January Life Lately

I know this has been said a thousand times but January really was the longest month ever wasn't it? I realised even more as I was putting together this list - it seems like I did a lot over the course of the month!

Here's what I got up to in January...

What I've been doing
I passed my driving test 10 years ago (!) this year, but I actually haven't driven since 2011. I had an accident and my car was written off, and I've never needed to drive, nor had a car since.
One of my goals for when we moved into our house was to learn to drive again so I could get some independence back when Phil wasn't home. I got myself sorted on the car insurance back in September but we'd only been out for a drive once. I was hoping to just be able to practice with Phil and my Dad but after my first drive it became apparent I could do with a couple of refresher lessons with an instructor.

So this month I took my first refresh driving lesson and have been practising driving every weekend driving to my parents', parkrun and BMF (basically the three places I ever go!). It's scary and I hate it, but I am feeling more confident and I'm hoping to get some more lessons booked in to practise parking and manoeuvres, but I'm feeling loads better about it and so glad I've finally gotten started!

I've got a separate post for this, but I have done yoga and meditation every single day of January! I've always wanted to do one of Adriene's 30 day yoga journeys, but I've never found myself with the opportunity, so I decided to give True a try this year. I absolutely loved it, and I'm so proud I managed to do it every day of January! I've also been meditating every day with Headspace which I'm finding really helpful for my anxiety too.

Finally this month I made a new friend when one of my oldest friends gave birth to little Gracie! She was a bit of an early surprise so she's super tiny, but she's so lovely and I'm so proud of my friend for bringing her into the world!

Where I've been
Phil and I are a huge fan of the Royal Exchange Theatre and it's got a real special place in our hearts it's where we decided to become "official" (I just tried four attempts to make this sound not cringe but there is no other way to put it!), so it was really nice to go back engaged this month! Phil had bought his Mum and Dad tickets to see Guys and Dolls there for Christmas but we'd never seen a musical there before. I had a vague memory of doing Guys and Dolls at my theatre group as a teenager but had mostly forgotten the story, but it was absolutely brilliant! 
I've also been to the Lowry this month to see Hamlet  as part of a  lovely afternoon with my cousin. Hamlet is one of my favourite Shakespeare plays (Othello is my favourite but I've never seen that on tour!) and it was an amazing, modern day performance that I absolutely loved. The guy that played Hamlet was excellent!

What I've been eating

We had friends over for dinner a few weeks ago, and like usual I went a bit bonkers making way too much food! I decided to do an Indian Street Food theme, with pretty much everything from Meera Sodha's Made in India and Fresh India. I made pea and mint samosas, potato and chickpea chaat, paneer and pepper skewers, tomato chutney and lots of rice and not-homemade naan. It was absolutely delicious and I was particularly chuffed with my samosas!

What I've been reading
I'm already well on my way to my yearly reading goal of 40 books thanks to a few lovely novellas I read this month!

Here are the books I read this month: 

My absolute darling
All Grown Up
Conversations with Friends
The End we Start From
Evening Primrose

I absolutely loved Conversations with Friends, All Grown Up and Lullaby - all recommendations from my favourite podcast, What Page Are You On?

What I've been watching
I didn't realise this list was so long til I wrote it out! January has been pretty nice and quiet for us which means we've had a bit more time to go to the cinema and stay in and watch films, which is always a good thing for us!

The first film I watched this month was the Sound of Music which I'd never seen before! Phil's sister bought it for me on DVD nearly four years ago and we've been promising her we'd watch it together ever since. It's a tradition in Phil's family so it felt like a family initiation! We watched it on New Year's Day and everyone was singing along and it was wonderful. Already one of my favourite memories of the year!

At home this month we have also watched The Lobster, Road to Perdition and the Wicker Man, and also absolutely loved Big Little Lies! I read the book on holiday last year and have wanted to watch the TV series ever since, and I think the series was actually even better! We both absolutely loved it.

We've been to the cinema four times this month to see Three Billboard Outside Ebbing Missouri, Molly's Game, Darkest Hour and All the Money in the World. I absolutely loved Three Billboards as In Bruges is one of my favourite films (and basically the reason I'm going to Bruges next month!) and I really loved Molly's Game.

My friend, Eve, also introduced us to Inside Number 9 this month which is just the weirdest, darkest British comedy and we cannot wait to watch more.

What I've bought

January has been a long month so I've treated myself to a few things. First up, a floral dresss from Sugarhill Boutique as I have a similar navy dress which is just perfect for when you don't want to super dress up but want to look nice (annoyingly, I can't find it online now, but it's really nice I promise!).

I also got myself this dinosaur necklace after meeting up with my friend Karen who was wearing it and demanding to know where it was from!
I treated myself to two new cardigans after I realised my navy one will be hitting it's 10th Birthday in March, and after waiting two months for it to go in the sale, I finally got this dachshund jumper from Joules! 

I also picked up Dinner: Changing the Game by Melissa Clark which I've not had a lot of time to look at yet, but I'm hoping to review soon.

What I've been reading online

Poppy D - 23 things that made planning our wedding easier (I am devouring anything about wedding planning/saving money/making things easier at the moment so send anything like this my way!)
The Pool - I had no idea what depression felt like, until I did
The Pool - Small change, Big difference collection
Refinery 29 - New Year's Resolutions: There is no there
Refinery 29 - This is the most sensible advice we've heard this year (New Year's Resolutions stuff feels quite late now, but this is one of the best pieces I've read lately and I really recommend it!)
Daisy Buchanan - Perfectionism is ruining the mental health of my millennial generation
Angry chef - The reason I hate celebrity diet books
Sophie - Letter to my 18 year old self
Yes and yes - Choosing goals you don't have control over
The Pool - How to use all the leftovers in your fridge
Amy Jones - Prepackaged vegetables are a vital product, not a frivolous waste
Yes and Yes - How to not give up on your goals when you screw up
Vix Meldrew - Should we reward men for doing the bare minimum?
College Humour - The 10 Steps to planning your wedding (this is hilarious and so depressingly accurate!)
Michelle - What I learned from three months of writing challenges
Rosie - Lonliness, Laziness and Love

What I'm looking forward to
We've started having a look around wedding venues and we have a couple of wedding fayres coming up this month which will hopefully give us a bit of an idea of where we might want to get married. I'm kind of hoping once we pick a venue we can pick a date, book the church and then hopefully everything else will fall into place!

I get the results of my marketing diploma next week which I'm super nervous about. I had a dream I failed the other day so I'm kind of ready to know either way!

I'm also hoping to get my parkrun 100 tshirt this month as they are releasing more milestone tshirts and I've been waiting quite a while after hitting my 100th run in July. Fingers crossed I get mine soon!

Have a lovely month!

Charlotte x


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