June Life Lately

And somehow, it's July! June was a brilliant month - here's what I've been up to..

What I've been doing

At the start of the year, I had only driven a car twice since 2011. I just wanted to have the freedom and flexibility to take our car out when I was on my own, or get myself from A to B. I've spent the last few months driving a lot more, forcing myself to drive to my parents or BMF or to parkrun even when I really, really didn't want to. And this month I drove on my own for the second time and I finally don't feel nervous at all about driving anywhere and I finally feel confident driving on my own. At the moment I've only driven to my parents and back on my own, but now I'm over the initial oh-my-god-I-have-to-make-all-my-own-decisions I feel totally fine about driving on my own, which is huge for me!

Wedding-wise, it's seems to come in bursts, and after a few months of being pretty chill and not crossing things off (except my dress!) I suddenly panicked so we ticked a few things off this month! We've booked our florist, booked the amazing Amy for our photography, got an outfit for my Mum (and a hat!) and started to look at suits for Phil (though we were laughed out of the shop and told to come back in January!). There are a few more things I want to tick off over the next few months but we've still got plenty of time so I'm trying to take each task one thing at a time!

Where I've been
Ooh I've done some lovely things this month! For my Birthday my Auntie bought Phil and I a voucher for Afternoon Tea at the Radisson Blu and we decided to do this while we were suit shopping for Phil. We went for the Gentlemen's Afternoon Tea and they did a great job of making everything vegetarian for me, and it was a gorgeous hotel and a brilliant experience I'd definitely recommend!
Last month brought Phil's Dad's 60th Birthday, and as a surprise, Phil booked for us all to do the Crystal Maze Experience. Phil's Dad had no idea, and when Phil's Mum brought him into Manchester on a Friday afternoon he thought he was just going shopping - til he walked into Debenhams to find Phil, his two siblings and me waiting for him! He was completely shocked but excited - he'd applied to go on the tv show back in the 90s so it was the perfect  gift. I don't want to say too much because honestly, it's one of the best things I've ever done in my entire life, and I cannot recommend it more. It's exactly like being on TV, and I loved every minute. A must-do for any fans of the TV show!
June also brought the wedding of one of Phil's oldest friends, which was the most beautiful day. Mike and Hannah got married at the most beautiful little church in the most gorgeous village, with an incredible reception at the bride's parents' house. Everything about it was absolutely beautiful, and I had the best time dancing along to the amazing band with great company, great food and a few glasses of fizz! 
And this week I just got back from the best weekend away in Center Parcs with Phil's family for further 60th Birthday celebrations for his dad. I'd never been before but absolutely loved it! I did yoga and pilates, played badminton, we had two BBQs, watched every World Cup match, played board games and just had so much fun. Oh and of course Phil and I found a parkrun to tick off our list! What we didn't realise at the time was it was over an hour's walk away, and we totally misjudged it and ended up having to run the last 15 minutes and arrived at 8.58am! It was one of the most beautiful parkruns we'd been to, though, and well worth the walk!

What I've bought
I got a great stack of books from a charity bookshop, although a few weeks ago while scanning my Goodreads realised I'd already read The Shaking Woman! I read A Little Life a few years ago and it's one of my favourite books, so I had to it in paperback as I read it on Kindle.

I also bought the Bosh! book which I'll be reviewing at some point in the next few weeks! It's a really great intro to vegan cooking and everything I've made so far has been amazing so watch this space for that!

I treated myself to some gorgeous dresses from Warehouse this month too which unfortunately I don't have any photos of, and a couple of swimming costumes for my holiday this month (including this one from Sainsburys with toucans on!)
Oh and Phil bought me these pyjamas after I found them in Primark - Aladdin is both mine and Phil's favourite Disney film so I had to have them.

Finally, not bought, but a gift - this month I finally got an Instant Pot! I asked for it for Christmas and for my Birthday but it's been out of stock since October, and this month it finally came! I've joined a few Facebook groups which motivated me to give it a try from day one so it didn't stay in the box for months, and so far I've done the water test, made boiled eggs (the shells literally slipped off! Gamechanger!), adapted my favourite chilli recipe for it, made butter chickpeas (with dried chickpeas in 45 minutes!) and made a pasta dish. Next stop is egg bites and yoghurt. It's taking a bit of getting used to but I really love it - I'll write a full post once I've had a bit more practice!

What I've been reading
Five books this month, as I didn't realise The Crimson Petal and the White was 900 pages long! I absolutely loved it though and devoured it in a few days. I also read When I hit you for the What Page Are You On? bookclub and fell head over heels with Maggie O Farrell when I read After You'd Gone - I cannot wait to read more of hers!

I also read The Little Stranger ahead of the film coming out, and I just finished Based on a True Story which I absolutely loved and was definitely my favourite book of the month.

What I've been watching
Football, football and football. God I LOVE THE WORLD CUP. I've watched every game possible, listened to many while at work, read dozens of articles, oh and this was where I watched England's opening game (I found myself knocked onto my back lying on the floor when the winning goal went in).

We also managed two cinema trips for Solo and squeezed in during one game we weren't as interested in, Hereditary, which I absolutely loved for it's callbacks to some of my favourite horror films (Rosemary's Baby and The Exorcist, anyone?). A lot of people in my cinema were not into it and it was ruined a bit by laughing at the end, but as someone who doesn't like jump-scare horror, I thought it was excellent.

What I've been reading online
Guardian - How do you make friends as an adult?
The Pool - On anxiety and saying yes
What Olivia Did - Lessons I learned at 24
Guardian - The processed food debate is a class war
Miss Pond - Some things I learned in my twenties

What I'm excited for
We're off to Spain this month for our annual trip with my parents and I've got 17 books ready for an 8 day trip. I'm also into London for some training courses for work which I'm really looking forward to, and obviously, more football! 

Hope your June was great!

Charlotte x


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