2017: the plan.

2016 has been such a whirlwind for me, I have grown and changed and had such a blast, it was difficult at times and I have had some struggles. I still enjoyed my 2016 a lot, watching myself grow and change has been a huge achievement. I go to the gym-regularly- I have two jobs that I enjoy, I’m doing well-ish at university and I have a relationship that is going great.

I am totally and unapologetically happy with myself and where I am in life, I can always improve which will be my aim in 2017. I am planning to make small but important improvements to myself and my life. 2017 will see me turn 21, my baby brother turn 4 and the end of my third year at university and start of my final year- which I do not feel old enough for at all. It will be an important year no matter what happens but I plan on making it more so.

My resolutions are extremely important to me this year as they are all extremely achievable however it just takes some hard work on my end- which could be tough with how lazy I can be! They are as follows

  • Start my driving lessons in February
  • Get a car by September
  • Go to the gym three times a week no matter what
  • Start a saving plan and stick to it (spend less)
  • Take criticism in a more positive way and always try to improve

All of these are important to me due to the negative patterns I’ve found myself stuck in. I plan on becoming a better person this year, learning to drive is for an easier way to get home to see my family, meaning that if I want to see them and I finish work at 10pm then I can drive home to see them easier. I have always wanted a car by the age of 21 and as I am 21 this year I would like to see myself accomplish this goal.

Going to the gym is not to lose weight but more to feel happier in myself and to be healthier, currently I can’t get up more than two flights of stairs without getting slightly out of breath, last year I promised I would love myself more and I definitely have which has been helped a lot by going to the gym. Plus it gives me an outlet for my emotions and so when I am upset I prefer to go to the gym instead of wallowing in my emotions.

Saving has never been a strong point of mine however spending is something I have a real passion for. But that does need to change, I need to start saving my money for better things, like a car or a house in the future, I would also prefer not to live from pay check to pay check and instead have money saved in case of emergency. I would also like to start putting money away for my little brother to have when he’s older as it can help my parents to worry about things less.

Criticism is something I find difficult even if its constructive as I always strive to be the best I can so when I fail after putting my all in, it is difficult for me to accept that. This year I will begin to take criticism as a way to get better instead of a personal attack which will hopefully help me to become a better person.

All of my plans for 2017 are somewhat uninteresting however I do plan on travelling more also if I can find the time or finances, but this year I am focussing on bettering myself and my life for my future.

What are your new years resolutions or plans for the new year?

(Late) Back to School Giveaway

The best part of going to university is the stationary shop and being closer to a Nando’s for me. I imagine this is similar for most students across the United Kingdom as it is such a therapeutic experience to get rid of all your old jotters that are filled with (now unnecessary) notes from your previous year at university.

Another thing I love is choosing my diary for the next year too, I love big, bright diaries that pop in your bag and are easy to find. I have decided to pick 5 items that I think are extremely necessary for the next year at university to giveaway; a big bright pink and blue 18 month planner, three jotters with cute messages, a weekly planner set to help plan your life around your university schedule, a set of sticky notes with ‘whatever’ for the annoying flatmates you might have and a set of coloured pens to brighten up your study notes.

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I am also giving away a £30 Nando’s card to another winner to help you enjoy a meal or two on me, which always helps with the money spent too! I love Nando’s and get the same thing every single time but I do find it so addictive and I love that it is still healthy too so you don’t get the guilty feeling after. As a current third year I know how difficult it can be to stay healthy-ish when away from home because it is so much effort to make food for just yourself so it is handy that you can order Nando’s from the app and go pick it up, even better when its free!

If you click here you can head over to the giveaway with plenty of opportunity to enter with this competition. The terms and conditions are as follows;

Entrants must be 16 or over and from the United Kingdom
There is no entry fee and no purchase necessary to enter this competition.
No responsibility can be accepted for entries not received for whatever reason.
Closing date for entry will be 21/10/2016. After this date the no further entries to the competition will be permitted.
Winners will be chosen: at random by myself
The winner will be notified by email within 28 days of the closing date. If the winner cannot be contacted or do not claim the prize within 14 days of notification, we reserve the right to withdraw the prize from the winner and pick a replacement winner.
By entering this competition, an entrant is indicating his/her agreement to be bound by these terms and conditions.
Entry into the competition will be deemed as acceptance of these terms and conditions.
This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook, Twitter or any other Social Network or company.

If there are anymore questions feel free to contact me at sophiamiddleton@live.com

Good luck to everyone!

Don’t be such a drag

RuPaul’s Drag Race put drag in the spotlight for me back in 2009 as a group of drag queens fiercely battle to win the coveted crown of the next drag superstar and the approval from the queen of queens, RuPaul.Rupaul_blackpink_final

Through the years I have had my ups and downs with the show, but my love of drag artists has never changed. The show introduced me to some amazingly talented artists, who struggled with their sexuality, their art and being accepted into their community. My love of queens such as Raja, Jujubee, Adore Delano, Violet Chachki, Kim Chi and Tatiana has proven my love of fashion forward queens with deep insecurities and difficult past stories. Adore Delano has always spoken to me as a fan, the spirit she has shown through believing in herself and the fans she has won herself through her talent and loveable nature. If you don’t fall in love after hearing her voice, the punk and rocker attitude and style will win you over.AdoreDelano_3_pc_MagnusHastings-720x926

Since watching the show I have gotten increasingly worried about the “rules” of the show, or lack of. On most of these types of shows you will see the host get involved in situations of bullying or isolation. In two or three cases there has been serious situations of bullying that has been blatantly ignored, as an audience member the Phi Phi O’hara and Sharon Needles, “go back to party city” episode was excruciating to watch. The whole Roxxxy Andrews and Jinkx Monsoon relationship put a total dampener on that season for me, making it an awkward and difficult season to enjoy. A lot of the girls explain how they were bullied for being gay or drag queens or transgendered, however when it is queens bullying one another, nothing is said.tumblr_nub9yixnG91u0f3q8o1_500

I do love RuPaul’s Drag Race for so many other reasons though; it has helped to shine a light on so many challenging situations that are affecting the LGBTQ community. The drag makeover episode every season always chooses to makeover those within the community who have fought against adversity, whether it is older gay men who were there for the first pride parade, or armed forces members who have had to come out in a ‘don’t ask don’t tell’ job. To add to this in season one fan favourite Ongina admitted she was HIV+, which caused so many who were HIV+ in the community to feel more comfortable and gave them a voice. Since then multiple queens have come out as transgender with a fan base to support them throughout their transition.2DE057D200000578-3293530-image-a-11_1446043517016

The American programme has introduced me to so many queens I admire in the UK, a main one being Ellis Atlantis, with a killer contour, wigs styled to the heavens and outfits that make your soul leave your body. This is a queen that knows how to work a makeup brush, she is a talented and beautiful queen who I admire and I know if there was a UK version of RuPaul Drag Race she would be one to watch.14192801_10154323716898280_663604018486994948_n

The Edinburgh Fringe… Done Wrong

Sitting in a luggage rack in first class is not as glamorous as people might have you believe. Getting odd looks from each person getting on the train became almost a badge of uncomfortable honour. However, I was off to see Lucie (from Tetris and Cheesecakes) so from the moment I had woken up I knew my day wouldn’t be a dull one.

Getting to Edinburgh I somehow always get a little lost at the train station, so luckily Lucie agreed to meet me right outside my train gates. Finding her is always easy with how bright her hair is, this time blue, last time pink. My day went from odd to odder the moment I found Lucie.

Walking out of the train station and into Edinburgh it was obvious the fringe was in full swing with packed streets and flyers being thrust my way from every angle. As someone who isn’t really a fan of big crowds we both decided that lunch was the next job of the day. Walking backstreets to avoid the hustle and bustle was an absolute must, however my guide was somewhat useless with directions and almost was ran over a fair few times.

Heading through the backstreets, I spotted Space N.K and begged Lucie to go in which she happily obliged and watching Lucie walk around, known by the manager on a personal level, and pick up and buy each and every pink lipstick she could find and some amazing coloured eyeliner. I found myself falling in love with a beautiful gold eyeshadow from NARS’ new line this summer and a Laura Mercier Pink Highlight/Illuminator. I had decided to leave both however Lucie (being the best person ever) bought me the eyeshadow as part of her bundle and talked me into the highlight-which I will do a makeup look and review on soon.

Finally we made it to Badger & Co. and I must say I was extremely pleased with our lunch, getting the worlds cutest cocktails, and some gorgeous food I was content with my fringe experience- having not actually seen anything yet.

We chose to head over to udderbelly to find something worth seeing, however nothing in udderbelly intrigued us enough, we soon found a free event close-by however almost got lost thanks to Lucie again headed to Quiz In My Pants. This was a comedy panel show with different comedians each night and a cute as a button host.

All of a sudden the host tells us that they were looking for audience participation and everyone sighs however a young man called Tom was picked and myself and Lucie took a sigh of relief. With each comedian having their own obvious style and being given a space of time to show this was enjoyable, Dan Simpson a poet comedian, Katharine Ferns with her quick witted Canadian comedy and Robin Boot a musical comedian who brought some hilarious pun comedy and dirty jokes. It was a friendly and enjoyable atmosphere with audience participation making it that bit more fun and with the audience winning in the end it kept my competitive side happy too.

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The day was warm, fun and enjoyable, having only seen one fringe event I felt a little annoyed at myself however I was incredibly happy with the one I did see. I would honestly recommend anyone to go see it as it is free and I’m sure it is different every night with the constant changes to the line-up.

I enjoyed my day in Edinburgh so much, however, see the fringe in the best possible way, I did not. I tried my best but catching up with friends and having a slow and fun day out on a day off, I didn’t put pressure on myself to see everything, however I will hopefully catch more of it next year and make a few days of it.

Have you ever been to the fringe? Do you plan to go to the fringe in the future?

Why dungarees are my new go-to look

I am a very plain and boring person especially when it comes to my style and clothing, I love my grey t-shirts and white t-shirts with jeans or joggers when I’m not in my work uniform. I rarely change my style, often buying the same items of clothing to replace old ones (I just love routine), but recently I went to Marks and Spencer and had a look in their clothing section.

I don’t usually go to M&S other than going for my lunch which is my little guilty pleasure every now and again, but on my lunch hour I went to M&S and had a look at their Limited Edition clothing section and instantly fell in love with the dungarees on the mannequin. The dark blue denim was like my typical colour of jeans with a slim fit on the legs, unlike other jeans these fit my freakishly long legs perfectly and for the first time I could actually roll the legs up on the jeans. I am totally in love with them and would never stop wearing them if i could get away with it.

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I usually never take pictures of my clothes because of how boring my style is but I cannot stop looking at these and praising these.

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I don’t usually spend much on clothes unless its my work uniform so I had a little splurge on this at £49.50 but paired with a simple £3.99 cropped white tee and converse it is a cute, simple and comfy go to outfit for me.

As someone who was horribly deprived of dungarees in my childhood and teenage life I feel that it is no wonder I love them so much now! It is my new found favourite and a total guilty pleasure of mine! Thank you Marks and Spencer for this and I think I’ll be keeping an eye on the Limited Edition section of their clothing from now on.

My Summer Must Haves

So with summer officially starting this week and the weather in Scotland being pretty unsure of what it wants to do, I thought I’d share some of my favourite summer trends right now, despite my main attire probably being my work clothes this summer. I love seeing girls totally rocking something different and cute so I thought (despite being in no way a fashionista) I’d give some statement pieces to add to your wardrobe this summer.

Dungarees

If like me you are a jeans and a top sort of girl then dungarees can mix up your look without pushing you too far away from what your used to, they are a total throwback which is cute and with a cute and colourful top underneath them you can rock that casual cute look. This summer they seem to be a big trend with your high street favourites such as Topshop, River Island and Primark selling them, however I have fallen in love with a pair from Marks and Spencer, coming in at £49.50 they are your dark denim skinny ankle grazer dungarees which is a style I am loving right now.

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Colourful Biker Jackets

As someone who doesn’t like to change my look very often I have some staple clothing items that I reuse each year, mostly being jackets, however this summer I am planning on investing in a new jacket because of how cute the colourful biker jackets I’m seeing are. Some stores are selling faux leather and some faux suede in this style, it depends on your preference but I am loving the Missguided range of faux suede biker jackets that come in an array of colours all costing just £40 (plus they do student discount!). From your neutral tan, grey and light pink to your eye catching red and green, it depends your style but I think these are a must-have this summer.

Toms

I have always found this company to have such an amazing idea behind them and it means I don’t mind spending that little bit more on my shoes, with their one for one promise, it means that for every pair of shoes you buy, someone in need of shoes across the world gets a pair as well. They are also extremely comfortable and so easy to just slip on and off at your leisure; they make for great holiday shoes too because of that reason. Starting at £34.99 you can get these in Schuh or Office or direct from the Toms website and they are a great summer investment- just so comfy!

Quay Australia Sunglasses

Quay Australia are killing it in the sunglasses game, being not only gorgeous but extremely affordable and having some amazing collaborations this year with Youtubers Chrisspy and Desi Perkins they have built up their brand into a household name. ASOS, Urban Outfitters and Topshop are all shops you can get your hands on them in the UK, with a huge range to suit everyone it is no wonder people are desperate to get their hands on them. Starting at £25 and going up to £40 they are a high quality brand with a good price tag.

Print Shorts

I have never liked wearing skirts or dresses so a cute way to dress up your shorts is print shorts, a cute blouse and wedges this summer. It totally mixes up your look and allows you to go from day time to night time just by changing your shoes from flats to wedges-saving room in your suitcase. With most shops having a selection my personal favourites come from boohoo at only £12 which is a steal! I also love the black and white mandala prints for this summer but going for something more floral can brighten up your look if your used to darker colours (I almost live in black and grey).

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Tote Bags

As a handbag lover I have been thoroughly enjoying the bright coloured handbags that I have seen, summer always brings out the cute colours for handbags and makes choice almost impossible. But tote bags always come in handy during summer, theres more room for your summer essentials, sunglasses, sun cream and all the other junk handbags seem to gather. I am currently in love with one from Accessorize at £39 because the gorgeous blue colour seem to go with everything and is a colour favourite of mine this season.

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Hopefully everyone has an amazing summer, what are your summer must-haves this season? What is your favourite summer style?

My Favourites

I have never done one of these before but last month I had so many things I loved that I felt like I had to write a blog post about my must-haves. I always enjoy seeing these and often they end up being my favourites too!

Makeup:

Anastasia Beverly Hills Glow Kit- That Glow

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I was lucky enough to get this from my wonderful boyfriend as a present for him leaving for 6 months, I had the Jaclyn HillxBecca Champagne Pop highlighter and used it continuously and it was amazing. Switching over to this highlight palette is amazing, with this kit there is a white shade, two pink shades and a brown shade, this mixture of colours allows me to use highlight EVERYWHERE. I use the darker shade on my contour, the pinks on my cheeks with my blush and the white on my nose and cupids bow and it honestly just brightens my face up so much. In my opinion you can never have too much of a highlight. Glow to your hearts content.

Books:

642 Tiny Things to Write About

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This book is so much fun to go through on a train or on my lunch break, it has trained me to find smaller prompts for my creative writing and it has given me such positive results. I try to write each day but this book almost forces me to and I can get the same prompt from the book and write two different things and often end up writing a story that I genuinely enjoy writing.

Apps:

SWORKIT

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This workout app is such a heaven send, it lets you choose the area to work out, fast forward any you don’t want to/can’t do, and it lets you time yourself. I am a very lazy person but recently I have been addicted to this, it also tells you approximately how many calories you’ve burned, and it’s free!! There is the main app, and six additional apps that concentrate on certain areas; Abs & Core, Butt, Upper Body, Lower Body, Cardio and Stretching. I have all downloaded and use them all but my favourite is Abs & Core, Butt and Lower Body.

TV:

House Of Cards

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My boyfriends mum actually told me to watch this after telling her my degree was in Journalism and Politics, and I must say it was one of the best recommendations ever. I was addicted and have finished the show up to the most recent season, I’m desperately waiting on season 5 and can’t wait to have chats with Jordan’s mum and dad about the last season. It is a political thriller with murder, drugs and two amazing central characters who draw you into a love/hate relationship with them.

Fashion:

I Dream Of Shapes 

Last month I was lucky enough to be invited to model for this amazing fashion brand by my amazing friend Lucie from Tetris and Cheesecakes. ‘Modelling’ for this company was so fun and I am laughing in most of my pictures purely because modelling with some of the best bloggers I know! This was amazing and I cannot wait to see them more throughout my blogging.

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Sport:

F1

I have always loved Formula 1 and having a partner who loves it too has been so amazing and has really given me more of an insight into the sport, I have missed so much of it this year due to work but have always made sure I have caught up. Usually by the 8th/9th race you can see a pattern in who will win the championship, however this year it has been so close with 18 year old Max Verstappen winning the Spanish Grand Prix and the podium being a mixed bag it has been so much more fun. Lewis Hamilton will always be my favourite as I love the rockstar status he has brought to the sport.

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I apologise for the absence from my blog recently, but I have been working so much recently that I have been so tired but luckily I’ve had a few days to relax and chill with family and that has allowed me to concentrate on my blog a bit more. I promise I will get a better routine soon but needing money is the worst!

What were your favourites recently? Do you love any of mine?