August Life Lately

Happy September! August was a great month - after a busy July a quiet August was needed, so lots of books read, time with friends and excellent reads this month!

What I've been doing
In not-very-Phil-and-I fashion, we impulsively decided to paint our front room this month! Okay, I say impulsively. We realised we had a quiet weekend on a Wednesday, one of us mentioned the idea of doing something around the house that didn't cost much, our living room is basically finished in terms of decorating and just needs new furniture, so our thoughts went to our front room. We are very lucky to have two good-sized reception rooms in our house, and our front room is more of our "winter" room, as it's a bit more closed-off and cosy. It desperately needs a new carpet, which is next on our list, so this seemed like a good time to decorate! We started out talking about a dark feature wall, but as we already have a mustard yellow feature was in our living room we didn't want another, so after some debate we decided to go the whole hog and paint the full room the most gorgeous dark blue!
It's so cosy and lovely, we absolutely love it, and I'm so proud we did it all ourselves! I've noticed that everyone over 50 hates it and everyone under 50 loves it so I'm interesting in finding out where the tipping point is haha!

Our Bank Holiday weekend was excellent - how great are Bank Holidays? I read two books, slept in one day til 8.30am (unheard of for me who wakes up before 6.30am even on weekends), watched most of a TV series, had a day where I didn't leave the house except to go for a run, went out with friends twice, did loads of wedding stuff, watched lots of football on TV, went to a football match, hung out with my parents, made a recipe I'd wanted to make for years (the Caramelised Garlic Tart from Ottolenghi's Plenty was worth the wait, and the peeling of all the garlic - it was excellent!)
I also went along to my first GoodGym session this month - the concept is really cool. It's basically a running club, but you run to somewhere to do work in the community and then run back! We went to a local community centre and helped out clearing out the garden and cleaning windows. It was such a great opportunity to do something nice locally! I am definitely much more of a solo runner, but it's made me think about what I can do to help out more in my local area.

Where I've been

This month I have eaten vegan poutine at Grub, watched Bolton Wanders play Sheffield United (not successfully, but I had a great time nevertheless!) and realised that Lyme Park is a lovely place to get engaged, but not to do parkrun (it's one of the hardest in the UK and now I know why!)

What I've bought
I got a bit obsessed with Sugarhill Boutique this month, and finally caved and bought the Llama jumper and a stripey top I've been pining after for months, waiting for them to go in the sale. And I also bought a cute top with ice lollies on for my Friday-Sunday summer uniform of jeans-and-a-printed-top.
I obviously put my new yellow dress with (some of...) my other VERY DIFFERENT yellow dresses

I also bought yet another yellow floral dress. No shame! I couldn't resist and plus, it was from Oasis which is my favourite shop, and it's perfect.

Finally, I got excited for the new season and couldn't not buy this ridiculous sequin cosy jumper. I'm going to be wearing the hell out of it in December! (It's still available!)

What I've been reading
Ooh I've read some great books this month! Here are all the books I read in August:

The Myth of the Nice Girl
The Nix
The Unseen World
The Vanishing Act of Esme Lennox
The Hand the First Held Mine
From a low and quiet sea
Bitter Orange

I loved The Myth of the Nice Girl as a non-fiction read about women in business and leadership which I read over a weekend, and I adored The Nix and both the Maggie O Farrell books. I also really enjoyed Bitter Orange and From a Low and Quiet Sea. It was an excellent reading month!

What I've been watching
Phil is a huge Tom Cruise fan and has spent the last 4 and a half years trying to get me on board (mostly successfully) and we both absolutely love the Mission:Impossible films, so we were absolutely buzzing to see Fallout!

We actually ended up seeing it twice this month, once just after it came out, and then again in IMAX. I think it's absolutely brilliant and by far my favourite in the series (and that's saying something!).

Our local cinema recently got a 4DX screen where your seat moves, they spray water at you, pump in noises and blast you with air, so we decided to test it out by going to see The Meg. The film is utterly ridiculous but it's the perfect film for 4DX - it's so fun to be moved around in sync with the film's action. I probably wouldn't recommend The Meg but I'd definitely recommend 4DX!

At home we finally finished The Handmaid's Tale, and to fill the dark-female-led-drama hole in our lives we started Sharp Objects. I read the book years ago but cannot remember anything about it at all, which is great because we have two episodes left and I'm as uncertain about where the ending is going to go as Phil is!

We've also watched Boogie Nights and Predator for two of our Sunday night films, and two Netflix documentaries, Casting JonBenet which I found completely fascinating and really unusually done, and Jim & Andy.

What I've been reading online

Lots this month! As I mentioned last month, I've been scrolling less through my social media feeds (I haven't had notifications on for months, and I don't have any of the apps on my phone) and if I do read my phone, I try to read articles instead. Hence this very long list of great reads this month.

From Yes and Yes:
Why you need to literally schedule fun into your life
How to use your failures to plan for success
A better way to think about busy
Why we can't break bad habits
Why you should make an "every damn day list"
You're totally allowed to buy that latte (and other shocking money insights)
I'm wasting my likeable on the wrong people. Are you?
How to stay smart

From The Pool:
Hollywood isn't doing as well with diversity as it thinks
Having a wedding has become a live Instagram performance
The joy of a hobby - not a side hussle
The rise of "verbal Instagram" and why we need to turn off the filters in real life
Self-care can involved margheritas and babybel cheese
Is coconut oil poison or an acceptable way to fry your food?

Gizmodo - When a stranger decides to ruin your life
NPR - Black mothers keep dying after giving birth edit: This is fascinating and shocking and really needs a listen
Medium - How deliberate elimination can change your life
The Guardian - It's all love and fun that drive innovations like parkrun
Medium - Laziness does not exist
As the Sparrow Flies - What to do when the travel has to stop
The Curious Reader - Sabrina and the rise of the graphic novel
The New Yorker - How to spend your privilege
The Wedding Shoppe - 10 things your wedding guests don't care about
The Millions - A brief hate affair
Eater - Ruby Tandoh on sugar in our culture
The Paris Review - Seven books I'll never read

I'm having a lovely September so far and I'm hoping that continues for the rest of the month!

Charlotte x


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