A lifestyle blog from a forty-something mum

Showing posts with label Days out. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Days out. Show all posts

Saturday, 2 July 2016

12 Simple Ideas For Making the Most of Summer

Aloha, Summer 2016I'm all for making the most of lazy days and spending time in the great outdoors during the summer months. As both daughters finish university, there are plans to spend as much time as possible with daughter, Olivia, while Sophia leaves to work in the US until September. I am hoping that this summer will be a fabulous one despite missing Sophia a lot.

According to George Gershwin... 'Summertime, and the livin is easy...' epitomises everything that summer should be. A time for kicking back and taking time out to enjoy simple pleasures and exploring the great British countryside.

Here's my essential checklist for summer 2016...

1. Download a playlist that's filled with fabulous summer memories and perfect for warm summer days...


Sunglasses, summer, playlist


2. Go for a really long walk and return home only after a leisurely lunch outside the pub...

Pub lunch, summer, outdoors


3. Make the most of sunny days and warmer weather to attend local sporting events...

Regatta, summer


4. Take an early morning walk and try to spot some wildlife...

Early morning, walks, wildlife


5. Take a trip to the beach and dip your toes in the sea (or maybe wade in a little further if you're feeling brave!).

Beach, paddle, toes


6. Make S'mores on the barbecue...

S'mores, barbecue, marshmallows

How to make...
  • Take 2 biscuits (digestives and cookies both work well) but I prefer Graham Crackers (which aren't easy to find in the UK).
  • Place a square of chocolate onto each of the biscuits (Hershey's is used traditionally, but any chocolate works well).
  • Skewer a marshmallow and hold it carefully over the flames of the barbecue while rotating so that it cooks evenly. This is cooked when golden-brown in colour.
  • Place the marshmallow on top of the chocolate without removing the skewer. 
  • Place the remaining chocolate and biscuit on top of the cooked marshmallow.
  • Press down slightly so that the hot marshmallow melts the chocolate and sticks the s'more together.
  • Remove the skewer and wait a few seconds before eating.  

7. Drink hot chocolate under the stars (and wrap up in a blanket when the temperature start to fall).

Hot chocolate, night sky


8. Make a daisy chain and give it to someone you love...

Daisies


9. Go strawberry picking and spend the rest of the day enjoying a bowl or two and maybe enjoy a jug of Pimms :o)

Strawberry picking


10. Spend time watching the clouds and make pictures out of the formations...

Cloud watching


11. Make a picnic and head off for a day filled with adventure. Why not make an alternative selection of sandwiches such as Peanut butter, banana and honey?


Picnic, adventure, outdoors

12. Enjoy those great summer book releases and read outside in the sunshine...

Book, summer, reading outside


Here's to making the most of summer and hoping that the great British weather is glorious in 2016.

Are there any more you'd add to the list?


Copyright ©2016 Izzie Anderton



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Monday, 5 January 2015

Longing for summer already


water lily, pond, summerThere is something about this time of year that's all a bit meh. The house is bare after being stripped of its festive decorations and everything looks a little jaded and in need of a revamp.

So I'm planning on putting the next couple of months to good use: clearing the clutter, working on new projects in the house and sifting through my wardrobe to make room for clothing that can be worn to keep cool when it's warmer outside.

I long to emerge from hibernation and nights curled up in front of the TV wearing pyjamas and toasty socks - to eagerly anticipate warmer evenings sipping Pimms outside the local pub. In the meantime I'll plan days out and plot a makeover for the garden to turn it from drab into blooming. I've tolerated winter until New Year and feel that it's outstayed its welcome as I've recovered from partying a little too hard and long to spend time outdoors.

If it's wrong to fantasise about booking a vacation, balmy days ahead and being able to leave the house without multiple layers of clothing - then I don't want to be right.

The days are longer already as winter solstice has been and gone, but with endless cold days of January, followed by lacklustre February and March which can be cruel, I'll write work plans for the coming year and stay focused in the hope that the temperature outdoors will have climbed significantly by the time I have mastered all of the above.

The house will unfurl from winter to reveal a more hospitable living space that's a little bit more gorgeous when it's warm outside.

In the meantime, I'll keep the heating on and listen to my summer playlist from 2014, featuring gorgeous tracks like this...

If I close my eyes, I can almost remember how it felt to be warm...



Is anyone else fantasising about summer too?

Until next time...

Copyright©2015 Izzie Anderton

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Wednesday, 6 August 2014

A Day at Witley Court


Nestled deep in the Worcestershire countryside is a hidden gem. Witley Court was one of England’s most spectacular country houses, famous for hosting lavish parties and entertaining royalty. Following a fire in September 1937 however, the house and grounds fell into disrepair, until it was taken over by English Heritage in 1984.

Today the house is a shadow of its former self. After decades of exposure to the elements, only hints of opulent grandeur remain. There’s an ethereal sadness to the house and grounds, but it’s captivating and well worth a visit. Look out for charred timbers in the East Wing as this reflects how little of the house was actually damaged by the fire.








Take a stroll through the Woodland and Lakeside walks and keep an eye open for kingfishers. I was lucky enough to spot two. Sadly, they were moving too fast for a photo. There's also a Wilderness Play Area if you happen to have little ones in tow.

Lake view




The Boathouse
On the day of our visit, the weather was perfect for a picnic in the gardens. Just don’t sit too close to the Perseus and Andromeda Fountain if there’s a hint of a breeze.


Perseus and Andromeda Fountain

The grounds are currently being restored to their former Italianate-style following the discovery of the original designs for the gardens...











After devouring our picnic and extensive exploration of the 40-acre site, we took the Woodland walk back to the visitor centre and headed for home.

Until next time...

Copyright©2014 Izzie Anderton


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