Saturday, 1 April 2017

March Life Lately

If you're reading this, it means I finally had some time that wasn't dedicated to working, sleeping or revising this fortnight! I have an exam for my Marketing Diploma on Tuesday, and with the exception of my Birthday on Thursday, I've been working all day, coming home, making dinner and then revising all night, and then spending my weekends sulking about having to revise!

But apart from my exam, March has been busy and lovely. March is pretty much my favourite month of the year because Phil's birthday is the 1st and mine is the 30th, and this month was particularly lovely because I surprised Phil with a trip to Berlin for his Birthday to see Joshua Radin, so we had a great 3 days there this month.

I was planning a separate post on my Birthday because my Birthday is A Very Big Deal (according to me at least!), but I'm still planning to write a post on everything I ate in Berlin (because we pretty much focused the entire trip on food) and I've got a post on sportswear I need to write too, and I think by the time I get another chance to blog it will probably be at least 3 weeks since I got back from Berlin, so I should probably write about that first! So I'll be combining all my Birthday spam into this post, soz.

With being so busy, I don't feel like I've been keeping as good a record this month of what I've been loving and reading and my favourite links online, so I've had to trawl through my Instagram and try to remember where I saved all my favourite links!

So here's what I've been up to in March...

March Goals

  • Single Task
  • Get outside every day
  • Listen to podcasts more
  • Take it slowly
  • Read
  • Practice yoga every week
  • Go to bed earlier

I've started setting myself montly goals in my bullet journal and these were my goals for March. I've noticed that when I go out at lunch time at work I end up feeling exhausted when I get back because I walk so fast, so I set myself the goal of trying to take things a little more slowly. I live my life at 100 miles an hour so it can be a challenge for me to slow down.

I have been listening to podcasts more this month. I have hundreds downloaded onto my phone (one of the reasons I got a new phone was for extra storage for podcasts!) but the majority of the time I only listen to them when I'm running, so I only get through a few every week. But this month saw me discover The Guilty Feminist podcast, and S Town, so I've been making an effort to fit more podcasts into my day when I'm getting ready in the morning or when I'm cooking and it's been really lovely.

I've been trying to find time to read more, but with revising every night after work, I haven't had as much time as I would like, so I'll be adding this to my April goals too. Since we moved back with my parents my commute has been cut down from about 50 minutes each way to 20 each way, and my Mum has been taking me to work in the moring, so my bus time is now only about 15 minutes, and I really miss that reading time! I have been trying to carve myself out some reading space before bed, and I'm getting back into the habit of reaching for a book instead of my phone.

I'm an early bedtime person anyway, but I've been making an effort the last two weeks or so to get to bed by 9.30pm so I can be up at 5.30am and I'm hoping to get more into the habit. My bedtime is usually 10pm, but I've found this can easily slip to 10.15pm or 10.20pm and before I know it it's after 10.30pm and I'm getting less than 7 hours sleep. I'm always the first one up in the house and it can be hard to go to bed instead of spending time with Phil and my family but I have to remember they can stay up later because they get up later than me!

Finally, I have been practising yoga once a week with Yoga with Adrienne on a Monday and sometimes a Friday morning. Some days I just do 10 minutes, other days a full 40 minute session. I do prefer the routine of daily yoga, but with half marathon training this is the best I can manage and it's a nice compromise.

Oh and single tasking? Yeah that needs to go back onto next month's list!

What I've been doing
March 1st is Phil's Birthday which is one of my favourite days of the year because I love any chance to spoil Phil and make him ridiculous Hamilton-themed Birthday cards. I also loved it because I'd been keeping the location of his Birthday surprise quiet for over a month and I was so excited to tell him! It all started in January when he mentioned he'd love to see Joshua Radin, so I thought, great, I'll get him tickets for his Birthday. He was only playing London, though, so I thought I'd check London train prices. Yikes! Then I thought, I wonder where else he's playing, and found it was cheaper for both of us to fly to Berlin than one of us to get a train to London! Thankfully my wonderful friend Kayleigh, and her boyfriend, Alex, who live in Berlin were happy to put us up so I booked the trip! He knew the dates and he knew he was going somewhere for something, so it was great to finally be able to spill the beans!

I wasn't sure I'd stick to it, but I've kept up bullet journalling this month and I really love it. I read up loads before I started, but I've actually ignored all the rules and done things my way and I've been swapping and trying new things as I've gone along. I do mine entirely in pencil, which is perfect for me as I have commitment issues and like that I can rub it out, and I try new things every time and just use it for fun. I'm planning a full post on my bullet journey so look out for that.

Admittedly, I've only done this twice, but after reading Rosie's post on Morning Pages last week I decided to give it a go. It's down on my April goals list to do it every day, so we'll see if I can keep it up!

Where I've been
Phil's brother is an actor, so it was so exciting last month to see him in a production of Dial M for Murder at a local theatre! At first it was super weird to be like, that's Andy! What's Andy doing on the stage?! But he was absolutely brilliant and we loved it. I can't wait to see him in his next production!
I got a chance to be reunited with some of my favourite ladies last month when we headed to Birmingham to celebrate my friend Sarah's birthday. It's always so lovely to catch up with my uni friends. We don't see each other as often as we'd like, so we always need a really good catch up, but it never feels like anything has changed and we have such good memories together. I love them so much. You can read about my university girls in this post - On uni mates.

And obviously, we went to Berlin. I want to save this for a separate post because I just want to talk about all the food we ate. But here's basically the only picture from the trip that isn't of food...
What I've been loving
As I mentioned at the start I have been loving my podcasts lately! I just discovered The Guilty Feminist, thanks to my friend Kimberly, and am I obsessed! I listen to it every morning when I'm getting ready for work, and I feel like I'm friends with Sofie Hagen. It absolutely hits the nail on the head about life and being a woman and feminism, gah, it's just awesome. Download it right now.

Speaking of Sofie Hagen, I love her own podcast, Made of Human, too. Download that while you're there.

And I'm almost done with S Town, which is great because I really want to read Michelle's blog post about it. I've got 2 episodes left, so maybe I'll write about this more next month.

Oh and I downloaded the This American Life app which means I can listen to every episode every of This American Life for £2.99. It's pretty much the buggiest app I've ever used and crashes constantly but it's so worth it.

What I've been eating
Apart from all of the food ever in Berlin, I've also made another Greek Feast.
And I went to Bundobust again because I am obsessed...
What I've been watching
Only two cinema trips this month!
We went to see John Wick Chapter 2, which I thought was good but I would have rather watched it at home whilst also doing something else cause it was a lot of people getting shot in the head to commit to for 2 hours straight. I did think it was better than the first one, though.

And then Get Out which I was desperate to see and thought was excellent. You can read Phil's review of it over at his blog.

What I've bought
I have been pretty good this month, but I did splurge on 2 more pairs of £8 Primark jeans (I KNOW RIGHT?!) and The Dal Cookbook because Dipika is my cookbook enabler, and she bought it so I had to have it.
I got 5 recipe books for my Birthday though so I've told Phil I can't buy any more until we move into our house...

What I've been reading
This month I read The Loney which I'd heard mixed things about but actually mostly really enjoyed. The last 100 or so pages let it down a bit, but for the most part I thought it was very haunting and atmospheric and felt like a real gothic.
I had a bit of a mix up and ended up starting a book this month, only to find two books I'd requested from the library had become available, so I had to put my own book down in order to read my library books. I'm about 100 pages away from finishing Mr Mercedes and I love it and am so glad there are two more in the series to read!

My Birthday
I'm going to dedicate an entire section to my Birthday (hush now, it was nearly a whole blog post!).
I decided at the last minute to take my Birthday off work and I'm so glad I did! The original plan was to go into town to revise in the library, meet Phil for lunch, then revise again, but that sounded like a terrible idea so I decided to take the day off from revision!
So, first up, presents! I was ridiculous spoiled, as always, this year. My highlights being the amazing Fight Club print from Phil, Hamilton: The Revolution book (also from Phil), and a FitBit from my parents!
So after present-opening I went for a run, and then after getting ready I went to see my Nan before meeting Phil for lunch in town.
Then I just took myself out for a lovely day! I went to MAC and tried on the same 4 lipsticks at least 3 times each to find my perfect MLBB lipstick, and came back with Hug Me lipstick and Dervish liner, which was totally worth the sore lips to discover. 
I went to Lush to buy some Vanillary perfume and then after leaving the shop realised I smelled so good I had to go back and buy a bigger bottle. I took myself for a coffee and had a read. I impulse-bought a cute necklace from Oliver Bonas. Then I got bored and lonely and waited for Phil to finish work and make a fuss of me haha.
In the evening we went to The Indian Tiffin Room in Cheadle. They opened one round the corner from our flat when we lived in town but we never had a chance to go, so we decided to get used to living back in Stockport. It was absolutely amazing, my paneeer masala was unbelievable, and they brought me out a surprise dessert with a candle and sang Happy Birthday too me, and the dessert was so good we were licking the sides!
It really was a lovely, lovely Birthday and I'm so lucky to have such wonderful friends and family!

What I've been reading online
How to overcome a tendancy for "awfulising"
4 Genius Meal Prep Ideas to Save Time and Money
The Pool - My Mum taught me how to relax
My complicated relationship between food and fitness
When we decide to tear women down, we should probably take a closer look at ourselves
How to make fewer decisions (and make your life a lot easier)
Getting stuff done by not being mean to yourself

What I've written
I wrote about dressing like my Mum and a review of Ruby Tandoh's Flavour and erm... lots of notes on strategic marketing!

What I'm excited for
So about two weeks after I became obsessed with The Guilty Feminist, I found out their live recording was touring! And they were doing one in Manchester! And it was in a few weeks' time! So next Saturday I'm going along to the live recording with my best friend, Eve, and I cannot wait!

We're off the to Lake District at the end of the month, and we're taking Phil's parents to where we stayed last time. I am the least outdoorsy person ever, but I had such a great time last time I'm really looking forward to going back!

I won't bore you with the details, but things with our house purchase are still going on (yep, it's been 6 months now), and as you can gather, we didn't get the keys in March so maybe April?! To be honest I think it's going to be May but hey, we're exciting for it eventually happening!

Thanks for bearing with me while I'm up to my eyeballs in revision! Hopefully normal service will resume after Tuesday and I cannot wait to have my life back (until my next lot of coursework is due in June!)

Charlotte xxx

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