What Emily Did in February

Food

February seems to have lasted forever so I just had to browse through my Twitter, Instagram and Yelp to see what happened this month and as it turns out, I ate so many delicious meals in February.

I went to Preston to see my parents and sister on her birthday, and we ate at The Continental. Wow it was good. We shared a few starters including a pulled pork croquette, salmon gravlax, and terrine. For my main I went a bit left field (for me) and had a steak salad, which came with a delicious duck egg. The food was beautifully presented and delicious, and really good value too (not that I paid… thanks Mum & Dad!).

thecontinental

I also went to Quill, in Manchester, to eat from their early bird menu. Two courses and a glass of prosecco was £20.16 which was excellent value. My ‘Chapter One’ was pigeon, and my ‘Chapter Two’ was sea bream. The pigeon was tasty enough but not very memorable, however the sea bream was sensational. It was served in a chorizo and cockle broth, with sweetcorn, radish, broccoli, and purple potatoes. I may or may not have drank the last bit of broth straight out of the bowl… Service was charming but a bit patchy overall. I’d definitely head back for the set menu, but not sure I can see myself paying full menu prices.

quill

I went to Foodie Friday in Stockport which was excellent. I enjoyed and will definitely return. My friend and I shared a sausage and broccoli pizza, sambal prawns, satay chicken, and some delicious cheese. Everything is so reasonably priced there, e.g. prosecco for £3, cheese plate and a glass of wine for around £6 (if I remember correctly). We also checked out some of the pubs in Stockport including Baker’s Vaults and The Crown Inn.

To offset the indulgence rampage that is my evenings and weekends, I try to choose nutritious and healthy meals to eat for lunch most days. If you follow me on Instagram you might have seen me post my #desklunch choices.

desklunch1desklunch2

I’ve also been doing some excellent batch cooking for the freezer, but that’s for another post (you lucky ducks…).

Books

I’ve become bad at reading again. I finished My Life on the Road by Gloria Steinem. I liked it but also didn’t like it. I still haven’t really ordered my thoughts on it properly.

Then I tried to pick up a book that I started reading previously and gave up, The Long Bridge: Out of the Gulags by Urszula Muskus. And then I gave up again. It’s always a bit of a quandary as to when to properly give up on a book.

So I started reading The Heart Goes Last by Margaret Atwood which was great, but I finished it in March so I’ll talk about it properly in my next round-up post.

Clothes

I rediscovered my love for charity shops, completely by accident, when I popped out of the office on a lunchtime to pick up train tickets. I actually went in because I saw some tea/coffee/sugar canisters in the window, and I’m always up for some twee shit for the flat. But once I was in there, I ended up buying two cardigans and a dress. As you do. Manchester dwellers: the Barnardos shop near Piccadilly station is surprisingly good. Each item I bought was £5 so I got a pretty good haul for just £15. At first I thought the dress would be great in summer with sandals, but sadly it’s a bit too short for me to wear with bare legs, so I’m trying to get the most out of it now by wearing it with leggings and a stripy top underneath. I convinced myself the cardigans were a necessary investment as I have a lot of thin cardigans, and a lot of very thick ones, and very few that are inbetween. The colour of the second cardigan is apparently impossible to photograph – it’s navy woven through with black. Which I surprisingly really like, even though navy and black together usually remind me of school uniforms.

2016-03-06 12.19.512016-03-06 12.20.452016-03-06 12.22.08

Gym

My fitness plans are to go to the gym three times a week, usually to do about 30 minutes of strength exercises (using weight machines cos I’m still too much of a wimp for the free weights) and 10-15 minutes of cardio (usually the stationary bike or rowing machine). Over time, as I get fitter and more confident, I want to start doing more intense workouts with weights, and taking part in classes. Yet, in February, I only went three times in the whole month. Including the extra day. But, no point beating myself up, I’ll just try harder in March. I’m also going to buy an exercise mat so that when I can’t or don’t make it to the gym I can fit in a quick workout at home if I feel like it.

Speaking of exercise classes, does anyone have any experience doing Les Mills Grit classes? I’ve been Googling and reading reviews but can’t make much sense of it as it’s all a bit cult-ish, which I think is quite common with exercise classes really. On a related tangent, I find it really difficult in general to find fitness and/or diet advice that is reasonable and balanced and fits in with a normal lifestyle. It all usually starts from assumptions such as: you want to see results FAST; you want to lose a lot of weight; you want to prioritise working out over everything else; you want to ~eat clean~, and so on. A site I’ve found that I do quite like is Greatist – please pass on any similar recommendations!

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