Sophie Griffiths

sophierymer

Lifestyle and home education blogger at Wildling Wishes, main contributor and editor for She Might Be, draws pictures for money at Rymermade on Etsy.

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Wanderlust

I have got some serious wanderlust going on so far in 2018. I very rarely even go on holiday; I have been abroad a handful of times, but my husband and I didn’t end up going on a honeymoon, and so far the furthest I will be going this year is Cornwall after I finish my Masters. And yet here I am, indulging my wanderlust and checking out some seriously blue ocean that I want to spend my days jumping in to. Care to join me?

wanderlust

Dream Destination 1 – The Caribbean

I think it’s a dream for everybody, isn’t it? I love the idea of a good ‘culture holiday’. I’ve got a list of libraries I want to visit around the world (honestly I’m not a boring person, I just come across that way!) and a three month USA road-trip all planned out for about 10 years time, but when I think about truly indulging myself and treating my family to the holiday of a lifetime, I picture a warm ocean tickling my toes, palm trees surrounding me and a drink in my hand. I’d love to go to Jamaica, where I could come face to face with some pretty exciting marine life (fun fact! If I could choose a superpower, it would be to breathe underwater!) and soak up the music and food. Or I could head to Barbados where there are some amazing beach resorts and spas that I would love to spend a week frequenting. Barbados is a little bit more ‘tourist’ than other Caribbean places, but if you travel outside of the resorts a little bit there are some real cultural gems that will pique the interest of any history buff.

Destination 2 – The Indian Ocean

You’re not going to get anywhere that will better treat a case of wanderlust than relaxing under the searing sunshine somewhere in the Indian Ocean. My husband and I had always said we would love to just spend a fortnight with no technology, hanging out in The Maldives, swimming with turtles and drinking from coconuts. In fact, I’ve been receiving regular emails with updates on the price of flights out there for about seven years now. The crystal clear ocean is calling my name, and it almost looks like living on a (really posh) desert island for a week or two when you’re staying in those little huts. I’d love to go diving and experience more marine life – I could definitely be persuaded to swim with a hammerhead shark. The Seychelles are an equally amazing dream destination, albeit a little bit more expensive. I envision getting out and about a bit more in The Seychelles, exploring forests and the like, so if your vision of holiday heaven includes more than lounging beach-side then this might be better for you. Personally, I want the most strenuous thing about my holiday to be my ongoing battle with sunburn, in which I am a freckled ginger and I am armed only with Factor 50 and an oversized hat.

Realistically, my 2018 will not include a trip to anywhere that has palm trees, white beaches and oceans you can practically see through. But wouldn’t it be nice?

Comment below and let me know your absolute wanderlust dream holiday.
I’ll probably add it to my bucket list! 

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Valentine’s Day When You’re Dating

dating

I’m a bit of a sucker for Valentine’s Day. Even when I was single I quite liked it – any occasion that is decorated with pink hearts and adorable frills is okay with me. It can be difficult to handle Valentine’s Day when you’re not in a stable relationship though. If you’ve been dating somebody for a couple of weeks, should you buy them a present? Are they going to think you’re overly keen if you call them your Valentine?! Dating has a ridiculous amount of rules yet doesn’t come with a rule book, so I’m here to look at some perfect ‘date night’ options in a variety of UK locations, so you can make your Valentine’s Day special without giving your potential beau-to-be the impression that you’re itching to elope.

As a Scottish person myself (who was living in Glasgow when I met my husband!), I feel like I should know all about Strathclyde dating. Yet honestly, we didn’t really tend to go on official dates much when we were there. We did have a favourite restaurant – La Tasca – that is the perfect date location because the atmosphere is buzzing and you can grab a couple of dishes that you’re planning to share. I don’t know why, but there’s something a little bit cosier about deciding to share your food.

Edinburgh is, of course, known all over the world for being really rich in culture. The Edinburgh dating scene has the benefit of having some really great places to visit, a selection of fantastic theatres and some great restaurants. My favourite thing about Edinburgh, though, has always been the ghost walks. I get it: a walk in dark vaults hearing about how historically people were tortured on-site doesn’t exactly scream romance. But then again, what can be more romantic than cuddling together in a darkened room?

If you’re looking for somewhere with romance and history, then the Oxfordshire dating scene is for you. Oxford is, of course, one of the educational capitals of the world, so I feel like this would be the perfect opportunity to exercise your brain a little bit and bond with your date over a healthy dose of culture. The Ashmolean has some great exhibitions on over February this year, and with the addition of a rooftop restaurant you can really enjoy something special together.

The best thing about Staffordshire dating is that there are so many amazing places to take the person you’re seeing. Sure, you could go the romantic route, but I like to think of something a little bit different. I love the idea of bonding with a date at a concert: enjoying music together is a wonderful thing, and there’s nothing better than getting silly together and dancing around to some of your favourite tunes. Bowling for Soup are playing at the Birmingham o2 on the 13th, so not only is this an awesome Valentine’s date but you get to miss the Valentine’s crowd all together.

And finally, the place closest to my hometown. I’ve never actually had a date night in Northampton, but there are a whole bunch of really great options for Northamptonshire dating. What about a pamper session at one of Northamptonshire’s many spas. Whittlebury Hall in Towcester is my favourite, and they offer a deal that gives you a treatment and dinner for two – is there a better way to get to know eachother than at your most relaxed?!

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Swimming in Style (And Support!)

I’m a big lover of swimwear. There are some absolutely gorgeous pieces available for plus size people these days – in fact, we have written about swimwear quite a lot here at She Might Be! We have actually spoken about swimwear one, two, three times in the last four months alone. And while there have been some super pretty items of swimwear to lust after, I have never quite had the courage to buy any of it. Not because I’m worried about looking fat (spoiler alert: I am fat. Of course I’m going to look fat in a swimming costume) or anything like that, but because I’m honestly not sure how much support some of these swimsuits can have for somebody who has a lot of body to support. So when I spotted these swimming costumes by Simply Swim I was immediately super excited: their pieces offer full coverage and great support, which is perfect for bigger bodies.

swimming

I think the legsuits and kneesuits that they offer are absolutely adorable. I carry most of my weight on my stomach, so I often find that the leg hole (probably not the technical term…) is cut too wide and you can see my stomach at the top of my leg. And if the leg hole is particularly big, that isn’t all you can see. Not really the look I’m going for. Knowing that these actually have a bit of leg is really reassuring to me, so I know I can go swimming without actually flashing my area at everybody around me. The kneesuits are great for anybody who is interested in modest swimwear, and they look like they cut off at a really comfortable point on the leg so your actual swimming won’t be inhibited.

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What I really love about this range is that there is a range of different levels of bust support. There are internal mechanisms (yes, mechanisms) designed to keep your puppies in place, and even options for padding and adjustable sizing so you can be safe in the knowledge that you’re not about to spill out. My stomach is bigger than my boobs, and sometimes I worry that my costume is going to be baggy around the bust, so I feel really confident knowing that these costumes have (literally) got me covered when I go to the swimming pool.

swimming

Another reason I really love this range is that there is a great selection of necks and straps. Not only are there wider straps for cleavage support, but this selection of hi-neck swimming costumes is really pretty. I can sometimes find that straps cut in to my shoulder, which can be detrimental when I’m trying to swim, so the higher neck can be the ideal way to have a lot of support but free up the tops of your arms. This is particularly ideal for a plus size range because our bodies are all so different: while I carry my weight on my stomach, my arms are comparatively small for somebody of my size. The hi-neck is ideal to make sure that nothing is going to be loose, and I’m confident I can stay supported.

All in all, I can’t wait to grab something from Simply Swim. I’m going to Cornwall in October to celebrate the completion of my Masters, and the holiday park we’ll be staying at is meant to have a great swimming pool. I am definitely going to be dipping my toes in, and I’m thrilled that I can be confident that I won’t be giving anybody a bit more than they bargained for on their holidays!

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Alternative Date Night Ideas

date night

This time of year is one of my favourites, because it’s full of heart-shapes and romance wherever you look. Not only is there Valentine’s Day, but there’s something about cold nights cuddling up to a loved one that just makes you feel good. Following on from my post about date night ideas for Valentine’s Day, I thought I would share ideas for a few more locations across the UK – all of them are perfect for when your usual date night is looking a little bit stagnant.

I gave Scotland and England all of my attention in my last post, so I thought I would kick things off with some top places in the Cardiff dating scene (sorry, Northern Ireland! Maybe next time!). What I love about the way Cardiff dating looks is that there is nature and culture literally right there for the taking. If you and your date are outdoorsy people, or you fancy stepping outside of your comfort zone, then trying out the City Safari from Planet Wales is definitely worth a shot. There’s nothing that makes date night more special than seeing something breathtakingly beautiful together; neither of you will ever forget it.

Devon is one of my favourite places in the UK, so I knew I was going to need to share some Devon dating ideas! Sure, you could meander along the beach and watch the sunset together – or you can do something a little bit weird on your next date night, and head over to the Gnome Reserve! This is definitely another outdoosy date night option, but I love the idea of cuddling up to your date so you can both sqeeze in to a selfie with a giant gnome. Perfect for bonding over a few chuckles!

I’ve only ever been to Lincoln once, so I definitely had to do a bit of nosing around to find the perfect date night idea for Lincolnshire dating. Though a night at the cinema is pretty standard date night fodder, I found Kinema in the Woods and actually loved the idea of it. Kinema in the Woods is the only cinema left in the UK that still uses back projection, and is super old fashioned. There is even a resident organist who plays in the intervals! From May onwards there is an outdoor cinema also, so this is definitely one to keep in mind for future date night plans.

And finally, another beach location – I’m wrapping up by looking at some Kent dating ideas! You can definitely take advantage of being right next to the ocean on your next date night, either by enjoying a romantic river boat tour of Canterbury or doing something a little bit more intensive and donning your life jacket on a sea safari across Dover. You’re definitely never going to forget either one!

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Lusting After Society Plus: A New Year Wishlist

I never go in for all of that ‘New Year, New You!‘ crap that happens every January, but there is something in my soul that is desperate for new clothes at the start of every year. I don’t know if I have this vision of myself in my head in which I transform into a magical creature of impeccable fashion when the clock strikes midnight, or if I just want to pull myself out of the post-Christmas blues, but either way: I can’t get enough of browsing every sale in sight as soon as January hits, and today I am crushing hard on Society Plus.

The down side here is that I’m not actually buying anything, of course. It might be a new year but there are no ‘New Year, New Bank Account!’ posts that I have been able to find, so I am restricted to window shopping. Of course it does come with its positives: I never feel buyer’s remorse, I can actually use the money for important things like food and electricity and, of course, I can bring American brands into my line of sight. If I’m looking to actually spend money I rarely even bother with American brands because the customs tax makes the price ridiculously high, but hey – no spending, no tax. Enter, Society Plus.

Society Plus

Well hello, brand new love of my life. Why is there a sequin rose gold skirt that doesn’t belong to me? I’d be prepared to take all of the waistband scratchiness that these sequins were going to give me for the chance to swish around in this sparkling wonder.

Society Plus

Skirts and crop tops seem to have totally been my aesthetic when I was picking out these pieces. This navy polkadot skirt makes me think of a calm Winter night with shimmering stars. The quote ‘made of moonlight’ from Gerald’s Game pops into my head when I look at it – fans will know this quote is definitely not as pretty as it sounds, yet when the words are on their own they seem almost melodic and calming to me.

Society Plus

So imagine you woke up one morning and you were a cupcake. How adorable and fluffy would you feel?! This plum coloured skirt is giving me aaaall the cupcake vibes and making me think I would need to wear some sort of giant taffeta hair bow to complete this look. And I am 100% here for it.

Society Plus

This harness style crop top looks like its been paired with the ‘made of moonlight’ skirt, and it is definitely something I could wear every season. I love that its faux suede so it looks almost soft and cosy (and would fit perfectly under a nice cardigan) and would be a cute-yet-edgy Winter wear, but if I wore it with a fluffy skirt and nothing over the top of it, it would transition perfectly into Spring.

Society Plus

My hair colour changes basically every twelve minutes right now, so I try not to pick bold colours incase they are just not going to work with whatever hair I’m rocking that week. This mustard crop top is bright enough to make a statement but muted enough not to clash, and the way the model is pairing it up with that scarf? I’m getting serious comfort vibes going on with this top.

Society Plus

I don’t think it would be wrong of me to suggest that for a long time Society Plus were associated with their perfect tutus. They were the first brand that I knew of that offered reasonably priced tutus that were available in superplus sizes and looked puffy and full. I’ve had a real hard time choosing a colour for the perfect tutu that I will eventually own, but today this gorgeous grey was jumping out at me – classy and timeless, it looks like it would go with anything.

Society Plus

I am in love with the colour of this gorgeous long skirt. I feel like I could wear it with nothing more than a plain black t-shirt and I would still look totally dressed up and effortlessly chic. I am getting serious winter berry vibes from this outfit and it looks effortlessly comfortable to boot.

Society Plus

Finally, I can’t turn my back on my old favourites – I had to include this adorable skater dress. It’s definitely one that is better for Summer, because it makes me think of a Mr Whippy ice cream cone, but I think it would brighten a dull day if I were to pair it with a cardigan and tights. And can I just take a minute to appreciate the accessories on this model?!

Are you loving Society Plus too? What are you hoping to see in their 2018 – 2019 ranges? 

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Three Reasons A Smartphone Is A Great Gift For Any Guy

No matter the occasion, it’s always hard to find good gifts for the men in your life. Typically, they keep themselves quite closed off and rarely talk about the things they love. Then, when you do find something they like, you kind of overuse the gift idea all the time – or is that just me? My husband always ends up with the same themed gifts for birthdays, Valentine’s days, Christmas, and so on. He loves gadgets, though, and I’ve come to realise that a smartphone would be the perfect present.

While it may seem like an expensive gift, it’s still a gift that will bring a grin to any guys face. There are many reasons they’ll like this gift and many reasons it’s a great idea. If you don’t believe me, you can check out all these reasons right here:

smartphonePexels

They’ll Never Be Bored Again

The beauty of a smartphone is that they’re, well, smart! They’re smart enough to go beyond the usual call and text functions and offer so much more. The man in your life can play mobile games on their phone that are really engrossing and take hours to complete. In fact, some games are neverending and can constantly be replayed over and over again. 

The great thing is, there are so many different mobile games out there for your man to download and play instantly. If they’re into adventure games, they can find allies in the Final Fantasy XV mobile game. If they’re a sports lover, they can sink some hole-in-ones in Golf Clash – a top rated game on the App Store. If they prefer to test their mind, perhaps they can download Puzzledom, a puzzle game with loads of puzzles rolled into one package. You get the idea; there’s something out there for everyone, and it means you might finally have found the gift that your loved one isn’t likely to get bored with!

They’ll Actually Answer Their Phone

Having a smartphone means they’ll be more likely to answer their phone whenever you ring, so there will be no more endless missed calls when you get to the shop and realise you’ve left your list at home. Oh, and smartphones can be linked up to cars via Bluetooth or wifi – so they can answer while they drive too. Definitely handy when you’re travelling long distances without eachother and need to keep in touch!

They Can Capture Memories

These days, smartphones have taken over most people’s need to buy a camera. Back in the day, every dad, uncle, and grandad in the country carried around a camcorder. They’d film everything at family parties and outings, collecting loads of memories. Then, there seemed to be a period where no one had a camcorder or video recording device as they were too bulky to carry around.

Well, with a smartphone, the man in your life has a video recorder in their pocket at all times. They’ll always be able to capture memories; no matter where they are. Whether it’s your child’s first school play, or the fireworks display on New Years Eve – they’ll never miss a moment again. In fact, if they are anything like my husband, they will take 50 pictures of every single moment. In reality, though, it is great for the family as you get to document and save special moments with one another.

When you think about it, a smartphone is pretty much the perfect gift. They give the owner everything they need; functionality, entertainment, and a camera/video recorder too. Not to mention the fact that new versions come out all the time, so you can upgrade your gift every year or two. Plus, phones come with accessories like cases, protective screens, car mounts, and so on. As a result, you’ve immediately got loads of additional gift ideas for other occasions!

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Casual Christmas Clothes

casual christmas

For those of you at the back who might not have heard me every time I’ve shouted about it: I love Christmas. The shimmering decorations, the twinkling lights and the tacky clothes are just the perfect recipe for a Happy Sophie. I love a good gimmick, and I love to go all out every festive season, so any Christmas clothing that makes people cringe is okay in my book. I had a look around some of my favourite brands to find some casual Christmas clothes and let me tell you – I pretty much need every single one of them. Here’s what I found!

casual christmas

Simply Be are always a great place to start when you’re looking for inclusive ranges, and their collection of casual Christmas clothes does not disappoint this year. This gingerbread swing dress is super reminiscent of Topsy Curvy, and at only £15.00 you can’t really go wrong. My favourite piece, though, is this gorgeously cosy looking ‘Mince Pies Before Guys’ jumper. Seriously, the model looks so snuggled up! Which is why it doesn’t surprise me that this has completely sold out in plus sizes and is only available at the smaller end of the range.

Brands – once again, because I am getting bored of hearing myself say it – if your plus size range is continually sold out, extend it because we have a lot more money to spend and a dearth of brands who actually stock our sizes. 

If you feel like being really crap at Christmas, this plain black ‘Christmas T-shirt’ top is ideal. I kind of hate it because Christmas should be joyous and colourful, but I do like a good tongue-in-cheek t-shirt joke so I decided to keep it in the round up. Besides, I feel like if you hate Christmas but I can get you to at least buy this t-shirt, then I can probably worm my way in to your soul (that escalated quickly) and make a Christmas lover of you yet. And then before you know it, you’ll be buying adorable jumpers like this gingerbread Christmas tree (which, again, is sold out above a size 12) and chucking tinsel around like snow in a snowglobe.

casual christmas

Topsy Curvy are the first brand that I can think of who offered casual Christmas clothes in inclusive sizing. Though their range isn’t super diverse, they have been picked up by Lovedrobe in 2017 so hopefully that is a sign that there is more to come. At the moment, they do have these adorable ‘jolly gingerbread‘ tunic, the minimalistic but super cute ‘reindeers in love‘ tunic and the monochrome delight that is the ‘silly snowman‘ tunic. All of these are available up to a size 28, but Topsy Curvy are known and loved for their stretchy fabrics that don’t compromise quality, so they’re always a brand I like to recommend to people.

casual christmas

Yours Clothing are one of my most-loved brands because they always have inclusive sizing (now up to a size 36!) and they realise that being fat doesn’t mean losing your fashion sense. I love that I can walk in to Yours and I can come out dressing like the 27 year old that I am, rather than an old lady who needs to get back to her knitting. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but its just not my aesthetic.

They definitely do not fail when it comes to casual Christmas clothing. The ‘varsity jacket’ trend has been pretty big in the last couple of years, and I love that Yours combined varsity and red glitter to make this adorable ‘Team Santa’ t-shirt. I can’t even imagine how warm and snuggly this Rudolph eyelash jumper would be. My only concern would be quality, as any eyelash jumpers I’ve had in the past have got holes in them quite easily, but given that it has pretty much sold out online I’m going to hazard a guess that people are not disappointed with this jumper.

Speaking of soft and gorgeous, I am living for this Santa Claus fleece hoodie. The bobble hat hood is ridiculously adorable, and I love the thought of looking like a big fat snuggly Santa on a cold Winter’s night. This longline Penguin top is another one that has Topsy Curvy vibes, but the fact that it goes up to a size 36 gives Yours Clothing the edge on this one – and the design is absolutely adorable.

And finally, an important message: ‘I believe in Father Christmas‘. Too many people are sceptical about how real Santa is, and I think its important for believers like me to wear t-shirts like this so that children know that the magic is real. It’s an adorable t-shirt and I’d rock it with a metallic gold skirt (like this one GG wore!) and a sprig of holly in my hair. Oh my goodness I cannot contain my excitement.

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Unwinding with Games

Every night, I tuck my little wonders in to bed and I begin an evening of candlelit relaxation. The wine is flowing, I hear nothing but the sound of the crackling fire and I spend my evenings indulging in smooth chocolate and wonderful literature.

All of what I’ve just written is a lie. In reality, my life is pretty chaotic. I home educate two children, I am self employed, I am studying towards a masters and I have daily CBT homework. Any spare time I have is spent keeping on top of the housework, preparing food for my family and catching a few moments here and there to enjoy some online gaming. It is my only time of the day to do something completely for myself, and whether its something that takes skill like Words With Friends or Rabbit Smash, or something based entirely on luck like a good game of Texas Hold ‘Em or having a go on the Slots, I love to take that time to zone out and recharge.

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I love gaming across all of my devices. I use my laptop on a daily basis to engage in my Uni reading, write my blog and do admin on my Etsy shop (and to write and proof for a little website you might have heard of, called She Might Be…) and I try to break up the monotony by giving myself 10 minute breaks which are filled with nothing but mindless fun every hour or so. My favourite way to play on my laptop is definitely gambling – I like bingo and slots the most, and I’m particularly enjoying the Santa game on CasinoEuro. Nothing beats the adrenaline of winning a bit of money, especially when you can trust that you aren’t going to lose any more money than that which you earmarked at the beginning; CasinoEuro allows you to set yourself a deposit limit, and even gives you the option of switching on a ‘reality check’ which will periodically let you know how long you have been playing and how much money you have spent. You can’t be too careful when it comes to money, and I love that these measures have been introduced to ensure that you can spend your time on the website having a great time instead of worrying that money will automatically be taken from your account if you lose.

When I’m on the go I use my Samsung Galaxy S7 for all of my gaming. I can even have a round of something to keep my mind busy when I’m standing in line at the post office – it is so quick and simple to immerse yourself in gaming. The great thing is that I also game on my husband’s iPad Pro, and the majority of what I play is available across Apple and Android devices. This has opened up so many other games to me – while I have played Texas Hold ‘Em for years, I didn’t think about using a tablet to indulge in any other casino games. I really enjoy games with a competitive edge, but nothing beats that feeling of winning through sheer luck.

So yes, I do have a chaotic life. But when I do have a chance to relax, I’m not one to sit in a quiet room and ponder life’s great questions – instead, I go for fast-paced, exciting gaming which will let my mind unwind within minutes. And I wouldn’t have it any other way.

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