Life Lately - October

October has been pretty busy for us, considering we ran a half marathon and bought a house (and that was actually all in one weekend!). This month has also gone ridiculously fast as we didn't get back from Spain until the 10th, so I can't believe it's November! 

It's been so busy in fact, and I'm so full of a cold I've had for a week, that I wasn't sure I'd be able to get this post up as I'm off to Budapest tomorrow! 

So what's been keeping me so busy this month?

What I've been doing
We started the month with our yearly September trip to Spain. We had a lovely, relaxing break. I did lots of reading, had my phone switched off for 11 days, went on lots of long walks and obviously ate loads of patatas bravas. We also took trips to Murcia (see below) and Alicante for a bit of a change of scene. It was excellent.
Then, a few days after we got back I ran a half marathon! I've probably talked about it enough already, but I still can't believe I ran a sub-2-hour half marathon! (I've also barely run since thanks to this cold which has absolutely floored me...).
A couple of weekends ago I had a lovely day shopping with my Mum. She came into Manchester for the day and we had coffee in the Cosy Club, mooched around the shops and had dinner in Wahaca. It was fab.
Oh and we bought a house.

Where I've been
Not loads of travelling this month (that's all coming up in November!), but along with Spain we went to Scotland this last weekend for our family friends' Halloween party. Phil and I dressed up as Maverick and Charlie from Top Gun.
What I've been loving
I estimate that over the course of a year, I spend about 80% of my clothing spend in October and November. I've bought 5 new jumpers - a cream one, green one and a sweatshirt from Primark, a mustard yellow one from Zara and a gorgeous snuggly one from Mango (that I wish I had now bought in every colour).
I've also bought two new pairs of winter boots, after my black ones fell apart, literally, in Dublin last year. I managed to get the same pair in both black and brown from New Look, and they're smart enough for work which is perfect.
You know what I did love? Being able to do parkrun the weekend after my race! In my three years of running, I have never, ever been able to do parkrun the weekend after my race because I have always, always been injured. After my marathon it was my hip, after my last half marathon it was my foot. Admittedly, I took it super easy and I was pretty sore after two miles (of course, Phil smashed it and got a PB!) but I was so happy to be able to run again!
And now I can officially tell you we're on our way to be homeowners, I can tell you about my current Pinterest obsession. I have over 10,000 food pins so I'm not new to Pinterest, but I've starting looking for ideas for our house and I AM SO EXCITED. I've even got Phil pinning to my board!

I've been working from one recipe book at a time over the last few months, and was working through But I could Never Go Vegan, but as I mentioned in my "How I'm trying to make more time" post, I've been trying to cut down on my time in the kitchen, so I'm only cooking from this once every week or two.
What I am cooking with though, is my slow cooker. I absolutely love coming home to a meal that made itself while I was at work, or waking up to a curry that cooked overnight. I have a little timer that's dead easy to use that turns on the slow cooker at the right now, so I don't end up with vegetable mush! So far we've had a lentil chilli, sweet n sour quorn, chickpea tagine and a chana masala (slow cooker staples in our house!), but I've just bought Miss South's Slow Cooked and I'm really excited to use it more. 
When Mum came to visit I took her to Wahaca for the first time and it was AMAZING. I love going out for meals with my Mum when the food can be shared because she's happy to have veggie and fishy bits with me (Phil and I never share when we go out for dinner!). The sweet potato taquitos were unbelievable.

What I've been reading
I've done loads of reading (for me at least!) this month, and read 5 books while we were in Spain - Eileen (which I really enjoyed), The Possibilities (an instant favourite, I adored this), and Burial Rites, and then decided I needed a couple of easy reads, so I demolished I Let You Go in one day, then raced through Behind Closed Doors (both alright, but not my cup of tea).
I also read Post Office - my first Bukowski - before we went away, and since we got home I've read The Shipping News (again, adored it. I didn't want it to end it was so beautiful), We We Liars (a quick and enjoyable read) and I've just finished Olive Kitteridge, which is one of the best books I've read for a long time. I know this all sounds hyperbolic, but I really have read some great books this month!

I also discovered Abe Books this month and bought a tonne of second hand books online for just £17! I've already read two and I'm a third of the way through my third (The Collector). This is definitely my new favourite way to buy books!
I've been too busy to do much watching this month to be totally honest (except Bake Off, duh) so I'm completely behind on everything. We managed just one cinema trip this month too. We were planning to go see The Girl on the Train, but it was the night I am Daniel Blake came out, and we decided that I am Daniel Blake would be a better option. It was terribly upsetting but an important film that I'm glad we saw.
The only other thing I've watched is In Bruges. Phil wrote his dissertation on it and it's one of his favourites (he's really into films - go read his blog!) and I was tired and grumpy and it was Sunday night, but as soon as the film began, I put down my nail polish and was absolutely gripped. I haven't stopped thinking about it since.

Working on
Well with my half marathon over the only thing I've really been working on is my Diploma in Professional Marketing. I've finished my first two units so I'm well on my way with my first module. I've managed to stick my headphones on and work at home which has probably saved me a fortune already in Starbucks.

Excited for
I'm off to Budapest in the morning with my Mum! It was my gift to her for her 60th back in July so we've been counting down for months! I've booked us a cute little central hotel and dinner at Konyvbar for tomorrow night, and I'm looking forward to exploring a new city!
I'm also off to Berlin at the end of November to see my friend Kayleigh who lives out there and visit the real German Markets!
I'm obviously excited for more progression with our house! It's still early days but everything seems to be going well so far, so fingers crossed!
And one last thing I'm excited about, it's our anniversary on Tuesday! Three whole years! Where has the time gone eh? Remember this blog post when I mentioned I was going on a date? I promise I won't get all soppy but it's honestly been the best three years of my life, and I can't wait for the future.

What I've written
On not getting a London Marathon place
10 things that always happen during race week
Running, racing and anxiety
On achieving your goal
How I'm trying to make more time
We're buying a house!

What I've been reading online
Did my short skirt distract from my two degrees and six years at Cambridge? from Amy's blog
Timexity from Rosie. I could have written this
I am Daniel Blake - and there are millions more like me - from Jack Monroe, who I think is wonderful and amazing and a huge inspiration
I am not Daniel Blake, but how do I help?
How to say No to social plans without feeling guilty
It's time to address the dirty underbelly of clean eating - I feel so strongly about this. I'm so glad it's being talked about.
My struggle with body image - this is heartbreaking and so honest and brilliant from Vix Meldrew. I think every woman I know could have written this, and that makes me so sad.
13 little things anxiety suffers should know
24 hilarious tweets that will make English majors lol
Let's talk about slut shaming - my cousin Niamh wrote this. She's only 17 and I'm so proud of her to standing up and writing about things like this
Striking a balance from Sian. We always talk about trying to do everything and never having time to do it all!
And because we're buying a house, everything on Swoonworthy! I used to work with Kimberly and I've been pinning all of her tips onto my new house board in preparation!

And one last thing, my friend Steph sent me this and I'm going to remind myself of it whenever I feel down. It's a letter to Runners' World in 1966...
Now, I'd better get back to my bridge...

Charlotte x


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