summer

I Think I’m In Love.

Yes, you heard right. I’ve fallen in love, fallen in love hard.

Not with a person though. Oh no, I have fallen head over heels in love with the city of Nice. Set in the Côte d’Azur, in the beautiful French Riviera, Nice is a wonderfully bright, vibrant, bustling city. It has the feel of an Italian city as it only became part of France in 1860 and was a dominion of Savoy before. It is full of life and colour, the people are friendly, and the pace of life is slow and relaxed.

We spent a week in Nice soaking up the sights and the atmosphere of this beautiful city and I know that it is just one of those places I could never spend enough time in. We stayed just off Place Garibaldi which is situated just on the edge of Vieux Nice (the old town) and the town centre so it was an absolutely perfect location to explore the city to our hearts’ content. The surrounding towns and coastline are simply breathtaking, we spent many mornings and evenings on the beach in Villefranche-sur-Mer which is a stunning town settled right in an enclosed bay with the most ridiculously gorgeous views of the sea and the curving coast. The sun shines fiercely during the day and then the evenings are balmy – it has the perfect holiday climate and we definitely made the most of it with light lunches, plenty of ice creams and a few cocktails.

I haven’t had a chance to go through all of the photos we took but I really wanted to share my experience of Nice with you so here some photos from mine and my sister’s Instagrams to give you a little taste. I reckon you might well fall in love with it too…

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This view… | Alice in Place Garibaldi | To market, to market

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French breakfasts cannot be beaten | Villefranche |Afternoon wandering

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Ice cream for the day – ferrero rocher | Gelato at its finest | Nighttime churros

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Seafood on the coast | Monte Carlo | Mojito happy hour

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A view to die for | That beach photo 😉 | Can I go back now please?

Looking through all of these photos make me miss it all already, if you ever get the opportunity to visit Nice then I urge you to do so, you can’t possibly be disappointed by the sheer vibrancy of the city and the beauty all around it!

I hope you all had a lovely week whilst I was away, I’ll be catching up with blog posts and will also write a proper photo recap soon. If you want to follow me on Instagram you can find me @sophiejuliette_mh I love snapping away in my daily life.

Sophie x

p.s. Thank you so much for all of your lovely comments and tweets about my last post, I really appreciate all of the encouragement and support!

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Life Lately #5.

So I haven’t been blogging much recently, life more or less got in the way! I’ve been working for the past two weeks, back at the arty holiday club, which was fun, and I’ve been really busy meeting up with friends back from uni. I’m slightly embarrassed to admit that I’ve eaten out six times this week… This summer is proving to be fairly expensive but I’ve just decided it’s worth it. This is my last year of a relatively responsibility free life where I have lots of free time and loads of friends are around and equally free, I just want to make the most of it! I’m so lucky to have such lovely people in my life 🙂 This week has been spent eating (clearly!), drinking, gossiping, and taking a massively exciting trip to London to see Les Miserables with one of my absolute favourite people, my future housemate Sophie! It was AMAZING. It’s been a dream of mine for ages, ever since I first sang ‘Do You Hear The People Sing’ in choir aged 10, and it was brilliant to finally get to see it in the West End. The film is fantastic but nothing compares the electric atmosphere there in the theatre. A fair few tissues were used and the cast got a full standing ovation, I can honestly say hand-on-heart that every single member was incredible. I’m still on a high now!

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Sunny days | Pub gardens – where I spend half of my time 😉 | Bruscetta

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Reading in my deck chair | Pimms O’Clock | Cambridge Bumps!

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More sunlit reading | Love this girl, we spend 2 weeks together and now we’re joined at the hip! | More Pimms…

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Drinks with the girls | Les Mis!! | Spa day with Sophie 🙂

Things are definitely looking up for me and I’m enjoying living life to the fullest this summer. I’m in a really good place and now that I’ve finished work I can play all summer work on my dissertation. I hope you all had a great weekend, I’m going to go to bed listening to the soundtrack of Les Mis and probably dream the songs!

If you want to follow me on instagram find me @sophiejuliette_mh 🙂

Sophie x

Thank You.

There are some times in our lives when things go wrong and we need all the support we can get from those around us. The last couple of weeks have definitely been one of these times for me and the amount of care and support that I have received from everyone has been amazing. I have never felt so lucky to be surrounded by such kind and wonderful people. I want to say an enormous thank you to all of you who tweeted me, messaged me, and commented on my last post, it all means so much! You really have all made a big difference to how I’ve been handling my emotions. I also want to say an enormous thank you to my family who have been here to support me everyday and thank you to all of my lovely friends who have been texting me constantly and getting me out of the house. I really appreciate all of it.

I don’t know whether it’s the whole of the UK but here in the South East the weather has been absolutely glorious since the weekend, the sun has been shining and it has been warm enough to swan around in shorts and sunbathe. I spent yesterday afternoon soaking in the rays (under a thick layer of factor 50, don’t worry!) and reading my current novel in my deckchair. It was blissful and just the relax I needed after two incredibly intense weeks (I’ll be finally explaining all of that in my next post).

I mentioned the book I’m reading – NW by Zadie Smith – in my currently reading post and I’m really enjoying it, definitely one I recommend. There is something about being outside on a sunny day, surrounded by green and beautiful flowers, that really lifts the spirits. My mother is the chief gardener in our family and our little back garden is so pretty. The stripey deckchair lets me pretend I’m by the sea…

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I’m desperately hoping that this lovely weather will stick around for a few weeks, it’s just so amazing to be in skirts/shorts and t-shirts and to feel the warm sun on my face. It is the little ray of light, literally and metaphorically, that I need in my life right now.

I hope you are all having great weather too and enjoying your week so far!

Sophie x

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

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

The Sun Has Got His Hat Off.

Well last weekend the English weather was somewhat blissful. The sun was shining and the temperatures even soared up to 20°C (which is rather impressive for May in England!). As a result everyone’s mood lifted, people in the streets were smilier, and the general mood was brighter. The trees have suddenly burst into life with tiny leaves and gorgeous blossom, and everything is greener.

Unfortunately the weather took a turn for the worse this week and the sky outside my window is currently very grey. But seeing how I’m writing my final essay whilst still wearing my dressing gown at 4pm on a Sunday, I suppose the weather doesn’t matter a great deal. My hand-in date is this coming Wednesday so I’m pretty much counting down the hours till then when I’ll actually have time to leave the house again and do something to my appearance other than pulling my hair up! I have two exams in the two weeks following from my deadline but with a week in between them they’re not worrying me too much.

I’m hoping that the sunshine will make another appearance once my deadline passes but in the meantime I’m going to stare wistfully at the photos I took of the lovely flowers in the garden last weekend and imagine the warmth against my skin…

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Is the sun shining where you are? Have you been able to enjoy any good weather recently? Favourite thing to do out in the sun?

Sophie x