January Life Lately

I admit, at the start of January I was deep in the "January hating". I was distracted and bored during my daily yoga, I wasn't enjoying the books I was reading, and getting up for work was a real struggle!

But after a week or so I really started to enjoy the month! February is super busy for us  - Phil is on his stag this weekend and my hen is next weekend, and there's dress fittings and food tasting and loads of other exciting stuff coming up - so it's been nice to have a pretty quiet month.

Also, how is our wedding THE MONTH AFTER NEXT?! What the actual heck!

Anyway, here's what I got up to in January...

What I did
Our family friends do amazing work looking after future guide dog puppies before they go on to be guide dogs, and last month we met their newest recruit, Alfie. He is heart-meltingly gorgeous, if a bit nibbly, and it was so fun meeting him!

Three weeks earlier than billed, our new sofa arrived! After an attempt trying to get the old sofa to fit in the front room, Phil and his brother eventually gave up after it got stuck wedged in the hall, and for a week and a half we lived with the old sofa stood up on its side in the kitchen. BUT the new sofa is here and it is gorgeous and amazing and soooooo comfy, and I've said at least twice now that having a footstool has changed my life.

I've said we're not allowed to spend any more money on the house now til after the wedding, but we did buy a nice fake plant from IKEA (I cannot be trusted around house plants, and plus Phil's Mum fell for it!) and finally framed my print of Stockport Library I've had nearly a year!

And of course, wedding stuff has ramped up this month! I had my hair and makeup trials a few weeks ago which was so much fun and totally surreal, and I went out with the girls after and avoided Phil seeing my face and hair all day! We've also finalised details with the florist, sorted out our centrepieces and ordered our wedding rings.

Oh and we booked our minimoon! Our "big" honeymoon (I've heard this called a "megamoon" which is excellent!) in Canada isn't until September, and we'd had a few ideas for our minimoon but we hadn't properly planned it. So we're going on the Monday after the wedding to the Cotswolds - we've got two nights at the Lygon Arms in Broadway which is a gorgeous spa hotel, and then 3 nights at an air bnb in Cheltenham. We don't have much specifically planned (except for Cheltenham parkrun, obviously!) and there's a really cool cinema we want to visit, so let me know if you have any Cotswolds recommendations!

What I read
January was a bit of a mixed bag for reading. The books I really enjoyed were really short and I wish they'd been longer, and the ones I didn't love were really long! It didn't feel like I read loads this month, but I think with being a quiet month I had quite a few nice nights in with my book!

Here's what I read this month:

A Head Full of Ghosts
The Idiot
What Belongs to You
My Sister the Serial Killer
Nine Perfect Strangers
Red Snow
Strange Weather in Toyko

And on audiobook I finished A False Report.

My favourites were Loyalties, Strange Weather in Toyko, Looker, and My Sister the Serial Killer. I wish all of these books had been three times as long!

What I watched

Two trips to the cinema this month - The Favourite, which I loved, and If Beale Street Could Talk,  which I didn't.

It's been a good month for films at home. We watched Four Weddings and a Funeral (a Christmas gift from Phil's parents), Strangers on a Train, Roma and my favourite film of the month, maybe even the year (I know, it's January), we finally watched Call Me By Your Name. I am obsessed. I'd put it off for ages cause I couldn't get into the book so I convinced myself I'd eventually go back to it, and I like to read the book before I watch the film, but in this instance the film might actually be better than the book. I've been listening to the soundtrack constantly.

What I bought
I was wandering around Sainsburys (okay, this is lame, especially as I live a 5 minute walk from Sainsburys, but going to big Sainsburys is a bit of a treat) and as I was loading my basket with the things I can't get in Aldi (tofu! Ginger puree! Cumin seeds! Heinz tomato soup!) I spotted the book Leon Fast Vegan and I didn't even hesitate before it was in my basket. I joked with Phil that there was no way it wasn't coming home with me. I have 4 of the Leon books now (Leon Happy Salads is my favourite) and Fast Vegan has been amazing so far - review coming soon!

My orange trainers have been through a lot. Usually I buy a new pair after each half marathon training cycle (about 300-400 miles) but I've actually run 3 half marathons in them now. The plan was to get fitted for new trainers as I've not had a gait analysis since 2014 - I just buy the same trainers I was prescribed then every time! But I realised that this isn't going to be a big running year - my usual annual half marathons are May and October (both too close to the wedding and to our honeymoon!) so it didn't make sense to spend a load of money on new trainers. I was also torn over whether to get trail shoes or road shoes, as I've been finding myself needing trail shoes for BMF and for parkrun, but I also want to be able to run on pavement. So, long story short, I ended up getting two new pairs of trainers for less than the price of one pair thanks to M&M! So now I have my favourite New Balance fresh foam road shoes, and trail running shoes too!

What I enjoyed
Like last year, I spent all of January with Adriene, and did 30 (well 32) days of yoga. It took me a week or so to get into, but like last year, I forgot how good it makes me feel and I was enjoying it so much by the end. And I'm hoping, unlike last year, I can find a way to keep it up!

Last year, Phil did a whole year of One Second Every Day and I absolutely loved watching his monthly videos. So this year I've been doing it too! You can see my January video on my Instagram.

I've also had a new podcast obsession this month - The Dream podcast. Last year Phil and I watched a documentary about Herbalife (it's called Betting on Zero) and I'm fascinated by the world of MLMs. This podcast is absolutely fascinating if you're interested in that world - and it's completely wild.

What I read online
The Pool - Your life goals should change as regularly as you do
Cracked - 6 hard truths that will make you a better person (this is really old but I reread it every year or so for a kick up the bum!)
The Pool - What I'm doing differently this year - not a lot
The Guardian - My name is Jack Monroe and I am an alcoholic
The Pool - I'm not a vegan but what's wrong with more choice?
Vox - I used all the best stuff for a week and it nearly broke me
Refinery 29 - Everything I learned from renovating my first flat
Little Winter - The best things in life are free (kinda)
Yes and yes - The glorious freedom of "good enough" and how to find it
Story of a girl - 5 things I want to be better at in my fourth decade
Slate - The troubling thing about the "fit mom" Instagram
Writing between pauses - What I learned from my December slump
The Atlantic - Millennial burnout is being televised
The New Enquiry - You're right, I didn't eat that
A Rosie Outlook - Overcoming food shaming
Writing between pauses - Help! My foundation looks terrible
Foodism - The true foods of love are pasta and potatoes

Hope you're having a great February so far and you're keeping warm!



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