Summer Vibes

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The fact that I’m writing this post while gazing out of the window at a grey sky and spitting rain only serves to fuel my desire to escape to sunnier climes as soon as possible. Sitting at my desk with a woolly cardigan draped around my shoulders and my feet snugly ensconced in a pair of slippers, it seems like the ideal time to start planning my summer wardrobe. While the sun may elude us here in London, we do have a holiday planned to Mallorca, which means at least one week of guaranteed beach weather this summer (a vast improvement on last year as I can only recall one or two days of glorious sunshine). So here are some of the items I would like to be packing into my suitcase come August:

  1. A pair of denim shorts are a perennial summer staple and these ones from Gap have just the right amount of distressing so they look naturally casual rather than too try-hard.
  2. I rarely wear high heels in summer and these silver espadrilles from Whistles are smart enough to take you from beach to bar while still being supremely comfortable.
  3. The soft sheen of rose gold looks fabulous against tanned skin and this stunning Astley Clarke moonstone pendant can be worn on its own or layered with other delicate necklaces.
  4. I tend to stick to a neutral or monochrome colour palette all year round but it’s fun to liven up an outfit with brightly coloured accessories such as this beach bag by Sophie Anderson. Inspired by the designer’s travels in Colombia, the roomy tote has been handcrafted by the country’s skilled weavers.
  5. This gorgeous dress from Isabel Marant’s Étoile collection has popped up in my Bloglovin’ feed quite a few times over the past month or so. The drop waist silhouette and soft ruffles are universally flattering and while it qualifies as an investment piece rest assured that this is a dress that you will want to keep wearing long after the temperatures drop.
  6. Simple but oh so stylish, this striped romper is the kind of thing I imagine chic Parisian girls wear on their annual summer jaunts to the Riviera. Pair with huge shades and a wide brimmed hat to truly channel your inner Brigitte Bardot.
  7. An off the shoulder top is a must this summer and this one from H&M will look great with the Gap shorts or a pair of jeans on cooler days.
  8. Finally, a hat is also a necessity to protect your face, scalp and hair from the sun’s rays. To avoid it getting crushed in your suitcase it is best to wear it on the plane, which also helps you switch into holiday mode!

Life Lately

Our two-week summer holiday in Sweden  has all but faded to a distant memory but luckily we managed to fit in a bit of beach time before school started last week. We spent two consecutive Saturdays at the Witterings (both east and west) and rounded off August with a three-night break at a house on the beach, near Rye in Sussex.

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{East Wittering Beach – the weather wasn’t great but we spent the day with friends and had a lovely time playing on the beach}

West Wittering

{Having not been spoiled with sunny weather this year, on the hottest day of the summer we packed up the car and headed down to West Wittering in Sussex at 8am. A full day of swimming, building sand castles and soaking up the rays.}

V Festival

{Cameron and I went to the V Festival in Chelmsford to see Ella Henderson, George Ezra, and Ellie Goulding among others. A great experience despite the weather and toilet facilities!}

Bank Holiday

{We ended this year’s summer holidays with an impromptu weekend away at Petts Level in Sussex where we rented a lovely house right on the beach.}

Now we’re hurtling headfirst into autumn, my favourite season of them all. Bring on the falling leaves, cosy scarves and bobble hats, mugs of steaming cocoa, and crackling log fires!

Summer Vibes ♥

Holidaying in Sweden is always a precarious venture when it comes to the weather – will the sun grace us with its presence or will chilly winds and pouring rain be the order of the day? This year it seems to be a mixed bag weather-wise. While the temperatures remain determined to stay around 19-22 degrees, there have been enough glimpses of sun to ensure that trips to the beach err on the side of pleasant rather than torturous. Having said that, the water in the lake near the house we have rented is far too cold for me to contemplate anything other than the very briefest of toe dips. The boys, however, have no qualms about braving the freezing water and staying in until their lips start to turn blue! The rest of us stay on land building sandcastles, reading books and admiring the beautiful scenery.

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The property we have rented is a big 1920s house with a terrace that overlooks the lake – perfect for enjoying a chilled glass of wine in the evenings – and a trampoline to entertain the cheeky monkeys. Fittingly, there is also a sauna to warm up in after a day spent on the beach!

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School’s Out For Summer!

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{Woohoo! Finally the summer holiday is here and we celebrated by buying a family sized paddling pool! Still in its box so no pictures yet but planning to get it out tomorrow}

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{Who’s ready for sun, sea and ice cream? I really hope the glorious weather stays put for our holiday in two weeks’ time.}

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{No need to call social services, I won’t go quite that far but it will be nice to take a more relaxed approach for a few weeks!}

Three hundred posts!

This is my 300th post on A Spoonful of Style and I had wanted it to be something special but lack of time and inspiration means that a quick update will have to suffice. It is a struggle to keep up with the blog at the moment but I hope you will agree that something is better than nothing! This week (and last) has been a whirlwind of leavers assemblies, teacher presentations and class parties, and to top it all off Clemmie has not been very well. She developed a temperature and scaly rash at the end of last week – the doctor put it down to a virus so I guess we just have to wait it out. Tomorrow is finally the last day of school and I’m looking forward to no school run, homework or after school activities for five and a half weeks, although I’m sure that by end of August I will be counting down the days until they go back.

A quick update on life lately:

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{The spa day was just as fun and relaxing as I had hoped it would be. There was a no phone policy inside the building but I managed to snap a quick pic of the traditional phone box in the garden that one could use to order drinks.}

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{Which of course we did! After swimming, steam room and facials/massages we were in need of some prosecco.}

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{On Sunday we celebrated my in-laws’ wedding anniversary in their beautiful garden. The glorious weather is still here and looks set to last for at least another week. I don’t want to complain but the afternoons are a bit stifling so a paddling pool is next on my shopping list!}

 

 

 

A Weekend of Two Halves

Saturday: Hampton Court Flower Show in soaring temperatures.

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{I didn’t buy any plants but I did manage to find a hat!}

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{A seafood platter and a glass of chilled rose hit just the right spot}

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{So many lovely flower displays to admire. From rustic country gardens…}

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{..to the more exotic orchids.}

Sunday: The final installment of Clemmie’s birthday celebrations, a garden party with grandparents and a few friends. Again we were very lucky with the weather.

Present opening

{More presents to open.}

Boys party

{My lovely boys spent most of the time playing football and badminton with their friends.}

No Added Sugar dress

{Clemmie in her new dress from No Added Sugar.}

Party 3

{A very tired girl at the end of the day!}

Preparing for the Summer Holidays

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With three weeks to go until school breaks up, the countdown to the summer holidays has officially begun. We are going away to Sweden for two weeks at the beginning of August but the rest of the time we will be at home. As my job is not term time only, I will have to work two or three days a week so I’m trying to be a super organised (not something that comes naturally to me!) to make sure we have lots of quality time on the other days.

Here are some of my strategies to hopefully maximise the chances of a fun and relaxing summer:

1. Take a break from cooking. Not completely, obviously, as we still have to eat and going to restaurants all the time would get too expensive. But I think it’s fine to take a more relaxed approach to meal times in the summer. Leave the elaborate recipes for the colder months and serve simple dishes like big platters of cold cuts and various salads together with crusty bread. We tend to eat a lot of fresh fruit and veg in the summer and the kids have healthy snacks like strawberries and raspberries or carrots and cucumber with hummus, so having hot dogs or cheese on toast for dinner is not the end of the world. Other simple options are omelettes and homemade pizza (I buy ready made bases though) loaded up with vegetables.

2. On a similar note, I plan to take advantage of the fact that we have a pick-your-own farm 15 minutes down the road (Not quite the same as a vegetable patch in your own garden, but the next best thing). Somehow the kids seem to find fruit and vegetables that they have picked themselves more palatable than the shop bought versions.

3. Spend more time outdoors doing things with the kids rather than trying to catch up with the housework. I have actually employed a cleaner to come once a week between now and September. An extravagant move perhaps, but one that will free up lots of time, especially now that I’m working again.

4. I have asked the kids to write a list of (realistic!) activities, both outdoor and indoor that they want to do this summer. We will cut them up individually and put into a hat and pull one out when we’re stuck for things to do. Hopefully we will get a good mix of indoor activities like painting and board games and outdoor ones like going to the park, as well as activities that require a bit more planning such as going to the cinema or the bowling alley.

5. I’m going to try to stick to our current rule of keeping the X Box and other computer games for the weekend, unless we get really awful weather in which case I may take a more lenient view!

6. As far as I can, I’m also going to try and limit the amount of money we spend. It’s so easy for it to spiral out of control – a trip to the cinema (with the obligatory snacks) for three children and one adult can cost an arm and a leg and, to be honest, the children are just as happy getting a DVD out from the library and popping their own popcorn in the microwave.

7. I intend to take lots of pictures and also film the kids more – they love watching old footage from when they were younger but we have been really lax about it lately. Now that my phone has a video function there really is no excuse.

8. There are also some things I want to do for myself, including updating the blog at least three or four times a week.

9. And I hope to keep up my exercise regime. It really does make me feel better and more energised and I will need all the energy I can get to survive the six weeks off school with a smile on my face!

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The Beauty Edit: Just Add Sunshine

Sunshine Beauty

The arrival of summer here in the UK is always sudden and usually unpredictable, even for the poor weathermen. Last weekend we had glorious sunny weather, culminating in the hottest day so far this year on Monday. It is always wonderful when we get these sudden heatwaves, short as they may be, but I have to admit that the prospect of putting my lily white limbs on display didn’t have me jumping up and down with joy. But a quick trip into town and a rifle through the shelves in John Lewis’ refurbished beauty hall (I was very impressed – lots of new brands to try) and I was ready to transform myself, if not exactly into a bronzed goddess, at least a less ghostly version of myself.

Being a low maintenance girl, I’m all for keeping it simple and not over complicating things with too many products. A good exfoliator is essential – I normally use the Soap & Glory one but this Exfoliating Body Wash from Australian Organics worked just as well. When it comes to the self tanner I prefer a mousse as it’s easier to apply and you can see which areas you have already covered. Fake Bake has been my go-to brand for the last few years as it gives a nice subtle glow rather than a “I just spent a week in Barbados” deep bronze. I first bought a St Tropez tan applicator mitt last summer and now consider it a must-have to ensure an even finish, free of streaks and product build-up.

Add in a nice summery nail polish in ‘No Room for the Blues’ by OPI (pictured here with the Start to Finish all-in-one base coat, top coat and strengthener – a great multi-tasker if there ever was one) and I was ready to face the sunshine which lasted all but four days. Oh well, that’s the British summer for you!

School’s out for Summer!

All images from Pintrest

All images from Pintrest

The boys finished school today and we had a great afternoon in the park together with friends from both their classes. We have two weeks left until we go on holiday and I’m keeping my fingers and toes crossed that this sunny weather continues until then.

I’m looking forward to six weeks of no school run, homework or after school activities!