How amazing has this summer been? I’ve been absolutely loving the heatwave we had for June/July, though I’m not liking this rainy weather we’ve been having the past few weeks, even if all the plants need it. I just feel so much more unproductive when it’s cold and wet, and just want to snuggle up in bed with the cats and watch netflix instead haha!
We’ve filled the summer with picnics and days out around our local area, so there’s not really been too much to blog about. One of my favourite days though was when we popped to the farmers market in the morning, then went to our local reservoir for a little picnic by the water. It was so nice, and amazingly, it was SO quiet and we only saw two other couples on their walks.
Looook at my new kitchen! I shared a little pic of it in the last ‘Lately’ post once we had our new cabinets up. Nothing has really happened with it since as my dad’s was fitting it and he’s been super busy with work since, but we did get the tiles finished on one wall (yup, one – he’s got the rest of the tiles up, but not grouted). Then he just needs to fit the plug sockets and extractor fan and then we need to paint the walls.
Then it’s onto the area the other side of the room that we like to call the ‘cat room’ because it’s literally just filled with all of their feeding areas and cat food storage haha! We’re getting shelves put up there for our fruit and veg and all our recipe books, and a little breakfast bar at the window so we can chill in there while we cook and I’m so excited about it!
This warmer weather has got me so inspired to cook all the summer foods lately. I’ve been loving trying so many new vegetarian/vegan recipes out with these ones being my faves – Cumin Tahini Lentils with Tabbouleh, Vegan Lentil ‘meatballs’ with Pasta, and Greek Style Rice Stuffed Peppers with Greek Salad (From Rick Stein’s book ‘From Venice to Istanbul‘)*. If you’re looking for some healthy vegan recipes, I really recommend following Mama Eats Plants. She comes up with the most delicious recipes, and shares some really good ones too like the cumin tahini lentils from Ottolenghi. She’s got an instagram and a blog, so go check her out! So so good.
We also spent so many weekends at the beginning of the summer strawberry picking at our local PYO farm which we go to each year. It’s one of my favourite things to do each weekend and the strawberries are the best I’ve ever tasted! They also had some fresh peaches there too (not to pick, but to buy in their farm shop) and omg they were the most juciest and sweetest peaches I’ve ever tasted. Nothing from the supermarkets compare.
I can’t believe how much we’ve managed to get done in a year of having this van! We literally left for our two week Europe roadtrip a year after buying it and considering how little we got done in our last van in a year (we had a floor, some windows and an airbed), we managed to get SO much done on this one. We’ve got a fully working fridge, cooker/oven and sink, a seating area with proper cushions that converts into a bed at night, overhead storage and a shelving unit and curtains that I made from scratch (I’m so proud of myself hah).
We’ve still got SO much to do, like finish off the kitchen storage and waste water tank, and fit the bathroom, but it did us so well for our two weeks away. We haven’t had the time to use it as much as we’d like this summer, but we’re off to Scotland at the end of September for a week and I’m SO excited! I love it so much!
Although we haven’t been going away in the van that much this summer, we have popped away for some quick day trips and one night up in Yorkshire in the van back in July to the coast. It was so nice to get away even just for the night. I want to do a full blog post on our trip to Yorkshire, but I kind of feel like it might be a bit boring because we never actually did anything than walk along the beach at the campsite and cook some dinner before heading home the next morning haha!
We also visited one of my favourite UK cities for a few hours a couple weeks ago. We’re only an hour from Cambridge and my dad had a quick job to do there, so me, Shane and my mum decided to tag along with him and then we all stopped for lunch and a quick walk around before heading home. I could honestly sit and watch the punts all day long on the river! It’s so relaxing! Oh, and I also bought the ceramic vase in the photo above from the craft fair there!
Shane taught me how to fly the drone the other week (so scary) so we headed to one of my favourite places first thing in the morning and took it up for a while. I love getting the drone out, but it just terrifies me so much. We don’t use it enough, and one of my biggest regrets is that we only used it once on our entire trip in Europe. We could have gotten some amazing shots aswell!
I’ve been so proud of my little veg patch this year too! I never grew much at all last year, but this year has been so amazing! We’ve had a never ending supply of lettuce and haven’t actually had to buy any from the shops for months. I’m going to do a full post on my little veg garden soon, but here’s a little sneak peek for now. I really need to go out and forage for some blackberries and apples too like last year and make my apple and blackberry crumble again.
So I have some HUGE news for anyone that doesn’t follow me on instagram or twitter. Back in May last year, our cat Keeko went missing. I was distraught and so so worried about her as it was just not like her at all. She just vanished one evening after dinner. No sign of her at all. I never stopped thinking about her the whole time she was gone. Then back in June while we were on our roadtrip I saw a picture of her on our local lost and found pets facebook group and recognised her straight away (I never stopped checking it just incase). I was sure it was her, but we compared all the markings and sent my mum the post.
Next thing I know, she was arranging with the woman to go pick her up and take her to the vets to be scanned for her microchip. She called me up while we were in Ljubljana and told me it was Keeko and I just burst out in tears. We cut the trip short and headed home asap. After 377 days missing, she was found! We’re pretty sure she jumped into an ambulance that was in our street that evening and got taken in it to the other side of town. She finally found shelter in someones garden and they’d been feeding her scraps for months as she was skin and bones and they posted up asking if she belonged to anyone.
We’re SO happy she’s home. Isla not so much. She’s a very jealous kitten, and she doesn’t like the fact that Keeko is in her house (even though it was Keeko’s first). Her and Mr remembered each other straight away, so it’s just like old times with those two (as you can see with them both chilling in the garden together) and you can tell she’s just SO happy to be home again.
It’s been a while since I’ve done a lately post, so this one is pretty huge! Hopefully the next one will be a bit smaller. What have you been up to lately?