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August has been a strange old month. I went into August feeling the cold dread of a long summer ahead of us with no plans, nowhere to go, and nothing to do. Of course it hasn't actually been like that, we have had a lovely time together and it's been really nice to have the children home without the pressure of home school. I desperately wish we had been able to go away somewhere though, to make memories, but I guess this year's memories are of the year that we spent summer in a sort of lockdown!
I have been continuing to read some parenting guides. Raising Boys was really useful and gave me an insight into what it is like for boys, and how to better deal with them. We have tried to implement some of the strategies such as more Daddy time and I am looking to start Little Boy in some martial arts classes in September.
I also bought a series of books recommended to me by someone on Instagram - the How To Talk So Kids Will Listen series. I've read the teenage one and it has some brilliant practical advice for how to talk to your teenager. I realised that some of the things I was saying to my eldest weren't said in the most constructive way and this book has really made me think twice before I speak.
Fiction wise I have just started Little Fires Everywhere which is enthralling from the start and I can't wait to get to bed early this evening to read a bit more of it. I was enticed by the Amazon Prime series but I wanted to read the book before I watched it.
We are on Series 3 of ER now! However, whilst I waited for the DVD to be delivered (I buy them second hand on eBay) we started watching The Handmaids Tale. I read the book ages ago and I knew the series had rave reviews but I wasn't sure that my husband would enjoy it. Fear not, he does love it, although I am subjected to constant whinging about religion now!
I also watched a documentary about the Bruderhof, a religious group who have settlements across the world. They live a sustainable and simple lifestyle based on the teachings of Jesus. Something really appeals to me about this way of life, it's a little like the Amish. There's definitely something idealist about living a more simple life that is very tempting, although I am sure many of the realities of it aren't great.
I have started listening to podcasts again, hooray! I have promised myself that I will exercise for at least 30 minutes each day and a long brisk walk with the dog fills that quota so I am able to listen to a podcast on the walk. I'm really loving Dr Ranjan Chattergee's Feel Better Live More podcast and it has inspired me to work harder on meditation and exercise.
Well, today I made vegan burgers, which for the first time ever weren't a fail! It's a long running family joke that whenever I try to make a vegan burger it comes out sloppy! In fact, these were so good that the recipe is over on my food blog, they are vegan sun-dried tomato and chickpea burgers. I'm also working on a recipe for a vegan bakewell tart so hopefully I will be sharing that recipe soon.
I also finished another embroidery hoop! These have been a lockdown staple of mine and I've really enjoyed getting back into sewing. I'm trying to save some money at the moment so I found some old cross stitch kits that I haven't finished from years ago, including two baby samplers for the girls! I am going to finish these off and have them framed and then find kits to make one each for the boys too.
I did do a little shop in the Next sale which arrived this month but most of it was awful fitting so I sent it back. I'm living in leggings at the moment as I am doing quite a bit of exercise and we aren't really going out much. I am still loving my Love Leggings black leggings (given as a gift for an Instagram campaign a while ago). I also have my eyes on some on eBay I have seen on Mrs Meldrum's instagram stories. I have also just bought a pink poncho from H&M as the weather is getting colder!
There's not much else to say but stay safe and good luck next month with getting back into the routine of school and working etc. I'm torn between looking forward to it and dreading it! I'm sharing what we are getting up to on my Instagram channel every day (@wemadethislife) and I'm still making videos over on my YouTube channel.