Mini Mindful Moments for Mammas (or anyone craving a little more calm in their days)

May 30, 2019

INTENTION

It can feel like your time is not your own when you’re a mama. Mum-days are spent constantly trying to working through chores, feeding-cleaning-changing on repeat, jumping from one activity to another trying to keep your little entertained. On work days there are the bags to be packed, drop-offs and collections to do on time, things to remember – snacks, nappies, sunhat, raincoat. CHECK! CHECK! CHECK!

No wonder we end up feeling stressed and overwhelmed. It’s a lot. But I find practising mindfulness goes some way to helping me both reclaim a feeling of control over my days and surrender to the lack thereof. For me, this means learning to slow down and creating pockets of calm in my days.

Meditation has been an important part of how I’ve cultivated a more mindful way of being and I do still try to keep up a regular practice when I can. But, unlike meditation, mindfulness is readily available at any given time and can be practised anywhere.

“Mindfulness is the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us.”

mindfulness.org

Practising mindfulness isn’t particularly about doing anything outside of your normal routine, but rather reframing the tasks and actions you already do. Even brushing your teeth could become a mindful activity if you fully devote your concentration to it.  For me, mindfulness is the pausing, the noticing. Being fully present in the moment and not letting your mind wander to plans, daydreams or worries. It could be observing the way the light falls in the morning, immersing yourself in an activity or chore or giving your full attention to your toddler (without one eye on your phone 🙋🏻‍♀️). And actually, it turns out toddlers are pretty mindful little souls – being fully present is pretty much their default setting.

I’m at pains to make it clear I’m not walking around in some zen bubble, the image of calm motherhood. I get worn down, grouchy and impatient. When I’ve been up since 6 am I’m still frazzled come naptime. I go on about mindfulness and intentional living because of *needing* these practices so much. Not because this stuff comes easy to me!

My mini mindful moments

The key is to fully focus on the task or activity, not to multitask or to have your attention pulled in various directions but to be completely present in the moment.

// Connecting with my senses upon waking. I run through what I can hear, feel, see etc. and check in with how I’m feeling in my body and in my mind. I often do this whilst giving Casper his morning breastfeed.

// Dropping essential oil in my (usually very quick) morning shower.

// Putting on a favourite song and dancing together for the duration.

// Naptime meditation. Before I open my laptop or get on with chores I head to my bedroom for at least 10 minutes of meditation.

// Hanging out the washing.  This is one of my favourite chores to single-task, especially if it’s a nice enough day to dry the washing outside.

// Weeding, gardening or tending to house plants.

// Going for a mindful walk. Leave the phone at home and just go for a wander. Notice the tiny details, the sights and sounds. Toddlers are the perfect mindful walking companion.

// Finding a moment to sit, pause and enjoy a cup of tea.

// Reading instead of scrolling as I feed the babe to sleep.

// My evening skincare routine. Cleanse, use my face brush, apply an oil. Breath, feel grateful for the day.

These are just some things that can become mindful activities for me. Yours might be different. Of course, sometimes I do these things on autopilot, with my phone in my hand or a podcast on in the background. But I know the more I carve out mini moments of mindfulness in my days the calmer and more resilient I feel. As with my philosophy on living a simple creative life, I believe that the small things we do each day add up – “drop by drop we fill our cup”.

🌙 🌙 🌙

Some more mindful resources…

Getting started with mindfulness (via mindfulness.org)

Modern Mindfulness for Mothers a guided meditation course on Insight

The Mindful Kind podcast hosted by Rachael Kable

The Zen of Single-Tasking blog post by Brooke McAlary

The Power Of Now a book by Eckhart Tolle

Creative Business: Intentions and goals for May

May 15, 2019

INTENTION / WORK

I know it might seem a little late to post about monthly intentions may seem a little late given that we are already half way through May. However, I strongly believe that you don’t need to wait for a new quarter, the start of a month, a Monday or a new moon to set goals and intentions in your creative business.

“April showers bring May flowers”

Although last month was actually pretty decent weather-wise, this saying was speaking to me as we headed into the month of May. Working and living in tune with the seasons this year has meant I’ve had a slow start to 2019. No matter how I plan to steel myself against them, those long dark winter months take their toll on my energy, creativity and productivity. Towards the end of March, however, I could feel that shift in me as the natural world was also beginning to wake up to Spring.

The arrival of April marked the beginning of the second quarter of the year and my first full month of having regular childcare. I now have one day a week to fully devote to my business whilst Casper is with a childminder. This had me excited but also apprehensive, feeling the pressure of now having to really step up and make things happen in my creative business.

It’s been a month of settling into a new rhythm, with a fair bit of soul-searching but also knuckling down when needed. I’ve found that after gently gathering momentum I’m suddenly feeling ready to bloom with the Spring. Or at the very least unfurl and open up to new possibilities as the year marches on.

April reflections

  • For me, diving deep into the task at hand means I have to*really* give myself permission to focusing on one thing at a time.
  • Asking myself ‘what is the simplest way to do this?’ is always a good idea!

April high-fives

// I launched my newsletter.
// I had an Instagram post hit over 700 likes. The first time that has happened for me in a long time but people seemed to love the self-portrait above.
// I felt in a good place creatively.

May Intentions

// Show up more for my business. I’ve felt frustrated being in this relaunch/rebuild season of my business and this has meant I’ve not been showing up and doing the things my business need from me right now. Namely promoting myself, actually talking about my offering and putting effort into connection and outreach.

// Honour my ebbs and flows. As the month began I was enjoying feeling full of creative energy and inspiration as the new moon coincided with the ovulation phase of my cycle. I know that on the opposite side I’m also likely to experience a dip each month. I want to lean into that more, be gentle with myself when needed and know that it’ll come back around soon enough.

Goals for the month

// Send my first monthly newsletter to my subscribers.
// Talk about my offering and creative mentoring packages with my community (and potential clients) on Instagram at least once a week – in Stories or on the grid.
// Work on getting ahead with content – my newsletter, blog and podcast editing.
// Reconnect with my meditation practice. Especially to support me around both my intentions for the month.

So that where I’m putting my energy this month. I feel like there’s so much more I could say on a lot of these points. Leave me a comment if there’s anything you’d like me to expand on. 🙂

Thank you April: monthly gratitudes

May 7, 2019

JOURNAL / NURTURE

Toddler in the sun

I just love the timelessness of the pictures I’m sharing alongside this month’s gratitudes. They remind me of photos of myself as a toddler, sat in a washing up bowl of cool water on a warm sunny day. I’m sure the exact same scenes sit in your old family albums too don’t they?

I don’t know about you, but to me, it seemed as though April just flew by. In that way time has a habit of doing when your days are full of trips and activities. Busy but in a good intinional way. With the sun coaxing us outside, there were picnics and park visits and a beautiful long Easter weekend spent with friends and family in the gardens of my childhood. Much to feel grateful and thankful for…

  • Frothy blossom everywhere.
  • Our first park picnic dinner of the year.
  • My own mamma coming to stay and Casper spending sweet quality time with his Granny Annie.
  • Launching my newsletter (finally!)
  • Baking biscuits with my little bud but deciding that we both prefer the unbaked dough so rebranding them cereal bars instead.
  • Casper and his cousin’s first Easter egg hunt together.
  • Planting seeds and bulbs in our little urban garden. Spending time with my hands in the earth and the smell of damp soil.
  • Best friends becoming parents and getting to snuggle their two-week young squidge.
  • Toddler making animal noises all day long. Moo! Baa! Quack!
  • Woodland walks in dappled sunlight.
  • Water play.
  • Our first trip to children’s A&E being thankfully only a precaution.
  • That beautiful sunshiney Easter weekend.
  • Too much chocolate!
  • Me and both my siblings in the same place at the same time – a rare occurrence.
  • T-shirts, sunhats and the smell of lotion on warm soft skin.

What little joys did the month of April bring for you?

Toddler in a bucket paddling pool the sun, he looks away from the cameraBreastfeeding mother nursing her toddler in the shade of a small treeToddler and daddy kiss in black and whiteToddler in the sunWomen standing next to a cherry blossom tree. She has a toddler on her hip and they are both look up at the pink frothy blossom.Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Baking with baby (…and some thoughts about blogging for the joy of it)

March 29, 2019

CREATE / NURTURE

Baking with baby Baking with babyBaking with baby

A funny thing about blogging, Instagramming and sharing your life online is that it’s hard not to end up viewing things in terms of content and strategy. I find this, in turn, leads to a whole lot of rules and ‘SHOULDS’ to follow. Things such as; I should mix up my content to keep it interesting, not post too much of the same thing. I should be following a content plan that fits into my business strategy to attract new creative mentoring clients. And I should always, but always, be mindful of the value of my content for YOU dear reader! And of course, these things are worth considering as guidance when thinking about what you are creating and sharing with the world. But, do you ever find that over-worrying about all the rules you should be following can totally zap the joy out of posting? That sometimes the SHOULDS get in the way of you actually creating and sharing at all?

I definitely do. Take this post. I’ve delayed posting it for ages because I found myself massively overthinking what I’m sharing on my blog – “I should break up two baby photo heavy posts in a row. There’s no value. It’s not shareable. No one cares!” When all I really wanted to do was share in my little corner of the internet a morning I spent making flapjacks with my son. It sounds pretty silly when written down like that doesn’t it? I wouldn’t blame you for having a little giggle at the ridiculousness of it all. But I maybe a few of you might be nodding along.

There’s so much (usually) brilliant advice out there when it comes to how to make the most of sharing content online, but, I think we can have a tendency to get hung up on particular points and use them as a stick to beat ourselves with.  For me, it seems to be worrying about whether what I’m sharing seems ‘valuable’. Thinking that posts need to be more useful or at least inspirational in some way. But what seems particularly silly, is that the blogs I love the most, are exactly those that share simple snippets of everyday family life. Ones such as Homesong or Deer Circus. Reading about the little moments in people’s lives is joyful, and actually often very inspiring, to me.

More and more I’m feeling like what I want this space to be for is simply sharing little stories of my life, as and when I feel the urge. Sure, sometimes they may well be stories about business or creativity but sometimes they might just be tales of motherhood that go a little something like this…

Baking with babyBaking with babyBaking with babyThere’s something about baking in the morning that just sets you up for a good day. It’s hard not to feel smug happy when by 11 am you’ve made a batch of homemade baby-friendly snacks to last the next few days. Well, a few days in theory. In practice, as they are also rather mama-friendly, they don’t last all that long at all!

I’m loving that we can do more hands-on activities together as Casper gets older. He’s absolutely not a baby anymore! It’s a learning curve, figuring out how we can do things like baking and crafts together in a way that is enjoyable for us both. It’s not always smooth sailing. But on this morning, flapjacks were a success – albeit a very messy, oats everywhere kind of successAnd let’s not even talk about food hygiene practice.

Despite being eaten in little fistfuls and strewn across the dining room, enough mixture seemed to find it’s way into the oven and soon filled the house with that deliciously comforting baking smell.

And briefly to get back to my point about blogging for the joy of it… As I write the first draft of this post, on the notes app on my phone, Casper is snoozing on my chest. We had a rough night and I woke up feeling tired and touched out. But as I quietly tap away on my phone, as his cheek rest against my breast, I’m gently carving out some time for me and my creativity. I’m writing just for the joy of it and in the process, managing to reconnect with myself and my baby. And you know what? I think making another batch of flapjacks is just what we need this afternoon.baby friendly Flapjacks

By the way, we followed this recipe as a great base for sugar-free baby-friendly flapjacks, making some additions and adjustments along the way based on what we had in our cupboard – it just might be this post is kind of useful to you after all  😉

The 52 Project: January

February 14, 2019

NURTURE

A portrait of my child every week for a year.

After just a few posts, I failed entirely to keep up with last year’s 52 project (although I’m pretty set on catching up and backdating the posts when I have a moment, just so I can look back on the year – any other bloggers do that?!) Anyway, I’m starting this year how I mean to go on with a shiny new camera to boot. All these were shot on my Fuji X-T2 with a 35mm lens. I’m very much learning as I go with the new kit, having mainly been snapping on my iPhone for the last few years. I’m doing my best to shoot a little every day and keeping my camera handy to capture these precious little moments.

Week 1 // Post nap play time. Just look at that tousled bed head.

Week 2 // Teaching Casper Bowie about his namesake on the anniversary of the starman’s death. (It’s only now looking at this shot on my Mac that I can see how it’s really quite blurred, I was tempted to swap it out but I love the capture and this process is a creative learning exercise for me – so it’s staying!)

Week 3 // Baby + box = classic mamma photo op.

Week 4 // Always finding a spot to perch.

The lovely Sarah Furguson at Brass Buttons and Confidence has started a new hashtag to share her 52 project and it’s nice to see lots of people sharing their kids’ portraits on Instagram. Are you joining in this year?

 

Living a Simple Creative Life

February 5, 2019

INTENTION

creative plant photography living pilea peperomioides cutting in hand

What does living a creative life mean to you? Is it turning your passion into a living and running your own creative business? Or pursuing a career in a creative industry perhaps?  Or maybe for you, it’s more about finding time for creative activities and hobbies outside of what you do for work. Creativity is such a personal thing and I’m sure creative fulfilment looks and feels different for everyone. However, I think we can find common ground in our shared craving for creative expression, and the fact that a large majority of us wish we had more time to dedicate to our creativity.

In a recent episode of my podcast Friends With Business Benefits, my cohost Franky and I discussed creativity – specifically ‘How do you make time for creativity when you’re so busy being creative for clients?’Getting paid to be creative (for clients or customers), is, of course, a dream for many but I don’t think it’s uncommon to still feel the need to pursue your creativity outside of your day job.

And obviously, it isn’t just work commitments that lead to us feeling creatively bereft. Something else we delve into in the episode is how becoming a parent has changed the way I can indulge my creative inclinations.

On a number of occasions over the last year, I’ve received the question of *how* I’ve managed to still find time for creative activities alongside being a new mum. I’ve found myself initially baulking at this comment because as with so many things in parenthood I feel that there are two contrasting sides to how motherhood has impacted my creativity…

On one hand, being a mother (and I guess specifically being a stay at home mum) feels inherently creative to me. Our days are filled with play and curiosity, music and dancing, books and silly voices. I’m constantly thinking on my feet, making games out of household chores in order to get anything done, coming up with ways to delight and distract my little shadow. Along with the practical side, parenthood has also sparked a more emotionally expressive creative side of me – basically, becoming a mamma has turned me into a wannabe poet. I scribble love notes to my son and fill journal pages trying to find the words to capture how immensely wonderful/inspiring/exhausting/frustrating (delete as required given the time of day) motherhood feels.

On the flipside, there’s just so little time to really get stuck into a project or creative activity the way I would have done pre-baby. Which of course can be very frustrating. Especially as I’m the sort of person that needs time to get into my groove creatively – I’m just not able to bash out blog posts quickly or shoot photos I’m happy with straight away. But instead of feeling constantly frustrated feelings over the last year I’ve found it helpful to reframe what creativity looks like and means at this stage of life.

I’ve realised that to me living a creative life is as much about cultivating a particular mindset than any actions. It’s about noticing the little moments that add up to me feeling that I am honouring and making time for creativity. All this reframing and readjusting has led me to uncover somewhat of a personal philosophy – one of simple creative living.  What that means is that I’m prioritising creativity alongside striving for a simpler slower way of life. And what that looks like is some simple habits and ways I bring creativity into my everyday.

simple creative living pilea peperomioides cutting in hand

Here are some of the shifts which have been so helpful to me. Maybe they’ll help you also think about how to cultivate your own simple creative life…

// Notice and appreciate the smaller moments of creativity in your everyday. From creating a meal from scratch to foraging something to decorate your home, creativity probably already shows up in your days more often than you realise.

// Shift the focus from the output to the process. I think we can get hung up on our creativity having to have a (sharable) end product rather than creating for the joy of it.

// Tune into your cycle. You may well find that your creative energy ebbs and flows depending on what your hormones are up to. Likewise, it’s thought that the lunar cycle can have an impact.

// Follow your joy. There may be a time and a place to dig deep and do the hard work to see your creative projects realised, but when your time is limited I feel like creating for enjoyment should be paramount.

// Meditate on creativity.  A search on Insight or YouTube will bring up a number of guided meditations and visualisations that focus on creativity. Depending on what you’re needing you could choose a meditation for inspiration or motivation.

// Use the tools you have to hand. And I mean literally *in* your hand – take photos with your phone, use the notes app to write. Or whatever it is you are creating don’t let waiting until you have fancy equipment stop you!

// Be mindful of what you consume. Often listening to a podcast or reading blogs can be great for motivation and inspiration, but sometimes I find they can have the opposite effect. If you’re really feeling overwhelmed by the noise try taking a break from consuming altogether.

I feel I should state that my life doesn’t always feel simple or creative by any means – sometimes far from it. But I do find making these intentional choices and shifting my mindset help to move me out of frustration towards creative fulfilment. I hope you may also find this helpful or inspiring. Creativity is a topic I never tire of chatting about so if you have a question or something to share come and let me know!

Introducing ‘Friends With Business Benefits’: A podcast for creatives

December 3, 2018

LISTEN / WORK

Friends With Business Benefits Logo

I’ve launched a podcast!!! If you follow me on Instagram you *may* have heard me talking about it. 😉 Friends With Business Benefits is live and available to download on your podcast app now.

I’m co-hosting the show alongside my business bestie Franky (also known as Love Audrey). Franky and I have been having regular co-mentoring sessions for almost two years. Working for yourself can be lonely at times but through our monthly co-mentoring meetups we’ve found the support and accountability we were craving in our working lives. You can hear all about what co-mentoring is and how we do it in our very first episode. Also, Franky’s blog post on five things she’s gained from co-mentoring is a great read if you want to know more.

Our podcast will be an extension of our co-mentoring sessions, as we share our conversations and delve into the type of topics that have come up for us again and again as we navigate self-employed life. We’ll be chatting about money and pricing, habits and productivity, social media and marketing and everything in between. We’re hoping our fellow freelancers and creative business owners will find the show enjoyable, useful and relatable and we absolutely want to hear your opinion on these topics too. Share with us using the hashtag #friendswithbizbenefits and tag us in your posts @_charlieswift and @loveaudrey83.

Subscribe here

I’m ridiculously happy to be ending 2018 finally being able to call myself a podcaster and I’m so excited to share these conversations with you.

Journal pages… An October Afternoon

November 3, 2018

JOURNAL

Autumn leaves in a park with a row of trees portrait of a 10 month old baby eating an apple on a park benchBlack and whit portrait of a 10 month old baby leaning over park bench portrait of a 10 month old baby eating an apple on a park bench

Walking through our park on an October afternoon.

Not just the park any more but *ours*. Mine and this bub’s. Newborn’s first outing around the frozen lake, picnics with friends, daisy chains and eating grass, snoozy feeds under shady spots, squeals of delight on the swings. Somewhere in the future, there are steps to be taken, ducks to be fed, ices creams to eat and a scooter to ride.

But here and now we’re walking through our park on an October afternoon. The leaves on the trees may be dying but they seem oh so full of life as they gently fall. The sun is warm, unseasonably so. Low in the sky, it casts a magical glow whilst I collect autumn treasures. I pass them to baby to discover; crunchy leaves, pine cones and shiny conkers.

We stop on a bench under the dappled light. Play peekaboo through the gaps. Share an apple, big bites and little bites. Wave at the people walking by with their dogs. We spot squirrels and birds and hear the breeze in the treetops.

This time last year I sat in the autumn sun full of anticipation, with little kicks keeping me company in my rounded belly. All these echoes in time swirl around me like the leaves. All golden in our park on an October afternoon.Autum in a park old fashioned lamppost

Four struggles I faced in my first year of business

October 14, 2018

WORK

Woman working in cafeWith my maternity benefit pay recently coming to an end, thoughts of returning to work have been occupying my mind. Before having our baby in December, I had spent just over a year working for myself. I’ve been reflecting on my first year of business and especially how I can try my best not to repeat some of the struggles I faced.

I’ve had this post sitting in my drafts folder, nearly completed, for a few weeks now but, for some reason, I’ve not quite been able to finish up and hit publish. It would be understandable to perhaps be feeling vulnerable in sharing about difficulties I’ve faced since becoming self-employed -but I could tell it wasn’t that which was getting to me. My problem was actually with what I had originally titled this post – ‘Five mistakes I made in my first year of business’.

Of course, it’s not as though I haven’t made mistakes whilst running my business.

When I set out as a fledgeling freelancer, having been made redundant autumn 2016, I dived headfirst into self-employed life without a whole lot of forethought and with no business plan to speak of…I think it was pretty inevitable that I’d make mistakes along the way!

But that’s just it – mistake making is such an intrinsic, and even integral, part of running your own business that I’m not sure it’s helpful to use that word at all. It just feels too judgey and I want this to be a judgement free zone. Whilst it’s good to be able to reflect on how things are going in your business it’s important not to beat yourself up for past decisions. Running your own business is a constant learning curve.

Anyhow, now that’s cleared up, on to these struggles (not mistakes) that I encountered in my first year of business. There are some that I have an inkling of how to overcome and others that I am very much still working through. I think they are all pretty common struggles for those who are self-employed or running their own business – maybe you can relate?

Cafe interior with wooden furniture and big cactus plant

Five struggles I faced in my first year of business

One // Not having a set offering

I think it’s a common tendency when you’re starting out freelancing to want to be all things to all clients. I know I worried that someone might not want to work with me if I didn’t offer a particular service they were looking to outsource. I took the attitude of doing any and all work clients wanted to pay me for. Never really stopping to think about what I specifically wanted to be doing and, more importantly, if there was any type of work I did not. This meant I ended up doing work that didn’t always play to my strengths and some that I downright didn’t enjoy.

I found that another issue with not having a clear offering is that, of course, everyone wants something slightly different. And whilst tailoring your service to a client’s specific needs may be important, having a different package for every individual is pretty unsustainable. I realise now that through trying to people please I was actually diluting my output.

Moving forward… I know there’s always going to be trial and error in business when it comes to offering. I think the key is to keep it as simple as possible, constantly honing in on what works best and not being afraid to change things up if I recognise that something isn’t working.

Two // Undercharging and over-committing

I think you’d be hard pressed to find any self-employed folk who haven’t struggled at some point with how to price their products or services. In that first year, I had some clients on an hourly rate and others on a set monthly price; honestly,  my pricing structure was all over the shop! As with my offering, I pretty much let my first few clients dictate how much I charged based on what they were looking to pay. This inevitably led to undercharging. And along with that comes overcommitting, because reducing a service and rate to meet a client’s budget often doesn’t actually reduce the work-load.

Moving forward… I think it’s important to start by getting really clear on your numbers. How much do you need to charge to cover your costs and time? How much do you want to make? Then there’s the mindset work needed to feel able (and confident) to charge your worth. This is all very much a work in progress for me!

Cafe interior with wicker furniture and house plants

Three // Not having faith in my experience

One of the (many) ways my self-doubt likes to show up is to give me bouts of amnesia when it came to trusting my previous experience. Sure, I might have been working as part of a team in the past, but that shouldn’t negate the years spent working on some pretty awesome creative campaigns and managing clients accounts day in day out should it? Nevertheless, working for just ‘little ole me’ really rocked my confidence in my ability at times. Why was I suddenly so anxious about even replying to email enquiries?!? Going it alone can be downright scary, that’s why.

Moving forward… Things to do to help to build confidence – gather client testimonials and customer feedback, talking things through with a coach or co-mentor, doing guided meditations to cultivate a positive mindset. Also, remember that even the most badass lady bosses you admire have days when they feel like they don’t know what the f⚡️ck they’re doing.

Four // Lack of self-promotion

Ironically, even if you work in marketing it still feels really hard to market yourself. I wasn’t totally awful at putting myself out there but the fact that the majority of my clients came through already established relationships or word-of-mouth connections tell me there was a lot more I could’ve been doing in terms of outreach.

Moving forward... Ultimately I want to create content that will resonate with my dream clients and establish relationships that will lead to people wanting to work with me. I will be doing this by showing up consistently on Instagram and sharing my story and learnings here on the blog. The consistent part is definitely something I need to work on. I also have podcast and newsletter launches in the works too!

***

Do these struggles resonate with you and your business? Or perhaps there’s something else that you struggle with even more? Goodness knows I’m about to encounter a whole new set of struggles as I navigate being a working mum. Come, share your struggles with me on Instagram and let’s figure this shit out together!

Nest, Nourish, Nurture: preparing to welcome autumn

September 26, 2018

NEST / NOURISH / NURTURE

Nest, Nourish, Nurture: A list for the beginning of Autumn With the Autumn Equinox on Sunday, this week marks the true beginning of the new season. When I woke up on Monday morning  I swear I could sense the change in the air. Sure, that might have had something to do with the cool 15 degrees the temperature in our bedroom had dropped to, but whilst my husband grumbled about the cold I couldn’t help but feel a flutter of excitement about the seasonal shift.

Along with an undeniable love for the autumnal aesthetic, there’s something about the season which genuinely lifts my spirits. I find myself with a renewed energy as the weather gets cooler. I can’t wait for crisp days, gorgeous early golden hours and cosy nights.

Sat in bed with a warm cup of tea and my baby playing next to me I began to write my to-do list for the week but it quickly turned into more of a list of tasks and plans for the coming few weeks. So here are some of my ideas for welcoming autumn; things to do and prepare around the home, in the kitchen and beyond.

Autumnal walk

NEST

// Bleed radiators.
// Wash blankets and sheepskins and (preferably) dry in the sun.
// Pack away summer clothes for another year and replace with winter wardrobe items – bring on the woollies and tweeds.
// Have a little wardrobe clear out while I’m at it, do a charity shop drop and consider what items I need in my closet for the cooler months.
// Prep the house for colder weather. I’ve got floorboards gaps to fill and some very drafty drafts to exclude!
// Get the windows cleaned.
// Switch up fragrances in the oil burner. Out with citrus and florals in with wood and spice.
// Stock up on candles and tea lights.
// Treat yourself to some deliciously scented new products for the bathroom.

NOURISH

// Clear out the freezer and turn those scraps you’ve been saving into stock and bone broth. And on that note…
// Dust off the slow cooker.
// Fill your larder with immune boosters – echinacea, manuka, turmeric, ginger and lemons. I plan on staving off those sniffles before the begin.
// Eat all the figs! I forget just how much I love fig season.
// Stock up on oats and porridge toppings for a warming start on cold days.
// Bake – especially on Tuesday to accompany GBB.
// Plan brunch with friends.
// Fill your home with pumpkins!

NURTURE

// Set some manageable business goals for Q4 that will set you up well to head into a new year.
// Do some autumn hashtag research. There are so many lovely Instagram challenges and hashtag to join in with at this time of year (including my own #squashwatch).
// Start a new habit for the last quarter of the year – why wait till January?
// Go for a walk at golden hour and collect leaves for Instagram for a garland
// Dig out your favourite autumn playlist.
// Keep a journal.
// Borrow some autumnal reads from the library.

 

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