Well hello August! I know I say it each and every month but has it really been another month? This one has been a strange one in that we’ve been in and out of our usual work / school / nursery routines. I guess this is largely because I’ve started a new course of medication that has seen me feeling a bit rubbish really. As I write this, four weeks in to new meds, the morning’s continue to be problematic and a bit groggy. However our days, are mostly returning to some kind of normality and for that, I am very thankful. And so here we are, welcoming in August and the main part of the summer holidays.
So, how has July been for you? Have you been dreading or loving the thought of six weeks with the kids at home? I personally, really love the summer holidays. A few lie ins have felt very welcome that’s for sure. I know it can be tough though, particularly when entertaining much younger children so I doth my cap to all of you wading your way through endless days of crafting and toddler “negotiations.” More than this though, the six weeks of summer always brings my fellow working mums to mind. It is such a difficult juggle and life can feel a bit up in the air when you have to move your child between grandparents, holiday clubs and what little annual leave you can take. There’s a fair bit of that juggling happening here too but I’m learning to appreciate the days where we can be together.
Anyway, July – let’s do this shall we?
This month the only book I actually finished was How to be a Vegan and I devoured it in just one sitting. Chuffed to pick it up at 75% off in our local book shop, I just loved the authors no-nonsense, non-hysterical description of veganism, what it means and why it’s so important. I’ve been dabbling in veganism for a long time now but for one reason or another, I’ve always slipped back into my old eating patterns. This book solidified the reasons for me, why veganism is so important and exactly why I want to get on the bandwagon and fully commit this time round. So, towards the back end of the month, I’ve been experimenting with a few vegan dishes and some new flavours and really been taking the time to get to know this new lifestyle of mine. So far, so good.
I lost my love of Love Island towards the end and I didn’t even watch the final so I can’t say anything much about that this time round. It was great escapism whilst it lasted though!
Suits season four has continued to be a part of the evening routine for Mr S and I. If you haven’t tried that then I definitely recommend it as its a good series to get stuck into, although it has single handedly reduced my blogging productivity!
The other programme we’ve been enjoying is Nadiya Hussein’s Family Favourites on BBC Two and in-turn, we’ve also re-visited the GBBO from 2015 on Netflix (which is the year she won the competition). I absolutely love watching cookery shows but this one also has that GBBO feel. Bad for the waistline but oh so good for the soul. It’s not exactly in-line with my vegan principles (LOL) but I’m taking some inspiration for the meat eaters in my house who still demand feeding. The whole show feels so comforting, homely and dare I say it? It kind of reminds me of Autumn and all of the cosy vibes.
On the big screen I saw Mamma Mia 2 with my mum and my sister. I honestly have such mixed feelings about it but I guess the fact that I wouldn’t watch it again probably says enough. I loved the music obvs, I mean, I was raised on Abba after all. I wasn’t loving the major change in cast but in contrast the one liners that came out of it were hilarious. It also made me full on ugly cry towards the last scene – not something that makes me feel good and no amount of Cher afterwards made up for that. So mixed feelings on that. Have you seen it? What did you think?
July has been all about dresses. Since the midi-length has made a reappearance on the high street, I feel like I’ve found a bit more of my style and confidence again. This dream of a dress is the most gorgeous, comfortable and effortless thing I’ve ever had the pleasure of wearing. And my loves, it was only £9.99 from Amazon.
I’ve also been loving my new sandals from NEXT this summer – again, they are completely effortless and I’ve lost count of the number of compliments I’ve had whilst wearing them.
Lytham Hall is one of those places thats’ right on our doorstep but we have never gotten round to visiting. So many of my friends keep telling me to go for a lovely few hours with the kids and this month we finally managed a visit.
For those of you who probably won’t know, Lytham Hall is a Grade I country house and gardens managed by the Heritage Trust for the North West of England. Anyway, I woke up one day with itchy feet and so we decided to pack up a picnic, both kids and both dogs and head over to see what all the fuss is about.
Turns out they were right, Lytham Hall is a really nice place to wile away a few hours with restless legs. Whenever I feel like I’m having a bad day or the kids are getting mardy, I always find that a picnic and a whole heap of fresh air and nature will make us all feel so much better. It’s lovely to have found this little space to add to our list of days out.
Although I have decided to go vegan myself, this was only in the last week of July and I have been delving into a gorgeous cookbook of my mums called Persiana to try and mix up our meals a bit. Mr S and I had a gorgeous Saturday shopping for ingredients, prepping the food together and making this feast together. As a busy mum, taking time to create and enjoy cooking as an experience doesn’t often happen. Usually it’s a bit of a production line and a bit of a rush – I’m sure you know the feeling. But I do love to cook and making this meal reminded me of my love for food and feeding my family.
That Saturday, we made Turkish Adana Köfte Kebabs, rice with lentils & crispy onions (nommmm) and a side of homemade hummus. I know, it doesn’t look the prettiest but it was amazing soul food and brought our noisy bunch of boys and our mini-toddler dictator together. Trying something new all together was as much part of the fun as creating the dishes in the first place. And for the record? You need to make hummus yourself at home – you will never look back.
July was the month I started to run. My friend and I started the month by signing up to a 10k race in September. We have been building up our distance, pace and most importantly stamina for three weeks now – going from running just two minutes at a time to over 2 miles in that time. We have already achieved way more than I ever thought we could and I think we have been well an truly bitten by the running bug!
We are off camping in August – our first proper camping experience (under canvas) with a two year old. I will of course be taking lots of pictures and doing a video of the highlights so you can see just how we get on but I can tell you that I am so excited to get set up under canvas for a few nights. After that I’m afraid, it’s back to work and the juggle of childcare for the rest of the summer holidays. I hope you guys have an amazing August and that the juggle isn’t too stressful.