Archive of ‘Monthly Review’ category

Looking Back–January 2016

In an attempt to make my blog a little more like a place where I actually write things, I thought I’d start looking back on each month as we get to the end of it. This may work a little better if and when I actually start blogging during the month, but mostly I just want it to be a way to appreciate all the fun things I do!


January has been a good month, all told. Most excitingly, I left the country for the first time in over six years! I am yet to blog about my trip to Iceland, but I am planning to, so for now I’ll just say that it’s an amazing place, and I had a brilliant time. Two days was not nearly long enough to spend there, so I hope to go back one day.


I also went to see The Corrs at the O2 last weekend, with my besties. Not the best photo of the lot of us (front-facing camera, be damned), but I didn’t really take any of the gig, because I’m long since past the point where I want to sit with my phone out recording/photographing the whole thing. The Corrs were as amazing as they ever were; we were all fans of them when we were at school (with the exception of Hannah, who didn’t go to school with us), so we were thrilled to learn that they were going on tour again, and snapped up tickets. I really like some of stuff on their new album, but there’s nothing like the old classics. We had a great time!

I also went to see Mark Kermode, in the first of his Mark Kermode: Live in 3D events at the BFI (something I actually posted about), and I’m already eagerly anticipating the February date, and I’m ready to book tickets for March. I know, I know… I’ve also just become a member of the BFI; for £40 a year it’s a bit of a steal, particularly as I’m planning on seeing a lot more things there over the course of the year.

Elsewhere, I’ve picked up my knitting once more; spurred into action by a kit my sister bought me for Christmas (of which I’ve knitted just one glove!), I decided to make a start on a baby blanket for a forthcoming new arrival in the family. My renewed love has inspired two of my lovely work colleagues to learn, and I’ve done my best to teach them the basics. My blanket is coming on a treat, and I’m only lamenting that I don’t have more time to devote to it (all afternoon ideally, after spending my lunch break knitting).

I went out for a friend’s birthday on Friday night, to a place called Jump Street in Colchester. It’s basically just a massive warehouse full of trampolines, and it was such good fun! We had an hour, and we spent almost the entire time bouncing and throwing ourselves around, though I have to say that I tried over and over again to do a somersault into a big inflatable pit, only to fail at the last each and every time. I half-joked that it was a metaphor for my life; trying and failing to do something brave and exciting but wimping out at the last minute, but Hannah told me she was proud of me for trying over and over again, which is something, I suppose! I ached like nothing else afterwards – late on Friday night it was actually hard to breathe because of my aching back/neck/stomach/legs/chest/every single part of my body. But I’d do it again in a heartbeat!

January is, of course, always a bit of a funny month, coming on the heels of December and all its festivities. It usually feels a bit grey; whilst I don’t want to trivialise actual depression by referring to the January Blues, I think we all feel a little deflated after Christmas and everything that comes with it. But I’ve had a good month. Work feels manageable for the first time in a while, and I’ve done some lovely things with lovely people.

Each month will bring with it this update, as well as a films and books recap, and at least two other month-end posts. Possibly too many, but it’s probably the best way for me to start posting regularly again, so I’m going to go with it until it doesn’t feel right!

How was your start to 2016?

January on Is That You Darling

As I mentioned last week, I thought I’d change things around a bit with regards to my end of month posts. I really wanted to dedicate a whole post to the books I read during the month, so you’ve already seen January 2014 Books. And instead of separating my Progress Report and a roundup of what I wrote about in the previous month, as I was doing last year, I thought I’d combine the two into one post.

Films – 5/52

I managed to watch five films in January, which puts me right on track. I wrote about Celeste and Jesse Forever, Last Chance Harvey, Broadcast News and Man of Steel, but I’m a little behind with my post on Chloe.

32 Before 32 – 1/32



27. Make a video for my blog
I’m really pleased that I have managed to cross off the first item from my 32 Before 32 list. I’m also really pleased with the encouragement I’ve had from my friends about my first YouTube video. Another one will be forthcoming!

I’ve also made progress on a couple of ongoing goals.

2. Read ten non-fiction books
I read The Shawshank Redemption by Mark Kermode, which became my third non-fiction book since my birthday.

10. Complete a Photo an Hour post monthly
I completed January’s Photo an Hour on the 18th January, and blogged about it here. This month’s is on 22nd February if you’re interested in joining in!

12. Learn how to say hello, goodbye, please and thank you in fifteen languages
I have made a start on this; I worked out which languages I want to learn and I found all the words, I just have to learn them!

26. Watch ten films from the AFI 100 Years… 100 Laughs list
Broadcast News is a film from this list, so I have crossed one off, and have nine left to watch.

Favourite Posts


October on Is That You Darling

Did you miss anything in October?

My Thoughts On…

I wrote about four films in October, as I approach my target of 52: Shutter Island, Up in the Air, Marnie and Saboteur.


I was thrilled to take part in F&F’s Glamourween competition this month; I got to dress up as an Urban Witch! I also wrote about my favourite Pink Clove dresses.


I’m an Essex girl through and through, so I’m always pleased to feature my home county on my blog. I featured Delightful Tea Bake School in my ongoing Essex Loves series, I wrote about the second meeting of the Essex Bloggers, and I blogged about my bestie’s baby shower at The Sands in Southend-on-Sea.

Guest Posts

Every year in October I go away for work for a few days, and I ask people to provide some guest posts for me. Daniela wrote for me for the second year in a row, about why you should be watching Law and Order this time; and Anna (with whom I have an awful lot in common, including our choice of degree and why we chose to study it!), wrote about her favourite books as a child.

Everything Else

Elsewhere, I wrote about my evolving music tastes, five lovely watches, some more 31 Before 31 biscuits, a Tuesday Treat, a new knitting website called Stitch and Story, and my writing elsewhere.

September on Is That You Darling

Did you miss anything in September?

My Thoughts On

I’ve been trying so hard to get up to date with my film posts this last month, and I almost managed it! I wrote about Brave, The Fast and the Furious, 2 Fast 2 Furious, The Fast and the Furious: Tokyo Drift and The Wolverine. I have two more to write about to get up to date!

31 Before 31

Time is running out for my birthday list! In September I wrote about giving blood, and about making some Essex Spice Cakes.


I’m always trying to branch out with my blog, and writing about fashion is something I am trying to do a bit more of. I styled a summer dress for autumn weather, and I started a new series, Maybe One Day, and swooned over some Naeem Khan dresses.


Quite a few review on the blog this month; I reviewed the Meiji Giant Choco Baby from Cybercandy, some gifts from Parcelgenie, some Instagram prints from Printic, and a Seagate external hard drive.

Hair Week

It was the inaugural Hair Week a couple of weeks ago; a whole week devoted to hair! I wrote about my new haircut, shared some old photos in a hair retrospective, reviewed the Scaredoo hairbrush and some Area H2O shampoo and conditioner, shared some bloggers’ haircare tips, and shared my own haircare routine.

Everything Else

Elsewhere, I found five name necklaces that I love, took part in the first Blogger Murder Mystery, wrote about autumn television in the States, and shared my third photo an hour.

August on Is That You Darling

It has been another busy month here at Is That You Darling. Did you miss anything?

My Thoughts On…

Yet again, there were a lot of film posts, as, yet again, I struggled to keep up with the films I watched. I wrote about Anchorman, The Oranges, What to Expect When You’re Expecting, Seeking a Friend for the End of the World, Crazy Stupid Love, The Smurfs 2 and Monsters University. Only two of those films were actually watched in August, the rest were leftovers from July! And I have a further seven from August to write up. Maybe I’ll call a temporary halt to any new films until I am up to date!

31 Before 31

It was a busy month for my 31 Before 31 list too. I crossed off two items in London, baked some Chocolate, Hazelnut and Orange Wrinkly biscuits, went to the cinema alone, and baked some Orange Butter biscuits.


I did a lot of photo taking last month. I updated you on the A Beautiful Mess Self Portrait Challenge I was taking part in (days 1-16), I did another Photo an Hour post, I asked you if you wanted to join in with my next Photo an Hour, and finally, I updated you on the remaining days (17-30) of the Self Portrait Challenge.

Tuesday Treat

In a month of four Tuesdays, I gave you two Tuesday Treats; the first was Hugh Jackman, and the other, being the fiftieth, was a celebration: my five favourite celebrity crushes.


I managed to get three posts out of one trip to London! There was the aforementioned 31 Before 31 adventure, and also a quest to find as many British Heritage blue plaques as possible, and a journey around the city to take photos of American presidents.


Just the one review this month; the Pearl Earring Box from the Craft Box Company.

Everything Else

Elsewhere, I wrote about my Budget Bucket List, my new favourite dress, the virtues of home cinema, a new earworm, and the Happy Badger donated £50 to Farleigh Hospice on my behalf.

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