Monday, 9 September 2019

summertime and the living is (mostly) easy

hey everyone, i just wanted to check back in here with a round-up of my favourite summer photos and moments. because this blog here is a journal of sorts for me, and it's so lovely to look back on things. and also, let's face it, that last blog post was sort of a downer, and i wanted to show you all that we're doing well and we had such a happy summer.

this was the first summer where we've experienced it as a 'summer holiday' from school. our boy has been at preschool since this last February, and was doing quite a few mornings by the time summer rolled around. so it was equal parts nervous about having him full time and excited that i would get to spend this precious time with him before our girl arrives this autumn.

well, the time flew past, and was absolutely filled with happy friends and families, new experiences and lots of great bonding time between us both. it's been so lovely to go through the summer album and look back at all of those memories we shared - i will treasure them forever...

at the beginning of this year we moved into our new house, and with it, a new garden. so this year was my year to experiment with growing a few things and see how they went...


...this summer was fairly productive in the garden - there are two main issues with the garden, firstly there's a huge oak tree which means the garden is in shade for half the day, which means that sun-loving plants just didn't thrive. secondly, the soil is terrible! the garden hasn't been loved on in a long time, and so it will be my mission over the coming years to add good nutrients back to the soil, but all these things take time.

things that did do well: wildflowers (they love poor soil), edible flowers (see borage and nasturtiums above), peas + sweet peas, tomatoes (ish), herbs & flowers in containers.

we started the summer holiday by making some new friends, and meeting up with some lovely insta-friends in real life at our local gardens. it was a really special moment, confirming to all of us that went how social media can be amazing if used correctly. it was amazing to be in the company of other stay-at-home mums, talking about transitioning to two, how we were all coping with little ones and sharing similar stories. it was such an encouragement to me, and a great way to begin our summer.

there was a looooot of baking this summer, which was odd given how hot the whole summer was really. but i felt like i was in my groove with baking, and that i just needed to keep practicing. red bean paste buns (pictured below, basically cinnamon roll dough with red bean paste spread on instead), marmalade brioche, loads of cookies and brownies too.

i also made 45 jars of jam/jelly over the summer! the blackberries appeared in our southern neck of the woods at the very end of July this year! so i started to pick and didn't stop for a couple of weeks. and then fortune had it that just up the road, literally a 1 minute walk away, was an abundant apple tree where i was allowed to scrump to my hearts delight. so blackberry and apple jam it was, all i had to buy were jars and sugar.

one of the most fun things we did was to that my dad sent my son a pot of caterpillars, and we got to watch them turn into butterflies... a really quick process, and so incredible to watch with little ones. we loved it and would definitely do it again another year.

we didn't go on holiday as such, but we did get to go and stay with some friends down in Devon, and so we got to stroll the cliffs and beaches, eat cream teas and enjoy the fresh sea breeze.

we also discovered our local lake, completely man-made but still beautiful. we visited a couple of times, and will continue to do so on nice sunny days, it's just such a peaceful spot...

we did a lot of hosting in our new home - there were even several weeks straight when the house was not without a guest. it is our greatest joy to host friends and family, to feed them food and to enjoy their company. we always particular love a good weekend breakfast with friends, especially when we get to eat outdoors.

of course, i spent a while growing our little girl! thankfully the heat didn't get to me much, thanks to great insulation in our house, and also the giant tree in our garden providing much-needed afternoon shade. it was miraculous to watch my little bump grow into a big one throughout the summer months.

home improvements and DIY projects were abundant this summer - my husband and i both took on so many different little bits and bobs, so we would feel nice and cosy in our home this winter, and not feel like there was an abundance of things to do around us. and really enjoy our home together. most of our home diy's are on a highlight on my instagram stories, if you're curious.

we got the pleasure of meeting our new nephew, who was born in the middle of August, and we got to share so many cuddles and precious first moments. he's so gorgeous...

my hair grew like wildfire, thanks to pregnancy hormones and prenatal vitamins... and i kept it curly all summer long, often sporting some sort of braid or bun on days 4/5/6 of course!

most of all i was so happy to spend the summer with my little boy, who i so enjoyed spending time with and nurturing into the man he will become one day. we spent a lot of time outdoors, playing on his 'tractor' and digging up his little corner of the garden. we read a lot of new books together, and he really got into longer stories with fewer pictures. he learnt so many new words, and his conversational skills improved loads. he was a pleasure to be with, and i'm so pleased i get to call him my son.

the last thing i did was to make sure to spend a little bit of time faith journaling every time he napped (which was about every other day). when i didn't get to do it, i noticed a distinct difference in my attitude and temperament - and i'm thankful for the coming cooler seasons where i get to do it more. it's my daily way to connect with something greater than myself, to align myself with truth and to fill myself with His word.

so there you have it, our summer. chilled and lovely and homely. everything i could've wanted it to be. i feel so blessed.

currently listening to: bloom by the paper kites

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