sophie didn't do anything at all.

Friday, 31 January 2014

/ tall tales

This is tongue in cheek so don't get your knickers in a twist.

Quick bit of backstory. I lived in halls for first year of uni, there were 7 of us (I think. I now can't actually remember). It was fun.

We decided that year to host what will now forever be known as 'A very 2B Christmas'. How inventive.

The women were assigned jobs such as cooking and cleaning, whilst the men set about drinking. D, L and S were hardly your stereotypical manly men, but they rose to the challenge and cracked open bottles at around 11am. Oh hang on, I forgot about T, the boy from upstairs who at the time I was having an informal 'relationship' with (cheeky) - he also joined the Flat Christmas.

Okay. 

Drinking drinking drinking.

Then L. Then L started drinking too much. He stood up at dinner (I skipped the women cooking - far to mundane) and made a speech in Austrian. Unfortunately he mentioned Hitler twice before saluting, falling over backwards and speaking a language not known to any man alive. Before anyone bothered to stop him (entertainment) L had downed an entire bottle of red wine (on top of everything else) and only two glasses of white - the white wasn't as nice.



E and myself (she's a sensible woman) guided the poor sod to one of our plastic sofas where he adorned a Fez and regaled us with tales of his Asian ideals. Some time later D returned from a drinking session in his room with a bottle of Baileys. Our excitement was crushed when he filled a pint glass and handed it to L.



By this point L was beyond help but found the co-ordination to lift the beverage to his lips and consume it. Quickly. Seeing no reason to do otherwise, D handed him another glassful - the majority of which entered L's person. The rest. Elsewhere.


Thinking nothing of his condition, we turned on the T.V and opened presents. L, hearing a song he knew left the room, and we believe, the building.

We didn't see him for another 5 hours.

No one knows to this day where he went (though we sent out two search parties asking people if they'd seen a particularly irate Asian man). At one point he was sighted sleeping up against a door (standing up) and snoring. We lost the trail after that.

This is the most normal story I have about the guy.

love sophie

xox

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Monday, 27 January 2014

/ book / review / One Day - David Nicholls

Books and I have a vey strange relationship. It's part of the reason I prefer the physical form to a Kindle - because when I read I feel like it's speaking to me.

One Day book cover
God that sounds pretentious.

What I mean is that as I read a book, I'm also affected by my real life, and the book 'holds' on to the associated occurrences. So. Whilst reading One Day for the first time I also went through a break-up. An unpleasant break-up. One that hurt a lot.

So. I feel now is the time to point out it took me until the trailer for the film to come out to realise that each chapter was a year apart on the same day - I'm quite slow I guess. It does say it on the cover. And the back. And on pretty much every page.

Right lets get down to spoilers.

One Day book review

So, set on the same day over twenty days, the action of One Day follows the lives of two characters - Emma and Dexter. They spend one night together in the first chapter, but remain fairly un-intmate for the book - two people made for one another who manage to avoid their fate.

The reason I love this book is because there isn't just the one high. It's not constantly building and building - so you can't skip to the good bit. David Nicholls is relentless and remorseless, his skill shining through in the ability to create a plausible timeline.


Even through their bad times, Nicholls never loses our sympathy for his two protagonists, in part because the characterisation is so spot on and just true. You can really sympathise because they are making the same mistakes as everyone else (over and over). You also spend most of the story flippantly frustrated at their continual 'missing' of fate - the letter, the question, the wrong partner - and so on, but confident in their solid friendship... something you pray will never break.

I just want to say (though I have mentioned tears a fair bit in my recent posts) it's actually quite hard to get me properly going. That chapter - you'll know which I mean - broke me down the first time I read it and I had to take a break from the book for around 6 hours (about  how long it takes to wash my hair).

I feel like it's a book you can truly find a lot of yourself in. The credit is due definitely to David Nicholls and he does teach a lot of lessons in those pages. Especially about how if you give you number to a one night stand you're in for it.

love sophie

xox

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Sunday, 26 January 2014

| when i was small

The world was a bit of a different place.

I didn't really understand anything, especially the Lion King (trust me, it was only recently that I realised Simba grew up when he crossed the log, rather than swapping out for a completely different character).

When I was seven, my brother bit my sister so hard she bled and had a bruise that covered most of her arm.

His punishment was to miss two pokemon episodes on TV.

I used to love being creative, and would spend many Sundays making a mess wherever I was allowed, but by the biting incident my arts and crafts had been forbidden. My mum had bought me a stationary box, and having been banned from using it at home I'd proudly taken it to school. My naive younger self didn't realise that the school bullies would tear it away from me and its contents would be thrown across the school playground. I still remember the teaching assistant walking around with me trying to salvage some of its contents. I cried.

My parents were just relieved there weren't so many paints in the house. It gave James less to throw.

When I was six, I walked mud into the house. My mum screamed at me and confiscated an assortment of toys, along with my favourite pair of boots. I was also banned from playing in the garden until the ground was completely dry. James didn't like dirt. 

When I was nine, he went round my mums room and threw everything at the floor, breaking a lot of sentimental possessions. We didn't have nice things growing up after that. It's easier not to have to watch things get destroyed. 

---

Those are just a few of the times when life wasn't fair. But life hasn't been fair for my brother or sister, both of whom are on the autistic spectrum. It's been quite eye opening actually. When my mum was trying to deal with two particularly difficult kids and one that was determined to just explore, many of our friends closed their doors. They didn't want to help or hear her struggles. They only wanted to see the parents with perfect little darlings, and we were often left out. 

People always raise their eyebrows when I'll happily go above and beyond to help them out. They think there's a hidden agenda, or that I'm a bit weird or have nothing better to do. In actual fact, I'd rather make sure that I do everything in my power to even things out a bit, and restore the balance. You won't always know why someone is struggling, but I truly believe it's essential that you give them the best chance of succeeding. 


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/ weekly wind-down 4

Today is the day of my race. But don't dwell on it. No, let's not dwell on it. Just as you read this, I'm genuinely probably in a terribly muddy situation having a mild breakdown.

this is my new best friend. He's beyond adorable
So by now I'll have run around 6 miles and be tackling the 'killing fields'/

Fun.

The  boy and are I doing fine - thanks for asking.
I'm now in Newcastle for the next 4 weeks.
As I typed that my Dad just rang. He wants me home for a rowing race. So.
I'm now in Newcastle for 3 weeks.
Then for another 2. Home.
Then for another 3.Home.
Then for another 2.
Then home for 4 weeks.
Then who really knows?
I am well traveled. Still can't pack for jack though.

This week I am thankful for:
My parents. We don't always have it great (who does) but the little things we do are just magical.
My long standing ability to eventually get things done. Over halfway through uni (AGAIN).
old school music + boy music

I was waiting an hour for a train. I'm useless at public transport.
The lust list:
time. I need so much more of it. I want to see my family, visit my friends, go on adventures, study hard and train for these damn races I keep committing to. Oh and all the T.V I've missed recently.
A bigger discount on my rail travel.

love sophie

xox

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Friday, 24 January 2014

/ OOTD / january and things

Last week was one of essays, writing and work. I was spending half my time at the gym and half of it in front of the computer (so I don't know how I was doing anything else!!). Thankfully, before the stress got the better of me an old friend suggested we go and take pictures at her house and spend the day just catching up.

Plan.

We intended to take some OOTD shots, but it ended up being more of a play with the cameras. 


Dress: Primark £5 
Tights (I was wearing some): Primark, 300 dernier fleecy lined. 
Scarf: H&M
Necklace: Accessorize
Bracelet: Lisa Angel, £8

It's always a great OOTD when you can't buy half of it....

I really hope my future kids look like their dad.
This next picture I absolutely adore - I just wish my photography skills had made it a bit more in focus.



You can see her post about the day here - and her dog. He's just the cutest. 


I'm currently going through a bit of a hair identity crisis. Don't get me wrong, I love the blonde, it's here to stay, but every now and then I dream of something a bit brighter and more exciting. Ceira's got titian covered for now, but I'm working on my own interpretation.


This coat from Mango was probably my best winter purchase. It's now not available but hey ho.
my impression of a cow.




Wee also made some delicious falafel (but both decided we weren't in the  mood to make it photo-ready - you know how it is).

I'm sure I'll get round to uploading a recipe at some point.

love sophie

xox

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Wednesday, 22 January 2014

/ beauty / review / Dermologica - super rich repair kit

My poor mum has very sensitive skin. In fact she has reactions to things like 'air' and 'water'. She bought this little Dermologica 'super rich repair kit' to try out some highly recommended products.... and ended looking like a tomato.

I was thrown the box and told I do could do whatever I liked with it - and not wanting to miss out on some pretty expensive samples I gave it a go.


The PreCleanse
This is the only one of the three which isn't specifically anti-ageing. At £33.20 it is the most expensive cleanser I have ever used. That's a lot of Primark shoes.

The claims
For your cleanest skin ever. Nourishing olive, apricot and Kukui nut oils cut through make-up, sunscreens and oil based debris, readying them for easy removal. Add water to transform this hydrophilic formula into a milky emulsion that lifts debris from the skin's surface, allowing your cleanser to penetrate even further for professional cleansing results. 

The reality
Because I didn't have the biggest of bottles, I decided to use it once a day at night. After removing the worst of my make-up with a wipe, I massaged the PreCleanse all over my face,  getting your hands wet and having a good old smoosh around, before washing it off with more warm water.
The first time I used it I could tell a difference. It made my face feel clean. That sounds stupid, but it's hard to describe. 
It cleans your face so you can cleanse effectively - and after a week I could really start to see an improvement in my skin.

I want to try the MAC cleanse off Oil next...




The Skin Resurfacing cleanser

The claims
Achieve superior smoothness and ultra-clean skin after just one use with this dual action exfoliating cleanser. A highly- active Lactic Acid concentrate helps retexturize skin suffering from visible signs of aging by removing dulling surface debris and helping accelerate cell turnover. Use of this cleanser dramatically improves skin texture and properly prepares for maximum penetration  of other products.

The reality
So basically, this stuff is meant to make the surface of my skin perfect - brighten and whatnot.

It's like a non abrasive exfoliator. You can't feel it, but I promise you something is happening. A party on your face. In conjunction with the PreCleanse we have a very powerful combination. I've been trying to think of a way of describing the effects on my face - but it's a good thing.
The resurfacing cleanser is very concentrated, you don't need to use much at all.


Price - £35.60 for 150ml


Super Rich Repair

The claims
This deeply nourishing, heavyweight skin treatment cream helps combat chronically dry, dehydrated skin while replenishing critical moisture levels. Powerful peptides help stimulate collagen production while an acid-free smoothing complex helps improve elasticity and tone. Use as a protective salve to shield against cold, dry environmental conditions. 

The reality
Now THIS is what I'm talking about. Anti-ageing or not, it is honestly one of the best moisturizers I have ever put near my face. It's very thick but also light. A little goes a very long way, and your face will thank you for it. It's designed for people who have really dry skin and nourishes deep. The Super Rich Repair also calms any sensitivity and restores elasticity and tone. 

Price - £60.70 for 50ml. (SAY WHAT)


Instead of viewing this as an 'anti-aging' product - I have decided to give credit where it's due. The moisturiser is by far my favourite  (rivals the Hydraluron), though a combination of all three has left me with such lovely skin. If you have the budget, do it.

The learning curve here is one that slightly unnerves me. The products for my face that are really impressing me come with a slightly higher price tag. You do have to pay a little to feel fabulous.

love sophie

xox

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Monday, 20 January 2014

/ beauty / review / H&M nail varnish - matte metallic


Pre-christmas splurge biting me on the bum. 

These were all £1 each and tantalizing by the checkout. Probably should have given them away but I'm selfish. 

The reality
If you have ever used H&M nail varnishes you will know they do not last. You will know they chip, and stain and are generally hard to apply.

But I still stubbornly buy and use them because deep down I love the fact they are cheap and I feel justified in having poorly painted nails - blame the product.


The matte could have been more matte, but surprisingly the colour is duochrome (you can't really see in the pictures) but for a one night wear this stuff is perfect.

H&M nail varnishes are actually getting better - they have a much wider range of colours AND in comparison to the more expensive ones they're practically throwaways.

love sophie

xox


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/ beauty / review / Body Shop Haul

I have spent all my student loan. It must be a record.

you can see my reflection if you look hard enough.
Warming mineral mask


The claims
This cleansing mask for all skin types warms on contact with wet skin. It leaves skin clean and revitalized.
- Cleansing
- Oil absorbing
- Weekly treatment

The reality
I like this mask. It's quick and easy - and you can feel it working. It's not a really thick consistency so you don't make a complete mess. I've been using it on mornings where I feel sluggish and a bit 'ugh' and I've been loving the change it makes. The warming sensation is so nice - if you watch your face you can see it go slightly pink as the circulation is boosted and the old pores are opened up.

It's really easy to wash off and my skin felt refreshed - quite often masks leave my skin dry and a bit tight. I'll definitely agree with the whole oil absorbing claim - and there is a temptation to use it more than twice a week, but please don't - your skin needs to balance itself out.

Another reason I like this mask is because it doesn't smell like ginger (a pet hate of mine), it's a gentle clay scent instead.

I'm going to give this one a strong recommendation - because honestly it's a great all rounder, and feels like most skin types would have a good time. I think it's time I explored more of The Body Shops skincare range.

Price - £10.00

Sensual massage oil


I've bought this product before and last time didn't realise it was the sensual one - smelt it, bought it. I like putting oil on my calves after a long workout to massage out the kinks. So I bought it again. Duh.

The claims
This massage oil has a warm and sensual aroma
- Suitable for all skin types
- Conditioning
- Ideal for COUPLES (hahahaha.)

The reality
Right. Now we know this is a more seductive number you're not going to be able to take this review seriously.
Scent-wise is rich and floral with some citrus notes - I liked it more than their other ones, hence why I bought it. Suitable for all skin types (agreed) it's actually made my skin feel amazing, not greasy, just soft and smooooooth and you really don't have to use a lot.

There's not much you can say for a massage oil - a lot of it is down to the skill of those involved.  Did my calves feel great because of the oil or because I know which bits of muscle to prod? You'll just have to get out there and try it out for yourselves ;) - treat yourself to a well deserved night in.

I also feel this is important to mention. Don't eat it.

Price - £10.00

Tea tree blemish fade night lotion


The claims
A lightweight soothing gel creme for blemished skin
- Replenishes moisture overnight
- Leaves skin looking matte
- Antibacterial action
- Clinically proven to give clearer looking skin

The reality
I bought this because my recent night-time skin care routine was lacking. Sure, I'd take everything off, but then leave my skin to fend for itself during the dark. How mean.

This is meant to be the last thing you put on your skin before bed so I've been leaving it by my bedside so I don't forget. I've been applying it to my problem areas and thankfully the Tea Tree smell is fairly mild. It soaks in very quickly - something of a plus given how many beauty products used to end up on my pillowcase.

I'll say this now - it does lighten blemishes. I can't say that my skin looks a lot more matte (that's not been my biggest issue) but it hasn't done anything negative.
Yes, £9.00 is a lot for such a tiny bottle, but the coverage is incredible and I feel this stuff is going to last a while, even with daily (nightly) usage.

Price - £9.00

I feel very lucky to have had such success on all three of my products!! Probably means I'm going to get hit by a lorry now...



love sophie

xox

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Sunday, 19 January 2014

/ weekly wind-down 3

This is more of a 'throwback' photo session - I'm sure you can forgive my hair etc. in the name of immaturity... Please appreciate I am not photogenic (in any sense of the word) and my face doesn't always play ball.

These past seven days have been a period of reflection, reinvention and self-analysis.

 The boy and I are no more, but that's okay because it was for the best and we are both much happier (I say that tentatively) for it. We sat down like adults and discussed all manner of things before the conclusion was made that we are better off as two. That doesn't mean he won't be a massive part of my life though. That's just silly.
I can't deny there is a little sadness in my heart. But that would be inhuman to be otherwise.

this was an interesting christmas. to say the least.
The picture above was after the first christmas without my mum in the house (she moved out you see). My dad wasn't the happiest but we muddled through and I had the renowned new years party (he will never forget that one!) which set us all back on track. When it isn't such a taboo I'll tell you all about it...

i don't look like this kid anymore. they're also not my sunglasses. I don't know how I found them on a mountain.
These two photos are taken on top of a mountain (yes the same one from last summer, we've been there a lot) - this was also the first holiday without my mum there. It's amazing how we are able to adapt to unfamiliar situations and make the best from what we have. My sister is pink because she's allergic to the outdoors.

 This week I am thankful for:
My legs. They're exceptionally faithful. They never leave me - they sometimes get tired but they're always there when I need them (a stark reminder of the year I couldn't walk).
a particular red headed friend - she took my away from my intense routine of essay writing and exercise to spend the day relaxing at hers. eating copious amounts of garlic - that's okay because I'm single now.

yes i'm taking my shorts off - my sister thought it was funny and took a picture. what an amazing view ;).
The lust list:
a holiday just as incredible as the one photographed above. honestly, that week with my dad and sister was just perfect.
though I can't have everything, I would love for Newcastle to be far further south. There. I admitted it. I am southern and I miss my people.

It has been very strange spending the exam period at 'home' home. Away from the intensity of the late night library sessions and stressed student population, I feel weirdly relaxed. 

love sophie

xox



sorry to dwell on break-ups etc. It is a little on my mind
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Friday, 17 January 2014

/ beauty / review / Maybelline / Rocket volum' express

This post got inappropriate. I'm so sorry.

mascara

The claims
The most explosive, beautiful lashes ever!
Fast glide formula - loads on big, sleek volume instantly.
Something about being easy to remove too.

The reality

I contemplated uploading a picture of my own eyelashes - but if there was one thing that would put you off this product - that would be my face on this current morning.

An application at 7am lasted easily through until 5pm without smudges, at which point I hit the gym. Surprisingly - it was my eye-shadow which left me with panda eyes - the mascara stayed put, which, given my propensity to cry on the treadmill is very impressive.


First off. Packaging. I don't usually say this, but I'm almost 100% the shape of the lid actually helps in application, and the wand stops too much smudge... Sorry I got distracted by the fact it's quite a sexual product. Rocket.

The formula (like I know science) is thick and wet (it's getting worse) - so as long as you don't sneeze then you're all good. It's surprisingly good at building volume given the shape of the brush, but you have to be quite nifty to successfully coat the inner lashes. It is dry but doesn't crumble and holds a nice curl.

Removing that stuff, however, was a whole different saga and I ended up jumping in the shower and dealing with the black running down my face.

I would recommend if you are looking for a fairly priced everyday mascara to add some volume to lashes - but for the evening 'falsies' look we will need to try elsewhere. This is another marmite product to add to the list - you have to like it to like it.

Hope that helped.

love sophie

xox

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Monday, 13 January 2014

beauty / review / L'Occitane / Hand cream

I know I said I was reviewing 'Cherry Blossom' - but I suddenly realised there was another one in my big beauty box - so why not whack the two together and just be efficient.


The claims
  Enriched with shea butter, this creamy and non-greasy moisturiser nourishes and protects hands, leaving them delicately scented.

Ideal for very dry skin, shea butter accelerates cellular renewal and repairs the hydrolipidic film, to soften, soothe and comfort skin. It acts as a barrier for skin, helping to prevent moisture loss and to maintain optimum skin hydration levels on your hands.

Please forgive me photography.
The reality
The violet one is a slightly thicker cream (courtesy of the shea butter) - but that's genuinely no issue! However if you are going somewhere humid or 'damp' (??) then avoid the higher shea content. The packaging reminds me of those paints I used to use when I was going through an artistic streak...

The smells are divine!! I would never say 'miracle cream', but these are by far the best hand creams I've used (though. that isn't saying much...). This winter has been particularly hard on my hands - pole dancing too means I can't moisturise as much as I would like - and the weather has been horrific.

Overall, I am so happy I gave this duo a whirl. I would definitely tell you to grab one of their hand creams - the cherry blossom is yummy! Because of pole dancing, if I want to use them it has to be at night, but it absorbs so quickly it wouldn't really matter when you use them. I'm looking at getting the foot cream too ...

The only downside is that they are definitely a luxury product - and price can sometimes be a limiting factor (£8.00+), but if you have a splurging streak - go crazy!

love sophie

xox

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Sunday, 12 January 2014

/ weekly wind-down 2

On monday I trekked back up to Newcastle - then on Friday I hopped back down. I'm like a yo-yo. I also broke my promise of leaving my hair alone and took it up another notch. Sorry. 


This week I am thankful for:
the asos sale. Yep. I went a little crazy. 
the mild winter. I do so love snow, but it has been absolutely lovely not having to don the wellingtons (it's going to snow now. I knew it). 
my incredible course-mates. we've been stoically supportive of one-another for the past few weeks - our essays are the worst things in the world to write.

my uncle and dad enduring the christmas festivities. i think us young 'uns tire them out

The lust list
I have a secret wish. Time will tell - stay tuned (I know that's a faux pas in blogging but you'll laaav it!!)
A new pair of red suede ankle boots. Not that I need any more shoes.
the ability to be in two places at once. that would be nice

I also want to point out that this is two weeks until the Tough Guy race. It's been nice knowing you all

love sophie

xox

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Friday, 10 January 2014

| tmi tag

I like answering questions. I also found 5 pictures that look nothing alike but were all taken within a year. Okay you caught me. It's just an excuse to upload selfies. Not even attractive ones.

what are you wearing?
wouldn't you like to know?
pyjamas.
have you ever been in love?
I think so. I don't think you know?
have you ever had a terrible break-up?
The break-up wasn't the terrible bit at all.
how tall are you?
5 inches too tall. 
how much do you weigh?
The perfect amount.
do you have any tattoos?
Just the one. Thank you.
do you have any piercings?
Two in my left ear, one in my right.
OTP? ... one true pairing?
Hi. Me, myself and I.
what is your favourite TV show?
Community. Parks and recreation. Or. Doctor Who. 
who are your favourite bands? 
You won't have heard of them


what is something you miss?
Shall I list everything I've lost and can't find?
What is your favourite song?
why is this always a question. that's like asking which is your favourite strand of hair.
How old are you?
21. 
Zodiac sign?
Leo the lion.  Bite me. 
Quality you look for in a partner?
That would be telling. Blue eyes. 
Favourite quote?
'I can't go back to yesterday because I was a different person then' - Alice.
Favourite actor?
I don't know who they are. 
Favourite colour?
What kind of question is that!
Loud music or quiet?
Depends on who needs to be woken up.
Where do you go when you're sad?
To the biscuit cupboard.


How long does it take you to shower?
Again with the cheeky questions. Depends what I'm doing.
How long does it take you to get ready in the morning?
1 hour 57. I brought it down from 2.
Ever been in a physical fight?
Yeah loads. I normally start them in the street.
Turn on?
The light switch. Wit.
Turn off?
Sleaziness. 
The reason you started blogging?
Because I felt you would like to read this.
Fears?
Spiders. and wasps. And cold water.
Last thing that made you cry?
The treadmill.
Last time you said you loved someone?
I love everyone.
Meaning behind your blog name?
It's my middle name. 

Last book you read?
Perks of being a Wallflower
Currently reading?
A tale of two cities.
Last show you watched?
Peppa Pig.
Last person you talked to?
Someone I shouldn't have.
The relationship between you and the person you last texted?
I think it was my mum. My phone is somewhere over there.
Favourite food?
All of it.
Place you want to visit?
Paris
Last place you were?
Downstairs?
Do you have a crush?
YES. Do you want to know who they are?
Last time you kissed someone?
Not recently enough.
Last time you were insulted?
Today. I clearly have one of those faces.


Favourite flavour of sweet?
Stop talking about food. I'm  hungry.
Do you play any instruments?
Lots. Piano. Cello. Recorder. Voice. Percussion.
Favourite piece of jewelry?
A cheap ring
Last sport you played?
Table tennis?
Last song you sang?
Haha. I'm still singing.
Favourite chat up line?
Mine or theirs?
Have you ever used it?
Oh, mine. Yeah. I insult them. 
Last time you hung out with someone?
My dad. just now. he's down with the kids.
Who should answer these next?
Your mum.







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Wednesday, 8 January 2014

book/ review / The Perks of Being a Wallflower - Stephen Chbosky

A coming of age novel published in 1999, 'The Perks of being a Wallflower' follows Charlie, an introverted teenager who describes his life through a series of letters of an anonymous stranger.

So.

Along with The Fault in our Stars I had been told I couldn't not read this book - so I didn't. But I haven't seen the film okay?

Narrated by our dear old Charlie, the book highlights more how he thinks and struggles, than what actually goes on in that situation. He's a Wallflower (duh) so observes occurences and people - he would rather sit on the sidelines than actually participate in life. His English teacher plays a very important role, giving him something educational to focus upon during an otherwise hazy time. 
Charlie is unconventional and intelligent yet shy and unpopular. I like that.
From the beginning it is clear that he has autism (or something of that manner), and this is why a lot of people misunderstand his way of seeing the world. 

He is extremely sensitive. His family tolerates Charlie's strangeness but do not encourage it. He has a brother and sister, both of whom have very separate lives which he doesn't seem to fully engage with. Charlie's mother doesn't say much - though she is stoically supportive of him throughout his panic attacks and misunderstandings.


The book really kicks off when Charlie takes the advice of his English teacher, Bill. He tells him to jump off the sidelines and get involved.
So, our little narrator does just that. He meets Sam (the girl he falls in love with) and her half brother Patrick (who is secretly gay). He gets in some unorthodox situations, and makes many mistakes along the way. 

The book is not a light read. It deals with a lot of emotional issues - sex, drugs, abuse, anxiety... and so on, but in a manner that doesn't deal with them. I feel this reflects real life more than other books which provide some kind of guide; Charlie just takes life as it comes and deals with the consequences. 

The book was far from blowing me away. The writing style was an attempt at blase and kitsch - but it fell far short of the mark. It's haunting - you'll muse over it for quite a while after reading, and hindsight makes me think it's genuinely clever in its simplicity. It's quite difficult to review, and very marmite. 

I much prefer The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night Time.

love sophie

xox

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Monday, 6 January 2014

/ beauty / review / Indeed Labs hydraluron

I squealed a little when I saw this was included in my British Beauty Blogger box. 

Yes. I know this is one of the most raved about products of the year so I really shouldn't have waited so long before trying it.

But.

Better late than never.

The claims
The ultimate daily facial moisture boosting serum that starts where your moisturiser stops.
Containing a pure form of hyaluronic acid (a hydrating ingredient that holds up to 1,000 times its weight in water) you end up with better hydrated, moisture nourished, plumped up skin.
Reinforces skin's natural short and long term moisturization
'Plumps up' skin tissue to restore elasticity and firmness
Reduces skin roughness and provides a soft, smooth and silky texture to the skin
Boosts the action of your moisturizer by stimulating call turnover resulting in an improved absorption of active ingredients.
And then they delve into the science of it all (... deep layers, low molecular weight etc.)
Basically, over time Hydraluron serum increases the skin's hydration level and minimises the need for frequent moisturising. 


What a list.

The reality
I tried so hard not to like it, truly. I wanted to complain of it making my skin oily, or having no affect whatsoever. Seriously though - this stuff is incredible!

Not only can you completely cover your face with the smallest of amounts - it's so quickly absorbed there is absolutely no hanging about. It's meant to be used both morning and night after your toner for maximum effect. To  begin with, I wasn't entirely blown away. There was no drastic result - I didn't wake up to flawless skin, and although it didn't feel 'dry', my face didn't feel hugely hydrated.

It was when this sample ran out that I suddenly realised just what Hydraluron had been doing for me. My make-up didn't apply as evenly as I had come to expect, and my skin looked a little worse for wear. In fact, I would say the difference was close to unbearable - and I as soon as my student loan comes in I will be purchasing this by the bucket. 

Definite YES from me!!

love sophie

xox

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Sunday, 5 January 2014

/ fitness / you devil

Currently I'm taking a break from drying my hair (you don't hear that everyday) following a 2 hour workout at the gym.

Yeah. 2 hours. 

pre-gym, i'm not impressed
Isn't that utterly ridiculous? And before any of you fitness nerds say anything - it is a mixture of interval training and base level fitness work (+ weights).

15 minutes on the static bike - increasing from level 4 every 2 minutes (that will mean nothing unless you go to my gym)
10 minutes on the spinning bike (30s level 8, 30s level 6)
25 minutes on the rowing machine rate capped at 20
1 hour on the treadmill ( you can only imagine my boredom. my daydreams got a bit... askljhgadfklbn)
20 minutes of weights '2' above my usual.

I now feel like a man having to go 'downstairs' and use the bars - but I guess I look like one too. 

[I'm now straightening my hair whilst watching a Poodle Grooming programme. This one looks like a clown]

With only 3 weeks to go, I'm pulling out all of the stops to prepare my body to be pushed beyond it's limits. Having accepted I won't probably complete a full 10 mile run prior to the race, it's currently written off as a crawl. The only bit I now can truly work on is upper body strength to haul myself up and over the obstacles.

Or I need to find a strong man to carry me.

Either way. Help me.

post gym. i did it :)
I also got asked today if I was adopted - apparently I look so little like my Dad the only plausible explanation is adoption.

love sophie

xox
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| weekly wind-down 1

Well, this was an interesting week. I've had about 4 hours sleep in total and my hair is such a mess!


My dad recently discovered what 'Facebook does' and was desperate to get a photo uploaded - so I let him take my new profile picture. Every now and then he keeps asking for 'updates' on the likes...  sooo he hasn't quite got it.

This week I am thankful for:
my friends and family (cliche I know) - the christmas period has just been lovely to see everyone
my new Naked Palette. I can't get enough of it. I actually managed to get two for christmas - so one lives in Newcastle and the other at my Dad's.
new years 
finding my external hard drive. thought it was lost forever
oh. and food.

it was too cold for me to concentrate on this photo. but you get what i mean.
The lust list
I feel like I can ask for things, as long as I show appreciation for what I already have.

A new coat. I have a gorgeous parka but want something a bit more fitted and smart, something I could wear to work and not feel too underdressed.
Bobbi Brown make-up brushes - I've loved using the powder and foundation ones... it's only a matter of time...
I would love to learn how to make sweets - then I would never have to leave the house

love sophie

xox

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Friday, 3 January 2014

/ beauty review / Paul Mitchell - shampoo + conditioner

Paul Mitchell products are probably my favourite. I love all their ranges and have only ever been slightly disappointed by the Forever Blonde Conditioner - purely because I like my hair to have a tinge of grey to it. 


You can only imagine my horror when I realised I had completely run out of everything. I take pride in being prepared and I don't think my hair has recovered from the shock of using my sisters stuff.

Yeah I know that's a slight exaggeration - I think I'm most upset at the cost of replacing them all!


Super Skinny line


It's hardly a secret that I have a lot of unruly hair - genuinely the most time consuming aspect of my entire beauty regime. 

Originally my hairdresser recommended this stuff and I was reluctant to try it - for the life of me I don't know why.

They both have a faint fruity smell, I always say apples but I'm not entirely sure. 

Because I have so much hair I normally rinse once with a nourishing shampoo and then apply the Super Skinny Shampoo midway to the tips (I hate having flat roots). Other shampoos I've used make my hair feel horrible when I rinse them out - that kind of dry knotty feeling - but this stuff is the least offensive one I've experienced. 

The Super Skinny Daily Treatment is the definite hero here. I'm really not being over the top when I say it's life changing (well maybe a little) but it just makes your hair feel gorgeous. The bottle is £13.95, but a little goes such a long way, and if you leave it in your hair the results are genuinely exceptional. 

The claim of reduced drying time is minimal - but it takes me so long anyway I probably wouldn't notice!


Previously I've also mentioned the Super Skinny Serum - if you're going to buy any of this range go for that one. I promise you won't regret it.

A word of warning with this stuff. If your hair is already fairly straight or thin, then this stuff isn't for you. It take so much volume out of my hair and makes it quite slick - so I can only imagine what it would do to someone with already straight hair!

ColorCare Range

Bought following a dip into going dark brown (that lasted about a month) I wasn't too sure if I was going to keep using my Color Protect haircare. Then I realised bleaching is a form of colouring (yeah I'm slow) and that this stuff would probably be quite good to use once in a while to give it a pamper. 


Because I can't bear to wash my hair without at least one of the Super Skinny range - I alternate between the Color Protect Daily Shampoo and Conditioner.

Now, I'm not going to endorse this pair as strongly as the ones mentioned a bit further up ;) - however they are exceptional products. For the month I was trying to hold onto the brown I had dyed into my hair I can honestly say it didn't fade at all. Given how quickly colour normally washes out of porous bleached hair you can't deny that something was intervening.


It also gives a really nice texture to my hair - a great every day shampoo and conditioner especially because of the UVA and UVB protection. Suncream for the hair.

This is probably one of my most endorsing posts - and I have absolutely no reason to do so - I just love this stuff!!!


x



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