Spring is one of my favourite times of year. In reality, I like to tell myself that the season of beginnings actually starts on January 1st. When the rest of the UK is still wrapped up in their winter woolies, I like to push the boundaries of denial by wearing the lightest coat I can get away with in order to convince myself that winter is over. I’m not certain it works but when I add in my obsessive counting of extra minutes of light achieved each day and looking for any sign of buds and blooms, it certainly makes me appreciate the slow and subtle move to spring. As we’re a month into official Summer, I think it’s time to share my Spring.
This year, I’ve tried to be more mindful of how I use my very limited free time. I don’t always get it right, but I seem to have achieved, rested and enjoyed more than last year. I have a long way to go to perfecting the juggle that we all experience, but I’m getting there. If you have any secret weapons in achieving everything life demands of you, please send help!
January (It’s Spring in my world, OK?)
Christmas was over in a blur and as I dragged the sorry looking tree out into the garden, I was itching to start improving my home. We’ve live there for four years and have achieved so little. The first two years, I was battling a Rheumatoid Arthritis diagnosis and the last two years I’ve been supporting my poorly mum as well as working, freelancing and blogging. Improving the house has pretty much been at the bottom of my priorities because it had to be. I still do all of the these things, but I think I’m starting to find a pace that allows me to add a little bit more onto my plate. So as soon as I settled into the new year I began to plan the great living room restyle. Its was a fairly dramatic change, but it’s become a space I spend a lot more time in these days. Don’t you find that when you overhaul one space, everywhere else looks like it needs a refresh too. I have the laundry/boot room and a kitchen spruce up on my list. I aim to get at least one finished before the year is out…wish me luck.
Monty was beginning to settle in to life and as his weight built, so did his personality. It was so rewarding to see him play and back chat with his sassy singing. It was in January that we had the go-ahead to start his vaccinations and book him in for his neuter. If you don’t know how Monty came tumbling into out lives, you can check out his story in my blog post from January.
Day’s out are limited when the weather is cold and the nights short (it’s still spring though, OK?) But, I do like to start thinking about what I want to achieve in the garden in the months ahead and my visit to the beautiful Winterbourne House and Garden was so inspiring, even in the cold mizzle of January. As far as my Januarys go, this was a corker, I was definitely ready for February.
February (Yup, this is spring too)
Ahh February, As the calendar page was turned, I was still freezing half to death in a suitable outer garment and having none of the ‘it’s still Winter’ exclamations from my nearest and dearest. February is for hunkering down and that’s exactly what I did!
March (This is officially spring, right?)
The season hadn’t quite caught up with the calendar in March, had it? The rain and cold persisted, even though those extra minutes of light were racking up.
March delivered good news in that the wonderful Oxford Brush Company asked me to one of their Brand Ambassadors and I happily accepted. I do love a good clean and coupled with my efforts to reduce plastic in my life, this was a match made in heaven. I launched my first collaboration with beauty post to share my much-loved dry brushing in my Home Spa Treatments post. After being hidden away all winter, there’s no better time to give your skin some tlc.
A well-timed collaboration with Iconic Lights also featured in March. I’m very loyal to brands worked with me at the start (You can read my first post about their outdoor solar lighting here.) and watching this beautiful lighting retailer blossom is all the more wonderful when a I get work with them again and again, especially when my workspace lamp had gone kaput.
I was super excited to be featured by the incredible Amara Interior Awards blog in their ‘Top Blog Posts for March’ round up with my Tips for Beautiful Bijou Living Post. With a house whose entire square footage would fit into most homes’ downstairs, I love writing about the charms of small living, because I love it.
In other happenings, Monty successfully passed his training and received a certificate, I had a good cry when we were called up to collect it in front of his class and struggled hard to get control when he won a game of musical statues. I loved doing the training with him, I’m sure he was in it for all the treats, but that’s ok with me, he is such a good boy.
April (Definitely, officially spring and birthday month too)
This was a really busy month for me and I didn’t get round to blogging as much as I would have liked. Something has to give sometimes, right? In my limited downtime, I just enjoyed simple pleasures; walks with Monty, gardening and baking were all top of my must-do list. Our first Easter with Montgomery was so fun, he enjoyed bunny ears a doggy eggs. Bliss!
I created my first recipe with my Italian summer-inspired Bellini Pavlova. Peach and prosecco are a heavenly combination and this went down a treat in my home. I was so delighted when Crosta and Mollica (who make the peach preserve I used in the recipe) asked if they could feature the pavlova for their new website launch. My whole family loves Crosta and Mollica and I did fan girl quite a bit over this feature.
May (Kinda spring, kinda summer, honest!)
Oh May! You were so kind to us with your glorious weather. When the weather becomes fine, I tend to abandon the house and focus on the garden. My garden is very long and very thin and I never seem to get very far. But, with my birthday chainsaw (what every woman wants, right?), I was able to tackle the more hardcore areas of overgrowth, Several trees have been felled and I’ve been slowly, but surely working on the flower beds. There’s so much to do, but I feel like progress is happening, even if it is very slow. I’d like to work on the pond next year, but that’s a whole other blog post.
May saw me venture into doing more things. Those who have followed me for a while know that my life is centred around being at home as much as I can and as I’m not home very much at all at the moment, this urge has become stronger than ever. However, if there’s something I would really like to do and schedule allows, I grab hold of it with two hands.
Malvern Spring Festival was first on my list of events and I had a blast. I’d not been before but I loved it! I also had the pleasure of attending my first Instagram Meet Up at Neptune Home in Edgbaston. If that wasn’t enough, an incredible day at the beautiful Amala Spa at the Hyatt Regency and the launch of the Edinburgh Gin Afternoon Tea at Harvey Nichols in the Mailbox followed in close succsession. I pretty much did a year’s worth of socialising in a week. Who knew this home-body could enjoy herself quite so much.
May was also really busy on the photography front with lots of event photography on the go, including the beautiful Hay Festival, which was a real treat. The Birmingham Prom was a local event that attracted huge numbers to enjoy a wonderful performance in the sunshine. I really just work on a photography only website! Hopefully, I can get that finished this summer.
So that was my Spring! Summer is well underway and I just hope it can be as wonderful as the first part of 2018. What have been the highlights of your spring?