December Life Lately

Happy New Year and welcome to 2023!

We had a blissfully quiet December which was exactly what we needed after being away for most of November. You'll see I did a lot more reading, sewing and film watching than usual!

It's been the perfect end to a fantastic year. I'm in the middle of writing my end-of-year review posts so over the next few days I'll be going through my year in review, plus my favourite books, films, podcasts etc. of 2022.

Here's my final One Second Every Day for the year!

What I did

I mentioned back in the summer that thanks to sewing taking up a lot of my reading time I lowered my Goodreads reading goal from 100 books to 75. I hit my 75 books read in mid-December and I finished the year on 80 books which I'm pretty happy about!

We had such a good laugh on my work team night out to Caroloke just before Christmas where we sang karaoke in a cosy wooden booth - it was so much fun!

My favourite Christmas film is The Muppet Christmas Carol so when I started getting Facebook ads for a showing at the Bridgewater Hall with a live orchestra I knew it would be the perfect thing to do just before Christmas. We've been a few times to see films with a live orchestra (La La Land was my favourite) but this was so fun and Christmassy - I loved it so much!

We had a lovely quiet Christmas this year. We started with Christmas Day parkrun as always then spent some time at Phil's parents' before heading to my parents' in the afternoon. I loved giving everyone their presents and I'm so happy I got an overlocker! I can't wait to learn to use it!

Boxing Day
marked 5 years since we got engaged (5 years! How?!) so we did our favourite walk at Lyme Park which was where Phil proposed, and then went for our annual Boxing Day curry which we do every year.

Twixmas this year has been very quiet and I've mostly spent it reading and sewing, but we did celebrate
50 parkruns in a year on New Year's Eve, a goal we've been trying to hit since we did 49 parkruns in 2019. With a few icy weeks recently and a lot of cancellations it wasn't easy to get to 50 but I'm so proud of us for doing it!

What I made

Lots of sewing in December and lots of festive-themed sewing!

I was really excited to make my Christmas Day outfit this year, so I ordered some Christmassy fabric from Etsy and made another Sew Over It Lizzie Skirt. One of my goals for 2023 is to be less self-critical, particularly when it comes to my sewing, so while I'm not 100% happy with this skirt I'm not going to point out all the flaws in it!

In November I also found out I'd been named as a brand ambassador for fabric website UK Fabrics Online, so every month we're given a theme and a choice of fabric to create something in that theme. December's theme was Christmas fabric so I made these Christmas Margot Pyjamas from Tilly and the Buttons' book Love at First Stitch. It was my first time making trousers and I found them really fun and easy to make and I'm looking forward to making more pyjamas for people!

My favourite make of December, and one of my favourite makes of the year, was a Tilly and the Button Indigo dress. This dress is a real darling of the sewing community but I did not think its loose, smock-style top was for me. But then I kept seeing it everywhere, especially in gorgeous winter tartans, so I decided to give it a go.

It was so fun to sew and I learnt loads of new skills in gathering, darts and pesky sleeves, and when I put it on I just fell in love with it! It's so cute and comfy - I've already ordered fabric to make 3 more!

Finally I finished my Zadie Jumpsuit which I've had on my unfinished project pile for months as I knew I'd got the fit wrong. It's not quite wearable and looks terrible photographed  but I can see so much potential and I know once I figure out how to get the fit right it will be really cool! And even though it's not quite right - I still made a jumpsuit! 

What I read

8 books read in December which feels back to my pre-sewing monthly numbers! This was made up of 5 books and 3 audiobooks:

  • The Guest by Emma Cline
  • Conquest by Nina Allan
  • Death of a Bookseller by Alice Slater
  • Yellowface by R F Kaung
  • Maame by Jessica George
  • Chase Darkness with me by Billy Jensen
  • Thicker than water by Tyler Shulyz
  • Empire of Pain by Patrick Raddden Keefe
I still can't believe I got approved for Alice Slater's Death of a Bookseller which was honestly my most-anticipated book of 2023. Alice and I have such similar taste I knew I would love her debut novel and it's undoubtedly one of my favourite books I read in 2022.

I chased up Death of a Bookseller with R F Kaung's Yellowface which made a perfect double bill and was another of my favourites of the month.

I haven't listened to many audiobooks this year but they're perfect for when I'm sewing so I got back into them this month with 3 listened to - Chase Darkness with Me, Thicker than Water and Empire of Pain. All 3 were brilliant but Empire of Pain was a true epic and fantastic on audio.

What I watched

Two fantastic cinema trips to see Bones and All and Aftersun. Aftersun was absolutely incredible and one of my films of the year, and Bones and All has made my Timothee Chalamet obsession reach new levels.

Then a mix of Christmas films and classics at home:

  • Miracle on 34th Street
  • Planes Trains and Automobiles
  • Die Hard
  • Gremlins
  • Star Wars - A New Hope, Empire Strikes Back, Return of the Jedi
  • The Talented Mr Ripley

What I read online

As an only child I loved this piece in The Atlantic - Why are people weird about only children?

As someone who feels passionate about reading every day, I love Anne Helen Petersen's newsletter Reading is important to me and I will prove it

Finally this piece from Greg James on loving someone with mental health challenges really meant a lot to me

Happy New Year - I hope 2023 is a great one for you!

Charlotte x


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