It’s all about the three ‘f’s’ on Sunday - family, food and flowers.
...And doing what I love… for me, not for my gorgeous clients (which I love doing Monday - Saturday!).
Owning and running your own small business means very little time for rest, relaxation and downtime. For me Sunday is my only day ‘off’, where I can focus on myself, reflect on the week that’s past and recharge for the week ahead. It can be a little all-consuming and intense during the week at GRAPE & Fig (we are the first and finest grazing company in the UK), which is why I truly treasure my Sundays with my family- my husband Adam and little girl, Edie.
I also absolutely LOVE creating magic for our customers through the medium of food and flowers during the week, but have become aware over the past six months especially, that I don’t ‘create’ enough for me and my family. I’ve always loved experimenting with food, bloom and foliage displays etc, but as that passion became a business, I suddenly stopped creating gorgeous things
at home. Sunday’s are now my day to create magic at home, for myself and those I love - and I love every second of it.
Being a mum of a two year old means Sunday’s - any day for that matter - are never really my own, but I wouldn’t have it any other way. Becoming a mother is by far the most incredible thing to have happened to me in my thirty two years. Putting the needs of our tiny, magic girl in front of my own is not only natural and involuntary, but gives a sense of comfort, warmth and direction.
‘Only a life lived for others is worth living’ - Albert Einstein.
Edie wakes about 7am so we rise as a family and move into the open-plan living room for the morning. We’d love Edie to get into bed with us and have a cuddle while we enjoy a cup of coffee and listen to one of our easy listening Spotify playlists, but Edie will always have different ideas! Jumping up and down on the bed to ‘Baby Shark’ is the current fascination. Sunday is also a day of routines, no matter how trivial. I always walk into the living room, turn on the TV and sit in the middle snug of the corner sofa and watch ‘Gardener’s World’ (yes I love it!). Adam always makes me my first coffee of the day and we spend the first slow hour playing with Edie and spending quality time as a family. I also like spending this time writing lists (mainly personal admin and life stuff)- yes, I am an avid list maker, and find it so therapeutic and soothing planning the week ahead.I’m a firm believer in what Linda Gibson said:
‘Always have something enjoyable to look forward to; a holiday, a trip to a museum, lunch with a friend. When you are feeling tired and low, think about the nice things that you have got arranged’.
Whether it’s a holiday, dinner party, birthday gathering or dinner date, I really enjoy plotting and planning and putting it onto paper. I almost feel cleansed after I’ve off-loaded onto paper and feel I can get back to my Sunday, refreshed and ready for the day ahead.
Brunch & bouquets
I'm also pretty bad at getting back to text messages and WhatsApp’s from friends, so I make the time to get back to people during this time too.
Adam usually walks down to our local shops around 10am to collect items to make Sunday brunch - we love a vegan breakfast bowl, with sautéed sweet potato, kale, roasted tomatoes, smashed avocado and sautéed garlic mushrooms served with sough-dough toast. Sometimes I ask Adam to pop to the local flower market to pick up some seasonal flowers for me to make into
a bouquet when he get home. Over time he has learnt which types are my favourites- Dahlias and Orchids at the moment. GRAPE & Fig make hundreds of bouquets for clients each week, and it’s really important for me to make one for myself once a week to enjoy.
Edie and I usually sit up at the breakfast bar and watch Adam cook and serve up breakfast which we usually enjoy around 11am with another coffee. We follow this with a walk to our local park to feed the ducks, climb some trees (Adam not Edie and I!), move our bodies and get some fresh air. Anyone with babies will know that this is the perfect thing to do pre-nap time as it tires little people out that little bit more! Once back at home, we put Edie to bed and Adam will go and spend some time doing something he loves, such as playing a game or reading. I will either watch a little TV, read ‘Red’ magazine (my absolute favourite!) or read a book- preferably lying horizontal :). ‘Conversations on Love’ by Natasha Lunn is my favourite book at the moment- it’s all about trying to understand how relationships work and evolve over time. Just beautifully wonderful and insightful.
Once baby girl has woken up we turn the music up a notch (Maggie Rogers, Rhye, Ben Howard, Nick Mulvey and Jose Gonzalez are our Sunday favs!), start cooking for Sunday lunch and open a bottle of wine - our go-to is Amie rose, which is just delicious and what we sell in the GRAPE & Fig shop. We also always have candles on during the afternoon and evening, and the Cleo's Paradise sweet ‘Honey & Oat’ candle is so calm and smoothing. Scents are so transformative and this reminds me of spa days spend in balmy Marraketch.
I don’t think I’m happier than when I’m cooking up a feast, with a glass of wine in hand, at home, with those I love around, absorbed in creating and making.
‘Happiness comes when we forget about it and become absorbed in what we do - helping others, working hard, developing a skill. In none of them are we looking for happiness, but you can be sure that if it there we shall find it’
- from ‘The Friendship Book of Francis Gay.
A moment of self indulgence
Our night routine starts about 5pm when we feed, bath and put Edie to bed, and after she is asleep by 6pm, ‘me time’ really starts. I’ll usually pour another glass of wine, move the burning candle upstairs to the bathroom and run a bath. The botanical ‘Rose Utopia’ bath soak is pure indulgence and makes the whole experience even more enjoyable. While I’m waiting for the bath to run I’ll put on a clay face mask. The Midnight Storm Transformative Clay Mask detoxes and restores not only the skin, but the mind. Life is so ‘mile a minute' these days, there’s always something to do, a message to reply to, a call to take, an Instagram post to post, so watching and feeling a face mask slowly dry is not
only therapeutic, but a necessary weekly ritual to remind oneself to breathe in and out slowly and to take in a moment totally and utterly for yourself to unwind.
The ‘Oil to Milk’ body cleanser is the perfect botanical paring to the bath soak, and after the body feels superbly clean and restored. With a book and wine in hand while soaking in the bath, life can feel simply bliss, which it is, and it would seem all the pleasure has been seized at once.
‘Look for the little pleasures, and the small beautiful things in life. Do not let them escape your notice. They are bright, golden threads in the cloth of life’
from ‘The Friendship Book of Francis Gay.