February 2018 | Recap

Usually I write my monthly recaps gradually throughout the month. They’re the blog posts that I pretend-write in my head on long runs, or quickly jot sentences down in my phone for.  So it’s unusual that it’s taken me this long to sit down and write my monthly recap for February. That’s why I’ve decided to go with a different format for this month’s review – I’ve used the same basic format for the last two years so this will be refreshing!

Thanks Ellie for inspiring me to write this post, and PipHeidi Apples for inspiring Ellie! Without further ado…


DECIDING: whether to go to Florida, or to continue waiting around at home to see if any potential employers call me back for an interview. (Spoiler: I went to Florida. And I squeezed in two interviews the day before my flight!).

ENJOYING: pottery, half-marathon training, reading, freelance writing.

sunrise on the florida beach <3

READING: on my [amazon_textlink asin=’B00OQVZDJM’ text=’Kindle’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’b8818aed-1fb1-11e8-99a6-8b68f1c75ab7′]*. And writing about my tips to read more here. I read seven books in February:

  • [amazon_textlink asin=’0316200778′ text=’When We Wak’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’1eaac398-1fb1-11e8-84f5-5bc8a3322ccd’]e and [amazon_textlink asin=’031623382X’ text=’While We Run’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2471f302-1fb1-11e8-ad61-27ae087c849a’] by Karen Healey: Books 1 & 2 of a YA dystopian series where a girl wakes up 100 years in the future after being cryonically frozen. Won’t give much more away but these are fast and enjoyable reads, a la Hunger Games. They are set in Australia, which is fun because I realize I almost never read books set in Oz!
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’006213079X’ text=’Womancode by Alisa Vitti’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’eb4d0a95-1fb0-11e8-8920-a773518afb58′]: The new-age bible for PCOS, which I was diagnosed with in Feb. It is a bit woo-woo but also fascinating and full of clinically sound research. I only gave it a fast read so think I need to buy it in hard copy and re-read.
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’0735211205′ text=’Into the Water’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’2bb5d795-1fb1-11e8-bed5-972bb4a3e322′] by Paula Hawkins: Second novel by author of Girl on the Train. I liked it better than Girl on the Train and definitely recommend if you’re into thrillers.
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’0307476073′ text=’Wild’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’a7033e4e-1fb1-11e8-bdf3-7376f7c4c418′] by Cheryl Strayed: Memoir of a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest Trail with no training during a life crisis. Was a beautiful read, even if sometimes I wanted to slap Strayed and give her a pep talk. The [amazon_textlink asin=’B00RVC0S1G’ text=’movie’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’af708750-1fb1-11e8-b39b-f9058ad7c850′] is also great, featuring basically the same production team/cast as Big Little Lies, and I ain’t complaining about that.
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’1423152883′ text=’Code Name Verity’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’f616d47f-1fd0-11e8-b6c9-33c454819909′] by Elizabeth Wein: This was the Bloggers’ Bookclub pick this month and was pretty good – It’s a WWII novel but unusual in that it has two badass women narrators.
  • [amazon_textlink asin=’B00OM4M5AS’ text=’Best of Me’ template=’ProductLink’ store=’sarahbence-20′ marketplace=’US’ link_id=’ffe0eed5-1fd0-11e8-9c00-e174aa4f8450′] by Nicholas Sparks: I like to read Sparks’ beachy romances when I’m in Florida because they seem appropriately Southern, lol. But even as far as Sparks’ books go, this wasn’t a great one.

WATCHING: The Olympics. Big Little Lies. The Good Doctor. Queer Eye. Riverdale (with Dan, slowly, when our schedules and time difference line up). And in non-screen watching: a doggo! We are long-term dog sitting a crazy Airedale named Tana (short for Montana) who has a penchant for waking up at 4am every morning :’-|

the visitor pup,Tana

VISITING: one of my best friends who is house bound by a surprise foot surgery, right before her move to Australia.

WEARING: clothes covered in clay/mud. Thanks pottery.

baby pots ready for the kiln!

PLANNING: Dan’s visit in March! I’m trying to brainstorm some worthwhile things to do in Michigan in the dreariest month of the year, other than eat sushi…which tbh wouldn’t be a bad way to spend two weeks.

CRAVING: EVERYTHING. I had a colonoscopy this month with a three (THREE!!) day prep, meaning I could only eat clear liquids for three days. I was already starving by the morning of the first day…. Womp womp. And post-colonoscopy I’m on a doctor’s ordered low FODMAP elimination diet which has severely reduced the foods I can eat.

get well package from my most extra friend

LOVING: freelance writing. It’s such a joy being paid for something I love!

SAVOURING: the sunshine in Florida before I return to the snow.

FEELING: all over the place. There are things I’m really excited about (writing jobs, family and friend time, job prospects, Dan visiting next month), but underlying it all is this huge frustration because despite being subjected to tons of medical tests and investigations, I feel farther away than ever from getting better. I’m hoping March brings some conclusions.


Here’s to March! I’m expecting to be doing lots of work-related things, plus enjoying Dan’s two week visit (including a trip to Chicago for St Patty’s Day). What are you all looking forward to in March?

Sarah xx

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  1. aw yay! This format is great eh? Just what I needed to prompt me to actually write something! Glad you like it too!
    I really hope you see progress with health stuff this month and that Dan’s visit is wonderful (I vote trying all the sushi places haha!) – also loving seeing your pottery stuff and hope that florida is restorative and so lovely! 🙂

    1. It’s so fun – I’ve felt in a writing rut where I think of all these post ideas, I have this massive list, but I just don’t want to sit down and actually write. So this format made it super easy!

      And thanks, I’m really hoping so too. Got a few doctors appointments scheduled this week before Dan arrives so I’m keeping my fingers crossed. And your vote’s in!! Lol, we are already planning at least three different sushi dates…

  2. Ahhh so cool that you are into pottery! Curious – what is the official title of a person who does pottery – a potterer? Also, good for you for getting to Florida and squeezing in job interviews! Hoping March provides more clarity for your health journey! xoxo

  3. I’m glad you made it to Florida! It looks so pretty. And nice and warm, must be a nice break from the snow! That dog you are sitting looks adorable. I’d love a dog, but our apartment building/lease says NO. Maybe I’ll get a stick insect or something else instead.

    Your pottery looks great! Such a helpful skill. I’m enjoying seeing what you make on Instagram. I hope the health stuff improves, waiting and having tests is no fun at all.

    Enjoy planning Dan’s trip and enjoy Chicago! Can you post me some Do-Rite donuts please?

    1. It was the perfect little break, and great to see my family!
      Hahaha yeah she is pretty cute… also pretty troublesome though lol!
      I just uploaded some fiery pottery stuff on my stories…. and hopefully will be doing some glazing this weekend. I love it so much!
      Omg you don’t know how much I was looking forward to Do-Rite…except I’m still going to be on the low FODMAP diet and I don’t think they are low FODMAP… waaahhhh!!!

  4. Oh man, good work on opting for the beach – if I could I’d click my fingers and land on one right now! Sorry you’re feeling the frustration… it’s tough but I hope you get over the hump and start improving very soon!

  5. OMG that doggo!! Such a cutie. I did a low FODMAP for a few years and it does work a treat for IBS. Then I’ve gradually managed to reintroduce a lot of foods too. Hopefully it will help! x

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