Hello again… It’s Me.

Hello again… It’s Me.

It’s been a whole two years since I last wrote on here.

 

Having gone through what I would say as a pretty traumatic couple of months I’m now back living at my parent’s house. Having a bit of spare time I have rediscovered what was once my baby; my lovely blog. I figure writing is a form of therapy so in the next few days I’ll write a bit of a round up of where I’ve been; what I’ve done, and how I got here.

 

Good to be back 🙂

 

 

Sophie xx

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Goodbye 2015

Goodbye 2015

Another year has gone by.

 

I can safely say this year has been a complete and utter rollercoaster for me. So many ups, and so many downs. Loss, grief, change, surprise, heartbreak, reconciliation, celebrations to name a few. I have experienced every single emotion, and I am happy to admit I am really glad this year is almost over. A lot of people use the New Year as a fresh start, and I am definitely one of those people. But 2016 will be a little bit different, and maybe a little bit more selfish, but in the best possible way.

 

2016 is the year of Me.

 

It is the year I put my happiness first.

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And no, it doesn’t mean I’ll forget everyone else’s happiness, or indeed shut out everybody else on my quest for inner contentment, but it means I am going to put a bit more thought into what it is that makes me happy.

Somebody very wise once said to me that I am sensitive to people’s feelings, sometimes a little too sensitive; in that I worry so much about what people think that it stops me doing things, in fear I will be judged. And it’s true. I think a lot of people suffer from this irrational fear of what people will think of them, but people will think what they want, regardless of what I do or say.

I am going to say yes more, and also say no to things which is just as important. I want to travel more, see more of the world, and meet new people. I want to work on how to push my career further, and aim higher than ever before. Yes this will mean leaving my comfort zone, but nothing is worth anything without a little risk.

 

An arrow can only be fired by first being pulled backward; so have faith that if things seem to be falling down, you will soon be fired into something amazing.

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I’ll do a post early on in the New Year with a review of my bucketlist of 2015, and then a brand new one which is looking very exciting 😀

 

But for now, take this as my promise, that 2016 is the year of me. And I am so excited for it.

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New Year’s Eve Games Ideas

New Year’s Eve Games Ideas

So with New Year’s Eve literally around the corner everybody is buzzing with what great plans they have to bring in the New Year. Although a tad overrated, I always love New Year because I see it as an opportunity to have quality time with whoever I spend it with. It’s become something of a tradition that I spend it with my best friends (in my opinion nothing could be better); and among the alcohol and laughter, gossip and good food, we LOVE a board game. So this year is no different. I’m spending the evening with my best pals and we’ve all been instructed to bring a board game along with everything else!

Speaking to a few of my friends both offline and online this seems to be a common occurrence this year, with people opting to stay inside with friends rather than face the extortionate prices and possible regret a night out may bring. I can safely say that long gone are the days where I would sacrifice food for a very expensive night out, to then spend HOURS queuing to get into the same place I would go every weekend, and to top it all off to then have to queue to get to the bar. And of course not forgetting the impossible task of finding a taxi home. Nope.

 

So I thought I would list some of the best board games I have experienced, and feel free to add to this, what are your favourite board games?

 

5 Second Rule

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Nope, not a game developed from dropping your food on the floor and deeming it safe to eat; this game is a fast talking fast thinking game where you have five seconds to answer questions such as naming 3 breeds of dog, or four countries beginning with the letter b. Seems easy but under pressure it’s comical what people come out with! Add alcohol to the mix and this game is seriously hilarious.

 

Pie Face

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A game of nerves, players load the throwing arm with squirty cream or whatever you want, maybe a wet sponge or even mashed potato depending on how brave you are! Somebody then places their head in the frame and turn the handle hoping not to be splatted in the face! It’s not the most complicated game in the world, but is definitely guaranteed to bring in some laugh. I have seen so many people playing this over Christmas, it must be a top buy this year!

 

Articulate

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One of my favourite games, and one I am happy to admit I am rubbish at ha! This is another fast talking game where players try to describe as many card entries as possible to their team mates in 30 seconds. This needs a little bit of skill in terms of knowledge, but there are topics everyone can have a go at, it’s a cracking game.

 

Cranium

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A firm favourite of mine. Introduced to me by one of my university friends, we still all play this as a group when we get together and it never gets old. Played in teams, you have until the egg timer runs out to complete tasks, which if won get you further round the board to eventually get into the Cranium Central area and complete the activities there. The activities are split into four groups: “Creative Cat”, which asks, amongst other things, that you sculpt a contact lense out of clay–or draw a picture of baked beans on toast (with your eyes closed, of course). Then there is “Data Head”–do you know where the saying “back to square one” originates? Did Thomas Crapper really invent the flushing toilet? Another activity is the “Word Worm”–can you spell words backwards or solve puzzles with a cryptic clue such as “nervous neckwear”? Finally, there is the “Star Performer” activity (all families have one or two in this category.) Get them to emulate a John Cleese sketch or act “a back seat driver”. When a team reaches Cranium Central, they have to complete one activity from each activity category to win. A sure favourite for whoever plays it.

 

Cards Against Humanity

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Not one for the easily offended, but this game guarantees a good old cry-laugh. I’m chuckling even as I write this. The game is pretty simple really. Players each have a number of white cards with various awkward/disgusting answers. They take turns choosing a question on a black card, and players then try to answer it with their funniest card. All I can say is play this game! You can even get expansion packs of this game so the fun never ends, and if you were feeling really creative, go ahead and make up some of your own answers!

 

 

So there you have it, some of my favourite games. What are your favourite games to play?

Have a wonderful New Year whatever you are doing, I hope you spend it with loved ones and have lots of food, drink, laughter and love.

 

Love Sophie xxx

 

Hello Again…

Hello Again…

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Hey guys!

I cannot believe the last time I posted was AUGUST. So much has happened since then; both good times and some maybe not so good, but now is time to get back on it. I have spent so much time thinking ‘oh I really must get back into my blog’, and life has just happened. So I apologise for that, I’m back 🙂

While I sit in my bed with a hot cup of tea I thought this would be the perfect time to look over my goals for the past year and review where I am so far. If anyone had told me this year would have gone the way it did I wouldn’t have believed them.

 

So… if you want to look at my post in January here it is

It’s so interesting to look back, this is one of the many reasons I love blogging. Do any of you guys do this, read back through old posts and get a little nostalgic? I love a bit of reminiscing.

 

So let’s have a look how I have done with my goals.

 

‘2015 is the year I complete my Post Graduate degree and (fingers crossed) become an Early years Teacher.’

I did it! I completed my EYTS in August woop! I worked so hard and it was all worth it, I was graded Outstanding which is unbelievable!

‘It will also be the year I truly focus on my blog, attend bloggers events and interact with my fellow bloggers!’

I have to be honest and say my blog took the back seat this year, and while I have made some amazing friends from blogging, I want to attend more events and meet my blogging friends next year.

‘I am also really hopeful that 2015 will be the year I feel a bit more settled, and spend more time with loved ones.’

Sadly this hasn’t really been the case. I lost two members of my family this year, which has been really tough on us all. It’s horrid how grief can affect you. I also had a really tough few months from September to November, and so I haven’t really felt settled at all. However, I feel so positive now I have had the time to grieve and restart, I feel secure in my relationship and my friends and family are just so wonderful! Here is to 2016.

‘I want to look back and see that 2015 was a pivotal year in my life in terms of career path. The year that I set my own challenges and surprised myself. I also want 2015 to be the year I embraced the people/things I love.’

I definitely see 2015 as a pivotal year in my life, although not how I thought it would be at all. I feel that due to shit (excuse my language but sometimes no other word will do) going on, I really have learnt about who I need in my life, as well as what I need to do to keep them in my life.

Rather than focus on work, work, work, for me, my lifestyle is what is important. My happiness. I work to live, not live to work. This next year is all about saying yes to new experiences, not being afraid to go for what I want, and being proud of who I love.

 

‘What is your number one goal for 2015?

Be a total badass, work hard, and play harder.’

 

I will carry this forward into 2016, I will continue to be a total badass.

 

 

 

In January I will be posting all of my new year’s resolutions, I can’t wait to read all of yours!

How do you think your 2015 has gone?

Was it how you expected it to be? Any surprises?

Love,

Sophie xxx

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Yummy Battenberg Recipe!

Yummy Battenberg Recipe!

Hello everybody!

Wow I’ve had a long break from blogging… post on that very soon! But I thought I would pop on a wonderful little recipe for battenberg cake which I made today. Enjoy!

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Ingredients

4oz softened butter

4oz caster sugar

4oz self raising flour

2 large eggs

1 tsp baking powder

2oz ground rice

Red food colouring

Almond paste if desired

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Apricot jam

Marzipan

Icing sugar

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  1. Preheat the oven to 160°c, and grease and line a square baking tin. The tin I use is an 18cm square tin, not too deep.
  2. Add the butter, sugar, flour, eggs, baking powder and ground rice into a mixing bowl and beat for about two minutes, or until it is smooth. Have a boogie to Beyoncé as you beat the mixture, it’ll go quick as a flash.
  3. Split the mixture in half. Put half of the mixture carefully onto the right side of your baking tray.
  4. Add a few drops of red food colouring into the mixture you have left in the bowl. Mix it until it is a deep pink colour. If you were really fun you could mix things up and have some different coloured sponge in your Battenberg; go wild you only live once.

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  5. Carefully spoon this mixture onto the other side of the tin, make sure the line between the two colours is smooth, and make sure your mixture is even. Smooth over the surface.
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  6. Pop it into the oven and bake for about 35-40mins. Once it is cooked, check it springs back when touched, and maybe try the skewer test like I did. Leave it to cool for a few minutes in the tin, then put it on a cooling tray to fully cool down. Remove baking paper.

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  7. Once your sponge is cool, trim the sides and cut it down the middle so you have two sponges each a different colour. Then cut the sponges in half again, so you have four long pieces of sponge, two of each colour.
  8. Warm the jam in a pan, and use this to stick your sponges together in a checkerboard style. Pop some jam on the top of the sponge, ready for the marzipan.

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  9. Sprinkle some icing sugar on your surface, and roll out you marzipan. This can be tricky and I had a small disaster when my marzipan decided to stick completely to the surface. After wailing for a moment I was handed a scraper to scrape it off the surface and start again. Dust your surface well.
  10. Once rolled out, pop your sponge on one side of the marzipan, then wrap the marxipan round the cake. Make sure you pinch the corners and edge so it stays together.
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  11. As a finishing touch, you could score a pattern on the top of the Battenberg, or sprinkle some icing sugar on top.
  12. Pop the kettle on, call your mates and have a gossip with a lovely cup of tea and some yummy Battenberg, and listen as your friends shower you with baking compliments. Job done.

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NOMMY.

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Love Sophie xx

Running 10k For Gran

Running 10k For Gran

Hey guys!

This post is a little bit different because it’s not really in keeping with my love for topics such as tea and baking lovely sweet treats but I hope you’ll stick with me!

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After my Gran passed away, I have been dabbling with the idea of raising money for The Stroke Association. My Gran had four strokes during the later years of her life, these massively affected her way of living, and for the last 13 years she was living in a residential home. After her first massive stroke she lost the ability to walk, talk and write as well as losing her independence. She went from living in her own bungalow to living in a home requiring constant care and support. She needed somebody to write her letters and cards for her, which was a huge blow as she loved to write to all of her friends and family. Over the years she recovered somewhat, unfortunately suffering from some additional smaller strokes. This resulted in her living with an underlying fear of ‘when will the next one come?’ And her anxiety meant she didn’t want to leave the home, she only felt safe there. Thankfully, my Gran was always happy, full of joy and smiles, she loved her life and the staff at the residential home adored her just as much as we did. She is a true hero in my eyes.

My memories are so full of wonderful times spent with my Gran, baking, walking in the fields, picking blackberries, eating fish and chips, spending every Friday night of my childhood with her and my sister watching Corrie and Strange But True, making all kinds of yucky mixtures and potions with anything we could find in her cupboards, and pretending we were grownups playing fancy dress in her clothes.

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I want her to be proud of me, and I also want to challenge myself to do something I’ve never done before. So I’ve signed up to run The Bupa London 10k on 30th May 2016, for The Stroke Association.

I’ll be blogging my training, from day one all the way to race day, it’s going to be a long journey but one I am so ready for! So this is my pledge, and for those who know me, you know how hard this will be for me, so please feel free to donate and support this amazing charity, and the thousands of people who are living after a stroke.

I will be posting meal ideas, training plans, gadgets, ideas for running gear you name it, so if there is anything you would be interested to read about let me know J It will be fun to see my progress down the line!

Check out my justgiving page: https://www.justgiving.com/Sophie-Deacon

And my twitter @sophie_d247 for updates!

For now,

Sophie xx

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Planning a Little Tea Party

Planning a Little Tea Party

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Hey guys!

So in celebration of me completing my Early Years Teacher Status I thought what better way to celebrate than to have a Tea Party with my closest friends. I wanted to post some ideas and create a little mood board including some cute ideas for a party, such as colour themes and décor. I love to look at other blogger’s party ideas so if you have any links to cute decorations feel free to comment and share!

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I love the whole idea of an outdoor tea party theme, with lots of bunting and lots of flowers to create a bright and pretty area that’s relaxed and laid back. It needs a vintage/floral/bright theme running through it and a lot of summery colours and shades, as well as vintage tea cups and teapots! I’m inviting about ten to fifteen people, so something quirky and also relaxed is what I’m thinking of, it will have some lovely personal touches as well.

Here are some ideas for my party:

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BeFunky Collage

Now that I’d found a great theme for my party I need to get some invites out, otherwise said friends wouldn’t be coming. I need something fast and preferably something easy, and that’s how I came across paperless post. The idea of online invites is genius to me, a lot of my friends are online as well so it makes sense. I can’t believe the range of invites they have, and I have found myself browsing the website looking through all their beautiful designs. Check them out here!

Here are some examples of some of the wonderful designs:

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The website is so cute and a good resource to inspire my party ideas too! It has some more quirky ideas rather than the bog standard ones you normally find, you can personalise your cards or invites and they even have the option of buying them or they have a range of free ones too if you have a budget for your party. I love them!

So if you have a party coming up let me know about it, and share your ideas I would love to see them. And check out https://www.paperlesspost.com/cards/section/invitations for some cute and quirky invites!

I look forward to hearing all about your party 🙂

Love Sophie x

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