February Life Lately

We've just got back from the most lovely weekend in the Yorkshire Dales for Phil's birthday (more on this below!) so I'm a bit late with this month's round up!

February has been a mix of crazy busy with lots of parties and fun, and the odd free Saturday which we took advantage of with trips into Manchester which I never seem to do any more! It was so nice to visit some of my old haunts with date night at Home after a cinema trip, ordering everything in Bundobust (my favourite place), and browsing bookshops with my best friend after a last-minute and much-needed meet up!

I also got struck down with the most horrible flu early in the month which wiped me out for almost a week!

Here's what I got up to in February (and my one second every day of the month):

What I did

Despite March being my busy Birthday month, we had lots of Birthday parties in February too - with two parties in one night on the 1st of the month. We went from my cousin's 21st to my Dad's work partners' 60th in one night, and also this month I loved celebrating my best friend's (early) 30th at her joint party to celebrate her Mum's 60th.

I set myself a cooking goal for February after enjoying #cookjan again this year. All through February I only cooked my "greatest hits" and we loved it! I spend so much time trying new recipes all the time and can often find myself exhausted and disappointed, so all through Feb I only cooked things I know we have loved before. And it was great! I am really excited to use my new recipe book Tin Can Magic, but it's been so great to be excited about my existing repertoire.

For Phil's Mum's birthday, Phil and I, plus his Mum, sister and brother, did an Escape from Alcatraz-themed Escape Room - and we got out! It was really hard and they told us after there's a 25% completion rate so we were extra chuffed! We finished the night with Bundobust and celebratory drinks in the Northern Quarter.

I also finally joined the 21st Century this month and got a new phone. I've had my baby iPhone SE for over 3 years and was so reluctant to upgrade to a "giant phone" but I actually love my bright red iPhone 11! I love the camera and I went for a 128GB so I finally have room for my million of podcasts!

We had a quiet Valentine's Day with a takeaway pizza from our favourite pizza place but more importantly, my friend Riven threw her fifth annual Galentine's party! Her and I have been celebrating Galentine's together since 2015, and every year she invites a group of girls and make us all waffles, and we all bring a wrapped gift and do a gift exchange. I got a beautiful pair of earrings this year and it was so much fun!

I've documented hundreds of time before how bad I am at relaxing and struggle with not being productive all the time, so I was thrilled this month to gain a new hobby - cross stitch! My sister in law bought me a cross-stitch kit a few years ago and I didn't know where to start, but a few weeks ago I picked it up on a quiet Sunday afternoon when I was bored and restless and after a few cock ups I got the hang of it and now I love it. It's nice to have a hobby which is so physical and tangible and I find it really soothing and calming.

Where I went

After Phil's 30th Birthday and our wedding last year, I was really struggling for present ideas for Phil at Christmas, so instead of a gift I decided to book us a weekend away (it turned out he'd gone in the same direction and booked us Hamilton tickets as my present). Back in May last year, we stopped off at Fountain's Abbey on the way back from Newcastle and absolutely fell in love with it. We also found out they had a parkrun, and vowed to come back and do it one day.

So as a Christmas present, I got us a trip to the Yorkshire Dales and booked us an apartment about 15 minutes away in Ripon for the weekend of Phil's Birthday.

For some reason, the weekend of Phil's Birthday always brings terible weather. Two years ago we took a trip to Anfield in the snow and nearly got stuck in Liverpool for the night when all the trains were threatened to be cancelled. But for some reason, I completely forgot about this!

So when the storms started to hit throughout February I didn't panic at first. And then 2 weeks before our trip I read that Fountain's Abbey parkrun was cancelled due to flooding. And then the following week it was cancelled again. Panicked, and with bad weather forecast, I found myself researching every parkrun in the Yorkshire Dales with mounting disappointment. The whole point of the trip had been to do this parkrun!

As the trip got closer, I was checking the weather in Ripon multiple times a day (I am obsessed with the weather. I think it's something I picked up when I started running), and it was not looking good. As we got in the car to start to drive on Friday morning, it began to sleet.

Fortunately, we had a backup plan for day one. Back when I was in primary school, I remember going to a brilliant film and television museum in Bradford. We looked it up and its since rebranded as a Science and Media museum, but the reviews looked good and it was dry and indoors, so we headed there first.

We had a lovely time and enjoyed the brilliant exhibits - I, in particular, loved the section on television advertisements, and Phil bought a film book from the (brilliant) gift shop, and we headed to Ripon.

We visited a lovely pub in the town centre and only got briefly lost trying to find our Air bnb, and then we headed into the town for the evening.

On Friday night we had a lovely Spanish meal and a drink at a gorgeous pub, and then Saturday morning I woke up early to check the parkrun news!

At 7am they were checking the course, so by 7.45am we had our trainers on and our backup course in mind just in case, but just before 8am we got the news - it was on!

And we were not disappointed - Fountain's Abbey parkrun is hands down the most beautiful parkrun either of us have done - and we've done nearly 30 different courses! We were also so thrilled to be able to go!

The weather perked up for the day, so we went to Brimham Rocks which we absolutely loved, and explored Ripon town (a bookshop for me, a beer shop for Phil), before it started to hail.

We spent the evening in a lovely pub and discovered some really lovely restaurants in Ripon and we're really keen to go again - just hopefully next time we'll get better weather!

What I read

Seven books read this month - I thought there were going to be more, but the flu absolutely wiped me out and I could barely think straight, let alone read more than a couple of pages! Here's what I read in February:

Behold the Dreamers
Their Eyes were Watching God
Such a Fun Age
The Followers
Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil

My favourites were The Followers and Putney, but there was a lot to love this month. I'm also really lucky that of these seven books this month, 6 of them were from the library - thanks Stockport Library!

What I watched

We took a trip into town especially to catch The Lighthouse which was only on at Home - which was fine because Home is one of our absolute favourite places in Manchester. The Lighthouse was weird and brilliant and I can't stop thinking about it.

We also watched Uncut Gems on Netflix after realy enjoying the Safdie brothers' Good Time last year. You don't need me to tell you how stressful it was, but I definitely recommend it!

And somehow only one film at home this month! The plan was to watch romance films all through February, and we planned to watch When Harry Met Sally on Valentine's Day... and then watched football instead. We did watch Before Sunset though in February, which was as beautiful and brilliant as Before Sunrise.

What I read online

A Rosie Outlook - Why can't I relax and do nothing? - as mentioned above, I really struggle with this and could not relate more

Catch up soon!

Charlotte x


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