*Paid Partnership with FatFace
There’s something about winter looming that brings the gift of ‘slowness’ and warm cuddles.
I’ve been known to wish for rain on a summers day, just to feel less guilty about snuggling under a blanket with my littles and slowing down. In summer I often find myself pressured to chase the sun until the last glimmer. So whilst I have to say I remain in love with all seasons, Autumn and Winter seem to bring my emotions to a height that brings BIG feelings I both love and massively embrace.
Scotland’s known for its crisp, cold weather. From memory, it’s the most beautiful place on earth when the air is clear, the wind is still and the sun makes the sky crystal blue. Maybe that’s why when we moved further South, a part of me felt home when the warm weather turned. In our childhood, we often had to embrace a summer where jackets were still included. So – the cold brings memories that radiate my little child’s soul.
That said, I also remember many a day feeling so sad. Day after day of grey. There was grey a lot. I distinctly remember once we’d been down south for a summer after a full childhood of our own in Scotland, remembering to focus on how different our moods and our summer was – having the pleasures of such warmth when our own children were so little. It was a whole new world to see how life could be a few hours down the road – vest tops and shorts right summer through!
It’s not all happy emotions for us when winter sets in, especially if we’ve spent a summer in flip flops and masses amounts of daylight. For many, the darkness, wet days and pressure to visit family over the festive period can have a massive impact on our overall well being and can often trigger mental health issues. It’s good to know we’re not alone in this and it’s even better to find ways of combating these negative emotions. In fact, I’m feeling them a tad today as cabin fever sets in!
Inspired by your input over on my Instagram – I’ve combined all the ‘little things’ that bring you joy at this time of year and I’ve incorporated it into ’10 Reasons to Fall in Love with Winter’ in partnership with FatFace and their Winter Collection. Being part of their family has been one of my biggest honors since I began blogging. They just have everything so right. An incredible, comfort based – ethical brand with their priorities in all the right places. In fact – they decided this Black Friday to donate a whopping 100k to the FatFace foundation instead of throwing a sale. They’ve also recently opened up a shop in London containing unworn outlet stock – wait for it – where 100% of the profits go to charity and local community projects! I mean really, they just have my heart.
1. The Sweet Taste of Christmas
OH those warm Mince pies with clotted cream! Slow cookers getting dusted off and Yorkshire puddings are seen more than just on Sunday. Hot chocolates, in all flavours and sizes and alcohol getting warmed and yummified. My tummy literally does a little happy dance at this time of year – it’s a time to plump up and camp out under my winter jumpers!
2. The Happiness from a Snuggle
Brushed cotton bedsheets, chunky knits and fluffy slippers. It’s tough to get a good snuggle in during the summer months without dripping with sweat! But as the cold sets in, that is no longer is an issue. You get to layer up! The warmth of a fire, crackling away whilst you just enjoy the soft touch of ‘fluff’ in all its forms. I can’t get enough of firing my two little girls either side of me under a warm ‘blanky’ and grabbing a pile of our favourite books!
3. The Wonder of Wildlife
It’s no secret that our family are animal daft. This time of year brings little robins visiting loved ones, squirrels on a mission to hide their nuts and little hedgehogs on their final adventures before snuggling up for the winter ahead. The kids love making stick dens and sharing their food with ‘Nutty’ – their very own pet squirrel. Their Grandad Weir (a robin) often visits them at the window whilst they eat their porridge in the mornings and sometimes they’ll catch a glimpse of ‘Herbie’ the hedgehog before bed. Every day brings excitement as they learn to look after and spot these guys on their winter missions. Can you spot a little someone here?
4. Fabulous Family Days Out
This time of year brings all sorts of fun activities. There’s Panto’s, Light Shows, Christmas Markets, Ice-skating, Wreath Workshops, Craft Days, Santa Visits – you name it! If there’s one time of year I don’t struggle to find unique little days out for us, it’s now. Right in the midst of all things festive! Even a trip to the town or shopping center becomes a spectacular little adventure to see pretty lights and decorations. Our youngest has renamed our local garden centre “The Christmas Shop.” If you haven’t already, we’ve found joining The National Trust to be an amazing way to find affordable things to do.
5. Movie Nights
When the weather has you cooped up inside – it’s such a great excuse to fish out all your old favourite movies. The kind that has your heart bursting and your toes dancing! Here’s a little list I’ve made with the help of my lovely #instafam. We are movie mad in this house and have our ‘cinema days’ on the daily. What’s not to love? A cuddle, good food and an intake of wonderful viewing that leaves you inspired and fulfilled!
5. Duvet Worthy Clothing
From big cosy sweaters, PJ’s, snug coats to full blown fluffy onesies – winter brings GREAT reasons to walk around all day in comfort and FatFace 100% has your back. You can add fluff to your head, your neck and let’s not stop there! Fingers and toes – anything goes! (Like what I did there?) For me, I spend winter in jumpers and warm jackets outdoors, with a staple hat and gloves that get worn until they can get worn no longer! I have a trusty pair of slippers waiting in the hall and PJ’s galore. We’ve got into this amazing little routine after school where the kids strip off and grab their onesies from the radiator too. We live for comfort!
6. Winter Walks
Nothing brings joy quite like that of a frosty morning walk, with the leaves crunching underfoot and the smell of that first winters frost meeting your little red nose. Although the Autumn colours drift, as the last leaves begin to fall – it allows even more room for the sun to kiss the forrest bed and dazzle even the biggest of frowns. Then there’s the excitement of finding the first snowdrops and making memories amongst them. Most local post offices will have a map with walks all around your area. We discover new ones all the time! The key is packing lots of snacks, being open to carrying a toddler half way through said walk and being wrapped up. Oh and ‘bribing’ lollipops for the last 10minutes where you’ll inevitably have at least one child who’s forgotten they own legs. I call it my trump card. Works – every time.
7. Dreamy Dark Nights
It’s an opportunity to slow ourselves down way before bedtime. Get the pj’s on as soon as our feet cross the threshold, light the candles and listen as the rain hits off the windows. There’s a beautiful feeling when that little shiver of gratitude reminds us how fortunate we are to be safe, warm and have a roof over our heads. Our eldest is currently learning about space at school and now frequently asks to get wrapped up and go watch the stars outside before bed. It’s a beautiful little past time and one – in the height of summer that we couldn’t do because it wasn’t yet dark enough! Then there’s the added bonus of course – where by the children can often be convinced that 6pm, is in fact 7pm! Winning.
8. Winter Weather
Ah, the excitement as the first drops of snow come drifting down. The rush to reach the door to touch those pretty flakes and watch our girl’s little tongues reach out. I will never forget the kids faces when they both laid eyes on real snow for the first time. As day two sets in with heavy rain and grey skies, theres no denying it can take it’s toll on our positivity. That said, have you ever just wrapped up – got the wellies on and let yourself get completely soaked through? To run home and jump in a hot bath – I include my kids in mine (obviously!) and finish with a hot chocolate and cuddle. It’s one of my favourite things to do. Remember though guys, if snow is due – don’t forget the dog poo!
9. The Season of Giving
Even the gift of presence can be worth its weight in gold. There’s no need to put big pressure on ourselves at this time of year, the best presents are simply ones given with love. Whether it’s a pair of fluffy socks, a candle, a cosy hat or simply a note in a card with beautiful words. It’s easy to be dragged into the chaos and guilt this time of year brings but if you don’t enjoy it – opt out. Keep it simple, stick with shops you adore and remind yourself about the value of a simple act of kindness. Get involved with local charities and ones further afield. Do a clear out and research where’s best for those unwanted items to go. Remember too – if you feel overwhelmed with the commitments of visiting lots of family at the detriment of your own health, think outside the box. Focus on quality time rather than quantity and if you can’t fit everybody in – look for alternatives. Christmas doesn’t need to be one day. Often if we miss friends or family at this time of year – we simply make it another time and let them know we care. We swap material gifts for the cost of travel instead or we do the other. We’ll send a ‘little something’ until we find the time. Find your balance and boundaries with it all.
10. Dazzling Decorating
There’s something beautiful when the smell of fresh pine and cinnamon hit the air. The twinkle from those tiny little fairy lights and the glisten from a silver sparkle. Bobbles brought out from years passed. Little memories of historical happiness. A homemade decoration from children now grown, a snow globe shouting to be shaken and a musical Santa eagerly waiting to be wound up. Every year we buy little Gingerbread House kits and allocate days simply to fire the cheesiest of Christmas tunes on and go crazy with crafting. I start decorating our house half way through November – mainly because the girls Dad doesn’t get time off over Christmas. In fact, we’ll be getting half a day with him on Christmas Day! So we make the most of the run-up too and take advantage of the festive feels way before the big day.
As always, thank you for reading and please feel free to share your own favourite little bits below!
*Paid Partnership with FatFace