A Little Book Haul

A few books I bought last weekend at the Scope charity shop where I volunteer!

Most of you might not know, but I actually volunteer at a charity shop on a Saturday morning for my DofE, and whilst before this weekend I haven’t been all too interested in the actual stock they have, I have a new appreciation for the books section in charity shops.  Scope (the charity shop I work for) price all their books at £1.00, and they’re about the only section I have any interest in because charity shop clothing has never boded well for me and I never find anything I like in either the clothing or homeware departments anyway.  However, working quite closely with the book section of the shop I’ve found so many gems that I’ve wanted to buy, and this Saturday I succumbed to buying just a few!

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Now, some kind soul had donated so many of the books from the wordsworth classics range, and they were all completely brand new, never used!  I was pricing them up and found the three I really wanted, although there were many others which I will be buying next week if they aren’t gone!  I got Pride and Prejudice, which I’ve never read but I’m certain I’ll love because I adore the BBC drama of it (Mr Darcy played by Colin Firth is to die for!), I also picked up The Great Gatsby which I’ve started already and Wuthering Heights, another one I really want to read.  I can’t wait to get all these read and perhaps I’ll even do reviews on them!

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And the final book I got is Beautiful Broken Things which is by Sara Barnard.  Ive wanted to read this ever since Zoe put it  in her book club for WH Smiths, because I read We Were Liars from there and loved it.  I’m positive I’ll really enjoy this one as well!

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Have you ever read any of these books?  What is your favourite book?  What is your favourite classics book?  Make sure to leave me a comment and tell me!  I hope this has inspired you to check out your local charity shops book section, you can find some amazingly affordable books that have barely ever been touched there!

Love Soph xx

My New Years Resolutions

Hi guys,

Quick announcement, the name of my blog has changed from I’m A Zalfie Fanatic to Love, Soph.  It may still be subject to change, but please tell me your opinions on the new blog name in the comments!

Welcome to 2017!  I’m ready for this year and I really want to make it as good for me and hopefully better than 2016.  It’s a shame I had to start off my year with History revision, but moving aside from that depressing fact, I’m here today to tell you about my resolutions for 2017.

I know, it may seem shocking that I’m serious about doing these resolutions, but I really am.  Hopefully by doing this I’ll make my 2017 a positive and more organised experience for myself.

  1. Eat Healthy: I’ve got some ideas of healthy meals, most from my pinterest, which I’d like to follow, especially for breakfast and lunch.  I’m the biggest culprit for missing breakfast, dying of starvation until lunch and then proceeding to gorge on an easy packet of crisps and chocolate bar I found in my cupboard for lunch.  I’m planning on making nice salads and wraps.  I don’t know, we’ll see how long this lasts.  As you can imagine, this has been the subject of much hilarity in my house this past week or so.
  2. Exercise: I really don’t exercise enough.  I’m not overweight but I feel like if I exercised more often I’d feel a lot healthier as person and I am looking to tone up too, especially for summer (I’m lazy so yes, it will take me half of the year to tone up).
  3. Drinking more water:  I need to quit my drinking of fizzy drinks and sugary things hopefully down to just water.  I’ve been drinking a considerably good amount today and I’m hoping for this to make me healthier and also clear up my skin!
  4. Do my homework the night I get it: I am such a procrastinator, so I’ll always leave my homework until the night before it is due, and then it ends up being really bad!  If I do it the night that I get it then the knowledge from my lessons will be fresh in my mind and I can do it better, I hope!
  5. Waking up early: and hopefully going to bed at a more sensible time than 4am too.  My body clock has honestly been ruined by my staying up too late and waking up at 3pm (don’t judge me, my bed is just so comfy).  I’m wanting to wake up by 6:30pm on weekdays because usually I’m up at 8:10am, ten minutes before I should go to school.  Waking  up earlier I hope will make me more tired and I’ll fall asleep before 1am?  We can only hope!
  6. Developing my blog:  This year will be the year that my blog flourishes!  I’m hoping to have made it to 500 by the end of 2017, if I do I will be so happy.  I want to produce quality content for you all, and my new posting schedule will be 6PM (GMT) on Wednesdays and Saturdays.  There will be lots of reviews and I have a few exciting posts coming up!  I would really like to go self hosted, but I don’t think I know enough about it or about blogging in general to do that just yet.

Now, after my resolutions I always have smaller, less important goals or achievements. This year I would like to read at least ten 19th/20th century novels, so any recommendations of your favourites are welcome!  I want to start to save money.  Finally, I want to do well in school and record all of my test results so that I can see how I improve.

I hope you’ve all had a fulfilling and busy start to the year.  Bring on 2017!

Soph xx

Whats In My Beach Bag 2016

Hi guys!

Today I’m bringing you a post all about what I take to the beach with me.  I love the beach, but I hate sand, which if you think about it completely contradicts loving the beach (you’re weird, stop).  I just hate getting sand stuck to me, its in all the places I don’t want it to be.  It shoves itself into the pockets of my clothes and I don’t even know how! But then I hate pebbly beaches – you really can’t win.  When I do go to the beach though, I like to maximise the fun potential there, whether it’s abroad or in England.

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So, this is my beach bag.  It’s from Jack Wills and I bought it in the sale for £6.50.  You can purchase it here.  I love it because it really reminds me of the sea, with the oars and the rope on it.  It’s very nautical and I think very beach appropriate.  It’s a great size, and when I’m not using it at the beach (which lets be honest is most of the year through, because when is the weather that good that we get to go to the beach in England) I use it for PE at school, it fits my kit perfectly along with extras, if that gives you a decent idea of what it can hold!

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The first, and most important thing in my bag when I go to the beach is suncream.  Suncream is essential, especially if you burn quickly or don’t even tan at all, just burn (queue me).  Suncream will protect you from the sun, which, even if you don’t feel it, is harming your skin.  You should always always always wear it on hot days.  Even if, like me, you hate the feeling of it, you must wear it.  In England we probably don’t need factor fifty and the likes, so I opt for a factor thirty highest, but usually twenty or fifteen.  Most foundations are made with SPF so if you’re wearing makeup, you’ll be partially protected!

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Next up is my little Zoella purse.  It’s such a cute pouch for within any bag and is a really handy size to hold anything you need in it!  Mine just has my beauty essentials in it.  First, hand sanitizer, because I can’t deal with having germs on my hand or around me, or if I’d got sticky hands from an icecream or something, I’d be really glad of the hand gel!  The scent is Peach, and it smells very summery!  Next up I have some hair bobbles in there, as if i’m going in the sea or even in general on a hot day, I usually want my hair out of waters way.  Sun is hot, and faces get sweaty and oily – to combat that I bring powder and a brush, in this case Maybelline Matte Me which is amazing at combating oily skin and setting any makeup into place.  My eyelashes are a massive part of my makeup routine, so I’ll use my Maybelline Great Lash to touch them up and add length whenever I need to – plus, the packaging is so summery in bright pink and lime green!  My lips tend to get quite dry in the heat, so lip balm is essential – this Zoella one smells just like fruit and gives a gorgeous pink tint to your lips whilst still being really moisturising.

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Next up I have my sunglasses – what would a beach bag be without sunglasses! Mine are big, black and perfect for blocking out the sun.  I got them from H&M, but I can’t find them on the website so they may be out of stock.  Apologies for the sunlight issues in this image, you simply cannot trust English weather to let you take nice photos.

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I always take reading material to the beach with me. Whether this be a magazine or a book, I can’t go without something to read!  At the moment I’m reading fangirl by Rainbow Rowell and I’m loving it.  I find it a bit slow going at some points but on the whole its a great book & has such a pretty cover!  I’m happy to do a review when I’ve finished?

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Last up are my headphones.  I often listen to music on my phone at the beach, and if I’m not playing it through the bluetooth speaker then I listen to it in my head, through earphones.  These are just the apple ones which come with my phone, and I feel so smart that I know how to properly wrap them into the case (believe me, it took about five hours and 50,000 youtube videos to understand how).

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Items that go in my beach bag, or on my person that are not photographed would be things like a bikini, my flip flops (my trusty Havianas are my go to pair), of course a cute beach towel, a beach cover up and any other essential things that I feel I want at the beach!

Thanks for reading!  If you’re not already, you should follow me because I’m posting every day this summer, meaning you get daily content from me at 8pm every night!  Please leave any post suggestions you fancy me doing, I’m willing to do anything because posting every day takes inspiration that I don’t have.

What are your beach bag essentials?  Are they different to mine, or the same?

Soph xx

Camp NaNoWriMo 2016

Featured image from here.

Hi guys!

Today, I’m talking about Camp NaNoWriMo.  I’m sure lots of you are familiar with NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) which takes place in November each year and your aim is to write 50,000 words in a month.

Camp NaNo (I’m calling it this from now on because NaNoWriMo is just too long) runs every April & July.  You set yourself your own writing goal (Mine is 20,000 words) and try complete it in the month.  You can start entering your total word count on the 20th of the month.  I’m not going to be good at explaining it so just look here.  You get assigned/invited to join a cabin full of people and you all write alongside each other.  It also tracks your writing progress & creates stats for you.  I enter my word count every 500 or so words I write & it provides me with easy, up to date statistics for when I’m predicted to finish,  how many words I should write a day & also you can view your cabin’s stats as a whole to see when you are all going to finish.

This is my first year at doing Camp Nano – in fact, it’s my first year of anything NaNoWriMo.  I actually am really enjoying it, but it’s been running over my Easter break so far so I’ve had more than enough time to be writing, but my break finishes on Sunday and I’m back to school Monday so we’ll see how much time I get for writing then.  But I really want to get to 20,000 words – I’m currently on 8,103 which is the most I’ve ever written in a book.  I know that what I am writing won’t  be finished in 20,000 words and I’m hoping that having written a good chunk of it within a deadline will inspire me to write even when camp isn’t on, and possibly bring it into camp in July.

But, aside from all this today, I’m brining you my top five tips for writing at Camp NaNoWriMo, because, well, it can feel really hard when you loose faith for writing every couple of days or so.

  1. Loosing the will to write & having a lack of motivation:  This had happened to me on a good few occasions in the seven days I’ve been doing this.  You will sit at a computer (unless you’re writing by hand & counting up your words yourself, which I doubt you are, but if you are then congratulations to you, I couldn’t ever!!) all day long sometimes and do loads of writing and up your word count by thousands.  The next day though, writing is the last thing you want to do because you’ve been at your computer for hours and hours, day in day out.  My advice here is to have writing times, which is what I do.  I prefer usually to begin writing at about 7:30pm and if I can (ie its the weekend or holidays) I will sit into the early hours of the morning just writing.  If you can get at least an hour of writing in a day (depending how fast you type/come up with ideas, I do this quite quick and can usually do about 1,500 words in a little less than an hour) then you should be sorted.  If you’re still lacking in the motivation and just thinking about giving up, then follow NaNoWriMo word sprints on twitter which are designated times where loads of writing people come together and just write for say, three hours and see how much they can do – I’ve not yet participated in any but I have talked to people who have and they say they are very useful.
  2. Where you write matters:  I will always write sat down at my desk.  My desk is close to a window so having natural light really helps me.  If you can, writing at a desk is probably better than being slumped over your bed because you’ll probably end up deviating off task.  If you’re comfy (like me on my big comfy desk chair) and sat upright and at a desk with little distractions (my desk has my calendar which has my entire month (largely NaNo based) planned out on it and some pens & pencils, and some pictures of my friends – that’s  all) then you’ll be able to write more, or at least I can.
  3. Have somebody to proof read things for you and check out your work:  So long as you’re comfortable with sharing things from your work with people, then you should really try get people to read over your work.  I send a few chapters to my friend every so often and she’ll read over them and her eye catches mistakes I have missed.  Even if it’s just a minor spelling mistake or something doesn’t quite make sense or sounds a little rambly, she can tell me and I can correct it.  It’s also great to encourage you because your friend is most likely to tell you it’s good, unless you’ve got a horrible friend in which case probably don’t share it with them…
  4. Snacks & Drinks: You might want to neglect everything to do with yourself and just sit in your pyjamas writing and trying to get to your goal, but don’t.  Well, I’m not saying don’t sit in your pyjamas but don’t neglect yourself.  Grab yourself (or have someone else get you) a drink and snacks.  Preferably in bulk, so bring up two bottles of water or two cans of coke or whatever and lots of snacks.  I’d suggest you tried to keep it healthy with smoothies and fruit but really, that’s just not going to satisfy you.  Chocolate, crisps & things like that will, and I’m not telling you to do this, I’m trying to move you away from it but I’m not a shining example of it myself.  I’m trying to eat healthier though but I’ll save that for another day.  So yeah, drinks which keep you alert and awake (water helps your brain but if your tired, there’s caffeine in coke and coffee so I’ll let you make your decision) and fruit and veg…
  5. Planning: Make sure you have at least half a plan.  What’s super useful about Camp Nano is that it will tell you all your stats every time you update your word count.  I have a calender on the wall next to my desk where I have various days to write on my word count, the day I’m predicted to finish and they day I want to enter my word count.  Every time you update your stats change and it’s just good to have aplan to what you’ll do and when you’ll write.  Keep up with your stats people!

 

So yes, there you go, my five tips for Camp NaNoWriMo from a begginer who has never before touched the website in her life.  Don’t trust me.

And like I’ll say at the end of every post up until I get to 100 followers, I’m on 95 followers.  Seriously.  If like one person followed me today I’d be more than happy.  Thank you, so much to everyone who does follow me, I love you.  And like I said in my last post, I’ll be doing a 100 followers Q&A so feel free to leave me questions & stuff in the comments of this post even though I will do a more official post later.

Are any of you participating in Camp NaNoWriMo this year? If you are I’d love to hear from you in the comments or if you want to add me as a buddy on there, my username is the same as the title of my blog ‘Zalfie Fanatic’!

Bye!

March Favourites

Hello April!  While April has already started, I’m doing my March Favourites today as I just haven’t gotten around to it yet, but I have quite a lot of things this month so go grab some food & drinks and get reading!

I’m going to start with skincare & body care products, of which there are three.  You might be surprised that there are no makeup/beauty items in this favourites; I guess I just haven’t tried any that I fell in love with.

Skin & Body Care:

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Here are my three favourite skincare and body care products I tried this month.  First up we have Neutrogena Visibly Clear Blackhead Eliminating Daily Scrub.  Now, my skin isn’t really at all black-heady, however, I did need a gentle scrub (which this is) to stop my skin from feeling so dry.  I use this morning and evening and it scrubs my face really gently and has definitely made my skin a lot softer and feel less dry.  Also the packaging is really aesthetically pleasing for me & it matches my moisturiser, which makes me feel very calm.

And next up, is Neutrogena Visibly Clear Oil-Free Moisturiser.  Now, having said I’ve got a scrub to help with dry skin, an oil free moisturiser seems not a good idea, hm? Wrong.  Well, I don’t know medically if it’s wrong but from what I’ve been seeing, wrong. My skin has felt loads more soft and actually more moisturised.  I’m not entirely sure why it does, because generally oil I’m assuming will improve the feeling of dry skin but for me this moisturiser really works.  I’m not sure how to explain it.  Just try it, if your skin sounds like mine try it & I can assure you, you will love it.   Also, it smells really nice like apricots & peaches or something.

Lastly, I have Treacle Moon’s My Coconut Island Body Scrub.  Treacle Moon is a really affordable brand that I have seen in Tesco’s (where I bought this) and I think Boots.  This smells strongly of coconut, and that scent might not be for everyone, and usually coconut isn’t for me but this scent really reminds me of summer & I need that at the moment because I’m just waiting on it’s arrival.  The scrub isn’t too rough but then again it’s not gentle either.  It’s really helped to soften up my skin & because it’s so affordable, I’m sure anyone could benefit from it!

Books:

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I’ve enjoyed three books this month, the first two being books you can read and the last is a more activity book.

Starting with the Pointless Book 2 by Alfie Deyes, the second half of this blog title!  This book is one of his that I didn’t own and I managed to find it in perfect condition on Ebay at the start of this month for £1.99 & I’ve nearly filled it all in. I just find it a really relaxing thing to do & something to take my mind off of things for a while.

I finished Pretty Little Liars TV show when the last episode aired & I really can’t wait for it to come back, I really enjoyed it.  So, I decided I’d read one of the books in the meantime.  I’ll admit, I do think the TV show is better because that’s what I watched first, I’d accustomed the characters in my head and everyone was different in the book.  For a start, Ezria didn’t feature as much as I’d have liked it to and Aria went out with Noel Kahn instead.  I’ll stop blabbering though.  However, I did love Sara Shepard’d writing style & I liked the storyline itself.  I really enjoyed this book even though I’ve moaned about it, I’d suggest you gave it a read.

Next is a book I’m close to finishing, Matched by Ally Condie.  I have the next book in this series to read too.  This is a dystopian book, based around a ‘society’ which creates all the rules to living.  I’d rather not explain it because it is a long explanation but I would recommend reading it. Ally writes really nicely and she makes the characters really alive.

Clothing:

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Thank you ever so very much to my Mum who bought me these Adidas Superstars.  They are honestly the comfiest pair of shoes I have ever owned and they literally go with everything I own.  I seriously recommend you buy them if you have shoe issues that you get a pair of these.  Super comfy, really versatile and very much gorgeous.

Gaming:

This is the first time I’ve ever included gaming in my favourites, but you might not know that I’m quite keen on games.  I play both sims 3 & 4 on my laptop & I also play on Playstation 4.  This month I got a new game on playstation, Saints Row IV with the Gat Out Of Hell add on.

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I’ve really been enjoying this game.  I feel like it combines my favourite aspects of GTA, the free roaming & shopping bit, with the more challenging aspect of missions to be completed.  I also like that you can use cheats and that the missions aren’t all too similar, they vary nicely.  All in all I’m glad I purchased this game & really enjoy playing on it!

Food & Drink:

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Recently I’ve been visiting Starbucks a bunch more often than I usually do.  I’ve been a few times this month with my friends & also just alone to grab a drink.  I usually get a Frapuccino when I’m in Starbucks but recently I’ve been getting a raspberry and blackcurrant juice blend ice tea and it is amazing.  It’s cold and refreshing and perfect for the run up to summer, and any type of berry goes down well with me, so this completley was my cup of (iced) tea!

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Next, and last in the whole of my favourites for this month, are these Whitworths Shots.  It’s basically a slim pouch filled with fruit, and I chose cranberries, raisins (though I don’t remember ever tasting raisins) and small white chocolate chunks.  They’re pretty damn good and a really quick, easy snack.


So, thats about all for this blog post.  I know I’d promised to post more regularly in my Easter break but I didn’t live up to that promise as per.  But I will try to post a lot more often as I’m really close (like two followers close) to 100 followers.  To mark my 100 followers, when I get them, I’d like to do a Q&A.  I’m going to do a more official post when I get the 100, but for now I’d like you all to know about this!  If you want to leave me a comment with a question, or tweet me here  I’ll include your question in my post!  Like I said, there will be a more official post but drop me a question!

Bye!