Life Lately - June Edition

It's been a while since I have given a proper little life update so I thought I would start the LAST WEEK OF JUNE (how??!) off with a bit of a mind/picture dump of all the things I wish I had time to write a full blog post about. +  We are  gearing up for my parents' arrival.  After 24 years, they are moving back home from Canada next week.  I can't actually believe it's finally happening and they are going to be in our day to day life.  We get to do birthday's and anniversary's together now after such a long time of celebrating from across the miles.  It's going to be a massive adjustment for them and there is much much sadness about leaving such a supportive and caring community of friends in Canada but they are really eager to spend this next season of life here with us and my brother and sister-in-law.  It's so bittersweet to know that our trips to Canada are going to few and far between.

+  I got word a few months ago that I had been selected for an MBE on the Queens Birthday Honours List.  Gobsmacked.  The list was published a couple of weeks ago and because of the weird culture here in the UK of not wanting to let people get too big for their boots, I have felt really self-conscious about it.  I feel so young and in such infancy in my career to be recognised but everyone has been so so lovely about it.  There were many gins and carbohydrates consumed in celebration.  Now I need to find something nice to wear to the investiture!

Raspberry Mint Collins

+  Levi is almost done his first year of big school and has really thrived this year.  I love watching him develop friendships and seeing him learn to read and write has been a complete joy.  It has been such a year of change for him with Ada joining the tribe but he is really starting to find his feet with his new role as brother.  He is warming to her more as she grows and is more interactive with him, smiling when he sings to her.  I just need him to stop putting his nose in her mouth.

Levi Waterhose

+  We are off to Florence for 2 weeks in August and I cannot WAIT!  We will be staying with one of our best friends Estelle (who lives there) and exploring the city and surrounding areas.  We hope to see Pisa, Siena, Luca and find some pools and lakes to swim in to escape the heat.  Any tips or favourite things to do/see in Florence or Tuscany, please fire them our way!

+  Ada is 3 months, growing like a weed and did her first proper belly laugh the other night.  We got it on camera (obvs) and I keep watching it over and over.  I reckon she is in a growth spurt at the minute because she had been doing some epic all night sleeps (you know, from 10pm - 5am.  That's all night these days.  The bar is pretty low) but seems to have forgotten how that works and is now squirming beside me for a feed every 3 hours.  My body is sore from the demand of it all.

Ada Breastfeeding

+  All this EU referendum chat is hard isn't it?  I'm so disillusioned with so-called leadership and the mess it is making of our country.  It's hard to know what to trust, who to believe and what to do that could possibly counter the decisions that are being made from the top.  What I do know is that each of us can own our community for ourselves - decide to take action and invest in the important stuff, support each other and drown out the vitriol with compassion and creativity.  I wrote a bit more on this in my post-election manifesto here.

+  I have badly neglected the veg growing in the garden (see constant feeding baby paragraph above).  The rocket has shot to seed because of the heat instead of growing properly so I need to replant. The lettuce needs cut back to grow out again and I desperately need to cane up the peas and repot the courgette.  We had such a good spell of weather with warmth and a few rain showers that everything has grown so fast it's been hard to keep up.  My elderflower champagne is almost ready for bottling so I look forward to a glass of that soon! (Recipe & how-to for that is here)

Elderflower Champagne

+  Summer breathes new life into our neighbourhood with everyone coming out of the slumber of winter.  We have a little bit of a haven around our back, where all our gardens line up together and most days we stop to chat or pop in to each others houses for a cuppa.  It's the best place I could ever imagine Levi and Ada growing up.  We had a big neighbourhood lunch a couple of Sunday's ago and it was so special to see everyone - young and old - gathering out back, bringing food, helping out, playing with the kids and having a laugh together.  I know it's rare to find such a community as we have here and I feel really grateful for it.

 Big Lunch

+  Aly and I are working on a #motherhoodalive photowalk and picnic for July/August for anyone that has been joining in our little hashtag on instagram (over 5k beautiful images already).  I am so desperate for some creative time with like-minded people - just a few hours to sit and chat, to hammer out ideas and plans over good coffee.  I feel like my creative muscles are starting to droop a bit and need some flexing.  Anyone able to add more hours onto the day for me?

+  This Friday is the 1st of July, which means I'll be back with a really lovely introduction to an ethical clothing company for this months #ethicalfashioncollective!  This is your notice!  Please join in with a snap on instagram/facebook/twitter of some ethical fashion finds of your own and don't forget the hashtag so we can all see and share!

Over and out!

Mel