Good morning, beautiful people! We are celebrating today; Summer is here! Wednesday saw in the start of this glorious season (my personal favourite!) with a gorgeous Solstice and heat just keeps on coming! Traditionally, the Summer Solstice is a time of intensity, renewal and great potential. It encourages us to celebrate the now as after the Solstice, the light begins to wane day-by-day.
With that in mind, today’s 10 Ways to Make Life Lovely is all about relishing the warmth of Summer, and passionately embracing this sunniest of seasons. So, for today’s post you’ll find us making the most of warmer nights, staying out late star gazing or to be with friends, we’re also sharing our favourite ways to not only handle, but embrace the heat (think DIY outdoor pools, divine linen bedding and healthy iced fruit snacks!) and we’re taking a look at the beautiful concept of sound meditation to heal, restore and rejuvenate, as is traditional around the time of the Solstice.
Let’s kick things off with a must-do for this weekend…
One: Starry Nights
The night sky. Fascinating, mind-blowing, utterly beautiful and humbling.
As the seasons turn, and the nights get warmer, now is the time to stay up late and wait for the stars. Whether that’s choosing to spend the entire evening outdoors with friends and family until the night draws in and the stars come out, or whether (as it keeps being for me!) it’s just taking a second to pause and tilt your head to the sky as you scurry outside at midnight having remembered you left all the washing hanging on the line…! *face palms*
However you do it, star gazing is just magical. It kinda brings out that child-like sense of wonderment in us, and, of course, it makes us slow down, taking our attention away from whichever screen it is we’ve been staring at for the last hour and back to something much bigger. It’s inspiring: inducing peace and grounding us while also expanding our perceptions and fuelling our dreams.
So get out there, build yourself a little star-gazing fort, and soak it all in!
Two: Healing Sound
Since the beginning of recorded history, sound has been used to heal. Ancient Egyptians built their pyramids to harness specific sounds and vibrations for the purpose of healing, as did the Greek Asclepian temples.
Our modern world seems to be coming full circle then, as more and more people turn to sound to help heal and re-create harmony in their bodies. From gong baths, to singing bowl meditations, these calming treatments use sound frequencies to induce alpha and theta brainwaves associated with deep relaxation and meditative states, providing a getaway to the subconscious where deep healing can take place.
Sounds lovely, right?! Ask about sound therapies on your local meditation group on Facebook, or if you’re London based definitely pay Sound Awakening a visit.
Three: Now Following
This feed, you guys. I freakin’ LOVE IT.
Whether you like them huge or small, luscious or weedy, hairy or smooth, sturdy or leggy… There’s something for everyone, and the lads aren’t half bad either! (all the winking emojis)
And so the house plant obsession continues and intensifies…
Four: Frozen Bites
You’ll never (NEVER) hear me complain about the heat. For real, I should definitely have been born in a hotter climate! However, that’s not to say that finding ways to love and enjoy the warmth all the more are not hot on my agenda, and some form of iced snack is always high on that list.
In the sunshine we’ve had these past few weeks I’ve found myself gravitating towards fruit so much more, so (naturally) I started freezing it to simultaneously get my icy fix too!
We’ve been loving the following recipes for a soothingly cold, sweet-while-pretty-much-healthy snack:
- Sprinkle coated, dipped Banana Pops
- Chocolate dipped Kiwi Lollies
- Watermelon and Raspberry ice lollies (note: replace the icing sugar for coconut sugar for a healthier version, or leave it out altogether!)
- Yoghurt drizzled Fruit Kebabs
- Or if you wanna get REAL fancy, have a go at these White Chocolate Basil Popsicles (made with a coconut milk base!)
Five: Pool Side
I don’t know about you guys, but I have been seriously craving the water with this heatwave we’ve been having, and if I’m honest Asda’s finest paddling pool just isn’t quite cutting for me!
Obviously the below image is the DREAM, like the ultimate dream! But snap back to reality and I’ve been dreaming of and playing with the idea of something called a ‘stock tank pool’. Made using a metal livestock trough (unused, obvs!) and a relatively simple little DIY like this one you can create a semi-permanent little pool for your garden at low cost, that’ll stay cool and crystal clear.
Plus they just look pretty rad…
Six: Linen Bedding
Top of the home-decor trends this year is linen bedding (it’s like the style-gods knew it’d be a hot one?!)
We absolutely adore this earthy fabric, with its intentionally crinkled finish, this all-natural fabric will keep you cool all night long, while looking stylish throughout the day.
We’re loving, in price ascending order (seen as linen can get a little on the fancy side!):
- H&M’s premium washed linen sets (their colour choice is so beautifully muted)
- This super soft rose Lisbon linen bedding at Rockett St George
- Grogeous investment bedding from the Linen Works
Seven: Now Watching
After THAT jaw-dropping, heart-wrenching shocker of a season 4 finale, you better believe we’ve been waiting on tender hooks for this, the 5th season of Orange is the new Black to drop on Netflix.
As always, the entire season has landed on Netflix, so I can’t really say too much as I desperately attempt to pace myself one episode at a time! But if it’s anything like season 4, this is a must watch!
This drama doesn’t shy away from some huge topics, and with a prominent ‘Black Live Matter’ message carrying through from last season, as well as female empowerment and a general addressing of human rights (amongst much more, I suspect!) it’s often a challenging watch (albeit with a smattering of rather absurd/dark humour), but really incredible!
SPOILER WARNING: do not watch the trailer below if you’re not up to date with season 4, there are some potential giveaways!
Eight: Go Out-Out
‘Tis the season to get your butt up off the sofa in the evenings and go out-out!
It’s tempting, isn’t it, when we get so used to hibernating from the cold for what, 9 months of the British year!? To just continue to spend the majority of our evenings at home, but GUYS! Don’t let this beautiful season, and gorgeous warmth that it brings, pass you by!
Throw your hair into something semi-presentable (the pros of being a bit of a hippy: immaculate hair is never expected of you!), put on a cute summer outfit, call up your besties and head out for an evening drink in the sun!
Be it your local beer garden, something a little more chic, or even just heading over to a friend’s garden for something cold and refreshing. Put your phone on silent, get a little dressed up and bask in the glory of summer!
Nine: Holy Sheet
Ok, I have to admit I’ve been a little reluctant with this beauty trend because, well, it just ain’t cute, ok?! In fact, it can even be a little terrifying on occasions…
Enter: the sheet mask
A trend that’s come over from the forward-thinking Korean beauty industry, as Vogue puts it, ‘sheet masks are effectively Phantom of the Opera-style fabric or gel masks doused in serum which penetrates into the skin while you lie back and take a selfie’.
…And therein the beauty lies (literally). These masks are just good-to-go, no faff of mixing up the perfect paste, no time wasted trying to paste it on to your face perfectly… You simply unwrap the gel-like mask, pop it on while drinking your morning coffee, or prepping your outfit for the evening ahead, and then peel off, leaving your skin plumped-up, and super hydrated!
I’ve been trying these super gorgeous golden Divine Hydra-gel masks by Beauty BLVD (as well as the face sheet they also do a specific eye and neck mask) and I absolutely love the ease and convenience of them – also perfect when refrigerated pre-application to cool and soothe!
Ten: Floral Edibles
Because what could be more summery (and lovely) than to add beautiful little flowers to everything and anything you eat/drink?!
Have a little look at the love that is Jamie Oliver’s guide to edible flowers, I was surprised as to just how many relatively common blooms (like pansies for example!) could be added to decorate salads, desserts, drinks… You name it!
As well as adding the perfect little burst of colour to your plate, there’s something so lovely about the ritual of stepping outside to pick the prettiest bloom to adorn your dish.
I hope you guys had a wonderful Solstice on Wednesday, and have all kinds of excitement/major chilling planned for the Summer! Don’t forget to keep your eyes on the Glastonbury coverage this weekend (if, like me, you’re not lucky enough to be there!) it’s set to be a good one!
Peace + Love