Small, happy and rounding up #joyfuljanuary!

Can't believe it's already time to write this but here we go, it's time to sum up #joyfuljanuary

This January 2015 was the month I...

Booked a holiday to Rome in Easter!

Enjoyed my juices in mini style.

Tried out a new exercise class and got really into playing squash!

Started my first full time teaching job and took my stationary obsession to another level.

January was also the month I...

Made some highly necessary impulse purchases from Tesco! 

Got this A beautiful mess diary, 2015 is beautiful!

Cooked some delicious new recipes including tomato thyme cod and imam bayildi!

Got cracking at work and received some really good feedback, finishing the month with my class winning best poem at our school poetry performance! 

And other lovely things I did that weren't pictures, I...

Had a lovely visit from my mum and sister.

Explored more of both my town and city- hello northern quarter! #alternative

Had some lovely phone calls with my grandma after work.

Watched my boyfriend trade food at Altrincham market and do his part to help food poverty in Manchester.

Started tutoring.

Read more than my goal of 100 pages of The Luminaries.

Went to the cinema twice in a week!

Organised for one of my best, best old uni friends to come and stay in half term. 

Booked to go and see The Lion King in Manchester next month! 

Wow, so to look at that I've actually done quite a lot! It's been, as my boyfriend very wisely said, a month of planning. January seems to be that time, the month where we make plans and resolutions for what we hope the rest of the year will bring.

While that's true I really wanted to make a concerted effort this year to make January a fun and special month itself and I feel it has been. So I'm calling #joyfuljanuary a success! How had your month been? I want to know! Any top moments?! 

Now we've all had a nice catch up and recap,blet's get going with #fabulousfebruary!

Nope, not tired of the alliteration yet, sorry!

Sophia x

Small and happy's Disney Friday!

This week I have to share the beautiful Ariel for my Disney Friday purely because for the majority of the week I have been feeling her pain as I have had literally no voice! I'm still husky now but I'm hopeful that a weekend of resting my voice(ish) will help!

As you can imagine in the my line of work your voice is pretty invaluable so I have been struggling I will admit! 

Anyway, the final week of January is done! This means I will be needing to do a joyful January round up pretty soon. Can't believe how the time's flown. Roll on Spring and lighter days I say!

So for Disney Friday today I am asking, do you like Ariel? I personally do, if not for hair reasons alone! But she gets a lot of hate I find from these mega Disney fans, people saying she threw her life away and changed everything for a man and all that and I get it! However, she already wanted the human life or a least a taste of it and surely Eric was just another reason why she was so desperate to explore that world?

I think people who debate this on tumblr and what not get a bit too into it and I say it's a kids' film I wouldn't look to a mermaid as a benchmark for perfect life choices but what do you think? Is she a favourite or least favourite princess of yours? Who do you like best? My personal fave is Jasmine, can't see that changing anytime soon!

Happy FriYAY!! 

Sophia :) xxx 

Small, happy and desperate to watch..FORTITUDE

Anyone else super excited about this new show?! If you haven't heard of it, Fortitude is an 11 part drama series starting tonight (9pm on Sky Atlantic) about a murder and other strange occurrences that suddenly begun to happen in a tiny town somewhere in the Arctic circle! They've spent 25 million pounds on it and it stars Michael Gambon, Christopher Eccleston and a personal favourite of mine, Stanley Tucci. 

It sounds really intriguing and I can't wait to get stuck into this! 

Is this up anyone's street? Are you excited for this show? What else are you watching at the minute?

Sophia x

PS - anyone else got major snow issues going on?! My feet are soggy like you wouldn't believe! 

Small, happy and girl crushing #1

Kate Middleton. A class act. Making me proud to be British. You go girl!

Sophia x

Small and 10 happy things! #2


A week done so a week of joyful, happy things to recap on!  Here we go, here's what made me happy last week:

1// Not one, but TWO cinema trips! Total film buff right now...

2// A really quick week at work.  I love my job and I'm not wishing the days away or anything but it's nice when it gets to the weekend nice and quickly when you have nice weekend things to look forward to, such as...

3// My mum and sister coming to visit me on Saturday.  We watched Into the Woods and went for a lovely lunch together.  So nice to have a girls' day and to know that they're not far away.

4// Cooking up a lovely recipe, we made a delicious butter bean stew last night, it was lovely.

5// Having a really lovely chat with my cleaner.  I got to know the lady who cleans my classroom this week.  I was so glad put a name to the face I was seeing everyday, it's just lovely to get chatting and speak to new people.  Now when she comes in there's no awkward silences, just two people chatting away!

6// Reading time on the bus, might have missed my stop but it's been worth it!

7// A great step class, I went straight from work on Thursday and it was such a rush but once I got there I was so so glad I'd made the effort I felt so invigorated afterwards!

8// Some lovely chats with my grandma on the way back from work :)

9// Getting to spend some time on tripadvisor looking up places in Rome, can't wait to go!!

10// The fact that I've got all my work done and Maid in Manhattan is on tv as I write this and I'm sitting with a green tea just relaxing, a pretty nice Sunday evening.

What's made you smile this week? :)

Sophia x

Small, happy and going Into The Woods.

Well, another day and another cinema trip so it may seem! Twice in one week!  I don't think this has ever happened before..  First up was the incredible and brilliant sob fest that was The Theory of Everything (check out my review here) and yesterday I popped to my local vue to see Disney's Into the Woods.

Now before I dive in, I literally mean 'popped in', I can't stress how near my cinema is when I say it is local.  Literally five minutes away.  I've never lived so close to one before and I feel like I'm really going to start going more.  I always say this because I love films and I don't think anything offers such escapism as going to the cinema (apart from books maybe but even then you can get disturbed!) but now given that I can get there quicker than it takes my kettle to boil I have no excuse!

So, the movie.  Well firstly, Disney distributing it was a massive misleader for the average cinema goer.  I knew going in what to expect but there were many, many little girls in princess dresses in there with us and I bet they (and their parents) were not expecting a 2 and a half hour long dark musical about how happily ever after doesn't always turn out the way you hoped!  The poor children.  

However, as an adult who knows that life isn't always rosy I could appreciate the movie for what it was: an adaptation of Stephen Sondheim's dark musical following the interlocking stories of some of our favourite fairy tale characters including Cinderella, the Baker and his wife (a wonderful James Corden, the baker not the wife, obvs), Little Red Riding Hood and Jack and the Beanstalk.  All familiar characters yes, but the stories?  Not so much..

The songs are great on the whole, if you're into that I'm singing what I'm saying type of thing, (think Rent) and all the cast all had fantastic voices.  I suppose it helps that the songs were precorded unlike the raw, live vocals used in the recent adaptation of Les Mis. It's also enchanting, funny and unpredictable, which is certainly a nice surprise when dealing with fairytales!  However, having said that, the second act did go on a bit longer than it needed to, I think 40 minutes easily could have been cut and it wouldn't have harmed the film at all.  I suppose that's the difference when you see a musical on stage, they never feel long!  To me anyway, although I guess maybe I've been lucky to only see ones I have enjoyed.

You can't deny the film is filled with stars, Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, James Corden (the list goes on!) and while there were so many great people in this film that was part of its problem for me.  There were certain storylines I wanted more of like Johnny Depp as the Wolf who was barely used which was a shame (I believe most people would agree with me there!) Despite this, it was wonderful to see so much of Meryl (a goddess among us) and James Corden had a much larger part than I anticipated so that was a lovely surprise.

Overall, if you like musicals and fairytales and are looking for something dark and gothic and different I would definitely recommend seeing this.  If this type of movie is not your thing usually don't go expecting to be converted to all singing all dancing way of life.  This is not the musical to do that.  However, if you're fan of the genre already, go on!  Head Into the Woods, I'd love to hear what you think of it!

Hmm, I wonder what movie next...American Sniper perhaps?  Anyone seen that?  What have you seen at the cinema recently?  Anything to recommend?

Sophia x

Small, happy and recently pinned: Hair porn!

So much hair porn! I can't deal! I love pinterest so much (follow me here if you'd like over obsessive pinning of food, disney and travel!) and here are just some of the pins I've discovered recently in the hair department! 

I have had long, brown hair since forever. I went through a 'ooh I want highlights' phase circa Marissa Cooper and The OC time, but that's about as crazy as it got, unlike Marissa herself... I'm a Taurus, we don't love change, and not to toot my own horn or anything but I love my hair. So I say, if it ain't broke yadiyadeh (whoa, how do you spell that?!) 

However, despite saying I do still love getting dreamy eyed over different colours and lengths and styles of locks. In particular the hair of the beautiful beautiful blogger Cara Loren (see large photo) has ways been a major source of hairspiration (sure, let's make it a word!) if you don't know who she is check her out here .You will fall completely in love with her fashion, hair and her stunningly attractive (and well dressed!) family.

Do you pin like a maniac? If you do link me to your page? I'm always looking for new foodie/travel/cute babies/wedding boards to follow. As for those last two, I am neither pregnant nor engaged, it's just that somedays I'm just a massive big, girly girl who loves planning weddings and imagining babies. Go figure! 

Have a lovely weekend whatever you're doing,

Chat soon!

Sophia x

Small and happy's Disney Friday!

Yay, it's Friday!! Have a magical day and weekend! :) I feel like Rapunzel does in this photo, happy and joyful!

Having slight hair envy though....

Small, happy and The Theory of Everything.

So yesterday I made the (rather out there!) decison of going out on a school night! Somewhere other than the gym! I know. This teacher's wild.

Boy and I had been desperate to see The  Theory of Everything since we saw the trailer way back in November. So coupling this with the devastating discovery that orange Wednesdays are soon to be no more (and the cinema becomes as affordable as going to the Maldives...not really obvs, but it's still too much!) we decided to push the boat out and carve out some cinema time mid week!

I won't go into telling you the story because we all know by now it's the biopic of the great Stephen Hawking's life and love of his wife Jane. Being a massive fan of Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones going into this my hopes were high!

I guess the first thing I should say about the film is that I cried my eyes from about 15 minutes in and carried on progressively until I was well on the way walking home. I was a wreck. That may have been to do with the fact that I'm over tired and there's work stress going on what with looming inspections however it was mostly due to the perfection of this film, I am sure.

It was heartbreaking, inspiring, real, romantic, endearing, funny, hopeful and thought provoking. I honestly don't know what else I can say but if you can think of a positive adjective, you can without doubt apply it to this film. 

The acting as well was superb. Eddie Redmayne WAS Stephen Hawking, the mannerisms, the movements, the way he carries himself. It was so real the way he portrayed both the man and the disease, stunning. I haven't seen all of the other films with the best actor nominees for the Oscars but you'd be hard pressed to beat this performance.

But I want to talk about Felicity Jones, who took on the role of Stephen's loving and caring (in all senses the word!) wife. Their marriage is so realistic and shows true love in its purest form, but also doesn't why away struggle and the hardship you can only imagine is ever present when dealing with a situation where one of you is a carer.

It made me feel full of pride in the human spirit to watch Stephen defy odd after odd and keep achieving such magnificent milestones, personal and professional. And just so proud that we have these people in the world. Not just the extrovert, genius, forward thinkers but also the selfless, caring and strong beyond their means, people. The ones who take a back seat in some respects but who are dedicated, committed and souls to be revered in their own right.

It is definitely a must see, magnificent from start to finish, an important watch and an absolute award winner in very sense of the word! 

I am proud to be British because of this film. 

So how about you? Have you seen this yet? If you have please tell me you sobbed too! If you haven't seen this wonderful piece of cinema yet, are you planning to? 

If your answer is no to that final question then this post's been a bit of a fail so that's my bad...

Hope you're all good, it's Friday tomorrow! And also, hello lovely new followers, great to see you, say hi!

Sophia x

S&H's art therapy (for the non creative)

Firstly, I feel like I need to say that S&H is not the name of any type of company it's literally just my way of shortening my blog name! Just thought I'd clear that up in case it was really confusing and you all went on a very random (and fruitless) google hunt!

Anyway, admin over, time to get to the heart of this post. 

I am not creative. I know what you're thinking, everyone is creative in their own way etc, we can all draw and we all have a creative soul inside that just needs love and affection sometimes before it comes out. I know that and that's certainly what I tell my students.

However, I don't find it EASY and for the point of this post, I don't find it therapeutic. I find it very difficult to get ideas in terms of drawing (and anything else such as painting are a complete no go!) and when I do have the urge to create something, I draw a blank (literally), or my lack of skills stop me from being able to express what I'd like. This is very frustrating, as you can imagine.

So why bother? I hear you ask. There are plenty of other ways to unwind, a book, a bath (although I'm not a fan of those either haha, baths that is, more detail why some other time!) so why keep trying to force yourself to do something that doesn't come naturally?

It's because I know how therapeutic art can be. I know the immense benefits and pleasure (not first hand I hasten to add!) that creating something, anything can bring and that's why I was so thrilled when adult colouring suddenly, seemingly just in time for Christmas, became a thing.

I wandered into Waterstones one festivey day last year and saw a whole table covered in books like the one above and my heart filled with joy! I love colouring. This is something arty I CAN do. I think it fits with my Type A personality, colouring in the lines and what not!

 I have coloured in the past and have found myself printing off random colouring sheets from the internet. However, this new surge of colouring among the adult population has led to somefantastically beautiful and inspiring books to be released!

For Christmas I got two of these and some crayons and I was off. Now anytime I feel like my hands (and my head) are too busy I just sit and colour. I haven't done it much as I've been busy but I am definitely going to make an effort to do it more. I feel like this is something I can try and incorporate I to my evening routine because it's one of the few things where you can't be on your phone or on your laptop at the same time and it's just you and what you're creating. It's unique and it's you. That's what I want.

So we shall see how that goes! I know it will bring me lots of happiness and who knows, maybe it will inspire the sketched in me too?

I'm not holding my breath though (just a nice crayon).

What arty endeavours do you have? Do you love to draw, paint or even write poetry? Or are you like me and a little creatively...challenged?! 

Sophia x

Small and 10 happy things! #1

I've decided to try and introduce a new series (not a new idea by any means just new to the blog) as part of my #joyfuljanuary so here are ten little things or moments that made me smile this week.

1.Reaching my 100 pages in January goal in The Luminaries. I wanted to read at least 100 this month and I've already passed it so that's fab! 

2. A new episode of Parenthood! So glad the shows are starting to come back after the winter break and this one was a cracker, I can't believe it's ending soon!

3. Watching boyfriend trading at Altrincham market. I'll write about this in more detail soon but he's started an amazing initiative attempting to help end food poverty in Manchester. So so proud of him.

4. Facetiming my mum today. She went to an office party last night and it was so great to hear her talking about it and all of her other upcoming social plans. If you knew my mum you'd know how big of a thing this is :)

5. The gorgeous Lady and the Tramp shopper bag I bought from Tesco!

6. Having some lovely 24 marathon sessions with boyfriend. I'm loving reliving it all through him as he watches every twist and turn for the first time (his shocked face is too cute...)

7. Us playing squash together this morning. It's becoming a little Sunday tradition and I'm really enjoying having that special time together as we're both so busy midweek.

8. One of my best best friends from uni booked her flights over from Northern Ireland to come see me in half term. Absolutely thrilled to be able to share some quality time with her while most people are working (hehe...)

9. Having time this weekend to look through pinterest and find some new recipe inspiration. I love choosing new dishes to try and having the time to browse and look for new exciting ideas is one of my favourite things.

10. Lazy cuddles in bed. Both mornings this weekend have been blissful. Even though I can't help waking up at 6.30/7ish, the fact that we can laze together and just chill out in bed is so so gooooood.

What has made you happy this week? Any nice little anecdotes to share? 

Lots of love,

Sophia x

Small and happy because of the HARRY POTTER TAG!

Saw this on and I just had had had to do it!  Time to talk about the man who has been with me throughout my childhood and adolescence and now well into my adult years.  Not my boyfriend, someone I've loved and known even longer than him.  The one and only HP and his magical world. we go!

1. What is your favourite book?

This could be very accurately ascertained by looking at all my very tatty copies of the books and seeing which one has had the most wear and tear.  From this scale (and the sheer amount of sellotape surrounding the spine) it is very clear that Goblet of Fire is the clear favourite.  There was so much to love and get excited about in it: the devilish Rita Skeeter, the Triwizard tournament, Cedric Diggory, the Yule ball and all the hormonal drama that brought, the whole House Elf debacle, Voldemort coming back I could go on!  Basically, this book was jam packed full of drama and that's why I love it so much.

2. What is your least favourite film?

The Half Blood Prince, it's the only one I don't have on DVD, I can count the times I've seen it on one hand which is really saying something when it comes to me and Harry.  It's because I don't really love or care for the romantic side of the books, Ron and Hermione were cute to read and I didn't mind them in the movies but Daniel Radcliffe and his love interests (for me) had ZERO chemistry.  I found all of his scenes with Ginny in particular so so awkward to watch and there were just more of them in this film and that's why I don't watch it much.

3. What is your least favourite book?

Chamber of Secrets is the one I feel like rereading the least but I don't know why, I like the story and the movie!  I still love it anyway.

4. What is your favourite film?

Aaah, this is hard.  I remember we all had to cheer when the tour guide said the names of each movie and he mentioned our favourite and I found myself yelling quite enthusiastically along one else in the room.  Firstly, I didn't know I felt so strongly for the first one and secondly, I didn't realise no one else did!  I think The Philosopher's Stone will always hold a dear place in my heart because of the utter excitement I felt waiting for it to come out, knowing that the stories I loved were going to be on screen was just so much for little 10 year old me!  I still remember loading the trailer on quicktime on the apple website where they had all the trailers (anyone else remember that?)  I remember going with all my friends numerous times and I remember counting down the days until the VHS (wooo kicking it old school) was released.  I think it's because I attribute so many happy times to the movie that I love it so much, but even now when I rematch it as an adult I still hugely enjoy it and love it dearly.  Plus they were all so so cute back then.

5. Parts of the books/films that made you cry?

When Dumbledore died (in the books) and when it all ended, just so many feelings.

6. If you could hook up with any character, who would it be?
Hmm, this is hard, I'm gonna go with Oliver Wood the HOTTIE Quidditch coach, for sure. Totes teenage crush right there. Failing that, Cedric Diggory, just because.

7. Who is your favourite character?

Again, tricky, I love Hermione, she's a bit of a kick ass female role model no?  In the movies I really enjoyed Malfoy, thought Tom Felton was great.

8. Who is your least favourite character?

So not bothered about Winky the house elf, she annoyed me, sorry Dobby is enough for me!

9. What is your least favourite line?

In movies I was never really bothered about Hermione's little, 'books, cleverness, there are more important things, friendship and bravery,' speech in Philosopher's Stone but I wouldn't say it was my least favourite at all.   But my clear favourite in the movies would be 'now I'm going to bed before either of you come up with another clever idea to get us killed, or worse, expelled'.  Poor Hermione and her mixed up priorities.

10. What would your patronus be?

A big panda bear.

11. If you could have the resurrection stone, invisibility cloak or elder wand which would it be?

Invisibility cloak, so I could travel the world, go anywhere for free and shoplift!  Who said that last one?!  Disgraceful...

12. Which house would you be in?

I have a thirst for knowledge like a Ravenclaw but when I do quizzes I end up in Hufflepuff (I know) so I'm not sure.  Basically I like to think of my self as a brave Gryffindor with Ravenclaw intellect, Hufflepuff kindness and Slytherin's fierceness but maybe I'm hoping for a bit too much!

13. If you could meet any member of the cast, who would it be?

Emma Watson.  I have so much respect for everything she's doing with the heforshe campaign with the UN, it's very inspiring and I'd love to pick her brain and just see what she was like in person. I just think she is truly a class act and I feel proud that is she is out there representing British women.

14. If you were on the Quidditch team, which position would it be?

I guess I'd be a seeker because I'm tiny and could whiz around looking for the snitch and no one would know about it!

15. Were you happy with the ending?

I was happy with the ending as in the last chapter, but not the epilogue.  If it had without the epilogue I would have been thrilled.  I see why JK showed us the future to avoid any continuations or speculation but still I don't think it needed to be so twee.  It's very unlikely that they would have all gotten married and I won't start on the names of the kids!  For me the Hunger Games epilogue is perfect and I would have loved something like that.  It was clear enough that we knew what was going on with the characters but nowhere near so specific.  To me HP's epilogue felt like what you think as a kid when you have a crush on a boy at school and you imagine marrying him and what you'd call your kids and they're all after people you know.  That's just me though, I still just feel a little cringey whenever I see or read it.

16. How much does Harry Potter mean to you?

Everything haha!  I'm by no means some dedicated fan writing fanfics and living on HP tumblrs but I read and and read and read the books and loved them and the characters with all of my heart.  They were my childhood, I spent months counting down for the movies and the books, I spent hours queueing and I spent days discussing them with my friends.  Some of my best memories were because of Harry Potter and I'm very, very grateful for that.

I hope you enjoyed reading this, I certainly loved writing it!  Give me a chance to talk about Harry Potter and I will wax lyrical!

How about you?  Are you as a big a fan?  Have you done this tag on your blog?

Sophia xxx

Today #joyfuljanuary is.... #2

Hellooooo there everyone! Hope you're all well and have some exciting Saturday activities planned, even if those plans are simply laying in bed and going nowhere( like me).

So while I've been making an active decision everyday to look at all of the little things that are making this a #joyfuljanuary I realise I haven't actually been documenting it all on here as often as I should! So here goes:

Recently for me #joyfuljanuary has been:

- Adorable mini versions of things. Namely this tiny pomegranate and chia shot drink from Pret a manger as pictures above. I swear if I could eat very meal there I would, happily.

- Some girls in my class telling me that having me as their teacher is like 'winning the top prize at bingo'. I mean, seriously that's what it's all about really, isn't it?

- Hearing that my sister is finally settled in her new uni house. As much as I'm a positive person, if she's down I just worry about her so it's great to hear she's doing well.

- Organising to go out with some of the girls from work. It's nice when you start at a new place to get in with the social side of things as well I always think. Plus I love making new friends (work friennnd!) so this will be really fun and is something I didn't already have planned for January! So that's a bonus!

- Being able simply to lie in and have a green tea today and catch up with some blogs and have some me time. My sister has cancelled her netflix account and I may or may not have been using it so this is something I might need to look into signing up to today! 

- Trying new things. This week I volunteered at Brownies which I didn't love as much as I expected. I was working with children who had too much of everything with no gratitude for their blessings and frankly going from the children I work with everyday who are barely fed and washed and seeing these other children moaning about their daddy's lumpy mash and herby sausages rubbed me up the wrong way! However I am joyful about the fact that I tried something new and learned from it and it made me realise how much I love where I'm working right now.

- Finding another new exercise class to love. Fitness is my jam. I'm lucky that I really genuinely enjoy exercise classes (not spinning mind you, nooo way) and this new aerobics one I did on Wenesday was the perfect combination of toning and cardio so it was right up my street! Next up I'd like to try bikram yoga. There's a class in the northern quarter so I might have to get involved, if I can handle the hipsterness. Or if they can handle me being so mainstream...

- Playing music in the mornings. I've never been one for just having music on in the background, however I've changed with that recently. I'm not really sure why but I've been loving putting on blinkbox music on my phone (get this, it's awesome!) and dancing along to their playlists whilst getting ready for work at 6.30am! Their noughties one is a particular favourite. It really helps me start my day feeling energised and happy! Particular highlights have been Umbrella by Rihanna (remember how good that song was?!) and Crazy in Love! Never too early in the day for a booty shake...

So anyway, so far it's all going pretty well. I'm filling my month with lots of nice, smiley things and I'm finding that it's really making me look at this month so fondly and then I pass on that positive energy to the people around me.

How are you finding January? Done any lovely, exciting things? Know of anything fun to do in Manchester? I'd love some recommendations! 

Lots of love, 
Sophia xxxx

Small and happy's Disney Friday!

Happy Friday first of all! would also like to say thank you Tesco for topping off a lovely week with these beautiful recyclable shopper bags! 

I feel like everyone would be happier if they carried their shopping in one of these babies don't you? 

How have all your weeks been? Mine has been good but busssyyyyyy though it does feel like January is flying! 

What are you up to this weekend? I for one feel like a Disney movie this weekend. Aladdin was on tv last week and it really got me in the mood again for a proper Disney binge! I'm thinking maybe Little mermaid or even going down the Pixar route with Wall E. I watched it for the first time over Christmas and was blown away,it was beautiful! 

Anyone else only just gotten round to seeing certain Disney movies? Is there anyone out there who's still not seen Frozen? Do you have a favourite underrated Disney movie?

Okay, I'm going stop now but when it comes to this topic I can just keep harping on and on and on ha!

Lots of love, happy FriYAY! 

Sophia x

Small, happy and wanting to go here!!

After watching a Keeping up the Kardashians (completely obsessed, no shame here) and seeing them go to one of these indoor trampolining places I instantly thought, oh my God, I need to go and do this. But obviously, I thought the odds of one existing in the UK outside of London are slim to none.

But, I was wrong.

Not only is there one up north, there is one near me, as in so near I could go anytime I wanted!  All it would take is me hopping on a metro/bus and getting to Trafford Park in Manchester which is where Jump Nation, Manchester's answer to the desperate need (in my opinion) for indoor trampolining exists!

 Check the link for it below!

Don't worry, I shall give a full report after I've been.  Finally a chance to put those old cheerleading jumps to good use!

Have you ever been to do indoor trampolining like this? Are you trampolining pro?! Know of other quirky things to do in Manchester?

I'm all ears!
Sophia x

Small and happy: a letter to my younger self.

Dear 16 year old Sophia,

Well hello there me, firstly, what do you think you're doing with a bear on your back?! You are under the influence of oranges here (as evidenced by the collection you are amassing in your room) so you really can't blame your behaviour on inebriataion.. 

Anyway, as you are reading this I know several things for sure about you. 1, that you have a massive crush on Orlando Bloom, 2) that you are experimenting with highlights (bad choice babe) and 3) you are heading into your final term of school with GCSEs are on the horizon. 

I know you can't wait to be done because you are desperate to be rid of maths and science forever and you can't wait to 'never have to care about biology again' but oh boy do you have another thing coming, sister. Right now in 2015 you are not only sitting pretty with a first class honours degree in psychology under your belt but you actually teach maths (as well as lots of other things) EVERY SINGLE DAY. Yep, bet you didn't expect that. And what's more, you really enjoy it.

You've always loved kids and that's why you'll be glad we work with them every day now. You've already met, helped and laughed with (and been frustrated with!) probably a hundred kids and that looks only to grow in the coming years. The amount of kids, not the frustration hopefully!

But here's the best news, you finally don't hate your legs! That's right! After becoming cheerleading coach at uni (yep, you are basically Brooke Davis, expect you still don't really care about fashion) and discovering the magnificent creation that is Zumba (just you wait!) you have gotten the body you always wanted. I hope I've made you proud! 

You are also a bit of a culinary whiz, and by this I mean you can make a few meals with a reasonable level of success but hey, we've always been optimistic. We eat a lot of vegetarian meals (but still love Nando's with a passion) and stay away from carbs pretty much, turns out they weren't our friend after all.

You have been to so many incredible places, I still don't even believe it myself! New York (yes, really), Thailand, Hong Kong and Venice to name a few. Trust me you've got a lot to forward to.

Now what about those friends you love? The ones you see every day right now and laugh through life with and share ridiculous giggles about ridiculous things? They're still here and they're all thriving. Doing jobs we never expected, loving people we didn't even know back then and all navigating this tricky road that is our 20s all in our own different ways.

On the subject of love. You have found someone. A real someone. The one. Yeah, I know you're thinking that sounds crazy at our age now. You'll think it's even more crazy when I say we've been together since we were 17. 'That's not what I planned!' I hear you cry. 'I wanted to stay single and work on myself and maybe go on a few dates because I want to travel and not be tied down.'Well, it turns out that the right person doesn't tie you down whatsoever, they set you free. Yep, I'm still cheesy at this age!

All that amazing travel? Most of it you did with him. So do not worry about love at all because your life is going to be completed in ways you didn't even know it was lacking. All I can say is: on that fateful day in May 2008 when an important person sits you down on that park bench and opens their heart in a way you never thought happened off the screen or out of the book, open your heart right back, 100%.

I think that's plenty for now, I don't want to spoil it all for you! I know you have a lot of questions, like, what do you mean cheerleading?! And, when was the last time I ate a sandwich?! Etc... But that's the beauty of it all, the not knowing! We are lucky you and I that we have open hearts and live our lives with kindness everyday and I truly believe that's what brought everything we have now to us.

So, keep helping other, keep smiling as we always and keep pushing yourself to succeed because you do, you really do.

Love, grown up me!

ps - no, we've still not grown. Not one inch. Sorry.


Small, happy and currently #4

First week back into the full swing and here are the things I'm loving, thinking you name if, this start of 2015!

Reading// The Luminaries. I've been diving into this each night when I get home from work, I'm really getting gripped by this and all the rave reviews I've heard are only spurring me on to read!

Wanting// to go and see The Theory of Everything. We've planned to go in a couple of weeks but I've been waiting for this film for so long I want to go now!

Loving// my new Nike trainers. £35 in the sale and they are a dream and so comfy! Feels so good to have upgraded from my clunky, Decathlon cheapos!

Enjoying// my job! It's been a much easier week than I envisaged and I'm really grateful for that. It's started me off on the right foot for this year for sure!

Adding// more to my diary.  I'm taking on extra SATs tutoring for our year 6s at school and also looking to start volunteering at Brownies, really excited for both of these new additions.  Two new ways to give back and I think it'll really enrich my day to day life and make me (and others really) really happy.

Hoping// that everything turns out right for people I care about. My sister's uni living situation is a bit up in the air and it's led to some family tension but I'm hoping it all blows over once she's settled. 

Looking forward to//  exploring the Northern Quarter in Manchester tomorrow, never been to this area properly and I know there's a lot of lovely independent places and I'm looking forward to finding some gems!  Fingers crossed :)

Eating// a new dish! Tonight my boyfriend (we'll call him D from now) and I will be cooking some cod in a tomato and thyme sauce. It's our first foray into this part of the fish world, so I'm excited to add another (successful!) meal to our growing repetoire!

Planning// to do some Rome research!! Boyfriend got the all clear for the Easter holiday so I am desperate to start planning and booking and I will be jumping on any travel blogs I read in the search for some inspiring Rome posts! Know of any?!

So that's what's going on with me right now, how about you? What are you reading, watching, loving etc?

Hope you've all had a relatively easy week back at the grind! I must say it's lovely to see more people reading and interacting with this blog, please feel free to leave comments! One of the main reasons I started this was to meet some lovely people like yourselves from different parts of the world (the modern pen pals I like to think!) so please get in touch, link me to your blogs! :)

Have a lovely weekend, we deserve it!


Sophia x
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