Five things in June

It’s been a great June! We’ve had some incredible sunshine, we’ve done lots of fun things, I’ve started doing a really great new (to me) exercise programme (more on that directly below) and generally, I’m just feeling incredibly satisfied. This is so far from how I usually feel in winter that’s it’s mildly disconcerting, but mostly wonderful. Long may these feelings last!

I hope you’ve also had a wonderful June with lots of highlights. Here are my top five of the month…

1. Melissa Wood Health

This is absolutely top of the list for me this month, both literally and figuratively! I’d been aware of Melissa Wood Health for a while – I can’t remember how, although I do know I read Grace Atwood’s review of it ages ago, and was possibly #influenced by that in a very slow-burn kind of way? – and in June, decided to do the free seven day trial to see how I liked it. Well, I loved it so much after two days that there was no question I would go on to a paid subscription. It’s similar to the barre classes I used to attend when we lived in the city, but much cheaper ($18.50 a month) and it’s so effective! And also, really fun! The workouts are, for the most part, hard, but I always feel so good after I do them. I also love the way they’re presented in the app, with a weekly schedule all ready to go at the start of every week. This sort of no-brainer approach suits me so well – there are no decisions to make, I just do the workout assigned to that day – and the workouts are so short that it’s easy for me to fit them in (the longest one I’ve done so far was 35 minutes). I really like this programme – it suits me so perfectly at this time of my life.

2. Ren Radiance Glow Overnight Dark Spot Sleeping Cream

I got a free sample of this mask in a Mecca Beauty Loop box, and tried it on my face a couple of times. It’s good, but not great, for me – for night, I need something more hydrating than this mask, and I deal to radiance and dark spots during the day with a Vitamin C serum under my moisturiser. So it languished in my drawer for a while until just a few weeks ago when I noticed how much my hands are showing my age, as well as scars from eczema following Amelie’s birth (anyone else find that pregnancy/post-partum changes mucked up their skin terribly?). I slapped it on figuring it couldn’t hurt, and have done so every night since that I’ve remembered, and it’s making a difference! I think! I swear my hands look better, and even if it’s a placebo effect, it’s good enough for me. I’ll keep using it regularly when I remember (so, super sporadically then) and will keep monitoring the results!

3. Winter beach visits

Yes, this isn’t the first time the beach has made it onto the monthly list of great things, and I doubt it’ll be the last, either. The beach is just such a perennial delight for me. I swear salt water flows in my veins. I remember in my early 20s, when I spent the summer in western North Carolina working at a summer camp, I absolutely pined for the beach – it was the first time in my life I had spent so much time inland, and even after three months I wasn’t used to it. Every time we rounded a corner when driving in the mountains I’d expect to see the sea (and be saddened when there was, obviously, no sea). I would never willingly spend so much time away from the ocean again. Luckily, there’s no reason I would have to, and I’m now in the absolute opposite position, with an amazing beach so close to us (and many more amazing ones just around the corner from it). We’ve had some incredible sunshine so far this winter, and there’s nothing I love more than starting my day with a beach visit – it’s absolutely life-giving.

4. Last Saturday Club at Brooke Lane Winery

We’re lucky enough to have a few beautiful little vineyards and olive groves not too far from where we live, including Brooke Lane! Every month they have Last Saturday Club, with live music, pizza from the pizza oven, platters and wine (obviously). We headed along on the last Saturday of June and had the most fun sitting by the fire, chatting, drinking some good wine, eating pizza and playing pétanque. Amelie was wiped from an earlier visit to the a playground to throw her ball around and ride her bike, and she was really happy to sit quietly, listen to her own music, and draw for most of the time we were there (although she was into the pétanque). It was the loveliest time!

Amelie wrote my name on my wine glass – awesome effort for a four year old, although it made me look like I had drunk too much wine before I even started…

5. Spontaneous surprises for the little one

Amelie isn’t always sweetness and light (being little is hard sometimes) but when she really makes the effort with her behaviour we try to reward it. One morning at the end of a long, hard week, we took her out for a quick fluffy before starting school and work for the day, to thank her for her hard work with her manners and dealing with big feelings even when she was tired. It was a cold morning so we didn’t linger, but it was such a lovely way to start our Friday. There is nothing I love more than giving her a little treat – it just makes her day! – and we try to whenever it’s the right thing to do. Plus, spending time with her is a delight.

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