This week we’ve been lucky enough to get some great weather for a change. Monday was incredibly hot and Tuesday was even warmer. After than it cooled a little but not enough to actually have rain or cold days. This means we’ve had park days, water fights, ice cream and car washing! It’s been so nice to enjoy the weather for a change.
With summer holidays fast approaching I have to admit I’ve started to wonder what I can do to occupy the kids. For the most part they’re fairly happy kicking around the house or even going out to the local park, but its always nice to get out and about – especially as we live so close to the beach and other beautiful countryside. I’ve flicked through Molly’s Guide and the Primary Times to see if there are any good vouchers for local attractions, or even free activities days. I’ve even been scouring the net for things to do that won’t cost the earth. I came across an article on Haven’s blog about alternative beach activities and since Mablethorpe and Skegness are so close to us, I figured I could put some of the ideas to use.
Anyway, with the help of the kids, I put together some bucket list items that we’d like to tick off this summer. Here’s what we came up with.
- Visit the beach (preferably on a day sunny enough to paddle/swim and build sandcastles – easier said than done in the UK)
- Travel on a double-decker (preferably open top) bus.
- Go to London on the train and catch a theatre show. We’d love to see Matilda, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Aladdin. Maybe even Harry Potter and the Cursed Child.
- Swim at the local pool, preferably once a week.
- Catch a movie at the cinema, especially on the cheap kids show either Saturday and Sunday mornings.
- Walk to the local park, play and have a picnic lunch.
- Get out the tent and go camping. Megan spent a few nights in her sleeping bag last week and now they’re both obsessed with the idea of going camping.
- Go to a theme park. I recently saw that Drayton Manor had a discount on their tickets, or places like Alton Towers and Legoland often have 2 for 1.
- Attend a Yule Ball and Harry Potter convention. We actually have tickets and dresses for this already. We’re pretty excited to be attending a ball.
- See the poppies at Lincoln Castle. These are here till September and I would love to see them before they leave.
As I was finishing off the list of things we’d like to do, Lily added “buy a new house”. While it’s not really part of my Summer Bucket List, I do wish that it was! I think selling the house that fast at this stage would be a bit of a dream, but I guess we can hope!
What do you have planned for the summer?
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Summer has got to be my favourite time to change up the décor throughout my home. This is the perfect season to introduce exciting splashes of colour and to invest in some key pieces of furniture to make your living space look and feel refreshed. You can also rely on professionals who are well-trained in doing Kitchen Renovations if you want to spice up your kitchen.
If you are thinking of redecorating your home, have a look at my tips which I hope will help you give certain rooms in your home the revamp they need.
New colours suggested by Just DIY Decor can instantly refresh a room and don’t think you need to just stop at painting the walls. Tired furniture can be revived with a lick of paint, and dining chairs, each painted in a different pastel shade. Epoxy Flooring can also give your dining area or kitchen a stunning new vibe. Now is the time to paint your kitchen an entirely different shade and bright yellows will help keep your home feeling summery even during the inevitable wet days of summer in the UK.
Refresh Your Bedroom
If you have had the same bedframe and mattress for many years, now is the time to invest in a brand new bed. I’d recommend browsing the selection at Bedstar as they have a great choice of mattresses to suit all body types, which is ideal for summer months when the warm weather can have the potential to interrupt your sleep. White bed frames and bedroom furniture are in this season and this shade is perfect for introducing relaxing summery elements into your home. Complete the look with white or pale bed covers and throws and a white cotton rag rug beside the bed for a beach-shack feel. A new carpet installation can also refresh the overall aesthetics of your bedroom.
Lush Living Rooms
As the place where you are most likely to relax, the living room needs to be a cocoon of comfort for you and the entire family. One of the most enjoyable things about summer is seeing the sunlight stream into the room and if you still have heavy curtains, you cold be missing out on enjoying the full impact of the sun in your living room. Choose light, translucent curtains which will allow light to flow into the room and opt for white or pastel shutters rather than darker colours. Brighten up the living area with a colourful rug rather than completely overhaul your flooring and if you don’t want to purchase a new sofa, buy a few light-coloured throws and cushions.
Summer’s here, which means its time to dust off the barbecue and get your friends and family around for a garden party. Make sure your garden looks its best by choosing quirky, pergolas for shade, colourful garden furniture where your guests can relax. Ensure you can keep partying into the night by draping outdoor fairy lights on fences and in hedges, and invest in an outdoor heater or two so you won’t feel the need to retreat indoors.
Although we are already well into summer, it isn’t too late to get decorating, so grab a paint brush and don some overalls and get your home summer ready!
Cocktails are the perfect recipe for a balmy summer day. They contain refreshing fruit juice, and they carry quite a punch. Whether you’re having the family round for dinner in the garden, cooking up a barbecue for friends and family, or you want to sit and relax with a good book in the sun, any of the following cocktails are a great way to help relax and unwind. Pick the mint and fruit from your own garden, or buy them fresh, and use a site like Just Miniatures to make sure you’ve got all the essentials.
1 – Mojito
The mojito is a classic, and one of the most refreshing of all cocktails. Place a dozen or so fresh mint leaves in the bottom of a glass, add some crushed ice, a shot of Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, a teaspoon of sugar, and a dash of lime juice. Mix the ingredients, before adding about twice as much soda water as you did rum, and then add another couple of mint leaves as garnish.
Empty a bottle of Chardonnay into a pitcher, and add around a quarter of a cup of sugar. Stir until the sugar dissolves and then add a cup of grape juice and a cup of soda. Slice a nectarine and a tangerine, and halve a cup of seedless white grapes before adding these to make white sangria.
3 – Watermelon Margarita
If you’re feeling adventurous, combine a dash of agave syrup and two dashes of lime juice to a double shot of good quality tequila. Mix the ingredients and then finish off with a slice of watermelon for a twist on a margarita cocktail.
4 – Planter’s Punch
Planter’s Punch looks great and tastes refreshing too. Combine a double dark rum, a double spiced rum, a single shot of Grand Marnier, a cup of orange juice, a cup of pineapple juice, a couple of dashes of lime juice and simple syrup. Add 4 dashes of bitters and a shot of grenadine. Add ice, and combine the ingredients in a shaker. Pour into a tall glass and garnish with a slice of orange.
5 – Pimm’s Cup
The Pimm’s Cup cocktail is simple to make, refreshing to drink, and ideal for drinking in an English garden. Fill a tall glass with ice, add a quarter of a cup of Pimms and around the same amount of ginger ale. Top it with a cucumber slice and a sprig of mint and enjoy.
In previous years, Summer has usually been and gone by now. Well not really, but you know we’ve usually had that week in May where there’s a really hot week and after that, nothing really comes close, bar a day here and there. We were promised a heat wave this June and so far… well it’s a little disappointing to be honest. Sure, the sun is out and the rain has disappeared for a little while, but it’s still not HOT, is it?
When we were on holiday in Florida, in April, the weather was too hot. Us Brits just aren’t really built for that type of hot. That said, I really enjoyed how warm it was and other than worrying about hats and suntan lotions, myself and the girls really soaked up the sun. If the air conditioning had been working properly and we’d actually been cool in the villa, I think perhaps I could have lived with the Florida heat. Chris on the other hand grumbled the whole time, desperate to get back to the weather of our own country. Now we’re back I think I’ve been suffering from a bit of SAD. I need some nice warm days to get me back in a positive mood. I’ve sold all my Florida dresses on Ebay and it’s a little depressing. Would you believe I’m still wearing a leather jacket and a scarf most days?
So to get myself feeling a little warmer, I decided I would share with you some of the things I love most about summer!
Family Holidays – Two years ago we had a very impromptu holiday to Legoland. The weather was absolutely beautiful for majority of the day and even when it rained, we just got wet but not cold. I love having the kids off for six weeks, despite the fact they can get on my nerves a little at times. I always encourage Chris to book a week off in July/August so we can do something, even if it’s just for a couple of days.
Family Days Out – If we can’t manage a full holiday, we at least manage a few days here and there. Last year we went to Warwick Castle, Cadbury’s World, Eureka and National Forest Adventure Farm. Sometimes I take the kids by myself, other times Chris comes too and if all else fails, my mum is always on hand to tag along.
LFCC – Alright so I’ve only been once last year, but I’d love to go again this year too. In May we went to MCM Comic Con and it was great to see the difference between the too, but I’d still really like to head down to London in July and go again.
Learning new things – Last summer Megan finally learnt to ride her bike and I imagine this year Lily will too. Summer is always such a perfect time to learn to bike ride, swim, fly a kite etc. When the sun is out you always feel more inclined to do things. We always walk into town instead of drive too.
Adult Days Out – Normally the girls go away with their dad for a few days in Summer and he has them overnight at least once a week. This allows for adult days out and since these are so few and far between, I like to make the most of them. Last year we obviously had LFCC for a whole weekend but also I went to both Thorpe Park and Alton Towers. As much as I love the kids, it’s great to have time without them too.
There are loads of other things I like about summer – BBQs, trips to the beach, being able to wear dresses and so on. However these are just some of my top picks. However instead of a sun hat and sandals, I’m far more likely to be wrapping myself up in cashmere and wooly jumpers. Luckily Summer is great time to grab some bargains on Winter clothes!
I’m Jane, and I blog at Is That You Darling. When Bel said she was looking for guest bloggers, I threw my name into the hat, because I love Journeys Are My Diary – it’s like a scrapbook of all the fun things Bel gets up to!
In an astonishing turn of events, March recently turned into April, and brought with it some sunnier weather. The temperature hasn’t always matched up to the sunny days, but it’s getting there, so I thought I’d have a think about all the things I’m looking forward to in summer 2014.