Us Brits, we notoriously love talking about the weather so much and seem to spend our entire year counting down the minutes until summer arrives.
And despite when the much coveted season eventually rolls around, we initially begin complaining about the lack of air conditioning and how much we’re melting, deep down – we love it really.
There’s something so wonderfully magical about summer. Something that brings out the best in all of us, even if it’s just the little things. It brings people together, takes us outside and forces us to connect with our world.
As you might be able to tell, it’s my perfect season.
And it would be just a teeny bit more perfect if I had a birthday in the summer too (oh January birthday, I’m not the biggest fan!).
And apparently, we’re not alone in our summer lovin’.
In fact, today is actually Midsummer’s Day (Saturday 24th June), a beautiful Swedish celebration of summer where families often dance around a maypole and flowers and greenery is placed over houses and barns (this was supposed to bring good fortune and health to people and livestock). This old tradition of decorating with greens continues, even though most don’t take it seriously. But the positive thinking behind celebrating summer is still there – and so I thought I’d do the same!
Let’s celebrate like the Swedish and start summer by revelling in all the fabulous things we love about the season itself!
So grab yourself a bottle of strawberry cider, a nice position in the sunshine and get ready to read on.
I have to say, for me, the first sip of an ice cold fruit cider in the sunshine is pretty much my ultimate summer trigger and apparently, I’m not alone. In fact, supposedly the Swedish spell the start of summer by their first taste of native cider brand Rekorderlig, a mouth-watering burst of fruity goodness, enjoyed more often that not as a social moment with friends and family. And personally, I’m totally on the same page.
Rekorderlig is a staple in our fridge for the duration of summer, partially because it’s so easy to drink and oh so refreshing, but also because it’s so universal and a sure-fire way to guarantee you’ve got something that every guest will enjoy. Not once yet has anyone turned an ice cold bottle down!
And the flavour choices is yet another tempting tie, with Strawberry-Lime and Wild Berries standing as my faves and Passionfruit and Mango-Raspberry as David’s. Which gives us the wonderful excuse to stock up on all four Rekorderlig flavours!
Whether you want to watch the sunset with a drink in hand or enjoy a picnic in the park with friends, there’s nothing more refreshing than a mouthful of an irresistible fruity concoction which gently brings you into that alcohol-fuelled giggling haze. And then results in a cider fuelled selfie session with your friends! Not that us bloggers need any excuse for a selfie session. Oops!
And while nothing beats a fresh ice-cold bottle (pop it in the freezer for five minutes for a blast of extra cool), if I have a bit more time and I’m feeling fancy, one of my favourite ways to enjoy Rekorderlig is by popping a bit of prepared fruit (strawberries, raspberries and apple) alongside a few sprigs of mint and a handful of ice. I guess it feels a little bit more jazzy – and you can kind of claim the concoction is all yours!
So feel free to #StartTheSwedishWay too and kick summer off with that first satisfying sip of Rekorderlig!
I’m going to start off early with the big one, the ultimate summer get-together and the British way of connecting with friends, family and even strangers. There’s nothing that I look forward to more than a good old barbecue (although I digress, is it BBQ or barbecue? For the purposes of this, I’m going to alternate between the two just in case) and luckily, my other half David, feels the same.
Not only does a traditional barbecue whet your appetite using all five of your senses – let’s face it, who can resist that smoky, grilled smell – but it also offers us the opportunity to indulge in as much food and drink as we can possibly consume, all while enjoying fabulous company and the glorious sunshine. Barbecues more often than not, take a buffet style approach, which means there’s no eyebrow raises as you head for seconds – or even your third plate, no-one is judging.
Plus, while hosting a get-together can often be a little stressful. Note to self: do not try a brand new recipe at a dinner party when you’re not sure how to work the new oven yet. A barbecue is a relaxed affair where preparation is key and then you’re in for plain-sailing with just a few burger flips needed to ensure optimum smoky BBQ-flavour.
David and I have a grand total of three BBQ’s planned this summer, each with around 15 guests – and I’m already stocking up on sausages, so you can gather how serious I am about this summer staple. I’m sure there will be even more in the pipeline as we head through to July and August. We’ve even invested in a swanky new gas BBQ to celebrate.
Does this mean we’re truly adult’ing now?
It’s good for the mind
Mindfulness is deep rooted in nature and so often (though I appreciate, not always) feelings of sadness and low mood associated with SAD and being stuck indoors, can be alleviated by re-connecting with nature. One of my favourite things to do in the summer is go barefoot on the grass, because there is something so incredibly grounding about connecting with nature and the natural world in this way. The practice of mindfulness is all about being in the present and acknowledging the moment, and so using your senses in this all-rounded manner can really help with stress and anxiety. I know it sounds a bit far-fetched, but I encourage you to try it out – because in the past, it’s helped me immensely!
Some of my favourite mindfulness quotes are centred around the natural world and things we often don’t stop to think about. We’re very active, busy beings and therefore it’s only really when we slow down during the summer months and take time to ‘be’ in our surroundings, that we can really exercise mindfulness without trying too hard.
In fact, I keep a little book called ‘Mindfulness for every day’ by Yvette Jane beside my bed and I take five minutes out of each day to re-read through my favourite quotes. So it seems rather fitting to share a few with you:
“Joy is everywhere; it is in the earth’s green covering of grass; in the blue serenity of the sky.”
“Like the clouds in the sky, everything is in a constant process of change.”
For me, this means that the future isn’t something to fear, it’s natural and normal.
“Walking on water is certainly miraculous, but walking peacefully on earth is an even greater miracle.”
And finally, “Happiness is a journey, not a destination.”
Get yo’ glow on!
I definitely change up my make-up look for the summer months, as I like to opt for something a little lighter and more radiant, capitalising on that hopeful glow that I wish to obtain from the sun’s rays. I actually suffer from rosacea, which is a condition that apparently worsens in the sun but in my case, it gets ten times better (in fact, it almost disappears) and so this massively boosts my confidence in going au naturel with skincare and a heavy base.
My summer inspired radiance boosting make-up additions to my dressing table can be seen in detail in this post, but in a nutshell, I tend to opt for a lighter CC Cream over a foundation and primer, and I up my highlighters to a more creamy, dewy option if I can.
And while summer can bring that much desired Gigi Hadid glow, it’s also important to glow the right way – and make sure you’re keeping your skin as protected as possible. I found out the hard way why it’s so important to keep re-applying your suncream (even in the UK) every few hours and to invest in a high quality UVA rating (this can be found in the small print).
Unbeknownst to me, the spray suncream I was using (for ease more than anything) needed to be re-applied much more than ones I’d used previously and the UVA rating wasn’t as great as what I usually went for. This unfortunately meant that I burnt my skin so badly on my last trip to the Dominican Republic in April, that I’ve now scared my cleavage area. Not only does this mean that I’ve increased my risk of certain skin issues, but it’s now a different colour to the rest of my body. You really can’t be too careful! Please use my mistake as a reason to be extra cautious!
Rock those sandals!
So I wouldn’t be a true fashion blogger if I didn’t love the inevitable style updates that summer brings to your wardrobe!
Out with the bulky jackets and coats and in with the strappy sandals, slinky dresses and denim shorts.
The sunshine is your conscience’s best excuse for a new wardrobe overhaul – and plus, you need to stock up on the extra bikinis for that holiday you have coming up too!
Not having to factor in rain, snow or mud into your outfit choices means that you have a plethora of new options available to you – and I for one, certainly find myself getting more adventurous with bold colour choices and statement jewellery.
In fact, I always find my style is so much more playful when the sun makes an appearance. There’s very few other occasions that I would venture out dressed entirely as a watermelon, then in my new Brand Attic bikini. But hey, who says you can pull off the fruity look?
Another go-to for me this summer so far has been the Missy Empire Dresses section, as they have a fabulous array of gorgeous patterns, floaty materials and fun tassels and accessories. A girl can never have too many summer dresses. Or so they say!
And then finally, for a little more luxurious beach and resort wear that you can wear both in the daytime and in the evenings, you’ll want to head over to Jody Bell. I recently wore two of her gorgeous silk jumpsuits in this video and this one (one in bright blue and another in black – not the most summery of colours I know, but it’s super flattering) and received so many compliments, that I’m already planning another occasion to whip them out!
“She who dreams, conquers the world”
Connect with nature
Aside from BBQ’s and a sip of a delicious fruity concoction, I think a spontaneous picnic in the park is my favourite way to kick start summer with friends.
I love the fact that the season as a whole encourages you to be outside, enjoying our beautiful world and connecting with nature.
Because let’s face it, we don’t do much of it during the colder months.
There’s no amount of money in the world that would see me eating dinner in a muddy field at any other time of the year.
I mean, if the UK permitted us to eat our Christmas dinner on a blanket on the grass, I totally would. But unfortunately that’s not the case.
So I suppose we make the very most of it during the summer months instead.
Another great excuse to indulge in copious amounts of food and drink, I think picnic food is also on par with barbecue food in the sense it’s easy to be social and enjoy as much as you wish!
Strawberries, sausage rolls, crisps, fruit platters, sandwiches, guacamole, salsa, cake and my all-important fave – party rings (well, it is a sort-of party after all?), it almost feels like being a kid again with the food choices on offer.
In other words, there are no bad offerings!
What are your favourite things about summer?
This is a paid for advertorial in collaboration with Rekorderlig, but all words are entirely my own.
I’m also hosting a rather exciting giveaway over on my Instagram (@ScarlettLondon) – share your own favourite summer moment by posting a picture of you enjoying a social moment, a sunshine-soaked BBQ or your fave holiday outfit and tag both me and @rekorderligcider #StartTheSwedishWay! The lucky winner will receive a £250 voucher for Sunglasses Hut – so you can enjoy the sun’s rays this season!
Photography by David Mitchell