My Week #2

Technically these are things I've been up to over the last two weeks but I thought I would just put them all into one post. 

1) Starting to read my new book 'Cloud Atlas' whilst drinking some green tea, the book has six parts which interlock. I;m enjoying it so far but find that I enjoy some of the parts more than others and want to just find out what happens to the characters in that part of the book.

2) One of my friends from school organised a meal out so that we could all catch up as a lot of us hadn't see each other since Christmas, we went to Pizza Hut which is our go to place for food, I actually had pasta this time which was really nice and managed to have cookie dough too.

3) Bit of a boring job but I decided to sort through my receipts as I am a bit of a hoarder some right at the bottom were about two years old so I got rid of a lot of them

4) I couldn't not include this photo as I thought it was really cute, looks like a cat vampire. 

On Wednesday I went down to Winchester to visit my friend Emily who moved there for university, it was a three hour journey but it went quite quickly. We don't get to see each other that often because of the distance between where we live so it was nice to catch up. 

1) We got the train to Southampton on the Thursday to do a bit of shopping, we ended up going to Ikea first which probably wasn't the best idea as we had to carry a massive Ikea bag around whilst shopping. For lunch we decided to try out Ed's Diner, it's one of those places I've always wanted to try out but never got round to doing so. I had the fried chicken burger and Emily had the Chicken BLT burger, we were both pretty impressed with the food.

2) Taking pictures on the train, I was lucky that my second train to Emily's was really quiet so I was able to spread my bags out over the other seat so I could have more leg room.

3) My dessert at Ed's Diner, the pancakes definitely defeated me as I had to leave a tiny bit and felt very  full afterwards.

4) The standard picture of the view outside the train

So that's what I've been up to this past week or so, have you done anything exciting this week?

Sophie x 


University Series | What to take to university

Today I thought I would put together a list of things to take to university for those going in September, you've most likely already purchased most things but it is always good to double check you have everything you need. This isn't a definite list and some of the things on the list aren't necessities, for example I took a cheese grater with me but ended up always buying grated cheese as I only ever used cheese for jacket potatoes etc, so you may find you take things that you don;t actually use.

I was provided with a toaster, kettle etc but one of my friends had to buy her own so you may want to check what's provided before you go and buy things.
Plates and bowls
Frying pans and saucepans
Cutlery (if possible ones that are easily identifiable so people don't end up thinking that your cutlery is theres)
Chopping board (i'd recommend two, one for vegetables and one for meat)
Potato masher
Can opener
Cheese grater
Pizza cutter
Casserole dish
Baking trays
Oven glove
Measuring cups (optional)
Tea towels
Vegetable peeler
Cleaning products (you'll most likely have a cleaner but having your own cleaning products is helpful incase you need to clean something you spill etc)
Bottle opener
Wooden spoons, spatulas etc
Mugs, glasses, a travel cup to take hot drinks to university with
Containers that can be frozen so you can cook bigger portions and freeze some
Containers / lunch box to take food onto campus with
Tin foil / cling film
Washing up liquid
Cupboard essentials - tea, coffee , salt etc

Mattress protector (this may already be provided)
Bedding (duvet, pillows etc)
Coat hangers (I recommend the non slip ones, you can get them from Primark)
Things from home (pictures, decorations, posters - my uni had a poster fair in the first term which sold cheap posters)
Stationary - post it notes, sellotape, hole punch, stapler, paperclips etc
Pen pot / pencil case (I had both but found I never ended up taking my pencil case to lectures, I just took a couple of pens and a highlighter in my bag instead, but depending on your course you may need more equipment for your lectures)
Envelopes (optional, but they may be useful if you need to send a letter)
Printer (again optional, I took one and found it useful as I didn't have to worry about having to go somewhere to print my essays off as I could do it then and there)
Lamp (optional, they may provide you with one, I took my own and had it by my bed for reading)
Magazine files (to store documents etc)
Water bottle
Clothes horse
Laundry basket
Door stop
Extension leads
Sleeping bag (incase friends stay over)
Alarm clock
Ear plugs
Memory stick
First aid kit (plasters, paracetamol etc)
Washing powder / tablets
Washing bags ( I don't know what these are actually called but the little net bags you can put in the washing machine, these are handy for underwear or more delicate things that need washing)

Tooth brush etc
Toiletries (shampoo, conditioner, skincare etc)
Toilet paper
Bin (optional and may already be provided)
Cleaning products (floor wipes, bathroom wipes etc)
Towels (hand and bath towels)
Bath mat (depending what type of bathroom you have, mine was a wet room styled bathroom so a bath mat was no good to me)
Toilet brush (mine was already provided)
Stick on storage baskets (if you have tiled walls these are handy, i had one in th shower and one by my sink with all my skincare products, you can get them quite cheap from Tk maxx or Home Bargains)

Driving license to use for ID
Passport (optional but I find it was handy to have it as there was a trip to Amsterdam organised)
Bank documents (things you need for your online banking etc)
University documents (such as things for registration and your acceptance letter)
Student loan documents
National Insurance number and CV's if you plan on looking for a job
Doctor and dentist details

Hopefully this list has been useful for anyone who is off to university, like I said not everyone will want or need to take everything on this list. I also know some people advise buying certain kitchen things with your flat mates so you don't end up with five can openers but I think taking your own is a good idea as even if you have spoken to your flat mates on Facebook etc you never know whether you'll actually get along enough to be willing to share things once you are at university.

Sophie x


Lifestyle | Highclere Castle Photo Diary

Last week my mum and I decided to have a day out to Highclere Castle, if your a Downton Abbey fan like I am then you'll probably know this is where it is set. It was around a two hour drive from where I live which meant a early morning but it was worth the drive. We didn't have tickets and the online ones were all sold out which is another reason we had to get there early to ensure the on the day tickets hadn't sold out. We got there at around half nine and first went to get a coffee to wake ourselves up, after this we went to look around inside the house. Photography was not allowed within the house, although this rule obviously didn't apply to a hand full of people who still snapped away. I still managed to get lots of pictures of the outside of the house and the gardens so I thought I would share them with you.


We took some sandwiches with us, luckily the weather was nice enough to eat outside, we were finished by around half one so I'd say it's more of a half day thing as I doubt many people spend a full day there. Even though it only took us half the day to look around I'd definitely say it's worst a visit if your a fan of Downton Abbey.

Sophie x 


Meet my cats

Disclaimer - if you don't like cats it's probably best you just skip this post! 

Ok so I'm kind of a self confessed crazy cat lady, I'd happily live with about ten cats that I rescued from cat shelters but sadly I can't. But it's all ok as I have my two lovely cats Manya and Purdy. They are our only family pets although my brother does have a snake but she's only small, my mum said he could have anything as long as it wasn't a tarantula! My mum chose both of the cats names, Manya apparently means 'star of the sea' or 'bitter' I think I'll go with the first meaning! I'm definitely a cat person rather than a dog person, this is probably partly because I've always had cats as pets. I have nothing against dogs but I think I'll always remain a cat person. I like that they are independent and choose to live with you, there also great for cuddles too (well when they're in a good mood!). I also think cats pull the best faces! Seriously if looks could kill I'd be dead by now with the amount of dirty looks I've had from Purdy!


Manya is around three, we got her from the Cats Protection charity. They didn't exactly know what had happened to her, whether she had been thrown out or had just run away but they found her and her five kittens on the streets. All of her kittens had been rehomed when we went to visit her, but we didn't want a young kitten, I think she was around 8 months to a year when we got her so she had had her kittens very young when she was practically a kitten herself! Because of this she is a very small cat which is probably why she has the nickname of Minnie. She likes to explore in the garden in the summer or sleep on my bed which is where she is as I'm writing this. I think she likes it when I go to university as she gets the whole bed to herself.


Purdy is around 7, we had two black cats (Ebony and Dusky) that we had had since before I was born when we got Purdy. We weren't actually planning on getting another cat but my friends cat had kittens and so being me I had to go and see them and once I saw them I really wanted one! My mum wasn't sure but I came up with the cunning plan that if I took my mum to see the kittens then she wouldn't be able to say no and it worked! Purdy was the only girl out of the four, our old neighbours actually ended up with one of her brothers and so they used to play with each other in the garden which was quite cute. She likes her cuddles but can get a bit moody, lets just say I would't risk picking her up when she's in one of her moods!

Just incase you hadn't had too many cat pictures already I thought I'd put a little collage together, the two left pictures are Manya and the two right ones are Purdy. As you can see I like to put hats on them! I also Skype them when I'm at university, well I Skype my parents but say hello to the cats if they're around which is what I'm doing in the second picture. I was a bit worried that once I went to uni they'd forget about me or be annoyed at me for leaving them but they have been fine although I'm not sure I'm Purdy's favourite anymore.

So this post has probably just made you realise that I am a c but I thought the pictures were too cute not to share! Do you have any pets?

Sophie x 


University Series| Considerations when choosing a university

I've wanted to do a small series about university on my blog for a while but never got round to organising the posts but I've finally sat down and decided what I want to write about. I thought this posts might be helpful for those going to university in September or those who are just starting to look at universities. Todays post is aimed at the those who have just started looking at universities, you might have already started going to open days or you might be planning on going to some over the summer.

My list of things to consider are just my personal opinion and are not definite things they're just things that I thought might help.

What course you want to study
I put this first as what course you want to do might already narrow down your choices of universities. Say you want to do something like English or Law then nearly all universities offer that but take my course for example, Philosophy, whilst a lot of universities do offer it, it is not as common as other courses. Also if you wanted to do joint honours, not all universities would necessarily offer the two subjects together, at one point I was considering doing Philosophy and Law together but this really narrowed down my choices of universities to consider. This may be a good thing if you know what course you definitely want to do as it narrows your choice down for you so you have a more specific range of universities to focus on.

This leads me on to my next thing to consider - grades. I'm not saying your predicted grades from sixth form/college completely decide what universities to apply for but they do contribute to it. For example if you were predicted say BBC then you would probably focus your search on universities that had this as their entry requirement or around the same grades. I'm not saying you can't aim high as you could completely exceed your target grades just try and be realistic as also this means there is slightly less pressure on you. I was predicted AAB so I started by looking at universities that wanted that or ABB but then I looked at some that wanted say BBB as I knew that hopefully even if I didn't achieve my targets that I could definitely achieve that. I also looked at some that wanted higher say AAA. You get to pick five options so a mixture of grade requirements is a good idea. In the end I applied for two that wanted BBB/BBC, two that were around my target and one that was above. I got offers from them all and at that point I hadn't even achieved my target grades, for AS I ended up with BBC with a C in the subject I wanted to study so again don't worry if your AS grades are lower as these aren't your overall grades.

Distance from home
Some people don't really mind how far away or near they are from home, others do. If you wanted to visit home a lot then one that is closer may be better so you don't have such a long train or car journey. Some people may also choose a local university and live at home. I personally didn't really mind where universities where at first, in the end the ones I chose were all pretty close (around an hour away) from home, this wasn't actually intentional it just turned out that the ones I liked the best where relatively close to where I live. If you know you definitely want to live near or far from home then this helps narrow your choices of universities down and give you a starting point for which universities to focus on.

Campus or city based campus 
Again some people don't really have a preference. I started off looking at both but decided I preferred a campus where everything was in one place. This doesn't mean you can't still be near a city, I'm a ten minute bus journey from Nottingham city centre. It also doesn't necessarily mean that the campus will be smaller than one that is spread around a city. I guess it depends on whether you like the idea that everything is in one place or whether you'd like to be more within an actual city with other things happening around you.

Where the university is
I thought I'd just add this as another consideration, when I say where it is I mean is it in a big city or a quieter area. I don't think this is a major thing to consider but it might be something to keep in mind. Say you really enjoy going out clubbing, a city where there are a variety of clubs may be better than a smaller university where there is only really the student union. Or maybe you've always lived in a city so fancy living somewhere smaller or vice versa. I didn't personally think about this too much but I'm now glad I'm in quite a big city, there are plenty of places to eat and plenty of nights out to suit most music tastes.

I'd also recommend going to the open days of all the universities you are considering. I went to a lot of open days probably more than most but I didn't want to put any in my top five that I hadn't seen. I just personally thought it was better to see the campuses in person. Also it means you can have a proper look at the accommodation. It may surprise you that some universities that you thought you'd like end up being ones that you remove form you list. For example, before going to visit York university I thought I was really going to like it but I got there and really didn't, I didn't like the way the university was laid out and wasn't keen on the lecturer who gave the talk. I know you only see some of the lecturers but they are going to be teaching you so you want people who you'll be able to listen to for an hour or two.

So these are just a few things I thought might be helpful for any of you who are starting to think about what universities to pick. Hopefully some of you found this post useful, I will be writing a few more posts for my university series which should go up every Friday.

Sophie x 


My Week #1

I've seen quite a lot of people do some sort of summary of their week or month and I thought it was quite a nice idea, it also means I can look back at my blog and see the things I've been up to like a sort 
of diary. I was going to post this yesterday but didn't get the chance but in the future I will usually post these on a Sunday.

In all honesty I haven't been up to that much this week but I thought I would show you anyway. One of the main things I did this week was go to the Opticians about getting contact lenses, I wear glasses but wanted to try out contacts for days and nights out. The idea of them kinda grosses me out, having to put something in your eye but I wasn't as bad at putting them in or out as I thought, although when the optician put them in the first time I'm pretty sure I pulled the worlds ugliest face. I've been given a trial of them so hopefully they'll work out so I don't have to start wearing my glasses all the time. I also booked in to have my teeth whitened which was one of the things on my 101 in 1001 days list (here), I've always been a bit self conscious of my teeth as they are quite yellow so I'm hoping the whitening will work well.

1. This week I also got back into reading. 'Eeny Meeny' is a crime novel, the people who are captured have to choose between them who lives and who dies, only once one of them is dead is the other one released. It was quite an easy read so I'd recommend it to anyone who likes crime novels.

2. My lunch / dinner which consisted of mini food which I love, I especially like it around Christmas when all the mini pies and stuff come out.

3. I did a bit of redesigning on the blog this week, you may have noticed this already as my headerh as now changed. I was getting bored of the old one and fancied something that looked more streamlined. I'd love to know if you prefer my new header?

4. A selfie! I don't actually take many selfie's but I was trying to get one of my new haircut as I'd decided to have quite a bit taken off, I'm actually tempted to get it cut shorter.

5. Lots of the stuff I've collected over the last year which I've finally got round to putting in my scrapbook.

6. Another selfie (whoops), this was when I went to Milton Keynes to do some shopping. I was waiting for my mum to finish trying some stuff on, I get bored rather easily when I go shopping unless I'm looking at things I want to look at but then again my mum gets bored when I'm looking at my stuff, she doesn't like mooching in Boots like me.

7. I went to see Linkin Park at Download festival in June with my mum as we both like them, my mum actually got me into them rather than the other way around. We both had a really good time at Download even though my mum was a bit paranoid we'd get squashed in the crowd, we only went for the day too as my mum is not a camper and we only really went to see Linkin Park. But anyway I saw that they were doing a UK tour so even though we'd only saw them in June we booked again to see them at the O2 in November.

8. Last but not least I finally found a playsuit that I like and suits me. I've been after one for quite a while but all the ones I tried on didn't look right until I found this one in Primark, plus because it was from Primark it was cheap!

So that's a round up of my week, not exactly the most exciting but I did tick of some things on my to do list (contacts and teeth whitening). What have you been up to this past week?

Sophie x 


5 Favorites of July

I was going to do the usual beauty monthly favourites but in all honesty I don't really have any, partly due to the fact I haven't really worn any makeup this last month or so as I have spent most of my time in and around my house. So instead I thought I would do post on five of my favourite things that have happened in July / non beauty favourites.

Not wearing makeup

Like I said in the introduction I haven't really worn any makeup this past month, only occasionally if I've been shopping or something. In all honesty I haven't noticed a massive difference in my skin looking clearer by not wearing makeup but it has definitely been a lot less hassle especially in the warm weather, I don't feel like my face is a slimy mess which it sometimes does when I wear makeup in the heat (my face and I do not like the heat, I get hot far too easily!)

Green Tea

I only started drinking this in June as my flat mate introduced it to me, I had always assumed I wouldn't like it. She actually got me to try peppermint tea first which I didn't like quite so much, for some reason I really did not like the smell! I ended up buying Tesco own brand as at that point I had only tried it once so didn't want to spend much and end up not liking it after all, the own brand tea bags taste fine. I think I might be adventurous and try a more fruity tea next time!


My scrapbook was originally meant to a whole one dedicated to my holidays to Florida but after starting and then leaving it for about a year I decided to make it a general scrapbook. I started it properly last summer but again it ended up being left once I started school again. So finally this summer I was determined to actually finish it! I'm not finished just yet but the end is in sight! I also collected quite a few more bits of memorabilia from my year at uni to put into it.

The Commonwealth Games

I'm not a sporty person at all and usually don't watch any sports (football in particular) but after really enjoying the Olympics I was excited to watch the Commonwealth Games. I'm not going to lie, I pretty much spent most of my days for the duration it was on watching it, especially in the evenings. My parents both like watching it as well so in the evening we'd all watch it with our coffee and cake, ok mine was milk and double chocolate cookies as I'm still a kid at heart! I do also get a bit carried away sometimes cheering especially if it was a close win!


Seeing as I've already had about 9 weeks off since finishing my first year at university (seems so long ago!!), I have had a lot of free time, and what's the best way to use your free time in the summer -watching Netflix! Ok so maybe I should be making the most of the summer weather but there's not much to do where I live so I spend a lot of time watching stuff, I've managed so far to get through the end of Breaking Bad, American Horror Story and am now on the last season of Dexter. I'm planning on watching Prison Break next.

So those are my favourites from July, what do you recommend me watching on Netflix and what were your favourite things from July?

Sophie x

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