We took a trip to Sunflower City!

Sunflowers are synonymous with happiness, positivity and adoration. They are my favourite flowers and I couldn’t wait to visit them at the Pop Up Farm. No matter how grey the day the bright yellow radiating off the thousands of sunflowers in this never-ending field always manages to mask the colour of the sky.

It is a place where you get to pick your own Sunflowers, sweetcorn and pumpkins throughout the year when they are in season. With hay bale mazes, woodfired sweetcorn pizzas and barbecued farm-grown corn on the cob there is something for everyone. Naturally, we had to try it all and every bit was as delicious as it sounds.

As you wander round on the sunflower trail you get to choose each and every sunflower that you want and one of the ‘sunflower sommeliers’ will cut them down for you to take home, for a price of course. Every 7 stems cost £10, me and mum bought 7 each meaning 14 stems (all of which were originally only a head shorter of me) of sunflowers now grace our home filling every corner with a yellow glow.

See you in October for our pumpkins!

Lots of love,

Sophialafelle Xx

August, how you doin’?

So I am back from holiday and have been struggling to get my head back in the game in all areas of life. As we are approaching the middle of august, my birthday and dare I say it nearing the end of Summer (I don’t want to admit it either) I thought it would be interesting to assess where I am right now. We are now two thirds of the way through the year and I am one third of the way through university and I still can’t quite believe it!

Last night I was at the pub with four of my oldest school friends reminiscing over what we thought were the tragedies of our teenage years and speculating where we will be within the next five. Those four are nearing their early 20’s whilst I am only just nearing the end of my first year being at the pub legally, courtesy of being an August baby (late late late August), and still being mistaken as a 14 year old on the days I really cannot be arsed to put on any make up. This is something I am sure I will be grateful for when I am 50 and still getting mistaken for a 35 year old 😉 I wish! However, whilst my 15 year old younger Brother is on the verge of being able to buy his own pint in the pub I am struggling to relish these misunderstandings.

So far this Summer I have had a blast meeting new people and seeing new places whilst cherishing those that I have known and loved for years. I have rekindled my love of reading and remembered why I needed it so badly going through secondary school. It is an escape from reality, a private mission of problem solving where you immerse yourself in someone else’s thoughts and feelings allowing you to pretend you are someone else. This is something I have become fully accustomed to, my favourite book this Summer being Dolly Alderton’s Everything I Know About Love.

Now I hear you all ask what these teenage tragedies I mentioned earlier include, the thing is if I told you I would have to kill you. Only joking could that have got any more cliche? Our discussion included my eyebrows that once resembled sperm; a party we had whilst our parents were away that spiralled downhill incredibly quickly after consuming ten too many bottles of Carribean Twist, resulting in our Primary school dinner lady now turned friends neighbour helping us clear all evidence, people and rubbish alike; and going over in detail every run in we ever had with our Maths teachers. We discussed the confusion of uni house bills and rent, flies in the kitchen and stains on mattresses (especially the large biscuit coloured stain in the middle of one in a one of our new uni houses) the impossibilities of saving (aren’t we dramatic) and the meals we can all now cook one year in (some more than others). Two of said friends took a gap year that we are all envious of and are starting university this year, we really sold university life to them well as you can tell. Of course these are only a few of the tales we told but I really can’t repeat any of the others.

I will end this incredibly waffly post with my hopes for the rest of the year. I hope for last third of this year to be as interesting and confusing as the first two. I hope to continue to meet new people and make new friends but grow closer and stronger with those I already have. I want to understand bills and teach myself to save and not spend my wages in the first week on endless online sales, no Sophia you really do not need another pair of distressed blue denim jeans I think the 16 pairs you already own are sufficient enough. I want to keep making stories and memories that in another 5 years we can sit in the pub and laugh about over our hundreth bottle of rose.

Heres to the rest of the year.

Lots of love,

Sophialafelle Xx

Cinema under the stars

I am a huge cinema lover. On Saturday, as part of my babysitting duties whilst my parents were at Chillfest, we decided to take my younger Brother to his first outdoor cinema experience. There is nothing I love more than sitting on a camping chair wrapped up in a blanket with a picnic. Add to it the stars, a big screen and Mamma Mia! Here we go again you’ve hit the jackpot.

Saturday was filled with much anticipation and endless questioning on whether it was time to leave the house yet. It is safe to say he was incredibly excited. Finally as it hit 19:30pm we bundled all of our junk in the car and headed to Knebworth House.

We arrived about 10 minutes after the doors had opened, a good hour and 20 minutes before the film started, yet there was already a surprising amount of people sprawled out on the green infront of the huge screen. There was a combination of ages and a hugely diverse range of people. There were families, couples, sisters and friends alike all joining together to enjoy an evening filled with munching, laughing and of course ABBA!

I half expected my Brother to fidget and whine throughout the whole film. Despite being there incredibly early we managed to pacify him with pepperoni and strawberry laces. Who knew a 6 year old could eat almost a whole meat platter in under 10 minutes, bearing in mind this particular 6 year old would have a diet consisting of chocolate biscuites and chicken goujons if he could!

We managed to munch through our picnic within the first 20 minutes and got cosy on our chairs, took off our shoes and slipped our feet into some fluffy socks just as the rain kicked in. Luckily the staff whizzed round some complimentary plastic ponchos saving us from getting too wet. The rain didn’t last too long and wore off just as the film began.

It was a brilliant film that ensured everyone was laughing in unison at least every 5 minutes. The cheering and singing seemed essential for ignoring the cold, weather of a typical British summer evening. It is safe to say all complaints were saved for the end, only because it meant it was bed time!

We will definitely be keeping our eyes peeled for more evenings under the stars.

Lots of love,

Sophialafelle Xx

A letter to me… things I wish I knew this time last year

Dear Me,

I know you better than anyone. I have been there through all of the tears, tantrums and the trauma. I have listened to all of your fears, helped fix your anxieties and encouraged you to stay positive. We have been partners in crime through all the good times and I have been both the angel and the devil on your shoulders. Entering the ‘real’ world outside of school may seem scary now but, as always, everything will work itself out. Trust me you’re about to have a ball.

You have just finished your A-Levels and finally, although incredibly untimely, sent off your UCAS application for University. Sixth Form prom is around the corner and before you know it you will be off on your first girls holiday to Benidorm!

I know the prospect of Uni scares you. I have witnessed the incessant internal battle asking yourself if you’re ready to leave home and commit to a life in Reading or Southampton, maybe even Kent, but I am pleased you have decided to fulfill your childhood dream and have chosen a London university. You can stay at home and commute but be prepared for countless train journeys carrying your sleeping bag and going out clothes! By the end of first year you will have mastered the art of falling asleep on the train and waking up at your stop on the way home the day after the night before. Ignore all of those teachers who question your decision, only you know what is best for you (apart from your Mum, as proven she is always right).

The prospect of leaving the cocoon of school that has shielded you from the real world for 18 years is one that fills you with undeniable fear. You have finally found your feet by Year 13 and now you are going to have to do it again without the comfort of the familiar faces you have grown to love, some of them at least. This struggle for your feet would not have been complete without battles with mean girls, arguments and the discovery of a world with boys. Despite mixing with new people throughout school you have inevitably gravitated back to the same group of friends, give or take few, that you had been with since Primary.

Now you have never been very good with dealing with failure. Throughout school you have had a tricky relationship with failure, your undeniable hate towards it is unhelpful. Always try your best, that is all you can ask, and sometimes you might just miss the mark but that is okay. Failure is essential in order for you to grow. I have learnt that now, don’t get me wrong we still get frustrated if we miss a first by 1 mark or get the occasional 2:2 but we dont dwell on what could have been we just try and fix what is.

Your comfort within current friendships is the prospect of leaving school that scares you the most. The contrast from seeing your friends everyday to making time to have frequent catch ups is evident and it is will be a struggle to keep up with everyones busy schedules. You frequently hear stories about how friendships change, you will soon learn that some friendships grow with you but some grow in opposite directions. Just remember the ones who matter most are the ones who will stay close and when you meet up it will be as if you have never been apart. Change is scary but it is necessary to help us find our place. You are about to meet some amazing people whilst really appreciating what you already have, just embrace it.

So just be excited, I know you are already but let it grow. Just get ready to be yourself, shine and sparkle.

Lots of love,

Sophialafelle Xx

A day in the life at Brighton beach: An impertinent seagull and some sparkly Birkenstocks.

After impulsively booking train tickets to Brighton midweek we anticipated the arrival of Summer, to Britains standards at least. Undoubtedly our expectations were exceeded by a typically British trip to the seaside consisting of hangovers, wind, arcades, gritty fish and chips and oh more booze. But you can’t forget the brave seagull and my new sparkly Birkenstocks.

Our alarms went off bright and early at 8.00am on Saturday morning. We awoke with slightly foggy heads after a night out at the pub. Consequently, we ended up going to sleep at 3.00 am, regardless of the promise to ourselves not to take it too far in attempts to avoid ruining our sunny trip to the seaside.

We finally arrived in Brighton at around 12.45 pm after having slept the whole train journey there. Once again my head was foggy, my hair was slightly resemblent of a wild porcepine and I was transparently bewildered by my whereabouts. Dishevelled and sleep-drunk, we joined the current of people and slowly began our downhill trek to the sea.

Although we began our trek at approximately 1.00pm we appeared to get lost on our travels in a sea of shops and did not make it to the real seafront until 2.30 pm. £145 later (between us, I am not that much of a shopaholic, at least not on that day) we were eating fish and chips on the beach surrounded by a swarm of seagulls. You can guess what happened next.

We were eating peacefully until one landed on our table. He greeted us with a nod like an old friend and stared at us awaiting approval to steal a chip. He squawked, and before we had time to protest, he stole not only ONE chip but the WHOLE polestyrene tray of chips off our table. It’s a good job I was hungover, it would have been in my right mind to chase him otherwise.

Obviously after this heartbreaking event we did all of the typical beachy stuff, walked along the pier, went to the pub, spent millions on the 2p machines blah, blah, blah. But before I round this up and let you continue to read more useful blog posts I feel inclined to inform you of my new Birkenstocks every person EVER must purchase immediately. This purchase contributed to the £145 mentioned earlier.

They were definitely the best £60 I have ever spent. It was one of those purchases you just have to make, you connect with them and know that if you did not have them you would spend the rest of the Summer wishing you had those white and silver sparkly Birkenstocks to pair with that brand new white dress you bought in the Topshop sale.

Lots of love,

Sophia Xx

Kindess never killed anyone…Just keep dancing like nobody’s watching

Spending Friday night at the pub celebrating a friends birthday should be exactly what it says on the packet, especially when a third of them are people you have grown up with…

Truth is whilst sitting there observing the celebrations it is like a scene out of mean girls (Whilst this may be slightly dramatic I think we can all agree it is not too far flung, I promise).

Situated on one side of the room are the overprotective girlfriends who give daggers, gnarling their gnashers at you chatting to their boyfriend at the bar. Bearing in mind you have been friends since you were 11 and you are here with your own boyfriend whom you are very much in love with! Therefore, you are not out to steal their man it’s quite simply a kind exchange of pleasantries… doughnuts.

On the other side there are the girls, who like you, do not know everyone. Visibly a little anxious, drinking a little quicker than they should, they spend the night chatting away as if they were the old friends. It’s always enjoyable when girls unite, get a bit too drunk and have a fun night promising to do it again soon… knowing full well they will probably never see eachother again.

Finally, there are the boys who are on a completely different planet. Oblivious to the fact they are fuelling fires sauntering around the pub schmoozing the girls they think they have a chance with. It is times like these when you are grateful that the bell for last orders has just been rung and the end of the night is in sight.

The truth is a night like this would be so much better if everyone could just be kind to eachother. If you genuinely like my top, tell me, if not you don’t have to pretend. I really won’t mind, compliments with an undertone of bitchiness really do not help anybody.

At least amongst all of this commotion there are still the good times. We all had a good night, especially the birthday girl. You can still laugh with everyone and enjoy their company, it just makes it a little harder but lets face it you can’t be besties with everyone. Moral of the story rise above the bitchiness and gnarling nashers, just keep dancing like nobody’s watching. And people just be kind! Like we said, kindness never killed anyone.

The sun is shining and so are we, off to a picnic with two wonderful girlies. Let the appreciation posts commence.

Lots of love,

Sophialafelle Xx

Confessions of a fun-seeking overthinker…

Here it is… that dreaded first blog post that took me almost a year to write.

Starting my first year at university, where everyone is outgoing and self-assured, I felt like a fish out of water. I had decided to apply last minute to what everyone describes as an ‘arty’ University filled with edgy and opinionated creatives.

Throughout secondary school I was ridiculed for my conscientious nature (that’s putting it nicely) . I was a people pleaser determined not to fail or let anyone down. I was kind and tried to be everyones friend, even if they didn’t deserve it. In my new adventure I was desparate to out-grow my anxious dispoistion and prove I was as curious and adventurous as my peers. I was determined to fit in.

Living at home during my first year meant I spent a lot of time crashing at friends and sleeping on floors, but I wouldn’t change it for anything. I was like Hannah Montanna living a double life; I literally had the best of both worlds. I would spend my weekdays in lectures, the library and at pubs with my brand spanking new uni pals; then my weekends at work and at pubs with the same friends I have been with since Primary school.

Whilst trying to slot into my new life I have learnt fitting in is not important, conformity is boring and pleasing everyone is impossible. It is time consuming and takes away from who you really are.

This Summer I will be living by the rules:

  1. Have faith in yourself. You are enough and anyone that thinks differently does not matter.
  2. Be yourself. Live freely and unapologetically, anyone that disapproves will do one soon anyway.

Why don’t you come and explore it with me?

Lots of Love,

Sophialafelle Xx