Showing posts with label books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label books. Show all posts

Small, happy and currently! #5

Well helloooo there!

So, I haven't done one of these in a while and I love being able to have a little recap of life at the minute! Here's what I'm currently enjoying, loving, thinking at the minute!

Dreaming...about being in Portugal seeing my family in summer. Just look at that perfect beach! 

Feeling...excited for my birthday! Just need to get my voice back...#littlemermaidoverhere

Loving...the new Glamour this month, having Taylor Swift as guest editor? Genius! My girl crush is seriously growing. I've always loved her music but I'm starting to really like her as a person too.

Receiving...a lot of support and praise at work. I've been given quite a big challenge for the next academic year and I'm taking it as a massive compliment that they've chosen me to do it.

Reading...The Rosie Effect. Absolutely loving it just like I knew I would. 

Watching....Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt (so funny and upbeat!) and too much Dinner Date (massive guilty pleasure).

Wanting...too many cookbooks. So many recipes, so little time!

Counting Summer? Aren't we all!

Waiting...for the Royal baby to be born! Come ooooonnn, I'm just an impatient Royalist here!

So catch me up, what are you loving, reading, cooking at the minute? 

Lots of love,

Sophia :) xxxx

Small and 10 happy things! #12

Well hello there! It's April! And wow is the sun shining! I had a lovely last week of March and there were lots of happy things to round up so here we go! :) My ten last happy things of this month! 

1// Seeing the amazing Easter egg creations at school. The kids pulled out all of the stops creating their scenes using eggs. We had an 'Egg Sheeran', The Owl and the Pussycat and a solar eggclipse!

2// Finishing work for the holiday on Thursday, Thursday! 3.15pm rolled around and I waved goodbye to my class (who were at this stage climbing the walls ready for the break!) and all the teachers just collapsed into giggles and chats about Easter holiday plans! I am really lucky to be in such a fun and supportive work environment. It makes the tough days so much brighter.

3// Getting a lift back to Sheffield. Boyfriend's mum had come over to visit on Thursday and she offered to drive us home with all of our stuff which was just so nice. The convenience of going door to door makes cars so worth it sometimes!

4// A totally blissful Good Friday. My mum, sister and I all went to the cinema early doors in the morning (that's how we roll) to go and see Cinderella. It was absolutely wonderful but I've already banged on about it enough here I know!

5// My grandma sending me a hilarious photo on Whatsapp. I am so thrilled she has taken to the technology and it's so nice that we can share all this silly little moments even when we're apart.

6// Reading The Wrong Knickers. This book has been making me laugh and laugh this week. If you are in your 20s or you've lived through them you will identify with this book! It's an account of The Telegraph writer Bryony Gordon's 'decade of chaos' she calls it and I must admit, it make me thankful for my stable, almost boring lifestyle!!

7// Discovering chamomile tea. Tried it once and hated it but I gave it another go this week and loved it.

8// Getting gel nails! I had my nails done for the first time ever and I am completely in love. I can't believe how good they look, how they've not chipped at all and that they're actually MY nails! A lovely little holiday treat that I think I'll be needing to do more often!

9// Being back at home and sharing a room with my sister. Most people would hate this but my sis and I now share a room (and a bed!) whenever we both happen to be back in Sheffield at the same time. We absolutely love it and it's like having a sleepover with your best friend every night.

10// Champneys spa weekend! My sister, mum and I spent the Easter weekend at Champneys, which is brilliant piece of heaven on Earth! I came away never wanting to leave as usual. I will probably do a more detailed post at another time so I won't delve in too much now but suffice to say, a spa trip is always a good idea no?

How was your last week of March? Did you have a lovely Easter weekend? What did you get up to? 

Lots of love,

Sophia xxx

Small and 10 happy things! #7

Helloooo there! Happy Monday and that all that jazz! Here were the little things that made me smile on the last week of #fabulousfebruary....

1// My grandma getting an iphone! This is big exciting news purely because we are so close and I would love to be able to be able to FaceTime her and send her pictures of what I'm doing. She's only about an hour away in Sheffield but this will make it feel like she's 5 minutes down the road again :) 

2// Booking our flights to Singapore!! Eeeek! This is the happiest thing of the week obviously and I am beyond thrilled! We managed to get them for about 200 pounds cheaper because we're flying from Lisbon as opposed to Manchester. I'll be in Portugal anyway visiting family so it looks like one trip merging into the next which is very very exciting! 

3// Turning the flat into a dance studio on Tuesday evening. I didn't go to my regular Zumba class on Monday so I brought the mountain to Mohammed as the saying goes and did a 50 minute long Zumba class from youtube! Obviously it's not quite the same but I took it all very seriously and tried to keep my feet as light as I could to keep the neighbours below happy!

4// Cooking up a few new recipes at the weekend. We got our hands on a spaghetti squash and I was beyond excited about it! Yes, this is my life.

5// Organising some lovely birthday fun with my old school friends. It's looking like a spa day!

6// Going to step class on Thursday. I just love this class for so many reasons. Not only is it a fabulous workout but I just love the timing of it. It tells me that we're almost at the weekend and I really like the instructor and the general vibe of the class. Everyone there is about 20 years older than me so it's kind of like being in a little mothers' meeting and I quite enjoy that :) Plus they're always gossiping about the women on the Real Housewives of Cheshire (who love near!) so I like that too! 

7// An impromptu trip to Chester to see my sister! My mum went over to see Baby sis this weekend and I tagged along! I was really glad I did as Boyfriend was working and I was only going to be in the house by myself anyway. Sometime the best moments are the spontaneous ones and that's something that as a very structured person I need to remember.

8// Buying The Rosie Effect. I loved The Rosie Project so I can't wait to dive into the sequel.

9// A beautiful sleep on Saturday night. I don't always sleep well at the weekends because I get up so early in the week, therefore it was blissful to wake up and the Sun was already poking through. Spring is well on the way!

10// Getting back into using the Duolingo app to practise my French and Portuguese. One of my new year's resolutions was to improve my Portuguese so I'm cracking on! 

What made you happy in the last week of February? Are you looking forward to anything nice this week?

Chat soooon!

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

Small, happy my favourite things!

I saw this on the lovely Jennie's blog (I swear she's becoming one of my must reads) and I love making lists and I love talking about my favourite things so I thought, why not?!  Plus, having an excuse to put Julie Andrews in a post is always going to be wonderful.

Oh, by the way, if you don't know why Julie Andrews in The Sound of Music is applicable here then oh my God, please go and watch that movie and then come back here!
Done it?  Yes?  Desperate to be a nun/have seven children?  Good.. so here we go, my favourite things:

1. Products/things: My phone (I know, so bad..), my panda toy (yes, I know I am an adult), my diary, Body shop body butters.

2. Foods: Houmous, frozen yoghurt, most types of cereal, ALL fruit and veg, my Portuguese grandma's cooking.

3. Places: New York, New York and New York.  Joking aside I also love Portugal (obvious reasons) and any Disney shop, land or world!

4. Things you'd miss if you didn't have them: My boyfriend, my friends, my family, good health.  Anything else you can easily live without.

5. Things you do when you're bored: Read recipes, blogs and pinterest.

6. Things you enjoy when it's sunny: LIFE.  I come alive when it is sunny.  I can't explain how much the Sun makes me enjoy everything on another level.

7. Films: Moulin Rouge, most disney, Bring it on, Pride and Prejudice, How to lose a guy in 10 days, Crazy stupid love.

8. Songs: Aerosmith - I don't wanna miss a thing is my all time favourite, favourite song.

9. Brands: Topshop, H&M, Anthropologie.

10. Outdoor things you like: Exploring new places.

11. Events: Birthdays, Christmas, Halloween, my anniversary.

12. Cartoons: Sailor moon, Scooby Doo, most things that were on the Cartoon Network in the 90s.

13. Buildings: Empire state building (obvious, yes).

14. Anything in everyday life: People being kind to each other, seeing happy old couples, finishing a great book.

15. Traits in a person: Kindness, patience, acceptance.

16. Influences: My old dance teacher.

17. Drinks: Green tea, cosmopolitans, most vodka cocktails.

18. Experiences: Celebrating with family and friends, travelling.

19. Things to watch: Friends (just, forever), Desperate Housewives, Parenthood, Grey's Anatomy, Gilmore Girls, I'll stop listing now...

 20. Books: Harry Potter, love you, HP, forever.

If you've done anything like this on your blog, please link me, I love to read and get an insight into what makes people tick!


Small, happy and what I've been reading. #1

I always seem to spend summer the same way, no matter where I am, I am usually lost in a book.  I love reading, but with working/studying life I always seem to end up just slouching in front of the tv or reading blogs.  I'm not saying this is right and when I come back from holiday I always feel refreshed and good for not being so techno addicted, so the following usually happens...I come back with great intentions and lots of books on the to read list.

However, September, always a busy time, comes around, I get behind on my books and yet can't resist buying more and starting them too!  However, through my work as a supply primary teacher while settling into being a Cheshire dweller and looking for a permanent post I have actually had time to read. 

So here's what I've been reading and pretty much loving recently:

A Tale For The Time Being - Ruth Ozeki

'Hi! My name is Nao, and I am a time being. Do you know what a time being is? Well, if you give me a moment, I will tell you.'

Ruth discovers a Hello Kitty lunchbox washed up on the shore of her beach home. Within it lies a diary that expresses the hopes and dreams of a young girl. She suspects it might have arrived on a drift of debris from the 2011 tsunami. With every turn of the page, she is sucked deeper into an enchanting mystery.

This book fascinated me and intrigued me on so many levels.  I am extremely interested in Asian culture (in case the books in the list didn't make that clear enough!) and it was fascinating learning about Nao's life as a teenager and also her great grandmother's life as a nun.  Moreover, Nao's use of Japanese words and the little footnote translations pleased the ever yearning for knowledge teacher in me!

I would urge anyone to read this, both narrators Ruth and Nao are brilliant and so well developed and you become completely enthralled in finding out what's going to happen at the end of Nao's entries. I won't say anymore on that...

Attachments by Rainbow Rowell

It's 1999 and for the staff of one newspaper office, the internet is still a novelty. By day, two young women, Beth and Jennifer, spend their hours emailing each other, discussing in hilarious detail every aspect of their lives, from love troubles to family dramas. And by night, Lincoln, a shy, lonely IT guy spends his hours reading every exchange.

At first their emails offer a welcome diversion, but as Lincoln unwittingly becomes drawn into their lives, the more he reads, the more he finds himself falling for one of them.

Most people have heard of Rainbow Rowell as she seems to be having a bit of a moment right now.  I've seen her books Fangirl and Eleanor and Park everywhere and after looking her up I was surprised to see that she's actually written other books too, including Attachments, for a more adult audience.

The premise is pretty unique and interested me straight away being set just before Y2K and in a time where the internet was still this new and exciting concept.  It was funny reading about the girls getting used to emailing and the company panicking about what was going to happen come the new year.  The characters were all funny and likeable and it was pretty much a sweet love story and an easy read.  I feel tempted to pick up more of her books now.

Crazy, Rich Asians by Kevin Kwan

When Rachel Chu agrees to spend the summer in Singapore with her boyfriend, Nicholas Young, she envisions a humble family home and time with the man she might one day marry. What she doesn't know is that Nick's family home happens to look like a palace, that she'll ride in more private planes than cars and that she is about to encounter the strangest, craziest group of people in existence. Uproarious, addictive, and filled with jaw-dropping opulence, Crazy Rich Asians is an insider's look at the Asian jet set; a perfect depiction of the clash between old money and new money - and a fabulous novel about what it means to be young, in love, and gloriously, crazily rich.

This book was a guilty pleasure read, no doubts about it.  I read a lot of classics and other challenging reads so I feel like I am entitled to read some juicy, salacious scandal when I feel like it!  To be fair, I'm hoping to travel to Singapore in the near future so I also feel like this was for research purposes.  Although, there's no way I'd be able to afford to go anywhere they went, except the airport!

I did enjoy this book, it was full of scandal, controlling families, rich people with as many problems as credit cards and I loved it.  The wealth in that part of the world is astounding and getting a peek in to how the other half live was so interesting.  The mix of the old fashioned cultural values which prevail alongside the new money and expensive luxury lifestyles is very typical of that part of the world and was something I was really intrigued to read about.  The main character of Rachel who is more 'like us' helped the reader see the world through her eyes and made me think about how I would feel if that world was suddenly thrust upon me.  The answer?  Not good!  Be grateful for what you have, that kind of money brings nothing but pain.  Deep thoughts coming from perhaps a not so deep, but incredibly fun, book!

What have you been reading?  I love adding to my to read list, constantly!


Small, happy and saying goodbye to January (already!)

I feel like this wonderful quote by Nelson Mandela pretty much sums up how I felt about January 2014.  I had a full month of placement in school to look ahead to, lots of planning, late night, nervy observations and some cold, dark nights.  I would also be away from my boyfriend, friends and family pretty much doing it on my own.

However, January I can honestly say has FLOWN by and, like most things in life, has not been nearly as bad as I thought it would be!

Happy January things!

*I have managed to go home every weekend, getting back to your support system (aka my Mummy!) helps so much.

*I have been reading more, Harry Potter et l'orde du phenix and The Princess Bride.

*I have been devouring season 4 of Grey's Anatomy, new episodes of Nashville, The Mindy Project and loving Channel 4's The Taste whenever I have had some tv time.


*Hostels are all sorted for RIO (pass the caipirinha!!) in July for the World Cup!  Now to start thinking about our stop after, any beach recommendations in the Rio area would be appreciated!

*I have planned a weekend in Liverpool in February (my beautiful and definitely missed uni city) with my boyfriend and I will hopefully see some uni besties too.

*I have (through the powers of persuasive email writing) managed to get my next placement in Sheffield so I will be closer to home and away from noisy halls of residence people as of March!
*I have gotten back into doing zumba and LBT every weekend which has made me feel great!

So, as I always said, this month would seem impossible until I'd gotten through it (ery positive I know) but now looking back it has flashed by and I've really enjoyed it.  No other month will be as full on in school and in two weeks I'll be leaving and back into the uni swing of essays and lectures and pointless seminars and part of me thinks, BRING IT ON.  Any situation that means I can start my day at 9 and finish it at 4 is suddenly extremely appealing.

But, I cannot get ahead of myself, I still have two weeks left, just two weeks left of planning and sorting and everything before I have a nice 'break' so I just need to keep going, decide to smash it and do my absolute best and enjoy every minute, because if this is how fast 2014 is going to go, it'll be summer before we know it! 

Anyone else felt their January has gone quickly?  Or has it dragged for you?  Perhaps for people braving dry January it might have been a slow one!

Sophia x
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