our spring and summer manifesto

It is now officially Spring, even if it doesn't quite feel like it yet. We are now entering into my favourite six months of the year, and I can practically smell the possibilities... and the sunshine. I'm such a sunshine girl, and nothing makes me happier than when the calendar turns over to March and Spring is finally here (except when the calendar flips over into June and SUMMER is here - because summer really, truly holds my heart!)

I am beyond excited for the months ahead with my little tribe. There are so many amazing things that I'm looking forward to enjoying together, so many things we enjoy that we can introduce our newest member to, so many chances to explore and spend quality time together. The spring and summer always feel so much more full of possibility to me somehow. Maybe it's the longer days, the weather allowing us more time outside, or the promise of holidays from school. But I know that I can't wait.

And this year, in a bid to really make the most of our time, I am announcing "Our Spring and Summer Manifesto". Sounds grand doesn't it? It really isn't. It's a bucket list of sorts I guess, only I didn't want to write a bucket list and then find myself frustrated with things we couldn't tick off. Instead I'm going with a manifesto. It's not about writing a must do list, but just about being intentional about how we spend our time. I'm going to approach spring and summer this year with a different mindset and with simple challenges to the way that I see the world during my favourite time of year.

My manifesto is made up of seven simple things. Things which matter to me or to us as a family, and things that I want to embrace...

I think fresh air tends to be a bit of a given as the weather warms up. And I know I'm not the only one who feels like a breath of some fresh air is good for the soul. But we want to commit to getting fresh air everyday; even if it's just a quick walk, or simply opening the windows wide and letting a breeze blow through.

We also plan to do as much fresh air eating as we can too; picnics, barbecues, lazy afternoons in (family friendly) beer gardens. We want to tick camping off of our to do list at some point, so maybe we'll be able to get a ton of fresh air in our lungs doing just that.

Our favourite kind of fresh air is the salty, breezy kind you get at the seaside. And we plan on breathing plenty of that this year. As a family, we always feel happiest at the beach, so I think a monthly trip (at the very least) to the coast is a must.

I really think that there is something about us as humans that needs to connect with water. I know that sounds kind of hippy-ish, but I just know that water makes me feel so happy and so calm. I've already said how much we love the seaside, and I'm sure the large expanse of water is a big part of the appeal. There is just something about the light on the water, about gentle ripples and the lulling sound of waves... it's heavenly.

We're already a family of water babies. And I hope that this year we can elaborate on that. Lots more sea paddling, plenty of swimming, lovely walks by lakes or the sea. But also afternoons in the paddling pool, sessions in Nanny's hot tub, games with the hose and some water fights too.

Nature is so full of little treasures. And our biggest girl takes after her mama with her need to collect. She loves to comb the beach for perfect shells, find precious stones on walks. Our little man has a bit of thing about picking flowers when he sees them too, I think he's learned that it always earns him a big grateful smile to gift them to people... and I was the same as child (kind of still am now!) There is just something lovely about bringing a little piece of nature home with you.

I feel I should point out here that we will be collecting nature responsibly. We won't be picking up things we shouldn't, but we will be collecting flowers, shells, stones, fruits and anything else fun that we might find along the way. I might even try and find some way of showcasing our little collections in our home too, so that we can see them and remember the fun we had.

Slipping off your shoes and feeling cold grass under foot. Or feeling sand slip between your toes. Or feeling the sea lapping at your ankles. Simple pleasures.

And while the Spring months might not give us too much barefoot time, hopefully the Summer months will make up for it.

And who knows, before the summer is out we may have a little lady beginning to find her feet. I think it's unlikely she'll be walking, but she might just be standing up, and then we'll have a whole new world of fun to explore.

I don't think that the children will need this challenge, so this one is more for Rich and I. We want to take the time out to truly play with our children. In part to show them what fun parents they have, and also simply to enjoy that fun ourselves.

Slide on the slide. Swing high on the swings. Build sandcastles. Play chase. Build forts. Play ball. Make believe. Dress up. Sing songs.

In the immortal words of Dr Seuss: "It's fun to have fun but you have to know how." And just incase our children need any pointers, we want to be there to show them how it's done. 

As a family we are pretty good at grabbing adventures, but we all need a reminder every now and again. Since going from a four to a five (and all the paraphenalia that we suddenly need to take out with us again now we have a baby) we've been staying a little closer to home. But we want to show our littlest member how we roll. And that involves plenty of those "stick a pin in the map" weekends and just seeing where we end up.

I love adventures, big and small. And the children think that most things we do are an adventure... trip to the park? Adventure. Popping out for cake? Adventure. Going through the car wash? Adventure. It's all in the way you look at it. And we want to embrace the adventure in everything we do, and ultimately try some new things and find some new places to play.

I think this one goes without saying for a fully signed up member of the mammarazzi, but we want to capture lots of photos and videos of our Spring and Summer challenges. We want to collect up all those memories to get us through the winter, and have a record of the fun we had, the smiles we shared, and the way our children grow like weeds in the sunshine.

And because one of the beauties of blogging is that it makes me accountable for sticking to the little challenges I set myself, I am sharing my manifesto.  I've even made myself a poster which is stuck up in our kitchen to remind us of the commitment we are making to having a brilliant spring and summer. And each month I will share how we have embraced each challenge here on the blog too.

Who else loves the warmer months? Do you make big plans for your Spring or Summer? Or do you write a bucket list? Let me know on Twitter (@dear_beautiful_) if you do, as you may just give us some ideas.


  1. Your spring manifesto sounds truly amazing! I love it and so many things on my to do and want to focus on this year list too. I think a slower, more outdoor, chilled out spring and summer is ahead of us and enjoying life while the kids are still small to it's very fullest and that means enjoying all that surrounds us more too. This is beautiful hunny.

  2. Lovely list of things to make the most of here. and that poster you made is fab. I love all seasons in their own right but Spring & summer can bring some wonderful opportunities, especially for little ones :) x x

  3. This sounds wonderful. A manifesto is perfect as like you say it will take the stress out of it. I am a list maker and sometimes set myself unobtainable tasks that I feel I must complete. You won’t be bound by anything and can just enjoy this spring and summer as it comes. I look forward to following your family adventures on your blog, It sounds like you are going to have a blast!

  4. A bucket and spade list, perhaps? It's great. I'm inspired. I'll have to get the buggy beach-ready and make sure your toenails are up for some barefoot time.

    The start of British Summer Time always cheers me up, those long evenings. It was already still daylight at bedtime tonight.


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