12 MONTHS LATER

Another 365 days have passed and we’re ready to welcome in the new year. I’ve seen a whole bunch of posts already complaining about how shitty 2017 has been (remember everyone in 2016 being ready to make 2017 their year?!) Well buckle up because 2018 is going to be just as shit. The beauty of life is that you never know what’s around the corner – no matter how much you plan there’s always an element of uncertainty and the opportunity for stuff you never planned for but that is half the fun!

Angsty teenager Soph was very woe me. I’d sit and list all the terrible things that had happened and dwell on them, feeling sorry for myself and obsessing over how awful my life had been. I must have been about 16 or 17 when I had a total flip of perspective. I think I was having a bad hair day which spiralled into staring at myself in the mirror and telling myself how disgusting I looked (I know, I’m eye rolling at myself). It was at that point that I realised this wouldn’t change anything – if I wanted things to change, I had to change them myself. It seems like a very simple ‘epiphany’ but it’s one that’s changed my perspective ever since.

If I don’t like something, I will change it. If I can’t change it, I will learn to love it or live with it.

So what I’m trying to say is every new year will be shit unless you do something to change it. Unless you work towards your goals and put the effort in, nothing is going to change and every year forever more will be rubbish – it’s your job to make it not rubbish.

Numero dos: embrace the bad bits too. There will always be things that are out of our control and unfortunately, that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. One thing that helps me is looking back on all the bad bits of the year – not to dwell but to find the silver lining or a good thing that’s come out of it. If you can’t find that, then maybe you’re grateful it happened in a certain way? I started having fits this year and was diagnosed with epilepsy but I certainly don’t resent it happening. That isn’t to say it hasn’t been overwhelmingly difficult or that there haven’t been some really hideous days but I got through those by looking on the bright side of life. One thing I consider a Blessing: I never had a fit or a seizure whilst driving. Epilepsy was part of the plan for me, I just didn’t make the plan myself. Either way, it was going to happen and I am grateful every day that it was in an office and not behind the wheel.

Now I know there are a billion things worse than being diagnosed with epilepsy and I’m in no way saying that embracing some of the challenges chucked at us is easy but when you’re struggling to find the good in something, know that dealing with it (no matter how badly you think you are) you will be so much stronger for it…so there’s your positive.

Wishing everyone a very Happy and Healthy New Year – keep on keeping on! You’re stronger than you know xxx

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BE SELFISH

So here’s a little post about taking control and doing things the way you want to, in the way that’s best for you.

Personal time – I was diagnosed with epilepsy in August this year. It’s been a hectic few months since but I’ve been lucky to have incredibly supportive friends, family and colleagues around me. The minor problem is that when you start having fits and seizures, that beautiful support system can kind of start to suffocate you. I had 3 fits in one day which is when I was first diagnosed – once I was out of hospital I was ready to get back to normal. I’m not good at sitting and ‘recovering’ and I’m definitely not good at being a patient or looked after. For a good few weeks I had to notify people of my whereabouts, let them know when I’d had my medication, text at various times so they knew I’d made it to work okay and pretty much not use anything without supervision. Frustrations aside, I learnt to focus on and appreciate how lovely and caring these people were but as a previously independent 22 year old, it was incredibly difficult. To go from living in your own house, driving a car and functioning on your own to having to be supervised whilst having a shower was a bit of a shock to the system.

Ultimately, I wanted to get on with it. I learnt as a teenager that for me, moping and wallowing in a situation just doesn’t work. The sooner I accept a situation, especially one I have no control over, the sooner I can take control and learn to adapt and overcome. Essentially that’s what life is about, right? No matter what you plan for, a whole bunch of stuff you never imagined is going to come hurtling towards you. I’ve learnt to embrace that and be grateful for that – it doesn’t mean that there aren’t tough times or that you’re ecstatic about everything but when you can take control of how you deal with a situation, you regain what you’ve lost.

I’ve also learnt that everyone will “always know what’s best for you”, better than you even. That’s when I nod and smile and say “will do”. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate any advice I can get but I won’t let other people control how I want to deal with something. I’m constantly being told to chase the doctors, get answers, get fixed. As great as that would be, attempts at that are often futile. Epilepsy is controllable often with medication but it can take a little bit of time. I’m treated as a child that is incapable of getting the help I need, as if I need an adult to take control of the situation and everything will miraculously be sorted.

What I’m trying to say is I’m not a child. I’m able to look at the bigger picture – I’m logical in the way I decide to deal with things. Sometimes situations are out of our control but the way we decide to deal with it is not and this is what this rambly old post is about.

I can’t control my epilepsy but I can learn to adapt to it in anyway I choose in order to overcome it.

To put it simply, I can’t stop it from raining but I can take an umbrella. Others may opt for a hooded coat or hop in the car instead of walking – this is your situation, be ‘selfish’ and take control.

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ORAL B PRO 2000 // REVIEW


I’ll start off by saying I’m not all that clued up in the world of electric toothbrushes. I’ve had some in the past but that was waaay back; instead I’ve opted for the good old cheap manual brushes. 
Anyway, a couple days ago I finally got round to seeing a dentist since moving. My last visit was probably a good 2 years ago and I’d been having some pain so figured I should stop being lazy and get it checked out. Thankfully my teeth are in pretty good shape (apart from an impacted wisdom tooth that needs removing) but no fillings required so I’m happy! The point of this dental life story is the fact that I went and bought an electric tooth brush (hold the applause/contain your excitement please) as recommended by my dentist. I also figured that whilst I’m still pretty young I should make sure I look after my molars and a fancy tooth brush seemed like a good place to start.

SO, onto the review. I LOVE THIS TOOTHBRUSH. I hadn’t really done a lot of research, I simply walked into boots and stood for a while trying to decide between the pink one and the blue one. The blue one was cheaper but the pink one was cuter so guess which one I got? Also, it was £70 down to £35 so I felt like I was getting more super cool technology for my money. 

RATING: ★★★★★

PROS: Your mouth feels sooo fresh after using this. Teeth feel a whole lot cleaner and in a lot less time than a manual toothbrush (kinda obvious, I know). There are lights that flash if you’re brushing too hard and snazzy vibration timers to tell you when to move to a different part of your mouth. Overall, if you’d like to feel as if there’s a whole new world of teeth brushing you’d never discovered, this is for you. Also it looks really cute in pink. 

CONS: This isn’t a real con for me as yet because I haven’t had it long enough to experience it but some people say the battery life isn’t great. In all honesty, if this is the case, it’s not a massive problem as Ed is still being old school and manual leaving me with fullllll access to the charge 24/7. Also, considering I got this on offer, it’s something I can overlook. 

Ps anyone had a wisdom tooth out? Tell me your (good) stories please as I’m clueless about it all. Get in touch, as always I love to hear from you. 

Soph x

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GAINING WEIGHT

I’ll start off by saying I’ve always been slim. Genetics have ‘blessed me’ with a fast metabolism meaning no matter how much I eat, I really struggle to gain weight. To some people, this may sound like heaven but it’s something that I’ve always reeeeaaally hated about myself. Being relatively tall (5ft9) and lacking any real body fat or muscle gives me a lanky pole type figure (see pic below); fine when you’re a child but as you grow into a young woman you start to crave the curves and feminine bodies all your friends seem to have. I was told constantly by doctors that I needed to eat more but no matter how much I tried, I remained super slim. It wasn’t until a few years ago that I started to research how to seriously gain weight and really committed to it. Looking back, I realised I’ve learnt so much and it’s kind of become a lifestyle more than an empty goal. Since moving into my own place, I’ve been able to control everything I buy and eat (which has helped a lot) as well as taking over the entire apartment with my workout routines.  It’s only been a couple of months so of course I won’t see any proper results yet but I feel so much stronger which gives me the motivation to carry on. I’ve also managed to gain (and maintain) around 6lbs which is a pretty big deal for me. Putting effort into changing my lifestyle and improving my health has also made me a lot more confident and although people feel the need to make rude comments about my size (apparently I only eat once a day???) I am learning to channel negativity into motivation to achieve my own personal goals.  

Anyway that was a loooot of rambling but it would be great to hear from people on the same kind of journey trying to gain weight/curves/muscle so please get in touch and share any wisdom you have. Hopefully this will be the start of documenting my road to a stronger and healthier me so I will try and post an update once a month or something. Get in touch! Soph x
 

Ps In case you’re interested, here’s a pic of me looking sassy from about 3 years ago. I’ve gained some shape since then but this is very much the beginning 🙂

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WE FINALLY MOVED

Having first viewed our flat in August 2016, the long six months of endless complications that followed seemed to go on forever. When we finally received the keys last month, the stress was forgotten and we were ready to move in there and then. That was until we put the key in the door and realised the hard work had only just begun…if you’re moving into your first place, get reading and let our misery be beneficial to at least one person…

#1 Take off those rose tinted glasses. We viewed our flat twice and made an offer after the first viewing. Being very new to it all, we definitely fell head over heels the moment we walked in and our vision was clouded to all the potential problems. We took this into account though and went in with a more critical eye for our second viewing…’more critical eye’. The excitement of walking into a home that would one day be ours seemed to take over us and once again we failed to acknowledge the ruined carpets (ridden with cigarette burns) and stained flooring. (Might I add that the seller had everything positioned to hide these so we weren’t quite as naive as it seems). But still, had we been a little more eagle eyed we could have spotted these things and asked for a reduction in price as in the end we were left to replace the carpets for the whole flat. 

#2 Don’t expect to move in straight away. We had a loooong wait between putting in our offer and moving in so when the date finally came around we were ready to move in as soon as possible. Unfortunately this didn’t quite work out…upon turning the key in our very own front door we were greeted with worn, dirty carpets, a dirty greasy kitchen and scruffy walls to match. We tried to put on a brave face for eachother but ultimately, we were gutted. We knew we couldn’t move in with it in the state it was and agreed to spend the next few weeks getting it perfect.  So even if you think you’ve spotted everything on your viewings, always be prepared for things you might not have noticed like carpet stains covered by furniture and your seller leaving the place absolutely filthy (thanks, bud). 
#3 Get all the surveys carried out. I’ll be honest, handing over more money for extra surveys to be done was not my biggest priority so we opted for the standard surveys that are required. This is me telling you pay for all the surveys. I know buying a house is incredibly pricey and fees for everything under the sun seem to be thrown in but please put aside a little extra money to pay for these. They are worth it and can save you a lot of extra money down the line. There were some things (luckily only minor) that an additional surveyor could have picked up on, saving us time and money. It’s always worth getting a new place checked out so you can haggle on the price or walk away if there is something major.

What are your top tips for moving or things you would have done differently? Let me know in the comments below!

 I will also be posting some before and afters of our home very soon so don’t forget to check back! 

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HAPPY INTERNATIONAL WOMENS DAY

Here’s to being #BoldforChange  for women all over the world.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to remind you that we cannot achieve equality when women do not support other women. Being told by three older female colleagues that I wouldn’t really count as a woman (more a girl) having ascertained my slim body was not ‘womanly’ enough, I was some what pathetically hurt. I am 21 and work a full time job; my body type does not define whether I am a girl or a woman. Accept other woman for their place in society and their workplace and not for their appearance. Judgements like these only prove that gender equality is harder to achieve than ever when women celebrating this day have such a warped mindset. 

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I COOKED SOMETHING EDIBLE

I love to try new recipes and I love it even more when they end up tasting good. As Edward and I continue on our journey to health and prepare for freedom in our very own home, we’re building up a stack of meals that are quick and easy to prepare. Tonight we tried out Joe Wicks’ (Lean in 15) breakfast pizza recipe. This was actually a video recipe I came across on his Facebook page and I’m so glad I did. When you get out of work, the last thing you want to do is stand in the kitchen all night preparing food so the fact that this took around 20 minutes in total is a definite bonus (that and it was super tasty). Take a look at how it turned out and be sure to share you fav recipes in the comments below! 

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