shared together around the kitchen table. The melted butter really makes the taste factor here.

The first part of my day was very snacky as I have a seminar at 12 and then a seminar at 2pm so lunch can’t be eaten at home. This apple yogurt was just amazing. So creamy and luxurious. I have a banana flavour and a hazelnut flavour of these yogurts in my fridge, I’m extremely looking forward to trying them!

My lunch in the cafe in between seminars. I love getting lunch on a Friday and having the hour in between my seminars to read. It’s uninterrupted and it’s the perfect little gap.

This afternoon I met my lovely lovely friend Kathryn for some shopping and halfway through we decided to stop for smoothies. This beauty is a strawberry and vanilla smoothie and it was so good, I could drink another one now and many more tomorrow. It had such a wonderfully fresh flavour, a smooth texture with the occasional piece of ice and it just tasted divine.

We spent a long time in town, we even went for a drink. First sip of alcohol I’ve had since being back at uni this term! What kind of student am I huh??

What could be better really? I think the day has been made even sweeter by the knowledge that in a week I’m going home again for the weekend and that on the Monday after that Tom is coming to stay 🙂

My weekend is looking pretty good too, I have absolutely no plans other than to go to the gym sometime tomorrow and mass on Sunday. Being this free means that I can read, I can catch up on work, I can cook, I can watch the programs I’ve missed this week, I can read all of your blogs, I can browse fashion and beauty blogs for all of the things I wish I could buy and I can find new free (or very cheap) books for my kindle… Perfect.

What are your plans for the weekend?
Have you got anything special to look forward to in the next few weeks?
What’s the most delicious thing you’ve eaten lately?

Reunited.

Love this girl 🙂

Even if she does make me  feel a little homesick!

Please excuse the mess I look in that photo, I’ve got my comfy hoodie on because it’s cold, my hair is thoroughly windswept and I have bags under my eyes because I haven’t been sleeping well! Other than that it’s a great photo 😉

It’s been lovely spending the time with Alice today.

We’ve chatted for hours. Done a fair bit of shopping. Giggled at ridiculous jokes. Facebook stalked a few mutual friends. Eaten delicious food.

(I finally got the pizza I was craving. And Pizza Express pizza at that)

Now we’re off to curl up in blankets and watch When Harry Met Sally.

It’s nice to be reunited 🙂

How are your weekends shaping up?
Do you have any siblings? Are you close to them?

 

A Series of Letters

I’ve been trying to come up with an idea for a series of posts that I could write.

It had to be something that I could keep going, something that I would have plenty of inspiration to write.

It had to be something fun that you (my lovely readers) would want to read.

It had to be something personal to me.

A few days ago I was looking through some of the things in my ‘memory box’, which my mum started keeping my personal things when I was little and that I’ve been adding to for the last few years, and I came across letters. Some that people had written to me years ago, some I don’t remember, some where I don’t even remember the author and it struck me that I like writing letters. I write Tom letters sometimes and I’ve written letters for members of my family before because I think that nowadays receiving a handwritten letter is sort of special. It’s personal.

So I decided that I’d found the perfect topic for my series: I’m going to write a series of letters. Some will be to real people, friends, family, people I met a long time ago, people I’ve never met, maybe even to people I dislike. Some may be to fictional characters, like Elizabeth Bennett or to Scout Finch. Some might not even be to people but to things, or concepts. Some might be to God. Or to myself in the past, or in the future.

I just want something to write creatively, something which has not been prescribed by my degree and something which doesn’t just concern my daily life, food, exercise or health.

I haven’t really decided on all of the recipients of these letters yet, I’m just going to let it progress as I develop it. Hopefully you’ll get something out of it and so will I.

We shall see 🙂

Anyway today has been a mixture of good and bad. This morning I watched an episode of the BBC production of Middlemarch (from 1994) and then went into town to meet with three of my best friends from home. This was part of where today’s two emotional sides came in: it was lovely to meet with them but it was also probably the last time I see them for several weeks as we all leave for uni soon (two of them leave this week) and what with all of the work I have to do before I go back, none of us will have the time  to meet again. I’ve become so close to these girls over the last year and I miss them terribly when I’m away at uni!

We had a really nice lunch though, at Eat which is one of favourites thanks to all of the fresh and healthy food they sell (even if it is a little pricey!).

I went with a new salad I hadn’t tried before:

Tandoori chicken, mango, green lentil, and brown, red and wild rice salad (sorry for the awful out-of-focus photo!). It was really yummy and with 16.9g of protein and 3g of fibre I’d say it was pretty healthy too 🙂

I also had to have some of this:

It’s Swiss bircher muesli, basically a pot of overnight oats, and it is delicious. I love the stuff, sometimes I’ll just go buy a pot of that just because it’s that good. I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes oats and/or yogurt!

We had a little wander around town, I bought my dad a card (it’s his birthday on Friday) and felt exasperated (for the millionth-time) about how difficult it is to buy presents for him or just for fathers in general as it seems that all of my friends feel the same. I mean what do you get a guy who has everything he needs and doesn’t want anything?! His primary (and kinda only) hobby is golf and I bought him two golf books for Christmas plus I’ve already bought him a whole plethora of golf things over the years. I’m still not really sure what to get so if you’ve got any suggestions please send them my way!

Unfortunately I couldn’t hang out in town indefinitely as I had to come back home to work. I have been working on my massive English language assessment lately and it really isn’t easy. Having never really studied language, grammar etc before I’m finding the whole module a bit of a struggle and this is no different so it’s a little demoralising.

Oh well. I’ll get there eventually.

Then I have to move on to two further literature essays… 😉

What do you think of my idea for a post series? Got any letter suggestions?
What did you buy for your father’s last birthday?
Who do you find it most difficult to buy presents for?

I hope you all had a lovely weekend!

 

 

P.s. If you have facebook (seriously who doesn’t?! apart from my parents that is :-P) don’t forget to go like my new page!

One more week to go!

Hey there! In less than one week I shall be home!!

Okay so I lied on Friday. I honestly wasn’t feeling fantastic yesterday and consequently did not eat much so or take any other photos so I didn’t see the point in attempting to write something only to give you a rubbish post.

Anyway today I’m feeling mostly better and even made it into town to do some Christmas shopping. I now only have two more presents to buy :-). The beauty of the internet means I’ve already ordered both my mum’s and Tom’s presents and today I managed to find something for my sister. I love shopping for presents, there is something just lovely about searching for the perfect gifts to give each person. I really hope everyone likes their presents!

Breakfast this morning was my usual bowl of weetabix mush but this time with a variation. Instead of the typical frozen raspberries I pour on top I decided to try something else: frozen blueberries and strawberries. (Okay I’m lying, they didn’t have any raspberries left when I went food shopping yesterday!) I also went for a sprinkle of raw oats over the top too, you know to make my life a little more exciting 😛

The trip to town was good but it decided to pour with rain pretty much the entire time I was there so no time to enjoy just wandering around. Luckily my companion enjoys coffee shops almost as much as I do so we took a break first for lunch:

I got my old favourite, pita with hummus and guacamole. I can’t help being repetitive – it’s so good! I adore guacamole and for me, this sort of dipping food harks back to when I was little. When my sister and I were younger we were both incredibly fussy eaters so once a week, on a Saturday evening, my parents would sit down together and enjoy the food that they loved and we’d sit on the floor in front of a video, more often than not Disney, and eat what we called a ‘tray dinner’. Basically a plate of chopped raw veg, pitas and half a small bag of crisps each along with some dips. For us it was almost more of a treat than for my parents. We used to love tray dinners! And so whenever I eat dips in any shape or form they remind me of those meals and of the excitement of going to the public library once a week on a Saturday to choose a film to watch that evening with dinner :-).

Anyway enough reminiscing. Back to today and the awful weather. The only good thing about the rain was that town was perhaps a little less busy than it might have been. But that’s only a small comfort really, I hate the rain almost as much as I hate snow and ice!

Our second break was for coffee:

A praline skimmed latte. Hot. Just what I needed at this point. Nothing like being warmed from the inside out. I think hot drinks are really growing on me – I even had a hot chocolate the other day! Still prefer my hot water bottle if I’m at home though, I might even use it tonight. The cover is woolen and has little sheep all over it. Sigh 🙂

This afternoon when I got back I got straight to work. Will you believe it, I’ve hardly had any essays to write this term and now I have 8000 words to write over the holidays (four separate essays) and a presentation to write and practice! So not only do I have a cocktail night on Tuesday and lots of goodbyes to say before Christmas but now I have lots of work… Joy! Sorry, I shouldn’t really complain, it’s just that I know the likelihood of my doing much of it this side of Christmas once I’m home is quite slim (umm, hello! Christmas preparations to do!) so I want to start now. At least I have access to the library back home so I’ll be able to get in some secondary reading and not have to worry!

Right now I’m off to meet a couple of friends so I’d better say goodbye. I hope you are all having a wonderful weekend!

Have you done your Christmas shopping?
I’m usually so much more organised than this, I’m usually one of those people who has most of it done by December 1st, but it’s more difficult now that I’m at uni!

Anything fun or exciting happening this weekend?

Fewer than 15 days till Christmas!!

Sophie x