Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Life lately - August

Bear with me, this one's a long 'un. 

When I wrote one of these last month I kind of muddled it together from what I could remember from the month. But this time I actually made notes throughout the month of what I wanted to put in this post. And it turned out that there's quite a lot I wanted to mention in this roundup!

I thought August was going to be quite a quiet month (I have so much going on in September it's ridiculous!) but there's actually been loads going on, and it's been a great mix of busy and relaxing. 

So here's what I've been doing in August!

What I've been doing
Date night with Phil at Crazy Pedros for 2 for 1 cocktails and £2 slices of pizza, playing badminton every week with my colleague, Molly, and her friends, Alphabet Dating (this month we did D - Dominos and Disney day), viewing houses (and trusting my gut) and going out to my favourite club night, Ultimate Power.
Bank Holidays are lovely, aren't they? Friday I had dinner at Riven's, where she made an Italian feast which we ate while listening to jazz, playing with her cats and debating films and TV and books. Saturday we went to parkrun (more on that later!), and then my friend Ellen came up to visit, so we spent the day mooching around town and buying lipstick. Sunday I had a 12 mile run, then we went to explore the area where we want to move to and saw my cousin and his wife, who live around there, then Phil went out and I had a rock n roll evening making mac and cheese, baking banana bread, watching a documentary and painting my nails. Monday we went to the People's History Museum and had lunch in the sun in Piccadilly Gardens.
Loving
I am really enjoying Instagram stories, which is weird because I just couldn't get on board with Snapchat and I've deleted and re-installed it multiple times. I think I like that I'm already following all the people I would want to follow, and that I don't have to send or receive snaps, I can just check them when I want.

I've recently discovered the Revisionist History podcast and it's my new favourite for running. I absolutely love learning while I run!

Puppies! On Sunday we went to see my cousin and his wife and said hello to their Labrador, Otis, and we also met my auntie and uncle's new future-guide-dog puppy, Magic, a few weeks ago.
And new lipsticks, but I already blogged about that!

Reading
I've done a fair bit of reading this month - by my standards at least! I get the bus to work (of course I do - I work for the bus company!) and I actually love my 30 minute commute. I consider it to be an hour of free reading time! 

This month I read Gerald's Game, which seems to really divide Stephen King fans over whether it's his all-time best, or absolute worst book. For me, I enjoyed it. Probably not my favourite but not my least favourite either. It was pretty grim at times though - I admit there was one scene that made me feel physically sick!

Next I read Wolf Hollow which my friend Sarah sent me a copy of. I absolutely adored this. I read it in about three days and had teary eyes when it was over. I've already passed my copy onto Ellen to read.

I got Where'd you go, Bernadette? for 99p on Kindle a few months ago after hearing some good reviews. I expected to hate this but I actually found myself really, really enjoying it! An intersting, funny read, dripping with satire.

And finally, I'm about half-way through The Truth About the Harry Quebert affair, which was a recommendation from my friend, Ellen, and also, miraculously, 99p. I'm really enjoying this so far. An exciting, well-written page-turner. 

Watching
Football! Football is back! Yes! I thoroughly enjoyed watching Liverpool beat Arsenal 4-3, but enjoyed losing 2-0 to Burnley much less. We, like everyone else, finished Stranger Things this month, which, like everyone else, we loved (DUSTIN!). We're also working through Parks and Rec still, and OMG WE FINALLY FINISHED SEASON 6 OF GAME OF THRONES OMG. To fill the giant hole in our lives, we're going back to Friday Night Lights.

I also watched the documentary Trophy Kids on Netflix this weekend, which Ellen had suggested. It looks at the relationship between children who are talented at sports and their parents. Fascinating but upsetting, and well worth a watch.

Oh and Bake Off, of course! I bloody love Bake Off. It's just so wonderfully British. You can switch off about Brexit, and politics and the state of the country for an hour and just discuss Mary's jackets and upside down Jaffa Cakes. I think Twitter during Bake Off is one of my all-time favourite things.

Eating
My recipe book of the moment is Zsu Dever's Vegan Bowls (review coming soon!) - I've made four things from it so far and there hasn't been one bad meal from it. 

This weekend when my friend Ellen came to visit we went to V Revolution, where I've wanted to go for ages. It's a vegan junk food diner, so the menu is all hot dogs, burgers and nachos, but all vegan. I had the Mini Mac - basically a vegan Big Mac, with "cheese", gherkins and burger sauce. Delish.


Then on Sunday while Phil was out, I had a night in and baked banana bread! I'm super fussy with my bananas and as soon as they go remotely brown I can't eat them (green bananas 4 lyf) so I regularly end up with less-than-satisfactory bananas hanging around my fruit bowl. I learned a few weeks ago that Bejamina from Bake Off had a blog, so I made her peanut butter chocolate banana bread.
Working on
My next half marathon is just 7 weeks away, with an eleven day holiday in between! On Sunday I did my first twelve mile run so I'm feeling pretty good, and I signed up the Stockport 10K this morning which is in three weeks (you might remember it being my first ever 10K three years ago!). I've been keeping up with my strength training too, which isn't my favourite but makes me feel good.
I've done some parkrun tourism too when we were seeing family friends in Leeds, and gave beautiful (but challenging!) Roundhay parkrun a go! At Saturday's parkrun I ran my fastest ever mile (8:02!) but missed a PB by just 16 seconds!

We did, however, get to meet an Olympian! Joanna Rowsell-Shand MBE gave our parkrun a visit and it was absolutely brilliant to meet her!
Next on my list of things to work out is my blog layout. It's really starting to get me down/stress me out how it looks on mobile, so I think it's going to be a full blog overhaul soon. I just don't.want.to.

Excited for
In September I've got two trips to the theatre (Sister Act and A Streetcar Named Desire), a weekend away in Liverpool with my uni girls, a 10K race and then at the end of the month we're off to Spain!

What I've written
I wrote 11 blog posts in August (!) (that's the most I've blogged in a month since December 2013!). Here's what I've written:
In praise of lazy Sundays
Cookbook review - Veganomicon
Reddit Cookbooks Exchange
parkrun and me
Garmin 10 vs 220
How running taught me to go without makeup
How to become a morning exerciser
Runners: Stop calling yourself slow
Cookbook review - Leon Happy Salads
On going with your gut
My favourite MAC lipsticks
Sensationail - Game changer or another nail fail?

I've also been writing content for work. Here are the two posts I've written this month:
10 things to do before starting university
20 things to do for bored students on a budget

Posts I've read, loved, enjoyed or made me think

9 non-flattering leadership strategies for women - hilarious, depressing and accurate
Is it possible to lose weight and still be body positive? - a brilliant post from Michelle
Suicide squad- so bad it's good - because I can't stop talking about how awful Suicide Squad was
24 posts about Bake off that will make you laughBake off episode 1 review
Judging the Bake off contestants purely by their press shots - because Bake Off
The funniest roses are red tweets - this had me crying with laugher
Why women drink - not sure how I feel about the "drinking" element of this, but the 24 hour woman aspect really rings true
I've recently discovered Vix Meldrew's blog and have been bingeing through it, so go read it

Phew! You did it! I really enjoyed putting this post together - roll on September!

Charlotte x

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