Here I am again, blowing the dust off this little blog of mine and starting over. I didn’t blog at all in October. Not intentionally, I had plans. Unfortunately, so did life. My October threw up deployment blues, Covid related isolation, heating & boiler issues, cancelled trips…boo to all of that. I let myself fall into a bit of a funk. But, onwards and upwards. Everyone gets down, the things is not to stay down.

New month, new season, new start. Well, new as I write this, by the time I hit publish it might be more new-ish. Preparing for the new season is a nice way to wipe the slate clean, I think. A fresh start. With winter snapping at our heels, there’s a firm emphasis on staying home and staying cosy. Here’s what I’ve been doing to lift the mood and settle into the new season…

Bedding Down the Garden

Leaves are raked, grass is cut and the pretty things are packed away. Pots that can be over-wintered are fed and tucked up in the shed. A curiously satisfying task and one that made me feel like a proper gardener. I’ve finally accepted that, even with the fire pit blazing away, it’s too cold and damp to sit out.

Being out in forest and fields daily with the dog means muddy boots, so the garden bench has made it to the front of the house. No excuses to tramp the dirt in. The army decided beige carpets were a good fit for these family homes. They also bill you heavily for marks. The ‘boot bench’ is a winner. It’s also a canvas for my seasonal faffing, as seen here with planting and wellies.

Feeding the Birds

Living rurally means I get the joy of seeing all the different birds. From kestrels and kites over Salisbury Plain to pheasants in the fields and all the garden birds I can’t name because I only really know robins and blue tits…watching them is a simple pleasure. Definitely one of those things I appreciate more in lockdown.

Photo by Pixabay on

This Winter, I’m going to be more intentional about giving the birdlife a bit of help. I’m still learning how best to help the feathered friends, but I’ve started with a little feeding station on the tree in our garden. I have a love/hate relationship with said tree, so it might aswell be useful. I’m also pegging out the fur from the dogs’ brush. Apparently birds like it for nest lining. Well, so said the internet, anyway.

Swapping Out the Wardrobes.

Always drag my feet on this one, must be the Geordie genes. Newcastle lasses are renowned for being able to brave the cold in minimal clothes and strappy shoes. Plus, I live in the South now, so it’s mild. Flipflops are just fine from Easter to Halloween.

But everything’s eventual, so its goodbye flipflops and vest tops and hello to the the big coat, winter boots and faux fur in abundance. Time to get cosy. I’m trying to embrace the Ten Item Wardrobe as inspired by Jennifer L. Scott, but it’s not coming easy. If anyone else is into this and has pulled it together successfully, I’d love to hear from you.

Hot Baths & German Inspired Wellness

There’s always a bit of Germany with me, hey? Living in Germany taught me a lot about how to deal with the colder seasons and wellness. With Winter rolling in, I’m ditching cooler showers for long, hot baths with warming scents and essential oils. In the form of bath products from my favourite German wellness brand, Dresdner Essenz.

If you like essential oils and bath products, I’d highly recommend checking them out. The products are fabulous and brilliantly affordable. Sadly, post Brexit, Dresdner Essenz no longer delivers to the UK. If you are in Germany, this is a budget bath product brand to stock up on.

Embracing Hygge

Cosiness is always a big thing at this time of year, and understandably so. I reckon concepts like ‘Hygge’ and ‘Lagom’ will be bigger than ever this year as we all spend more time than ever at home. Cue the candles, fairy lights and big light-up stars.

Inspired by the Advent stars and Moravian stars of Germany and Scandinavia, I usually try and resist breaking these out until Advent. But this year the dark nights and darker news all around has me craving all things light, cosy and just a little bit whimsical. And as lots of families around me have gone all out and have their Christmas decorations up, I think a few stars and more fairy lights than is sensible are a good compromise. No full on Christmas until December, I promise!

And that’s me, a chatty little post to get myself back into blogging. I miss it when it doesn’t happen! If you have any Winter prep rituals, I’d love to hear from you. Let’s chat in the comments.

Helen x

10 thoughts

  1. I know what you mean about getting into an attitude. There are times when a bit of pouting and then some projects help me get into a better frame of mind. So sorry about the lockdowns there–this is a tough year. Thanks for your beautiful blog–I find it inspiring!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Aw thank you so much, that’s a lovely thing to say. You’ve made me smile !

  2. Welcome back! Apart from being very soggy, it’s not at all like winter yet really. Just gloomy in every way – so I admire your positivity. But I think you might as well save the dog hair till spring when the birds start nesting. My only concession to homeliness so far is to have made the Christmas cake!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Thank you! It’s nice to be back and doing things I enjoy after a hectic month. Every year I say I’ll make the cake and it’s yet to happen. M & S to the rescue , I suppose!

  3. I’ve bought the Christmas Cards and looked out the Christmas candles frojm their hidey-hole in the shed. Apart from that I can’t shake off the gloom. The weather is fine, I can cope with Covid19 but the politics make me despair – and the politicians. I know you can’t comment as an army wife but I can and I feel so down these days as I contemplate the disasters ahead and realisation hits me that there’s not a damn thing I can do about it. But maybe your blog did cheer me up a little!

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      I hope I did cheer you a little! The word is very unsettled but (without getting political 🤭)as I write this, there are some pretty big changes taking place…maybe there’s hope yet for a brighter future! Take care and thanks for taking the time to read and comment. Means a lot.

  4. I don’t usually go into winter mode until all the bulbs have been planted, which is getting close. Actually, I just put up the fall wreath last week, which usually happens in September, but I just wasn’t in the mood to expend that much effort and with the warm weather there were still flowers to pick from the gardens for decorating the rooms. I think this weekend I’ll push myself to make things a bit more cosy though. We all need a bit of a lift right now. Best of luck, and thanks for sharing.

    1. ThingsHelenLoves says:

      Hopefully I’ll get some bulbs in soon, I’m definitely a learning as I go gardener so it’s all a bit plant-it-and-see! Thanks for stopping by 😊

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