August marks one year since we left Luxembourg and moved to London. It’s one of those big transitions that both feels like an age ago, and like yesterday. This summer has been good so far. We’ve had a lot of great weather so lots of time for the three of to spend in parks and hanging out in the garden. We bought a sandpit and were given a paddling pool, we’re growing cherry tomatoes and courgettes, and many a glass of Pimms or white wine has been consumed.
Here is what I have been into these past few months (linking up as always with Leigh Kramer’s What I’m Into post)…
It doesn’t happen very often in this season of baby + toddler, but we went away for ten days with family so I actually got to turn more than three pages at a go without being interrupted! I read the YA novel, Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt, which is the story of a teenager who’s beloved uncle dies from AIDS in New York at a time when there was no treatment and the stigma was brutal. It is the story of her getting to know her uncle’s partner and how their grieving process intertwines. I really liked it (and it took me back to my childhood with all the early 90s references!).
I’ve also finally finished Sand Daughter by Sarah Bryant – epic drama, religious conflict and simmering romance! – and I’m part way through Immortal Diamond: The Search for Our True Self by Richard Rohr, which is messing with my head in the best way possible.
The Olympics, of course. Team GB did exceptionally well it seems, so although I am not hugely patriotic when it comes to sport of any kind, it was fun to watch us do so well, especially in the cycling. Netflix UK also finally added multiple seasons of The Gilmore Girls so I have started at episode one during Oskar-feeding-times.
A new banana muffin recipe (because you can never have too many of those!).
I borrowed Jamie Oliver’s 30 Minute Meals from a friend. They take much longer than 30 minutes (you need the chopping skills of a chef to go that fast) but we’ve tried three with success: his Satay Chicken, which I unfortunately cooked for my cousin with a peanut allergy after she forgot to tell me – oops! – is easy and good; the Fancy Crusted Cod is DELICIOUS and will definitely be repeated; and the Stuffed Cypriot Chicken, which was surprisingly similar to the cod – same stuffing/crust ingredients basically.
We also made this lamb halloumi bake one evening which was quick and yummy. Earlier in the summer I tried this Burst Tomato Galette from the ever-divine Smitten Kichen. And when Rasmus was away on a work trip, my cousin Allie came over and we made a Caesar Salad but with this yummy Avocado Coriander dressing.
Lastly, this is the only Chocolate Chip Cookie recipe you will need from now on. By Edd Kimber, it is amazing. My sister came to stay two weeks after Oskar was born, and she made a batch of these and froze them raw in the freezer for me. Seriously, every new mum should receive this service. Those cookies got me through the next few weeks! And I’ve made them myself a few times since…
for the kids.
One of the joys of toddlers is starting to rediscover all the books you read and loved as a young child. This month we are reading the gorgeous Alfie and Annie Rose books, The Tiger that Came to Tea, and the delightful Whatever Next! by Jill Murphy.
I bought Kaya the cutest little backpack from Skip Hop. It’s the Giraffe from their Zoo rucksack collection, but I also love the Unicorn and the Owl.
Kaya and I have been baking a lot together too. I wrote a post about it last week if you’d like to start baking with your kids but aren’t sure where to start.
- We staycationed for three days at the end of our family holiday in Germany. And one day we made the trek to the London Zoo for the first time. We really enjoyed it. It’s not too big so we could see most of it before Kaya got too tired. She loved the penguins and the monkeys. And we loved the first half an hour after we arrived when both kids were napping in their pushchair and we got to sit and have a coffee in peace! (We were worried it would be heaving in the middle of summer, but arrive at opening time and it’s incredibly quiet even in July!)
- The Spitalfields City Farm is just lovely. They have pigs, goats, sheep, hens, rabbits… and an awesome tree house to take your coffee up into.
- I met up with my cousins Helen and Allie, and Helen’s kids, on their day trip into London to do The BFG Dream Jar Trail. In honour of Roald Dahl’s 100th birthday, and the new movie of The BFG, they’ve asked celebrities to describe their dream, and it’s been designed into a glass jar, which are placed all over London. We joined in and found two on the South Bank with them (only up until 31 August!). Particularly good for kids 4+.
- Borough Market remains one of my favourite spots in London but do go early or you will fight with the crowds. And don’t leave without a doughnut from Bread Ahead. They are seriously probably the best I’ve ever had.
- Sydenham Woods is a lovely little forest here in SE London that we enjoyed exploring with the kids one weekend. I love that we can be in the middle of one of the biggest cities and still find these pockets of undisturbed nature to refresh in.
on the blog.
I’ve had some more time to write this past month and it has felt good to press publish on some of those thoughts and pieces these last few weeks. I finally pressed publish on Oskar’s birth story – part one about giving birth when you’re scared, part two about his birth itself and how redeeming it was. And then part three, which is so important to me – a message to any mama who thinks she failed at giving birth. You did not fail. I promise.
Family time. We spent ten days in Harz, Germany, with all of Rasmus’ family to celebrate his mum’s 60th birthday. It was so fun for Kaya to get time with her three cousins and all her aunties and uncles. And just lovely to be with family for such an extended amount of time. And also this summer we’ve gotten to see cousins and my parents and my sister. Just so good.
First birthdays. A little friend of ours turned one and we got to join in the celebrations. There’s something really special about getting to that first birthday marker, acknowledging all the hard that that first year brings with it, and celebrating all the growing up the little one has done. Looking back, it’s incredible to think how much can change in just twelve months.
Half birthdays. When my uncle and aunt sent Oskar a present to mark his six months of life, Kaya caught on to the idea that it was Oskar’s birthday and wouldn’t let go. So we made a half birthday cake (make one round, cut it in half and layer them!) complete with six candles and lots of singing in English and Danish. She was very satisfied.
Visitors. We’ve had friends to stay from Luxembourg this past month and it is always such a joy. I adore having a guest room. It gets used so frequently at the moment that it doesn’t feel like wasted space at all.
Summer Weather. It’s just easier being a mum to two tinies when you can get outside. We have so many great parks and playgrounds within walking distance, and there’s always the garden if that’s too much. I love autumn, but I will miss this great weather when the rain sets in again…