Love Love Love List: July 2017

Love Love Love list: Books and articles I've read and things I've loved this month

This month went by in a complete flash. I can’t believe that the trip to Trinidad, anticipated for SO long (it was originally booked for November last year, but then when we found out I was pregnant and would have to fly in the third trimester, we cancelled it), is already over. I had such a wonderful time out there.

Theo was a challenge, I think primarily due to less sleep that usual and just the sheer excitement at being somewhere new. He refused to nap, refused to go to bed at night, went wild all day. But I’m pretty sure he loved it – seeing all the different animals and birds, splashing around in the pool (but only actually getting in it a handful of times – thanks, 18 months of swimming lessons!), rolling around in the sand – it was such a lot of new experiences for him all at once!

But now the trip is over, and it’ll be another few years before we head back. This month we have plans to visit Peter’s parents in Northumberland, but apart from that, we’ll just be mooching around our neighbourhood as usual. I do love being on holiday, but there’s definitely something to be said for enjoying the day-to-day.

One of my close friends from childhood had the absolute worst happen – her daughter was diagnosed with a fatal genetic disease, and last week she died, less that two years old. It wasn’t a shock – since her diagnosis they knew it was going to happen, and therefore I think they had come to terms with it, but just an awful tragedy nonetheless. At times like these, I wish I lived closer to her (she lives in America), but I’m reassured knowing that she has the most incredible support network for family and friends there with her.

It has also made me incredibly grateful for what I have – yes, tantrums and arguments about naps can be trying, but I can take them if it means having Theo and Beatrice in my life. I really do hate the idea that you should cherish every moment, because sometimes parenting is a hard and shitty job, but it’s made me put the not so great bits into perspective a bit more.

On a more positive note, these are the things that I’ve been reading and enjoying lately:

  • I finished Together. About halfway through I was thinking to myself, “this relationship is ridiculous, NO ONE has this kind of marriage”, but it was very readable and there is a fantastic twist about the secret that binds the couple together. (HA, just went to link out to this and saw the subtitle “An epic love story with a secret you won’t see coming. True!)
  • I read a couple of books for work, just to stay on top of the books I’ll be working on when I get back to the office. They aren’t listed on Amazon yet, but I’ll definitely shout about them when I get back to work.
  • I’m currently reading The Boy on the Bridge, a story set in the same world as The Girl with All the Gifts. Really loving it so far. I wish I could remember more about The Girl, though. If you haven’t read it yet, don’t read my questions. If you have: What was the thing with the children they encountered? Why were they infected but not affected as much?
  • We took two brilliant books on holiday – if you have a little boy or girl obsessed with dinosaurs and vehicles, look no further than Dinosaur Rescue (hello, dinosaurs need to stop a train crash with fire engines, police cars and helicopters? Yes please!) and Search and Find Vehicles. I must have read each of these about 50 times on holiday, and they never got old (for Theo, I’ll admit I was a bit sick of them by the 5th reading).
  • I visited the Mayfields Lavender Farm. BEAUTIFUL and so close to home – I can’t believe I had never been before, well worth the trip.
  • I love this piece about female anger. When I get angry I get absolutely furious and want to shout and slam doors, and then usually once I’ve done that it all simmers down and I’m fine again. I kind of think it’s better out than in…
  • I did this 7 day meal plan at the end of June/beginning of July and it was really excellent. I’d definitely do it again. It massively inspired me to do more food prep and to plan my meals out a bit better – recently I’ve kind of dropped the meal planning. I’m really looking for more plans along these lines (that cover breakfast, lunch and dinner), but struggling to find any that aren’t for people on a diet – do you know of any good ones?
  • I needed this article this month. Great advice on what to say (and what not to say) to someone’s coping with grief.
  • Thanks to Ruth for suggesting three great things for me this month:
    • Starling Bank are an amazing app-only bank that produces fantastic charts to show you where you’re spending your money (and pings you every time you use your bank card) – great when you’re on a budget.
    • Moneybox is a savings app that connects to your bank account and lets you ’round up’ into a stocks and shares ISA (so, for example, say you spend £2.50 on a coffee, you can choose to deposit the remaining 50p into savings).
    • OddBox is a fruit and veg delivery box that delivers oddly shaped produce (that would otherwise have been discarded) to your home. We had our first box last week and I love it – we’re going to get one every other week.
  • Speaking of apps, I love Olio. It’s a way to give away things to people in your neighbourhood. It’s great for clearing out bits and bobs you don’t want and I’ve also gotten a few cool things from it, too. One man’s trash is another man’s treasure, right?

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