Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

20th July 2022

Have a wild summer! Build magical dens, make veggie-packed ice-pops, DIY wood-fired hot-tubs, sunflower alleys and clay pizza ovens! Celebrate self-care, explore afro-futurism and go rock-pooling at night! Plus find positive actions you can take to combat climate change and bake vegan tahini chocolate cookies.

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

20th July 2022

Kate Hodges

By Kate Hodges

20th July 2022

DO, MAKE HAVE A WILD SUMMER
For many, the starting pistol for the summer holidays fires this week. With the time off stretching in front of us, why not take on a big outdoor project? These long-form ideas are perfect for your garden, a community space or allotment.
*Clay pizza ovens are ambitious builds, but a hugely fun group project, create a focal point for summer nights outside and result in dirt cheap, utterly delicious dinners forever.
*Turn a tiny corner into an abundant garden. Find out here how to make balconies lush and green, build your own vertical garden or turn your lawn into a vegetable patch!
*Try gardening with your kids; make a sunflower alley, a bean teepee or colourful pots Perhaps you might turn your garden into a wildlife-friendly space
*Build a den, fort, treehouse or hideaway to make an imaginary world where anything is possible - we think that these tips from Fiona Danks and Jo Schofield are the best we’ve read! Or create new play areas in your plot; try making a mud pit, a sand hill or water fun park!
*Find a secluded spot, and transform an old bathtub into a wood-fired hot-tub. Scatter candles, take a book or your kids and soak under the stars.
*Sitting around a fire pit, cooking, singing and watching the sparks fly into the air is a dreamy way to spend warm summer nights; why not try building your own?
*For those with smaller gardens, less time or lower budgets, there are plenty more outdoor play space ideas here.

DO LOVE YOURSELF

Sunday is International Self-Care Day. We are big advocates of trying to carve time out for some self-love. The more supportive of ourselves, the easier parenting can be (read why here). Many of us feel guilty for making time for self-compassion, but Nina Armstrong believes it’s not selfish to look after yourself. Find her suggestions for how to integrate a daily practice of self-care here.

We asked four self-care queens for their top three self-care tips:

Alyssa Cockerell created The Thriving Cycle Method to help women get in touch with their hormones and sex drive. “Stress levels, imbalanced diet, not sticking to your personal boundaries and not living in alignment with your menstrual cycle can all affect our sex drive. I have three daily tips to help you get in a serious relationship with your body.”

Sarah Ryan is the founder of Mama Moments – helping mums put themselves first and make time for self-care. “What you need when your baby is two months old, will be different to what you need when your child is two years old. We need to get curious and notice how we feel after different activities to discover what self-care is for us. Does meditation help you reenergise? Or maybe it’s a run listening to your favourite music?”

T’era Burton, mum of three, is a mental health advocate. “Children need to see us being open and honest about how we feel. If we create spaces of openness it will help them to view and process their own emotions in a healthy way. It’s natural to want to hide those parts of us but, when we take the steps to be real and even heal to be healthy in our emotions we are showing that there’s strength in vulnerability.”

And Erin Erenberg, founder of Totem Women, writes about three simple self care habits that you can start today. “The phrase “self care” is so overused that it’s more likely to evoke an eye roll than it is to inspire a positive change in routine. But there’s nothing like the loss of our familiar structures and routines to wake us up about the importance of looking after our health and happiness.”

RECIPE LOLLY GAGGING
You may not have noticed, but it’s pretty hot at the moment. It’s the time for frozen treats. We’ve got you covered. Our vegan Green Monster Pops have a healthy secret - spinach - yet they’re still super-sweet and delicious. Or use up leftover cake (is there such thing as leftover cake?) by making Bee’s Bakery Cake Ice Lollies. If you’re dairy intolerant or vegan, try these healthy Creamy Coconut and Berry Popsicles, or Anthea Cheng’s plant-based Chocolate Fudgsicals. If you’re breastfeeding, you might like to try making breastmilk lollipops; they’re great for sore throats…

EVENT VITAMIN SEA
It’s National Marine Week. Organised by The Wildlife Trusts, it’s actually 15 days of all things salt-watery. Why not search for natural treasures, go mud-dipping, or join a night-time rock pooling safari near you? Find an event near you. Alternatively, take action nearer home and organise your own beach clean, or join the Great Egg Case Hunt.

DO CITY COOL

London’s south bank is a wonderful place to spend lazy summer days run through Jeppe Hein’s cooling Appearing Rooms fountains and Klaus Weber’s fountain sculptures, explore Jyll Bradley’s four-metre ode to Kentish ‘hopping’ and chill in the Queen Elizabeth Hall Roof Garden.

The Southbank Centre’s summer theme is In The Black Fantastic; a dive into contemporary Black art and culture that explores myth, science fiction and afro-futurism. Enjoy open-air artworks and themed weekends; Saturday and Sunday see Nwando Ebizie leading guided visualisations and experimental performances in The Swan.

A short hop away, The National Theatre’s River Stage returns for the first time since 2019, with free themed, outdoor fun every weekend. This week, its the turn of Manchester’s HOME to bring the best of the city’s music, yoga, family shows, drag performers and DJs.

WHAT WE’RE EATING Vegan Tahini Chocolate Chip Cookies Anshu Ahuja founded Dabbadrop with Renee Williams from their homes in East London. Here they share a recipe for vegan chocolate chip cookies. Find the recipe here

WHAT WE’RE READING What can I do about climate change? 14 ways to take positive action: “Amid warnings of record temperatures and raging wildfires in Europe, many people are asking – what can I do about climate change? More than you think, perhaps.” Read more here

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