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?

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Two weeks in…

Recently I have felt myself go on a serious health kick- odd and unlike me- but very fun nonetheless. For every day of the last two weeks I have worked out for at least two hours and I have sincerely enjoyed my workouts and how I’ve been feeling after the workouts. Next day after my workouts have become increasingly sore, however.

Feel free to follow my work out updates and silliness on Snapchat: sophia_360

As I have previously stated, the best part of working out is buying new workout gear, however this can be very expensive if you are wanting to wear branded products and I am sadly a brand fiend, with a new found addiction to Nike.

I went to the Tillicoultry Outlet Centre for the first time, despite it being only a twenty minute car ride away, and I was thoroughly impressed with the stores on offer and the discount available at these stores. As I love a good shopping spree of course I went a little nuts but on this new health kick, it was hard to resist.

I treated myself to a whole new set of work out gear and I am very excited to use it all. I got some gorgeous purple and pink shorts with under armour and a comfortable band to fit perfectly on the waist- the original price being £32.00 but at the outlet store I got them for £11. I got some cute leggings too with the Nike tick on it in luminous white, which went from £16 to £11 and the comfiest women’s Free Run 5.0 TR Fit 5.0, with an original price of £90 and it was discounted multiple times and ended up being £22.50, which I was incredibly impressed with! I also found that these were still for sale on ASOS for full selling price. I also got a Stella Sport running top from the Adidas outlet store, from £28 to £19.50.

Since visiting the outlet centre I have done nothing but boast about the savings I made whilst I was there, I ended up getting everything for less than £65.

I have been doing home work outs using the SWORKIT apps, and a very unforgiving medicine ball but I genuinely adore my workouts now. Home workouts have helped boost my confidence so much and I have even started jogging- IN PUBLIC.

I cannot explain how much I love SWORKIT apps because you can work out at home with nothing but a mat to lay on, I use my medicine ball but purely to add to the workout-it is totally optional.

 

Things I’m sick of hearing as a girl who likes football

To celebrate the Euros starting this week, I have decided to write things I am so sick of hearing as a girl who likes football. With the Euros starting this summer I am more than excited to have something to watch over summer as when football isn’t on it spins me into withdrawal symptoms. BUT because I’m a girl often football banter is passed by me, because I am a girl who just shouldn’t know about football.

I am sick of getting the ‘do you know the offside rule’ question

I personally don’t understand what is so difficult about the offside rule, it is pretty simple and I have had to explain it to so many people, girls and boys. I think its crazy that I should have to prove my worthiness to people about how much I know about football, and often once you’ve proven your knowledge they continue to be shocked when you say ‘that was offside’ during a game.

When watching a game being asked where my boyfriend is

This is as if I can only like football if my boyfriend has dragged me there and that I haven’t gone by choice, I have been to many games with family, sometimes I have been with only the male members of my family but I went there by choice because I genuinely enjoy the game and the atmosphere. This often comes with random explanations as to what is happening in the game, WHICH IM AWARE OF.

Getting asked who told me to support the team I support

THIS. UGHHHHH. I support Manchester City and have done for my entire life, because my family are from Manchester and it feels like my home. It is not because a boyfriend of mine forced me to support them, it is because I wanted to support them. I love my team and have a real connection to them, the stadium and Manchester as a whole because of how long I have supported them and no one will ever change that for me.

Being ignored when it comes to football chat

This happens a lot, if I’m with my male friends it is completely likely that any input I have will be ignored because I’m a girl and because it is just believed I won’t know enough to have a good enough laugh about it. This happens so often and even if its not done on purpose, it is so irritating. The only person who takes me seriously when it comes to football banter is my boyfriend who I almost always have a laugh with about football.

Getting quizzed constantly

“Who is your manager now?” “Who was your last manager?” “Who has scored the most goals this season?” the list is endless, I bet guys who say they like football don’t get a quiz on their team and questions to AGAIN prove they like football and actually support their team.

GIRLS HATING GIRLS FOR LIKING SPORTS

I don’t judge girls who don’t like sports, if your into makeup and Keeping Up with The Kardashians, you do you. BUT I hate hearing “I bet she only likes football to impress boys” because sweetheart, thats not cute. I cannot stand this comment and I hear it all the time, I’m sure my boyfriend enjoys that we share similar interests, but I don’t think he’s with me purely because I enjoy football. I cannot honestly urge to people how much I’ve heard this and I think its so sad that women can’t be more empowering to one another and just let each other live.

Although I adore the game, I cannot stand the constant questioning that girls have to put up with and many men need to learn saying “you’re too pretty to like football” it is annoying as hell, because it shows you think only ugly girls can like sports. Also many men choose to moan if their girlfriend doesn’t like sports. With this post I urge you, don’t be that guy, don’t be that girl, just if someone says they like something, just trust that they aren’t randomly lying about liking something.

Enjoy the Euros this summer too! Try not to be too happy when England lose as well.

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?

Are anti-sectarian powers being misused?

Scotland is well known for its love of ‘the beautiful game’ however every year thousands of games end with scenes of violence and police having little or no way of preventing it, however last year the Scottish government created the ‘Offensive Behaviour at Football Act’ in order to try and tackle the sectarianism which leads to violence. Many praised the Scottish government for its attempts however others ask the question how much has the legislation done for football and its fans? There is proof that this legislation doesn’t protect those it should. The fans. They believe after only a year of being put in place the legislation should be shown the red card. To add insult to injury the police force has been accused of abusing the legislation to use fans as an example to others. “Harassed.” “Victimised.” “Criminalised.” Just some of the words fans used to describe how they felt following the police forces’ actions towards them.
The recently introduced Offensive Behaviour at Football legislation has been accused of undermining the human rights of football fans due to cases of supporters being put under surveillance with little evidence against their name and in extreme cases detectives questioning fans at airports coming home from a holiday. This would be seen as in the interest of the public had many of these supporters been found guilty however it is claimed that most cases are either dropped or unable to prove, which leaves the question, what does this do for Scotland? Paul Kavanagh, director of legal firm Gildeas stated,
“While going on holiday with their families, people who have been recognised at football matches by the police are stopped routinely at Glasgow Airport.”
He then went on to say, “It is correct for people who sing sectarian songs or shout sectarian insults to be arrested and processed through the courts. However, what about a person displaying a banner that is not sectarian in any way! Simply walking to a football match and being told to provide his name and address to police for no apparent reason? Or walking down the street with his family and being spoken to by the police as they recognised him at a football match? Where is their right to privacy? Where is the crime?”
Highlighting that the misuse of the police powers is so high that lawyers and law firms are seeing a difference in their cases within only one year. Many feel that this does little for the Scottish population other than waste the time of the police, lawyers and football fans who in fact raise huge income for the Scottish economy.
However it has been noted that there is a rather large loophole in the Offensive Behaviour at Football Act in that football related bigotry did not apply to England matches in last summer’s European Championships. This allowed Scottish fans to chant abuse at the English as they were not protected by this law making them an easy target for the Scottish fans. The Euros which were held in Poland and Ukraine in July were not covered by the act as it only relates to matches played within Scotland or involving Scottish teams abroad.
English fans have previously been victims of verbal and often physical violence while watching games in pubs proving that the anti-bigotry law that was meant to protect fans from all kinds of “offensive” behaviour does not work. Labour’s community safety spokeswoman Jenny Marra stated,
“Bigotry is bigotry- it doesn’t matter where the game is played or who is playing.” She went on to say, “Whether we like it or not, anti-English racism remains a problem for Scotland and it is time the SNP faced up to it. They must clarify the law and, if appropriate, amend the legislation.” However The Crown Office replied to this saying,
“There are other criminal provisions which can be utilised to cover disorderly conduct.” As did the Scottish Government saying,
“Anyone engaging in threatening or offensive behaviour will be dealt with by the full force of the law.” This shows that without this law those who act in a bigoted or offensive manner are still dealt with, which leads to the question, where does this law fit in society?
Mr MacAskill has pledged £9million over the next three years “on a range of projects to tackle sectarianism” however 91% of Scots supported tougher action to tackle the problem of sectarianism within Scotland. In November, Lord Advocate Frank Mullholland QC said that 89% of cases reported under the Offensive Behaviour and Threatening Communications Act have been prosecuted, adding that there is an 83% conviction rate proving the effectiveness of the act throughout Scotland. Mr MacAskill has also shown that it is not only the population of Scotland who have asked for this legislation by stating,
“This legislation was introduced in response to Scotland’s police and prosecutors, who told us they needed greater powers to take a hard line on sectarianism associated with football.” The government are so positive the legislation has worked that they have commissioned an independent evaluation of the legislation by six different research organisations; these are being collated and are set to be published at the end of the football season in attempts to prove the legislation worth the money put into it.
There are many cases of police using a person as an example to others; a seventeen year old was kept in a police cell and then a young offenders institute for almost a week after being refused bail before receiving only a banning order. Another had their taxi driver’s license opposed by the police who alleged that he was the subject of an application for a Football Banning Order however the fan received no ban and had no idea of the application the police were putting forward against him. Connor McGhie, an eighteen year old Rangers fan, received three months jail time for chanting sectarian abuse at an Inverness game, his case has been brought to light as the legislation “cracking a nut.” This begs the question, are these fans being used as examples to others? And is the sentencing too harsh for such a miniature crime? A Glasgow based advocate Owen Mullan stated,
“Fans of various clubs can’t understand why the police follow them as they make their way to football grounds, why they are filmed as they watch football, and why they are continuously searched and required to provide their details to the police.” Proving that there are innocent fans being hugely affected by this law which could put them off going to football games lowering the income to the teams and lowering the standard of the type of fan going to these games. However it has been proven that police dislike the initiative just as much as fans as a police source said surveillance gave police squads “something to do” and that “intelligence gathering isn’t just about a specific crime. It’s also for databases.” The legislation is obviously affecting both football fans and police in a negative way as it is dissuading fans from the matches, lowering the income for the team and lowering the enjoyment of the game, and it is creating a lazy and harassing police force.
In conclusion, the laws and the expense of this initiative could be seen as a waste of public money as many feel that football clubs could do more in the way of anti sectarian propaganda. It also penalises innocent and true football fans and stereotypes the majority of fans from certain clubs, it has also been proven that it is only a minority of fans who take part in these acts of offensive behaviour. In a world facing a recession the use of £9million could be better spent on other initiatives within the government remit, however many other sectors within the government are being cut and so can Scotland really afford this initiative aimed at a small minority of its citizens?

Footballs impact on society

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I like to think of myself as a loyal and longstanding fan of the team I call my own, Manchester City, as my family have been constant supporters of the team for ‘forty odd years’ according to my grandfather. Throughout this time we have witnessed the lows, the even lower and now finally a few highs here and there. Many men argue that women should not be interested in this sport as it is not a sport for women, but I challenge that! I understand that many girls feel that acting like a football fan will gain some recognition with boys however there are plenty of hardcore female followers of football! What can bond friends, family or couples more than a shared interest? Football is more than a sport, more than a reason for a pub fight and more than an argument raiser, it’s a following, a reason to believe- my family especially will quote this- and it’s a time for family to sit in front of the television and hope as a unit for their family team. There have been many instances where you witness a fan of a team threaten to give up on his team after a wounding defeat, but this threat can be repeated game after game, season after season and year after year until that team win and prove the persons hopes correct. Other sports such as golf, boxing or darts don’t create as much passion and loyalty as football. It is this that keeps many a fan going and with this quote by Joe Namath I will end

Football is an honest game. It is true to life. It’s a game about sharing. Football is a team game. So is life.