It’s the very end of August, and I can’t help but feel those end-of-school-holidays, August blues. Years ago, I wasn’t much of a summer girl. But with several seasons of practicing gratitude, capturing the little joys and noticing the finer details of my everyday behind me, I now appreciate every season. It’s been a really fun summer; I’ll be sad to see it go and yet I’m excited for that delicious sweet spot of late summer in September. (Not least because it means another wardrobe switcharoo!)

I’m fully in the swing of my day job now and it feels even more special to carve out time to write here, even though nothing much has truly changed. We launched our newest permanent candle collection, inspired by Asian snacks, over at & Chai this week, too. What has shifted, though, is a bigger appreciation for pockets of time that I can spend with loved ones.

Celebrating Dad’s 60th

Last week, we celebrated Dad turning 60 with a Chinese banquet.

It’s tradition for the children to host the party/meal, and so we hosted three tables of 12, for a 13-course meal. (I had a separate 8-course vegan menu!) We had so much fun celebrating with some of our extended family and Dad’s friends. It reminded just how much and why I appreciate being able to keep our Chinese traditions alive. Although I’m certainly not a natural-born host, it did feel incredibly special to be able to throw this party for Dad.

Friendship dates; tonic for the soul

While once I was the forgotten friend when it came to being invited out, these days I’m often double-booked! The past week or two have been full of fun plans with friends and it’s been such a welcome soul tonic, even if I am having to recharge my social battery for several days! Last week I went for a little cinema date with Charlotte; we saw Where the Crawdads Sing and got coffee and ice-cream, and it was absolutely amazing. We both loved the book and equally the film adaptation. It’s been a while since I did a cinema trip, and now I can’t think why. I also spent a day with my friend Natasha, where we caught up over bubble tea and popping by all manner of random shops – a dream!

Finding some sweet, sweet balance

Amidst all of that, I’m finding that the coveted balance I was after is within reach. Now that I’ve stepped away from freelance, I genuinely feel that my evenings and weekends are fully mine again! No need to worry about raising invoices, chasing payments, pitching for extra work during quiet seasons… Just a little stability and routine, which is what my mind was craving all along. With that in mind, my mornings feel inspiring (at home days, usually: gym, breakfast, coffee, Pinterest, work), and my evenings are relaxing (usually: dinner, a book or Netflix show, shower, bed). Slow living is truly where it’s at.

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How was your week? And, how are you spending your Bank Holiday?

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