Saturday, 28 February 2015

The Days That Make Winter Pass.

There's been a bit of a theme I've picked up on over the last few weeks. We're all a bit tired of winter; cozying up under blankets, embracing the rare natural light coming into our days, counting the seconds down until spring. Something that's keeping us going is the slower days. They're the ones that are made for warm drinks, baking delicious goodies and nesting the home.

Batman's fur is as full as it gets, he waddles around the house like a coal dusted cloud. It's almost time for a good malt and a nail trim ready for summer.

I spend most of my days off in a cozying ritual of preparing the bed in the softest, cleanest cotton sheets I can find, baking doughnuts for the second time (and it going much better!) And practicing my good housewife skills with hearty stews in the slow cooker.

On that note; is anyone keen to swap their slow cooker? Mine is made to feed 4-6 and is really all a bit too big? I'm looking to downsize?

So lets keep our heads high and know that summer will soon be here, we'll all be whooping with cheer and then it's the countdown to Christmas all over again! How brilliant!

What's keeping you all going through these colder days?
Love Sophie XX

Friday, 27 February 2015

The China Spaniel Awards!

You may recall in the spring of last year how I got VERY excited when I spotted a bemused looking, china dog in a shop in Charlestown (posted about here) and one evening last week, Harps's mum was visiting from York and we went to the pub for a spot of dinner. As soon as I stepped in, I was faced with the most glorious sight...SO MANY CHINA SPANIEL DOGS! Honestly, this tavern was a treasure chest of china spaniels! Sadly I was there for a proper, grown up dinner and sneakily took a few blurry snaps on my way to our table. Here I present to you all the first official blogging China Spaniel Awards!

The first award goes to..*drumroll*

Oh! Leona- My Fun Filled Weekend. Not only do you get a china spaniel award BUT a ticket to the gun show with those strong man arms! Honestly, reading this incredibly busy weekend made me feel like I needed a lie down afterwards. DIY champion-check. Baby whisperer and carer- check. Sunday roast eater- check. I find myself singing Destiny Child songs at the screen as I type about this. Kudos to you on your well deserving china spaniel award. This chappy looks like he's just seen you do something impressive like all of the above. He's saying "Oh touché!"

Oh and this counts as an extra birthday gift by the way...

 The second award goes to...

A Rosie Outlook- Wedding Invitations.  Not only are Rosie's wedding invitations totally beautiful but she's recommended a company for the printing (which I have been on the hunt for for a little while now!) It's perfect timing because I want to get our invitations printed soon and there's a little cheeky 10% off discount code! It's reassuring knowing somebody who's actually used an online printing company, especially as invitations are probably one of the only things we really can't settle on. Harps doesn't understand why weddings have to be so floral and I can't understand why he's such a man. *sigh* We've narrowed it down to a couple of companies now so it shouldn't be too long! I'm also awarding Rosie because it's getting super close to her wedding now and I really can't wait to see what else she shares in the run up to it! You get a fancy blue china spaniel adorned in gold jewellery- a total monarch in the china spaniel world I'm sure!

The third award goes to...

Tracey Warbey Photography- Southwest Wedding Awards Finalist 2015! Which you can pretty much guess from the title is just incredible and I'm so so proud of her! If you haven't yet, do pop on over to her side of the web and check out her fabulous skills. I'm so excited for her to capture my wedding day. I'm excited to have one of my good friends be with me all day long and for her to share all of those memories with me. Congratulations lovely lady! Really, you've already won one award so the next one will be just a bonus ;-)! 

I honestly had the best time in this glorious little pub and I'm only sorry that I didn't sneak off and take more photos (they have the most incredible clock collection!) If you happen to be near Wadebridge in Cornwall, pop to Egloshayle and visit The Earl of St Vincent! Just don't steal their china spaniels (they're not real awards guys!)

Love Sophie Xx

*All China Spaniel Awards are purely metaphorical and cannot be traded for a real-life spaniel. I hold no responsibility if there is suddenly a spate of china spaniel robberies across the world.*

Thursday, 26 February 2015

Thankful Thursday// February

- Dinners with second mummies.
- Booking adventures for the year.
- Honeymoon browsing.
- Windy walks with mother.
- Time being silly with Harps.
- Being taken care of when I was ill.
- New beginnings.
- Time spent under blankets with books.
- Liz Earle shampoo.
- The excitement of wedding fairs.
- Days spend lounging and baking.
- The first signs of spring.
- Starting new candles.
- Singing emo hits in the bath loudly.
- Fresh cotton sheets to fall asleep in. 

The last Thursday of the month has arrived and it's been good to get through it. I've spent a large portion of this month being pretty ill and whilst slowly on the mend, the last few days of February are set to be super. It's Liona's birthday on Friday, my mummy's on Saturday and Harps, mother and I are going to a wedding fair on Sunday! I'm thankful for the comforts this month and can feel my aching bones waking up for spring. It's getting set to be a great year.

Thank you Lisette, your inspiring Thankful Thursday posts are always wonderful to read. 

Love Sophie Xx

Sunday, 22 February 2015

For Readers, Growers & Photo Takers.

I probably should have come up with a snappier title for this post, it's pretty much a little catch up of what I've been up to and discovering over the last week or so. You may remember a little over a month ago (isn't it weird that we're only a couple of months into the year but we talk about how fast this year's going?!) I posted about my reading list for 2015. I ventured into my local TkMaxx last week and came across a whole SIX Nick Hornby books for £10! I really couldn't resist even if it did mean almost snapping my arm taking a photo of my new list of books to read. I'm currently still re-reading 'To Kill a Mockingbird;' inspired by the recent Harper Lee controversy but I'd better crack on and get started on some of these new ones! Has anyone read anything on my book list? I'd love some recommendations on what to start next! Or maybe one of these books is currently stacked up, waiting to be read by you? If so, let me know and we could read along together! 

My wonderful gift selection from Leona for my birthday (which is always the best birthday gift selection!) Included this lovely little porcelain plant pot and pack of forget me nots' which I started growing about a week later to cries of Harps shouting 'They won't grow, you're planting them too early." Well shove this in your face fecker, they have just started to sprout over the last couple of days and I'm very excited by all their germinating and growing and stuff! New house plant high five to you all! 

I also have started to buy little bits here and there for our wedding next year. I have the theory that if I buy the odd bits throughout this year, the financial tornado won't completely fuck me over next year. Great plan right? So I've been collecting a variety of thank you cards, from robots to hand drawn illustrations (who says everyone needs to get the same design?!) and last week I came across this brilliant company online called PrintKlub where you can get your Instagram or Facebook photos printed into polaroids. It was really a good price and I want to make a little display at our wedding, after a few clicks they were ordered. I was delighted when just a few days later, the adorable box that they came in arrived, showcasing my fancy little polaroids that were great quality. I'm super impressed and will definitely be using them again! If you fancy ordering some yourself, you can get €5 off by using the code SOPRUQ!

Lastly, how brilliant is pancake day? We gorged ourselves on all the pancakes and it was delicious. What's your favourite topping? 

Love Sophie Xx

Friday, 20 February 2015

The 'Me Time' Tag.

There's a pretty damn fancy lady over on a certain blog by the name of Danielle, if you're looking for some animal loving, alternative lifestyle, tattoo inspiration or just a generally awesome friend, be sure to check her out at Underland To Wonderland (she also has a snazzy new header!). Tagged by this delicious woman (in a half creepy/half non creepy way) to complete the 'Me Time' tag gives me a nice chance to not only share with you some personal development changes that I'm making but also gives me a chance to force you all into completing the same thing so I can have a good ol nose at your secret lives...

1) What do you watch/ read during 'me time'?

I go through fazes for months of wither reading at a supersonic speed OR reading nothing at all. I flit between just reading the bare minimum on news websites etc to going through 500 page+ novels in a matter of hours. 'A sporadic reader' Harps calls me and it really frustrates him because all of a sudden there'll be ten new books in the house and I'll be zooming through them. On that note, after a good twelve months of not using it, I'm back to updating on Goodreads! Have a little gander at what I'm waiting to read here and let's be reading friends! I have all the guilty pleasures to watch in the world; Catfish, Jeremy Kyle, Millionaire Matchmaker, River Cottage, Come dine with me...the list goes one really. I don't watch any soaps though if that helps?

2) What do you wear during 'me time'?

Errmm...I don't think I can really answer that because it depends what I'm doing. Sometimes it's the obvious pyjamas and dressing gown (not housecoat Leona!) for reading and the mentioned above, binge watching. Sometimes for 'me time' there's nothing nicer then getting dressed up super duper pretty and flouncing around like a princess.

3) What are your 'me time' beauty products?

There's no such thing? I'm not really a beauty kinda gal? I like to pop on a bit of lipstick sometimes when I'm being grown up and fancy? And I still love a bath with lush filled goodies? Does dying my hair count?

4) Current favourite nail polish?

Once again, I don't really have a favourite at the moment? I bit my nails up until literally last year and can only just manage to paint one hand, the other looking like some abstract art piece! So I don't really paint them at all! I've never got my nails done at a fancy nail place though, something I'd quite like to do this year. Out of brands of nail varnish, I really like Soigné, it stays on so well and the colour is always amazing!

5) What do you eat/drink during 'me time'?

I'm becoming a bit of a foodie. I think it must be my age slowly creeping up on me. For years, living with a fussy eater (Harps) meant that I got into a food rut because if I was going to go anywhere to eat, it'd probably be with him. Since last year I've started leaving him behind and catch up days with friends have become less about a cheap pub and more about trying delicious new places to eat. I absolutely LOVE it, it's probably one of my favourite 'me time' things to do and I'm lucky that my friends are also at the age of trying fancy new foods! 

6) Current favourite candle?

Oooh I have a couple, there's a shop near where I work that has Yankee candles for sale pretty cheap so I had a bit of a stock up on their 'fluffy towels' scent. It's heavenly and makes every room smell fresh and snuggly and perfect. For my birthday I was also gifted a Chelsea tea fruits candle that's lasting forever and smells like spring is coming which fills me with joy of course.

7) How do you spend outdoor 'me time'?

Cornwall is just the best for outdoor time and you'll usually find me by a beach or in some woods or flouncing in a field somewhere. That reminds me, this year I'd really like to arrange a blogging picnic! Would anyone be keen for this?

8) Would you go and see a movie alone?

Yeah sure, I've been to the cinema alone before and it's really rather nice! Nobody except the staff know that all that cinema food is just for you, you can sit where you want and no interruptions! Thinking about it, I don't see why I ever go with people!?

9) Favourite online shop?

Ohh hard one! It's probably Etsy but I've got a massive obsession with browsing holiday websites (secretly honeymoon planning commencing!)

10) Anything else to add? Any other thoughts/ plans for 'me time'?


I tag some lovely ladies...Leona, Michelle, Sunae, Sam and Louisa...time to get nosey ladies!

Love Sophie Xx

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Windy Walks & Beach Badgers.

On a windy day off within the last few weeks, mother asked as to whether I'd like to walk the spaniels with her. Practically scratching at the walls with no access to my laptop, I jumped at the chance for a little catch up time and to blow the cobwebs away. After spending a little time walking I began to tell tales of the lesser spotted beach badgers that had dug holes just like this one << in the sand.

Mother thinking she's much smarter disagreed but hey, not everyone can be as in the know as I am.

Winter walks on the beach are some of my favourite. There's hardly anyone there besides the fellow dog walkers and this results in lots of doggy related chit chat.

Me: "Look that dog has a coat on, why don't your dogs get coats?"
Mother: "They don't need coats, they're warm enough as they are!"
Me: "Well I'm sure they'd be happier if they were even warmer, I'm going to call the authorities."
Mother: "That dog has a purple coat on and it looks ridiculous."
Me: *Spots whippet* " That dog definitely needs his coat!"

And so on and so fourth.

Followed by many doggie butt sniffing awkward interactions with other dogs. 

Aaah winter.

Love Sophie Xx

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

I've Been Stalking You All Since February Began...

Here's a totally unrelated photo of the comedy frog Harps bought me for Valentines day!

That's right. I said it. I've been away for the first half of February (thanks Batman again!) This doesn't mean that I haven't been catching up on some of my favourite blog posts in that time. So sit under your favourite blanket with your favourite beverage in your favourite cup and who knows, maybe you'll come across something that you missed or even someone brand new!

  •  As always, Alvy has been making me chuckle with her tales of being abducted by aliens...
  • Jojo has the sweetest illustrations in town and I swear she brings a ray of sunshine to the internet. 
  • Sarah's travel posts have been giving me major wanderlust! Her photography is so beautiful! 
  • Sophie posted a fabulous 90's grunge inspired outfit that she'd definitely rock! 
  • Aimee has the most AMAZING new home for her cat Rocky. Seriously I'm so jealous. LOOK AT IT!
  • Danielle takes the loveliest photographs. Her nature ones are always my favourite and catching up on her 'My Life In Photos' post is always a treasure chest of beautiful images.
  • Karen's pregnancy updates are super exciting and it's all getting rather close now!!
  • Rosie's getting to the exciting planning stage that I really can't wait for! Choosing wedding rings isn't something I'd ever thought about being 'one of the best parts' of planning your wedding until I read her post. It made my heart do a little leap thinking of Harps choosing his ring! (She also roasted a chicken that made my mouth actually slip a little bit of drool out!)
  • Leona's inspiring 'Don't Fear The Smear' series is both insightful and calming. As someone who very soon will be getting that dreaded letter through the post, she and the others that have also shared their experiences have really put my mind at ease! Thanks ladies!
  • I have actually taken up a small residency on Michelle's blog, I spend so much time stalking it. There's so much to enjoy! Better late then never HOORAAY for Michelle's real life column in a real life newspaper! The kind that get printed out! Ink's expensive stuff don't you know?! Also, her 'Who am I?' post made my day. AND an adorable few snaps of those snazzy spaniels of hers give me puppylust (is that a thing?)
  • Lisette's ombre napkins look awesome. As a fellow budgeteer these really inspired me as a possibility as some sort of table cloths for our wedding? I've been looking at nice fabrics recently and alas, my pennies say no.
  • Chelsea met some deadlines and got her graduation date! How exciting! Also kudos on the recipe being printed in your student magazine! Like I said above- REAL LIFE PAPER!
  • Lou posted a rather romantic and heartwarming anniversary post! Happy anniversary guys!
  • I actually totally relied on Louisa's 'Here Is The News' posts whilst I was away, she always finds the best catch up posts to read! Take a look at even more great bloggers! 
  • Dei went for a beautiful walk in the woods and her outfit post was just beautiful. P.s her hair is always brilliantly beautiful too! 
  • Emma's birthday wishlist is full of goodies that I'd love myself! Actually, I'd really like all of it please. Also 'Emma' is a brilliant book, I can send you my copy if you don't get it!
So ermm yeah, told you I'd been watching. I'd love to know if you've made any new blogging friends through this little bunch!

Love Stalky Sophie Xx

Monday, 16 February 2015

Batman Diaries #6 Confessions.

Blah blah blah "We all love Batman, he's so cute! You should post more about him." Sound familiar? Well tough titties because he's not all sunshine and rainbows you know? Batman can be a little shit. There I said it. As an ode to my return from my blogging absence I thought it was about time that you all learnt a little about Batman's really fucking annoying habits.

Six Reasons Batman's a Little Shit.

1) He chewed through my laptop cable. Sneakily, over much time that I wasn't totally expecting the day when I all of a sudden was cut off from the world.

2) Sometimes he's a pain in the arse to get to bed at night. He knows exactly our routine and he has his own routine and if for some reason we go to bed earlier/later than usual he just refuses to go home. Point blank. It's taken as long as 45 minutes before just to get him into the next room.

3) He malts like a small dog. Seriously, despite being brushed many times a week when malting he just seems to get little black, fluffy hairs EVERYWHERE.

4) He snores REALLY loudly. Louder than a cat would snore. Like a small, wheezing old man. At least you always know where he is I guess?

5) He scares himself on a regular basis. Be it sleeping right on the edge of the stairs/bed and then rolling over and falling down or maybe when he tries to jump off of the top of the sofa and completely underestimates it, flying into the table, it amazes me every single day that he doesn't kill himself. Most of the time he'll thump around the house for hours afterwards and you're like "You did this to yourself crazy rabbit!"

6) He uses my face as a landing pad. If he's on the back of the sofa and I'm lying on it, he likes to nuzzle into my hair, but if I'm lying down too low for him to reach it then in revenge he'll use my face to get back off the sofa, like a sort of cushioned landing pad. 

Of course bunny owning is fabulous and every one should have a characteristic little furry friend of some kind (with responsibility of course) and there are times *see below* where he's utterly adorable. Tell me about your pets bad habits or annoying traits, I'd love to hear them!

Love Sophie and Batman Xx

Sunday, 15 February 2015

A Catch Up In Numbers.

Hello friends! Long time no see isn't it? Well twenty three days later, not exactly a lifetime. Taking a break from blogging vs not being able to blog are two very different feelings and I've found myself spending many an evening simply curled up on the sofa binge watching Netflix. Incase you're wondering, the reason for my absence is Batman themed of course! He chewed through my laptop cable and I've been awaiting a new one! So what else have I been up to? I hear your yelps of excitement at my return...

1) Six quiet evenings for self preservation. Perfect for getting my yoga mat out, doing some stretches and learning some simple pilates to keep me strong through these cold months. 

2) Reading two whole books in three whole days. I was gifted the brilliant "When Mr Dog Bites" from Leona for my birthday and read it in about five hours! It's been a while since I've curled up in silence for hours on end and just read. It was lovely. The other book (and one checked off my to-read list for the year!) was "The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August." Another brilliant read and rather different to my usual genre, this has a time travelling theme! I'd really recommend them both! 

3) Devoured two whole bloomers. Mmmmm isn't fresh bloomer bread just delicious and so much better in every single way than normal bread?

4) Over thirty cups of tea. Because tea is made for winter, for early mornings and for small measures of happiness.

5) Seventy Two hours of utter illness. Like I'm not going to disclose all the gory details guys but seriously this was HELL. Three days of not even rehydration drinks staying in my weak stomach made me cry on more than one occasion and even involved Harps dressing me one night. I had a gourmet meal of two slices of bread last night for my first meal back to health. It was amazing.

6) Two yankee candles burning. Candles are for warming the soul in the winter. Every evening insists on them.

7) Walking on a very windy beach for over forty five minutes will send shivers to your spine but time with two spaniels and one mummy are always for savouring.

8) Twelve episodes of House, Five episodes of Catfish and Two new episodes of Better Call Saul (what does everyone think?!) on Netflix. Binge watching at its best. This wasn't even whilst I was ill! (During that time I was mainly curled around my toilet with a small cushion.)

9) Did the best online shopping ever. There's one person that I love buying presents for more than anyone else in the world. It's Leona's birthday soon which means I have an excuse to buy all the lovely little things that I'd love to receive but would never buy myself (because life means there isn't funds for cute little things) and three websites and six purchases later I'm looking forward to it all finishing coming in the post!

10) Finally and something I've wanted to share with you all for a couple of weeks now. I achieved one promotion at work which I am very proud, excited and happy about!

So that's me in a bit of a wrap up! How about you lovely ladies and gents? What have I missed? I've been stalking you all as usual and keep your eyes peeled for a bit of a favourite posts catch up in the next few days! 

Love Sophie Xx