Wednesday, 27 August 2014

One year on


I regard this dress as a summer classic; one I'll wear year in year out regardless of what's currently on trend. It's one of those practical ones with a good weight of fabric, sensible length and flattering cut. In fact it was the first one I posted just about a year ago when I relaunched as Sophie in the Sticks, hasn't time flown by? Of course it does feel like SITS has been precisely what this blog was all along and I've had a brilliant twelve months of blogging with so much wonderful support and brilliant opportunities. It's a good time to say a huge thank you from the bottom of my heart for taking the time to drop by and read; you have no idea just how much it means to me and I appreciate it so much. There have been over one thousand posts now and over ten thousand comments over the years, with so many tweets and retweets; the numbers are quite staggering to little old me really. Despite numerous wobbles and crashes in confidence (they seem temporary, touch wood) I have no plans to slow down and look forward to bringing you more posts sharing all my loves and discoveries. I'd love to have another little re-design, somebody stop me! Stick around wont you, things are looking bright.



Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Cley-Next-The-Sea | Cley Marshes

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On the only bright day of the bank holiday weekend we made for the coast and ended up at Cley-Next-The-Sea. The lure of a walk with the camera through a wildlife reserve proved all too much and we found ourselves at Cley Marshes which is a large bird breeding ground managed by Norfolk Wildlife Trust. I didn't take many photographs with birds in at all, they are not what really interests me (nor was the zoom on my camera anywhere near strong enough!).

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In typical Sophie style we bypassed all the bird watching opportunities in favour of stretching our legs and we weren't disappointed. The long path from the visitor centre to the coast took us on to an enormous stretch of beach that we had almost entirely to ourselves.

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I hope you enjoy just perusing the photographs from some days; I don't think they really need many words to go with them. They say everything themselves.


Monday, 25 August 2014

How I relax with essential oils

simply supplements essential oils

I've spoken before on how hard I find it to hard to relax without falling asleep so it's an ongoing journey to discover how to unwind and have a few moment of calm to myself without nodding off.

Over winter we tend to burn scented candles in the living room which adds a lovely ambience to the room or adding essential oils to our burner. For a romantic scent the jasmine oil gives a gentle fragrance which is sweet and warming for the room which I love. Or for a more refreshing and invigorating scent I enjoy tea tree or eucalyptus oils which are deliciously fresh and promote an energising feeling.

Perhaps the best uses of the oils are in the bath, it's fabulous to run a hot bath and add a few drops of either the the jojoba carrier oil or sweet almond oil then a few drops of the essential oils for a luxurious scented bathtime. It's not just the fragrance that makes the moment, the carrier oils both make your skin feel moisturised and soft too. I'm so glad I have discovered the joy of oils in the bath in time for winter, pretty sure it's the way forward for me.

The best way to relax may be to use some massage oil and get Chris to make himself useful. Here's hoping.


Oils sent to me by Simply Supplements for review. All opinions and content my own as always

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Staying Upbeat with my healthy lifestyle

Even when life gets beyond the point of just feeling busy I insist on keeping up with my exercise regime as best I can. There is something wonderfully comforting about knowing that after work there is an opportunity to thrash out all the pent up energy, even if I'm not in the mood. By dragging my backside out for a boot camp workout twice a week I am rewarded with an hour of stress-busting, a great feeling afterwards from the endorphins, with (hopefully) an ache the next day or so as my body recovers and grows stronger.

Ideally I'd like to run at least two other days during the week but I've had to make some compromises lately which I don't mind particularly as I'd prefer to keep running as something I love and enjoy as opposed to forcing myself to go out in a rigorous and unforgiving schedule. I don't think I've done a 10k run since May come to think of it, because they do take so long and it's much quicker and convenient to nip off for a 5k. The 'no pressure' approach to my running goals is paying off; it's been fun and has kept me entertained. I'm so lucky that Chris is thoughtful enough to run with me (for at least the first 3.5k anyway) as it's that little bit nicer even if we don't say a word except CAR!

5k pb

In a fit of determination and enthusiasm for making a solid run last week I somehow managed to knock out a personal best time which I can't quite believe, ten seconds faster than my previous best around a month ago (which was slightly overshadowed a couple of days later when Chris announced he'd run a sub 20 minute 5k, what a git).

Getting the balance of exercise and nutrition is an on-going trial and error experiment but what's new. The last few weeks I've been stricter with myself about the unnecessary snacks that had started creeping back in to each day; seriously, biscuits are a no-no and just three can cancel out a workout which is not worth it to me at all. Making better choices is my on-going aim; fresh fruit and vegetables, lean meats, fish and whole grains are the name of the game. With a few treats kept as treats.

Upbeat protein drink review

I'm pretty sure I'm now getting more protein into my diet than I used to which is really important for recovery, don't underestimate how much your body needs this. For lunches I ensure I get a good bit of protein in with my salad; either mackerel, chicken breast, bacon, corned beef or cheddar cheese. For our dinner there is always a good element of protein too. Personally, I'm partial to the odd protein bar, shake or extra portion a couple of times a week too. I tried a new protein drink called Upbeat this week which is a high protein fresh dairy drink, a great way to up your protein intake without chomping through some meat. The strawberry one was scrummy and I'd happily drink one of these a day if someone bought them for me; they are cute little bottles with a really straightforward message; whey protein and real fruit for a healthy, low fat drink. They are found in the chiller cabinet with the ever expanding collection of health beverages and the only negative is the price: £1.75 for 250ml, but it compares ok to similar products.

Do you make the effort to get enough protein in to your diet?
Do you keep up your exercise regime when life gets busy?


I was sent Upbeat for the purposes of an impartial review, all opinions my own as always