March Life Lately

So, erm, we get married this month.
This month! 
As in, the week after next.
As in, a week on Saturday.
As in, there's only one weekend left and then it's our wedding day.

I have finally reached a point where I am just excited. Well, I am 90% excited, and still 10% stressed and worried and checking the weather every hour.

But it has meant that March has been a bit of a quiet one than usual. March is usually our busiest and best month of the year, with Phil's Birthday on the 1st and mine on the 30th, but we intentionally tried to keep the month fairly quiet (except for Birthdays and our second hen and stag dos of course!). We wanted to make sure a) we got some time to relax before April hit and b) we had free time in case of any unexpected trauma!

So March has been lovely and bookended with both our Birthdays but I am so excited for April! 

Here's what I got up this month, and here's my One Second Every Day for the month:

What I've been doing
So 1st March wasn't only Phil's Birthday, it was Phil's big Birthday! We normally have a £60 budget for presents for Birthdays and Christmas, but with it being his 30th, there'd been a Nintendo Switch under the bed for 3 weeks. I was so excited to finally get to give it to him! I also got him a framed print of his favourite Lowry painting and Mariokart - which we ended up playing at 7am on his Birthday! 

We had such a good day going into Manchester, having brunch, going shopping and going out for dinner with his family and my parents. Plus he got his final surprise of a cake with a personalised Virgil van Dijk cake topper!

Now as a result this, I am now obsessed with Phil's Nintendo Switch, especially Overcooked 2, which we cannot stop playing! I've not played a lot of two-player games, and I haven't played games since The Sims as a teenager, but it's been so much fun to wind down in the evening by playing together. What I loved about Overcooked 2 is that you play as a team, not against each other, so you really have to communicate and work together to finish the game. I keep joking our relationship has definitely improved since we started playing!

Last month I talked about my big away weekend hen do, and this month I had my second hen in Manchester. It was on one of my bridesmaid's birthdays, so my maid of honour and I met up with her and we had our nails done in preparation and got ready together, then we headed to a bar for predrinks. They'd organised some brilliant games, with a bingo game as an ice breaker where everyone had to find someone with the same colour car as them, or the same Birthday month, or someone with the same hobby as them, which was great to introduce everyone, and then, my favourite, everyone had to write down a memory of me and I had to guess whose memory it was. I loved this and I've kept all the memories! Finally, we had another game of Mr and Mrs and everyone had to vote whether the answer was me or Phil.

Then we headed to Crazy Wendy's. Everyone in Manchester has heard of Crazy Wendy's, but we didn't seem to know many people who had actually been. The only way I can describe it as is Thai food with... entertainment. After dinner, they started playing music and passed around a microphone, and then as everyone had more drinks they got more bold with their singing, and then we were all up on our seats dancing! Then around 10.30pm, Wendy herself came out and sang with us. You can see her audition for X Factor if you want an idea of what it was like! It was so so much fun to have all my aunties and cousins and my Mum and family friends and Phil's Mum and sister there to celebrate and we were all dancing and having so much fun! I had such a good night!

I've been in London this month for the dotdigital summit for work which was really fun and interesting. Plus I got to go to a talk from Nile Rogers which was really cool!

I'd not really been that excited for my Birthday with the wedding so close, but my colleagues did an excellent job with presents on Friday, from tickets to see The Guilty Feminist, to a Leslie Knope print and an avocado recipe book to name but a few, plus lemon and white chocolate blondies (yes they're as good as they sound!). Then on Friday we went to Foodie Friday with my friend and her boyfriend and had excellent pizza and halloumi fries.

Then Saturday was my actual Birthday so Phil woke me up with presents (a "Phil-sized" super soft zip up hoodie so I stop stealing his, this book, "Daring to dream: England's Story at the World Cup 2018" and tickets to a double bill of The Godfather and The Godfather II (The Godfather is one of my absolute favourite films) at our local old cinema) and of course, a cup of tea. I opened my other presents and cards and then we played Overcooked before we got ready for parkrun. I wanted to go to Heaton Park parkrun like I always do for parkrun milestones to wear one of their bibs, as I knew they had a Birthday one, so I had to go for that with my Birthday falling on a Saturday! I had such a great run and everyone was saying Happy Birthday to me, and I ended up running not only a PB at Heaton Park, but my best parkrun time at any park since September 2016!

Next up was a trip to IKEA for my last present from Phil. I've wanted a toy shark from IKEA for absolutely years, and we agreed that I would get one for my Birthday. But of course, there was no way Phil could go to IKEA without me, so we made a plan to go after parkrun. And that's where we met Bruce. And it was love at first sight. I love him so much!

After a quick turnaround at home we went to the Trafford Centre for some shopping and lunch, and then to my Mum's for more presents (yay!). However, when I arrived, it turned out my Birthday had a dress code - both my Mum and I were wearing high necked, leopard skater dresses, black tights, black shoes, leather jackets and a Ted Baker bag! For dinner we went to the Indian Tiffin Room, which is where I had my Birthday two years ago. It was amazing!

Then the next day for Mother's Day went out for a carvery lunch with my Mum, Dad and Nan which was an excellent end to the weekend!

What I've been reading
March has been a good reading month, with 8 books and 2 audiobooks completed.

Here's what I read this month:
The Thirteenth Tale
You Know You Want This
The Flower Girls
Invisible Women
I want to show you more
Pet Sematary
The Sisterhood

And on audio:
The Happiness Advantage

I read The Flower Girls in 24 hours and really recommend it as a quick, pacey read. Both You Know You Want This and I Want to Show You More are short story collections, and Invisible Women and The Sisterhood are non-fiction, so it's been a bit of a mix this month.

Invisible Women should be recommended reading to everyone. It made me so angry, but I couldn't put it down. If you don't know anything about it, be sure to read this article.

I really loved Pet Sematary, which I've wanted to read for ages but I've been too scared! I love Stephen King but loads of people had said this is his scariest book! But when I found out there was an early screening of the new film adaptation on the 1st April I knew I'd better get cracking! I read it in a couple of days and it's one of my favourite Stephen King books now.

In audio, The Happiness Advantage is absolutely brilliant. So much so that I bought a copy of it for on my desk too to remind me of the principles. It's all about the importance of happiness and how it brings success, and not the other way around. Give this TED talk a watch for a bit of an intro.

I also read Disrupted which I found really interesting at first... til he described online marketing aka, my job, as "almost as bad as internet porn". I finished it just to have finished it, but I was hoping it would be more like Bad Blood, but instead it seemed more like a grumpy old man complaining about "kids today".

What I've seen
The day after Phil's Birthday Cineworld were showing Into The Spider-verse again, in IMAX so we HAD to go see it again. I loved it even more second time around.

This month we also saw Captain Marvel, and really loved Us.

What I've read online
Refinery 29 - I thought I had a good relationship with food, then I got pregnant
New Statesman - How veganism became a billion dollar industry (edit: she reads this as she drinks her oat milk coffee...)
A Rosie Outlook - 40 days and 40 tasks
Cupcakes and Cashmere - The best things you can do for yourself before a trip
Biscuits and Blisters - 25 things I do unapologetically care about

Erm, so, I guess that's it? I can't see me managing to get a post up before we get married in 12 days, so I guess I'll see you when I'm Mrs Cantillon?!

I rarely post on Instagram anymore, and I'm annoyingly secretive about every detail of my wedding but in case I have a change of heart you can follow me there (I say this, I'm not evening bringing my phone with me on the day). BUT if you are interested in our wedding photos, I'm still trying to make #CantillonCrowleyWedding happen (it was Phil's stag and my hen hashtag so I'm hoping it will catch on for the wedding, even though Phil won't let us have an "official" wedding hashtag).

Or, I would definitely recommend following our photographer! I don't know if she'll be posting on the day but that's probably the best place for our photos.

So I guess I'll see you on the other side!

Charlotte xxx


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