preparing our home for autumn

Today has been one of those lovely crisp September days where the sun shone and the sky was blue. I love the notable shift in the season between summer and autumn, the dip in temperature as our corner of the world tilts away from the sun. The subtle change in light and the colours of the leaves on the trees as they begin to fade into a patchwork of jaded greens, reds and yellows, have you noticed it yet? 

September around here has always been a welcomed chance to start afresh, this year especially. We spent lovely hazy summer cocooned in our newborn baby bubble, it felt lovely and care-free not needing to be anywhere or do anything. But with the coming of autumn, I am ready to set some intentions for the months ahead and find our groove as we settle into a new season as a family of four. Here are a few things I will be doing in the coming weeks to prepare our home for autumn:

// Sorting and washing all our woollen blankets and throws so they are lovely and fresh when the evenings get a little chilly.

// Giving the floor a good old scrub after weeks of little feet running barefoot in and out of the garden.

// Sourcing and making candles. One thing that defines a cozy home in autumn, for me, is burning fragrant candles, especially if the weather is a little bit gloomy. Last winter we lit a candle in the morning at breakfast time it was a lovely start to the day and something I will reintroduce now that the mornings aren’t quite as warm. Iv recently discovered The Botanical Candle Co for beautiful, hand poured, soy candles that not only smell divine but come in some gorgeous repurposed vintage vessels and stoneware, I highly recommend having a little look at what they have on offer. I am also going to attempt to make some beeswax candles. I have lots of wax left over after making these food wraps here and I have recently purchased some sheets of natural beeswax to roll my own candles.

// Apple picking. I’m looking forward to stocking the freezer with stewed apple and making apple crumble because nothing says autumn more than crumble and custard, right?

// A simple evening routine. The hours between dinner time and bedtime used to be so simple, we’d fallen into a lovely little routine that saw our eldest fall asleep in my arms soon after a story. Things now seem to be taking hours and juggling the demands of both little ones leave me feeling exhausted by the time they are both asleep. Over the coming weeks I want to find a simple bedtime routine that will keep us all calm and feeling restful. If you have any advice please do leave a comment below I would love to hear.  

// Self-care. Carving out a little time to take care of myself has been quite low on my list of priorities lately. I am sure I am not alone in this and many of you will be familiar with the feeling. There are not enough hours in the day to do it all, let alone carve out time to nourish our own souls. But I have come to realise that it may be the most important thing we could do for ourselves and our families, because if we feel refuelled – creatively, spiritually and mentally then we will have the energy to continue “giving” to our families. I would like to read more, to look after my skin, to practice the things that give me joy (other than being a mother). I think if I were to be a little more organised than I may just find a way to free up some all-important me time.

Have you set any good intentions and goals for the months ahead?

Handmade // baby gym

This is quite possibly my favourite DIY project ever! Not least because seeing our littlest enjoy playing with it makes me smile, but because we all had a part in making it together as a family, including Arthur who helped Daddy drill the holes.

Many of the baby gyms we have seen online are brightly coloured, whilst they serve good purpose, they are not our taste and would only make our small living room seem much smaller and feel cluttered. What we really wanted was one that, not only provided entertainment for Rupert but one that was made from natural materials that felt like it belonged in our home and fitted with our simple style. Making our own was the perfect solution and it was so easy too.

To make your own baby gym you will need:

4 x 400mm length of wood, the pieces here are 20mm wide
1 x 400mm length of dowel
2-3 packs of wooden beads (we found ours here)
1.5m (approx) of ribbon, we have used hand-dyed silk scraps
Drill (including drill bit to match the dowel + a smaller one)
Saw
Sandpaper
Needle

Method:

Cut the wood to length, the measurements above are approximate but work well. We mitred the bottom edges with a 45 degree angle so it sits flat to the ground when opened out

Using a drill bit the same width as the dowel, drill a hole at the top of each length of wood. Then drill a small hole mid way down each length of wood.

Push the dowel into the holes at the top of the wood (two on each side, this will create the A-frame structure)

Sand any rough edges

Thread some ribbon through the smaller holes on the A-frame, this will stop the frame opening out too far

Thread a series of beads on to ribbon and tie them to the dowel at the top

Over time we planning to add different things to hang down from the bar at the top to keep it interesting. As autumn is upon us we thought fir cones and dried crunchy leaves might be a nice idea for a different texture. Or some bells to add a different sound. But for now, we love it as it is and its really lovely to see Rupert happily explore it with his hands and feet.

For those who may be interested:

Rupert’s romper  // Wilbur the wooden stacking dog* // Wooden rattle // Bear rattle* // Wicker toy basket* // This is not a sponsored post although the products marked with * were sent to us as a gift. 

Newborn bubble // Memories of July

My memories of July are already so hazy, it feels a life time ago already now, its the perfect reminder to keep documenting all these little moments here on my blog so I can look back on in years to come! Here are some images I have dug out from my camera roll from the month of July – I think the month passed in a blur as I continued to heal and bonded with our tiny little boy. We had lots of picnics in the sunshine and little evening walks, the little walk through the wheat field has to be my favourite memory of July.

The slow rhythm of summer

This summer has been a slow one, we’ve allowed many of the days to unfold without any real plans which has been quite lovely especially as we are adjusting to our new family rhythm. We have taken lots of little walks together, paddled in the stream, played in the garden and enjoyed lots of picnics – picnics are my favourite! In some ways this season has reminded me so very much of my own childhood summers – we were never rushed and alway encouraged to play freely, I’m sure it is in these moments of unstructured time that the imaginations of little ones grow.

A few weeks back we let our imaginations run wild as we took a little trip down to a stream we have recently discovered near our home. We waded our way through a meadow which was a jungle of wild flowers, so rich in colour – nature knows the colours that go so beautifully doesn’t it! We foraged for blackberries along the way and when we finally reached the little stream we floated paper boats and fished with an old jam jar. Arthur was in his element as he scooped up grit from the bed hoping to catch the tiny shrimp. After paddling in the water we sat up on the little bridge and ate our picnic, it was the most perfect time and one I want to remember forever. I often wonder if any of these little adventures will be the ones Arthur tells his own children about one day.

This post is written in collaboration with Hammam and Home who kindly gifted us with the turkish towels. I am thrilled to share them here with you, not only are they beautiful, they are perfect to use as picnic rugs, they are lightweight and take up very little space in my mama bag, not to mention they are great for drying of little feet after a paddle in the stream.