A Rather Lengthy Look Back

lookback, reflection, review, trend

I know it is such an overused phrase, but I just can’t help myself because seriously WHERE HAS THIS YEAR GONE?! I have to admit at the start of this year I was somewhat dreading 2015 but it hasn’t been half as bad as I thought. So here is a little look back at some of the highlights.

January and February were clearly slow months as I can’t think of any stand out memories so let’s skip straight to March 2015 and of course the highlight of this was my trip to Amsterdam. I went with two of my favourite ladies and we just had a right laugh. I also discovered the most heavenly Strawberry Daiquiris known to man. I really don’t think there is anything better than making fun memories with your friends so I’m hoping 2016 brings more of these trips!dam

April 2015 consisted of self imposed deadlines. With the help of my mum (a former university lecturer) I created myself a timeline in order to be able to complete my dissertation about the Blackfish documentary to a standard I could really be proud of. This might seem a bit mundane to you but for me this was a major milestone as I am terrible at focusing on work and to see something I had spent so much time and effort on printed and bound was a real achievement.

May 2015 was the month of exams and hand ins. It was the culmination of a year of hard work and the pressure was on! Once uni was done and dusted and there was no more I could do I was able to forget about it and actually enjoy myself again. What better way to do this than with a trip to Lemonfest. You can read the blogpost I wrote about it here, but basically it was just a fun weekend with friends.

And then we reach June 2015. Two life altering, majorly exciting things happened at the beginning of this month. Firstly we brought home our beautiful puppy Wilbur. He is a black and white Spanish Water Dog with eyes that could melt the coldest of hearts. He’s also a total nutcase! In terms of personality Wilbur is the polar opposite of my lovely 6 year old dog Alfie. He throws himself into, onto and at anything and anyone. He’s fearless and bold and won’t take no for an answer but we love him.

And then came June 5th 2015. One Direction. Need I say more?!?! I saw One Direction on tour in Cardiff. They were incredible. I think my heart stopped beating on several occasions after months of waiting. Oh yeah and McBusted opened for them! I am a self confessed Queen of Pop and this was a memory I will treasure forever. I did however manage to forget my phone and camera so here’s a video for your enjoyment. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ho32Oh6b4jc

July brought me back down to reality as I was unemployed and bored. A lot of my time was spent telling Wilbur off and hopelessly trying to train him. This month provided me with the time to dedicate to my blog which I absolutely loved (sunny days make it so much easier to take pictures and stay motivated). I also arranged to go back to my job which I must admit I do still enjoy. Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.50.44

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August 2015 meant only one thing in life. Boomtown. The best festival if you want to lose your mind for a few days. It is the ultimate reunion for my friends and there is no chance of ever being bored thanks to the millions of things to see and do. It was amazing and I have so many funny and amazing memories from it. Bring on Boomtown 2016!

The end of September 2015 was AMAZINGGGG!! Let’s just take a moment to remember the fact that I won free tickets to see Little Mix and One Direction at the Roundhouse in London. It is the most brilliant venue to watch big artists perform in. I was three rows back and will forever swear that Harry sang several lines of Story of My Life whilst squinting into my eyes. The dream! Both bands were incredible and seeing them in such a way was such a once in a lifetime opportunity (told you I’m a pop Queen). My phone memory was full by the end of the night but it was worth it to capture every moment possible.Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.48.18

Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.47.50.pngSeptember also saw the Rugby World Cup come to England (we’ll brush over their performance) and so myself and my dad went to Cardiff to watch Australia vs Fiji. I feel like events like these are so few and far between for most of us and I would nearly always prefer to have an amazing memory to look back on when I’m older. Most of us can barely remember the Christmas present we got last year but an event like this can stay in your mind for years. We also went to New Zealand vs Namibia at the Olympic Stadium. I am always in awe of the All Blacks and love watching them do the Haka so this was insane. It made it even more special knowing that it was the last chance I would have to watch greats like Richie McCaw on the field. Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.48.44

Screen shot 2015-12-16 at 20.47.00.pngIn October I finally conquered one of my biggest fears and got behind the wheel. You heard it here first, I am on the roads. I actually really love driving and according to my instructor I’m a natural (I like to tell everyone this at every possible opportunity). I’m getting pretty confident now but still have a few more lessons to go. A part of me wishes I hadn’t waited so long to do it but who cares because I’ll be out on my own before I know it. faves learner.png

In November last year I was in the midst of writing my dissertation and I just couldn’t see an end in sight. Flash forward to November 2015 and I proudly strutted across the Guildhall stage to collect my degree. From the severely delayed train to the gale-force winds that broke my umbrella in half and left me with outrageously frizzy hair the day didn’t exactly get off to the best start. The general feeling was that it was a lot of effort and hype for 10 seconds on a stage. But I was really proud of myself for finally getting my degree. It was so lovely to have my parents and granny there to share the day with as well and we did manage to hobble together a couple of decent photos. I also went on holiday to New York with my lovely family and you can see the photos here. Being in America during Thanksgiving was lush, there was just a nice atmosphere around. We did so much that we hadn’t done on our trip previously and I got to watch several decent films on the flights in spite of ignorant seat recliners in front!DSC00296

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So there was a just a few memorable moments from 2015.

Sophie xoxo

 

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Boomtown Festival – Faves & Fails

beauty, essentials, festival, hair, makeup

Time for the usual excuses, life got busy and the blog took a backseat for a while, but I’m back in the real world and ready to tell you all about my trip to Boomtown.

Last week I went to Boomtown festival in Winchester with my friends from uni, its a 4 day festival and it’s insaneeee. I’ve been before so thought my packing game would be on point…it wasn’t!

The Fails

  • There were two nights when I would have sold my soul for a warm jumper, I was colder than Queen Elsa herself!!
  • Lipbalm, something that I carry in every bag and pocket in my daily life. This was by far my biggest fail, lipstick did me no favours, in the end my lips were so dry and sore I had to leave them alone completely. Big mistake, will NEVER happen again!!!
  • I think I packed a little too minimally when it came to makeup, I could have really done with a dark brown eyeshadow or crease colour just to add a little dimension. I ended up keeping it pretty boring and that wasn’t the intention.
  • A festival essential is glitter, I had bought a couple of pots from eBay with this in mind but couldn’t find them anywhere when it came time to pack. As a result I had to rely on others, luckily the girls didn’t let me down and there was plenty to choose from but it’s always nice to have your own.

The Favourites

  • I absolutely loved using my Maybelline Master Drama Khol Liner in Purple Light, it’s a beautiful vibrant, slightly metallic bright purple colour that applies evenly and gently on the waterline. I loved this buttery eyeliner and can’t wait to get more use out of it!
  • I took a travel size Batiste Clean and Classic Dry Shampoo with me and it was a total life saver! After a couple of rainy days my hair was looking less than fresh and ended up in a ponytail but this was perfect for refreshing the roots and fringe. A must have at any festival!
  • Travel size packs of wipes are everything when the toilet roll is gone. Festival toilets are notoriously vile so the quicker you can get in and out the better. Having a small pack of wipes in your bag is a real comfort.
  • Hand sanitizer needs no explanation. I took the Soap & Glory Hand Maid Antibacterial Hand Cleansing Gel which has a lovely strong scent and leaves your hands feeling clean without the sting you can get from other brands.

What are your festival fails and must haves? What do I need to make sure I have with me next time? Let me know in the comments or tweet me @sophieaiken

Sophie xoxo

Lemonfest 2015

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I went to Lemonfest this weekend with some friends and their family and it was so much fun! The festival was held at Newton Abbot Racecourse in Devon and of course there was plenty of cider flowing. I didn’t take as many photos as I would have liked but I always think ‘the less pictures the more fun you must have been having’… 

Twister

Festival hair inspiration

Sophie xoxo