Thursday, 28 November 2013

Feeling Grey

Red coat, tartan skirt, tall boots and a jumper with my blog name on.  This is my perfect winter outfit. I'm also determined to be a hat person. I bought this hat last year and started wearing it recently purely for practicality- it keeps my head warm! But I do think it's really cute. And it goes with my panda gloves (I am a child). Also, winter means red lipstick. I've not really been wearing lipstick recently because well, boyfriend, lipstick= messy. I'm also rubbish at generally keeping lipstick on. One drink or a snack and I've smudged it all over my face and I end up getting bored and wiping it off! I've been so low maintenance lately. This was the first time I'd curled my hair for weeks. It gets to the weekend and I just want to be comfortable.
red coat- Warehouse
girl next door jumper- Vacant Clothing via ASOS
tartan skirt- Target
boots- Debenhams
gloves- River Island
hat- Accessorize
necklace- Zalando
How's your week been? I'm kinda stressy this week, so instead of going to the Christmas markets again last night Phil and I stayed in, ordered a pizza and started to watch When Harry Met Sally (I've never seen it!). In the end, his housemate Simon got back and we were having such a good laugh that we turned the film off and just had a chat. It was definitely the night in I needed. This weekend Phil and I are going out for dinner with some of his friends and then going to see Singin' In The Rain at the theatre. I can't wait- I've heard really great reviews. I've also got lots of blogging and running to catch up on this weekend.
Can you believe it's December on Sunday? I feel so unprepared this year. I haven't got any presents yet, and I've only just got my advent calendar. I reckon some Christmas music next week will get me in the mood!

Hope you're having a lovely week!

Charlotte x

Sunday, 24 November 2013

Half Marathon Training: Sickness and Recovery

This crazy cat is running a half marathon in March and I'm writing a little series on everything I'm learning along the way. My intro and training plan post is here. As I've said before I'm not an expert, I'm just a normal girl who started running and fell in love with it. I'm enjoying writing about my own experiences of running and hope I can help people with their running too!

Pre-running awesomeness right here.
In my last running post, I talked about my second 10K race. I talked about the fact that I struggled to finish and blamed factors such as the difficulty of the course, the infrequency of my running and the fact that I hadn't eaten enough before my race. One thing I didn't consider was being ill.
I felt a bit rubbish after my race, but I always feel a bit rubbish after a long run- especially a race, but I didn't think anything of it. My Mum was ill, but I didn't feel too bad.
I woke up Monday, blaming feeling tired and achey on my race, and went to work. 
I came home after three hours, coming down with flu.
I spent the rest of Monday in bed, took Tuesday off work, and struggled through the work day on Wednesday. I didn't start to feel normal again until the weekend.
I went over a week without running.
And worse, I didn't want to run.
At first, I missed it. But then as days went by I stopped caring. But I also felt both lethargic about the idea of running and nervous about my depleting fitness.
Getting back into running has been a struggle. I finally started running- slowly, carefully- on Tuesday and it has been horrible. But I have learned from it. And I'm slowly getting there. I managed three miles yesterday and three miles today. I'm a long way off six, seven , eight mile runs (and I'm going back to repeat a few weeks of my training plan), but I'm finally getting there.

Now with winter being the season of sickness and chills, I thought I'd write a little post on what I've learned about getting back into running after being ill. 

1. Wrap up warm
If you've had a cold or flu, you'll know how important it is to keep warm. I had been running in shorts and a short-sleeved top until this week, but I knew it was finally time to have my leggings and long-sleeved top on for winter. 
2. Hydrate
I always take water with me anyway when I run, but I made sure I drank lots of water before, during and after my runs this week. 
3. Wait until you're ready
I had a few days when I planned to run and then when it got around to it, I just wasn't feeling it. I thought I was just being lazy, but then my friend Steph, who is a heptathlete, said that she was always told if you're not feeling it, your body probably isn't feeling it either. I had a few days of this before I was finally excited to run again. And then I was ready to run.
4. Be gentle, be slow and ignore your time
When I say be slow, I mean ridiculously slow. Really slow. Really ease yourself back into running, especially if you've been ill or had a long break (or in my case, both). Walk part of the way if you need to, but just be gentle. Your body has been under a lot of stress battling illness, so don't push it too hard. Oh and ignore your time, seriously. Just don't even pay attention to it. Just concentrate on the fact that you're out there running, not how fast, or how slow, you're doing it.
5. Set a maximum distance
For me, my maximum distance for my first two runs was two miles. After that I had a go at three. Even two miles were incredibly tough on my first two runs. As with the previous point, just start slowly and on short distances to ease back into it. And if you can't finish the distance? Stop and walk. Don't push yourself! Your body is telling you something,
6. Don't ignore niggling symptoms
When I first started running again, on my first run, I felt myself develop a slight headache. Rather than ignoring it, I told myself that if it persisted after I finished my first mile I would walk the rest of the way. Thankfully it started to fade and I could keep going, but listen to your body. If anything hurts, listen.
7. Don't rush to get back on plan, and repeat weeks if you need to
This weekend was supposed to be my eight mile run. No way was that going to happen. I've decided to repeat weeks from the week of my 5 mile long run onwards. My original aim was to have my half marathon training completed by Christmas, then to do Insanity for two months with weekend runs, but I've since decided against this. I'm not asking for Insanity for Christmas anymore and I'm just concentrating on running for the next few months. That has definitely taken the pressure of me for my race. I'm giving myself plenty of time to get my fitness back up, I have contingency time for being ill or tired or busy again, and time to get my speed up. And it means I can go back and repeat weeks as I need to. 
8. Don't push yourself
I think I've said this about four times in this post so far, but it needs reiterating. I tend to sprint the last few metres of my run but I've been trying not to do it this week because I don't know if my body can handle it. The more you push yourself as you recover, the more likely you are to succumb to being ill again. Just be gentle with yourself. You'll have plenty of time to push yourself when you're better.
9. Get lots of rest
It goes without saying but sleep is mint. Get lots of that. This applies to anything after you're ill. You don't need me to tell you not to throw yourself into a busy week when you start feeling a smidgen better! 
10. Get back into your routine
Getting back into the habit of getting up at 5am to run has been a challenge. On Friday my alarm went off at 5am and I dozed off til 5.25am. I battled with myself over whether to get up or go back to sleep, but pushed myself to get out of bed and felt so much better after. I know once I get back into my routine of getting up at 5am I'll be fine, but it's not been easy this week! I'm a real creature of habit so routine works for me.

What are your tips for getting back into exercise after being ill or injured?

Charlotte x

Thursday, 21 November 2013

Leather Pencil Skirt Mark II

These photos are from a few weeks ago (spot the poppy!), a few days after this post. I was really inspired to find new ways to wear my leather pencil skirt for work, and I really love this outfit too. I haven't worn this shirt for ages, but I tend to gravitate towards maroon, navy, mustard and greys as the weather gets colder, and it as also an excuse to wear these maroon heels which I think will become a workwear staple over the next few months (they kinda look black in the photos but they are definitely maroon.
shirt- New Look
leather pencil skirt- c/o Lavish Alice
blazer- H&M
heels- New Look
It's weird posting more than once in a week- I don't feel like I have much to say! Phil and I went to the Manchester Christmas markets last night which was really fun. We got all wrapped up in our coats and scarves and had some yummy food, chocolate-covered fruit and finished off with alcoholic hot chocolate. I had mine with Baileys and it was delicious! I've got a bit of a quiet one planned this weekend. Steph is coming round tomorrow for dinner, saving me from a night home alone, and on Saturday my cousin are I are going out for dinner. I'm also hoping to get back into running (I'm planning a post the challenges of recovering after being ill) and I think I'm seeing Phil on Sunday. We're almost getting there with the loft conversion at home too (which is going to be my new room!) so I've just got some boxes and bits to sort out this weekend. I'm considering selling some bits of my clothes and shoes that I don't wear anymore on eBay- would you guys be interested in that?
(sorry these photos are kind of wonky! Stupid tripod!)
I finally finished my book yesterday (I was reading 11/22/63 by Stephen King which was brilliant but over 800 pages!) so I've finally gotten around to reading Gone Girl after hearing really great reviews (and also I heard David Fincher is directing the film!). I reckon I can get a few pages read tonight. If you're a book nerd like me, make sure you add me on Goodreads!

And finally, in other news, Michelle just sent me a link to an article about Sasha Obama causing an internet storm by wearing a unicorn jumper- the exact same one as mine
Starting trends right here!
Have a great evening!

Charlotte x

Tuesday, 19 November 2013

Pink, Knit and Sparkles

Some people are bag people. Some people like shoes. Some people like dresses. Me, I like coats. Jackets and coats. I think it's something to do with being a British girl and knowing that for a good 60% of the year the only part of my outfit you're going to see will be my coat. And with jackets, well I'm lazy and I believe changing your jacket can complete change an outfit. I digress. On last count, I think I had 11 coats. I have a mix of bright coats, furry coats, warm coats, trench coats, and of course, the boring black coat (urgh). And now I have a new one to add to the collection, the OH MY GOD IT'S SO BRIGHT MY RETINAS ARE BURNING pink coat.
I decided this weekend that I was ready to bring the sequins out. I am strictly "no Christmas before December" person (although I did cave into watching Love Actually on Friday) but I think sequins should be worn all year around. I absolutely love this skirt. I assure you it is not as short as it looks in the photos (sorry Dad!), but it is a lot shorter than I'm used to. I can't decide if it's shrunk since I last wore it, or if I've just become more of a prude (I fear the latter). Anyway you know what goes great with sequins? Chunky knits. Because while the sequins are stabbing you in the stomach at least you have a cosy jumper on your top half. I love this combination of sparkly and cosy. I wore a very similar outfit a couple of years ago (weirdly, almost two years to the day!) and almost reached for that same mustard jumper again, but then I remembered this big chunky maroon knit I received from Chiara as part of their blogger giveaway. It goes perfectly with the maroon splashes in the skirt.
skirt- Lavish Alice
jumper- c/o Chiara Fashion
necklace- Topshop
boots- Debenhams
coat- c/o Coast
I wore this outfit both Saturday and Sunday. No shame here. I was ill all last week- I came home from work on Monday after struggling through three hours, took Tuesday off and just felt utterly awful on Wednesday. I didn't start to feel human again until Friday- thankfully just in time for the weekend.  I had a girly night with my home friends on Friday night eating Mexican food, drinking homemade cocktails and watching Love Actually. Saturday was pretty chilled and then I went to Phil's for the evening. He lives in the middle of town and Manchester was so busy and festive. I love the Christmas lights! We stayed in and watched Sweeney Todd and American History X and hung out with his housemate. Sunday is always a family day, and we ended up with lots of visitors on Sunday afternoon, with two of my uncles, my auntie and two cousins coming round to have a look at our loft conversion. It was so lovely. Last night I had charity choir practice, which I am absolutely loving, so I think I'm on for an early night tonight. Phil and I are going to the Manchester Christmas markets tomorrow evening with his housemate Simon and his girlfriend Meg. I can't wait! I haven't been to the Manchester Christmas markets for years!
Today is one year to the day that I started working at Frank Design! Which means I should really get on with that How to Dress for Work post I have been planning since I started working there!

Charlotte x

Sunday, 17 November 2013

A (Rare) Trip to the Theatre

To be honest, I don't get a lot of opportunities to wear pretty, sparkly dresses. The majority of the time I opt for a night in with DVDs and wine over a night out on the town, and I definitely don't go to a lot of fancy parties. So when Rare London asked me to pick a dress from their party dress collection, I was at a bit of a loss of what to choose. As much as I love the look of body con dresses, they're just not very me (I definitely don't have the figure for anything that tight-fitting) so I went for this gorgeous prom dress in gold and black. It has an amazing layered tulle skirt and it's my first cut-out panel dress. My only mistake was not going down a size, as I am not blessed so much in the boobs department, and because of the cut-out parts I couldn't wear a bra. I think a size 8 would have been a better fit, but I am between sizes so I never really know, and always go for a 10 if I'm not sure. But if you are small-chested like me, go for a size down! Anyway, I wanted to pair this with my little cream fur jacket, but as I was going out straight from work it was a bit much, so I went for my old faithful leopard jacket and my new favourite ankle boots. Perfect for date night at the theatre.
dress- c/o Rare London
coat- Miss Selfridge
boots- c/o Clothing at Tesco
Now I don't mean to gush (as much as I want to!) but where I found a boyfriend who loves musicals I don't know! About a month ago I started seeing posters around Manchester for Sweeney Todd at the Royal Exchange Theatre. I absolutely love Sweeney Todd and was obsessed with the film version as a teenager, and I was desperate to go and see it. At that point, however, Phil and I had only been on a few dates but I knew he liked musicals, so I went out on a limb and asked if he wanted to go. He jumped at the chance! So last Friday we got all dressed up, had a non-classy (but quick!) dinner at Subway and headed to the theatre. The show was absolutely amazing (and if you're in Manchester, it's still on for another few weeks) and was perfectly cast, and the theatre is stunning. We had a great time! And I got an excuse to wear a pretty sparkly dress, which is always a plus!
I'm now on the hunt to see the stage production of Les Mis as I've always loved the songs and performed a few of them when I used to be part of a youth theatre. I would also love to see Hairspary on stage because it's one of my favourite films (not ashamed!). Plus theatre trips are an excuse to wear pretty dresses- I look pretty daft wearing them for lying on the sofa.
Hope you weekend has been lovely!

Charlotte x

Thursday, 14 November 2013

October in Photos

Yeah, it's the 14th of November and I'm posting October in Photos. First up, some excuses- busy, tired, had flu all week. Now, onto the photos.

1. Winter running jacket
I've been after a lightweight jacket for cold, wet days and this one is perfect. You can also attach an LED light to the back for running in the dark. It's this one if you're interested!
2. Because, Zefron
I made my Dad watch this with me and half way through he said "I've seen this before!" I have him well trained.
3. Fall out boy tickets
Because my taste in music hasn't changed since I was 14. 
4. Best park run time yet
Still trying to break that 30 minute mark!
5. Adidas leggings
Again part of my winter running kit. Post coming soon!
6. Tiny Dominos pizza
We had unexpected Dominos at work a few weeks ago and I'd already brought a salad. So I had both. Obviously. 
7. Train supplies
Tea and Women's Running Magazine
8. Wetherspoons Veggie Breakfast Wrap
For the morning after the night before
The ice cream van turned up on a lazy Sunday when I'd just got back from a busy weekend in Birmingham. I had all the sherbert. 
10. Lovely 5 mile run
Every now and again I have one of those runs that reminds me why I love running. This was one of those.
11. More winter running bits
Headband, warm socks and gloves.
12. More running tops.
£6 from Sports Direct! The website is much less scary than the shop. 
13. Reading Doctor Sleep
I finished this a few weeks ago and have continued with the Stephen King theme. I'm now reading 11/22/63 and it's excellent.
14. No wifi= reading time
15. One more winter running top
16. Fajitas for dinner
I decided a few weeks ago that I wanted fajitas for dinner. Suddenly everyone wanted fajitas. Fajitas= best food ever.
17. Haven't done my hair like this since I was 19.
Wonky fringe problems
18. Runners shopping basket
Bagels, milkshake mix, cashew nut butter, eggs, lucozade and jelly babies. 
19. Party time
20. Afternoon tea outfit
I couldn't decide what to wear for Afternoon tea, so I thought of my favourite Afternoon-tea-loving-lady, Miss Purvis, and went for a floral tea dress and big furry coat.
21. Afternoon tea at Betty's in Harrogate. 
We had a lovely trip to Betty's a few weeks ago. Lots of lovely cakes, sandwiches and good company.
22. Yuppi the guide dog puppy
My auntie and uncle are currently guide dog puppy parents for the second time around. This is Yuppi. We took him to afternoon tea with us and he was so good sitting under the table. What a cutie.
23. Chip butties=food of the gods.
24. omggggggg Alexandra Heminsley followed me on Twitter!
You might remember me reading her book, Running like a Girl, last month. Total legend. 
25. Banana milk
Because I'm actually 5. And because I heard it was great to drink after a run. And because I'm actually 5.
26. Homemade salmon burgers for lunch
We had bread crusts and salmon leftover so I just threw it in the food processor with as many Thai-style things as I could find- some Thai red curry paste, ginger, garlic, fish sauce, lime juice... voila- salmon burgers!
27. Not even a bit ashamed
They were mint. 
28. The best third-date gift ever
Phil and I bonded on our first date over our love of Tom Hanks, and I told him I'd never seen Philadelphia. I thought he was joking when he said I had to see it and that he would buy it for me. But lo and behold, on our third date he turned up with a wrapped present! What a sweetie. I watched it a few days later, and yes, I cried my eyes out.
29. Mid-week cocktails
30. Finally getting winter running-wear right!
After buying all kinds of new winter running things, I found myself overheating very quickly and struggled to get my running clothes right. I finally found that shorts, a long-sleeved top, gloves and a headband are perfect when it's not quite cold enough for leggings. 
Perfect post- run breakfast with homemade guacamole and salsa.
 I was looking for a reflective bracelet for morning running when I came across this. I don't carry any ID when running so this is perfect to make sure I can be identified if anything happens to me while out running. Mine has my name, in case of emergency contacts, blood type and that I'm an organ donor. I feel much safer now when I run in the morning. 
33. Pink flashing hi-vis vest
Because who says they have to be yellow?
34. First foray into protein powder
35. And my first attempt at peanut butter protein bars
I followed this recipe. Perfect for after a run or as an afternoon snack.
36. Cinema contraband. 
37. Sunday evening cinema trip
How great is Captain Phillips? I love Tom Hanks
38. More midweek cocktails
39. New favourite breakfast
This is based on a Cookin Canuck recipe. I just layer up greek yoghurt, muesli, honey and berries in a big mug. Yummy. 
40. Post-run breakfast
Poached eggs, ranchero sauce and Runner's World.
41. New winter coat
42. Met the Chuckle Brothers. NBD.
I walked into the main office at work a few weeks ago and found everyone looking out of the window. Jon had joked that the Chuckle Brothers were outside, but it was starting to look like it was actually them. Kris and I went downstairs to investigate and I stood with her while she pretended to have a cigarette. As soon as we got outside I said "it's definitely them" and then out of the blue, Kris just shouted "Barry!" and Barry Chuckle turned around and waved. Then people started to come out of their buildings to have pictures taken with them and we couldn't resist... 
43-45. Saturday night in
A few weeks ago Phil and I had a Jack Nicholson-themed night in, with a dinner of salmon and rice, followed by sweets. I love a good night in and this was perfect (although Phil wouldn't let me have sweets before dinner. His parents are dentists) 
46. Alcoholic hot chocolate
We wanted to spike it with mint schnapps but we couldn't get any, so we went for orange liquer instead. We're planning on making mint schnapps in a few weeks though!
47. Seven mile run
My longest run so far. This one was tough, but I'm over half way to my half marathon distance now!
48. Things-I-Found-in-the-fridge salad
Chickpeas, roasted butternut squash, goat's cheese, roasted onions and sundried tomatoes. I've been asked a few times to write a post about salads- I promise it's coming. 
49. Join a charity choir, get free biscuits
I've joined a charity choir and we practice on a Monday night. I absolutely love it. It's so much fun and I can't wait for us to perform. We're going to be singing at hospitals and nursing homes and raising money for various charities.
50. My Halloween contribution- skull earrings
51. Leftover Halloween sweets
Apparently we only had one group of trick or treaters. More sweets for me!

Sunday, 10 November 2013

Half Marathon Training: My Second 10K Race

This crazy cat is running a half marathon in March and I'm writing a little series on everything I'm learning along the way. My intro and training plan post is here.
Not strictly a half marathon post, but running-related- today I ran my second 10K. And flippin' heck it was hard!

You might remember my first 10K in September, which was my first proper race and my first run over 4.5 miles. Since then I've been working on my half marathon training and extending my long runs, and I'm now running over 6 miles a week (my longest so far is just over 7 miles). As a result, I felt fairly confident with this race, despite hearing that it was a particularly hilly course and that it was a loop. Urgh, loops.

But then on Friday, I started to panic. I've not been running as much as usual lately, with trips away and spending time with my boyfriend and a couple of times, just laziness. I hadn't done a long run in nearly two weeks, I'd missed park run two weeks in a row and I had only run three times in total in 2 weeks. Eeek.

The run was tough. Very tough. It felt like it was perpetually uphill, unlike Bramhall park run where it's step but short hills. I never feel like I had a chance to catch my breath. Plus the killer hill was right at the start, which meant I had to tackle it straight away after my first loop. I thought it was going to kill me. But I kept on running.

I completed the course in 1 hour 16 minutes, 6 minutes longer than my last 10K. But given the difficulty of the course and the cold, I know I did a good job.

Here's what I learned from my second 10K:

1. Not all courses are the same 
It's been really hard not to beat myself up about my time today compared to my first 10K but I know it was a much more difficult course. I know that I struggled and I couldn't expect to beat my previous time, but it hard to accept! Stockport was much more flat and I much prefer running on the pavement, but I realised after my first loop that I wasn't going to beat my time. But I finished, and I never stopped running, so that's all that mattered.
2. Bring your fan club
My parents, cousin and boyfriend came to support me today and it was so awesome to see them at the halfway point and hear them cheering me on! I definitely had a spring in my step after seeing them!
3. Always under-dress
I dithered over whether to wear leggings or shorts today, and ended up going for shorts and a tshirt. I also wore my gloves and a headband, which kept me warm. I'm so, so glad I didn't wear leggings because I warmed up so quickly!
4. Properly fuel up before the race
My biggest hinderance today was being hungry. Around the last mile I was suddenly starving and regretted not eating more than a piece of toast and peanut butter this morning! With there being almost two hours between eating breakfast and leaving the house I needed something else to keep me going.
5. Fancy dress makes it much more fun
My race was for Movember, so we were encouraged to wear moustaches! I drew one on with eyeliner this morning. I looked absolutely ridiculous with no makeup and a moustache, but it was great fun. And it lasted my whole race! 
Still looking suave after my race

6. Pre-programme your playlist for a race
This is a bit of a minor one, but I have 200+ songs on my running playlist and some are more inspiring than others. I could really have done with a song from the Hairspray soundtrack to get me through my last loop! Next time I am definitely not risking it and making a specific race playlist.
7. Don't stop running!
Because I run slowly, I tend to find myself at the back with the people who are part walking, part running and it's so hard to resist the urge to walk. Especially when I hit those hills! But I kept going. In fairness, I probably could have been much faster if I'd walked some of the race and run faster, but as a beginner still, it's important for me to keep running the whole way. And I did!
8. Have warm clothes at the ready- and a drink
Because it was so much colder today than my last 10K, I arrived with sweatpants and a hoodie over my running gear and gave them to my parents to give to me at the end. I also brought a bottle of lucozade- although we got a drink and a sandwich afterwards the queues were huge so I'm glad I had my own!
9. Don't plan anything for afterwards
After my race we went for lunch and did the food shopping (I wiped my moustache off at my cousin's house!) and then I made sure I relaxed once I got home. Long runs in general take it out of me, and racing even more so, so I don't think I could have managed anything else today! I was also coerced into a bath, which I normally hate, but it was good for my muscle and mud-splattered legs!
10. Take a break
I'm not going to run now until Tuesday or Wednesday and give my body some time to recuperate. I've got an 8 mile run planned on Sunday and I'm going to get back into doing Park run, which if I wake up on Tuesday and I'm not feeling it, I'll give myself a break. My body did a great job today and if it needs a rest, it can have one!

Tuesday, 5 November 2013

Leather Pencil Skirt Mark I

I've worn this skirt every day since Friday- I have another outfit to show you next week with this skirt for work.
God it feels a million years since my last outfit post. My last outfit post that had recent photos at least! I kind of lost my blogging mojo with the unpredictable weather and just generally being very busy! I'm pretty sure I've been wearing the same outfits for weeks on end for work (there has definitely been a lot of outfit-repeating going on!) and at the weekends I just want to throw something on and enjoy my weekend! But, finally, I seem to have some creativity back! And it's mainly because of this skirt. I've had this skirt for almost a year now, but I tend to only really wear it in the evenings. This, with my Los Pollos Hermanos tshirt and ankle boots, is my favourite casual evening outfit, and that was exactly what I had planned to wear on Friday night. Kris' boyfriend Dave is a comedian and he was doing show in town, so I went down with Phil and the rest of the Frank team (it was ace!). But the problem was I was going straight after work, then staying at Phil's before I headed to Oxford for the weekend, so I didn't want to have to bring a ton of clothes. I had an image in my head of this skirt with a silky blouse for work, instead of my usual white shirts (my Mum says they're like school shirts!) and I'd completely forgotten about this blouse. I bought it from Primark last year but as soon as I went to put it on one of the buttons fell off! My Mum stitched it back ages but I'd pretty much forgotten about it, but she suggested I try it with this skirt. And I love it! I actually didn't wear these boots for work (I wore my normal boring work shoes- despite the fact they are officially falling to pieces!) but changed into them in the evening (have I mentioned Phil is 6'5"?!). This outfit is a little more racy than I normally go for at work (I swear you couldn't see my bra in real life as much as you can see it in these photos!), but I've started to wear this skirt more and it's helping me to enjoy getting dressed for work again. I've been at Frank for a year this month and the novelty of wearing a pencil skirt every day does wear off after a few months!
skirt- c/o Lavish Alice
blouse- Primark
ankle boots- c/o Clothing at Tesco
Anyway, the last few weeks have been mental, and they don't seem to be quietening down. I have something going on now every weekend til Christmas! As I said I went out Friday night and then headed down to Oxford for a weekend with my friend Becca, who has just bought herself a house! On Saturday we had lunch and caught up, and then decided to ruin all the fun by watching The Green Mile. Neither of us had seen it, though I'd read the book, but it wasn't quite fun Saturday night viewing material! On Sunday we got up bright and early and headed into Oxford. I'd never been to Oxford before so we did the proper touristy thing and did the bus tour! We wanted to go have a look at Christchurch and see where they filmed Harry Potter, but as we went to get off the bus we were told it didn't open on a Sunday til 2. Nightmare! Instead we had lunch and wandered around the shops before my super-long journey home (three hours of train time!). I had such a nice, chilled weekend though, it was perfect! And this week is busy too. Despite my love of fireworks, tonight is the only night this week that I'm not doing something so the plan is blogging, making lunch for tomorrow and maybe an episode or two of Lie To Me (it's filling the Breaking-Bad-shaped hole in my life). Last night I had my second charity choir rehearsal. Did I tell you I joined a charity choir? I haven't sung for years and I'm really enjoying it, and it's run by the same people who ran the theatre group I was involved with as a teenager. We're going to be singing in hospitals and old people's homes, so that will be lovely. Tomorrow Steph and I are going to Pizza Express, Thursday I'm giving blood again and Friday Phil and I are going to see Sweeney Todd on stage! I absolutely loved Sweeney Todd when the film came out a few years ago, and I'm listening to the soundtrack to get me in the mood. I'm so excited! Weekend is going to be a quiet one for the most part, but then I have my second 10K race, the Manchester Mo Running Race, on Sunday which is going to be a lot of fun!
Hope you're having a lovely week!

Charlotte x