Tag Archives: Cosy

Self Care In A Pandemic (19): Christmas Pudding Socks…

Hi Friends,

I hope this blog finds you well, or as well as can be. I guess you may be wondering why I’ve titled this blog post ‘Christmas Pudding Socks’! ? ! πŸ™‚

Well, for one, it is getting very chilly in Scotland this winter. The days are still reasonably mild, and some days are very pleasant with hints of sunshine and no rain, but probably for most of you dotted about in warmer climes, it is very cold. It is definitely the season for warmer clothes, central heating and cosy socks.

I’m wearing a cute pair of festive socks with little Christmas puddings on them! πŸ™‚ This blog post is not so much about my socks, or the cold weather in Scotland, but more so about finding little things amidst your day that bring you some cheer. With all the problems going on in the world, and perhaps in your life this pandemic year, a pair of Christmassy socks aren’t going to solve your problems, but they can cause you to smile, to feel that little bit cosier, and to take notice of the little things. I have a beautiful glass Christmas tree mug that I’m drinking my hot beverages in now that it is December, something I treated myself to a few weeks ago. Sometimes, it’s the little things that help us get through the day, or give us something to look forward to, like making a hot and comforting drink in your favourite mug.

With so much going on in the world, and perhaps your own life, try to find those small moments of joy in your day to day living. I’m not saying go and spend money and buy things that you think will make you happy, not that at all although sometimes there is a place for a wee self care treat every now and then – what I am saying is that you can practice self care in this pandemic by carving out little moments and experiences for yourself that feel special, no matter how seemingly small or insignificant they might be to other people.

There should be time to delve into the deep and meaningful elements of life, particularly as you consider or begin to consider how you might like to move forwards in 2021. Yet, there is also importance in taking the time to slow down, to notice the little things that make you smile throughout your day, and for doing something kind for yourself as well as others.

What is bringing you that little spark of happiness today? It may not be Christmas pudding socks, or a Christmas tree mug, but perhaps it is that phone call with a loved one, watching a cosy film, curling up with a good book, turning on those comforting ‘fairy lights’ and experiencing your little moments of ‘hygge’.

Whatever it is, try to find or create those special moments in your day to day life, even and perhaps especially with so many of the big things going on around us.

Please feel free to share some of the special moments that make your day that bit brighter if you want to encourage, uplift or inspire me or other people reading this. And if not, stay safe and cosy, and we will ‘catch up’ very soon. x

Photo by Ylanite Koppens on Pexels.com
Photo by Jill Wellington on Pexels.com

Self Care in A Pandemic (10): Nurture Your Soul…

Yesterday, we thought about how it’s ‘ok not to be ok’. It is ok to sit in those difficult moments and learn to endure those difficult feelings, knowing that ‘this too will pass’.

With that being said, once we are ready to get up again, to take the next deep breath, and to make that next step in life, however small it might feel to us, it is so important to move forwards in a way that nurtures the core of who we are.

That might sound fairly profound, but the practicalities of getting there, one small moment at a time, needn’t be an overwhelming or big thing.

What do I mean by that? I suppose we could look at this through the lens of ‘slow living’, of learning to slow ourselves down, be more present in the moment and despite whatever we are feeling inside or what is going on around us, just take a moment to enjoy the moment we are in.

Last night I wasn’t feeling my best. To be honest I was struggling a bit. Yet, with a new day today, I have found new possibilities, new moments, and new reasons to hope, and to smile and I feel good in *this* moment. While that may change from time to time, as it does on this journey as human beings, we can seek to ‘collect’ and experience more and more of those precious moments that feed, nourish and nurture our souls.

After getting ready this morning, and preparing my room to be a place that I’d enjoy being and working in, I checked my work emails, did a bit of correspondence, and then took some time away from my desk to walk in my parents’ back garden. It was wonderful. Something so simple as feeling the fresh air on my face, the softness of grass beneath my soft shoes, to hear the birds chattering away, to see the trees, some with colourful leaves, but most with bare branches, and to look up into the sky and see the sunlight gently filtering through the clouds – in that moment my soul felt happy, and I drank it in, and even now I feel happy thinking about it and it reminds me to look out of my window and enjoy the little bit of nature that is around me.

I know from experience that nature while being a wonderful balm and tonic to our souls, isn’t always readily accessible to everyone. I spent the first four months of lockdown here in the UK from the end of March to July on my own, in the 10th floor of my flat, at first not having opportunity to go outside at all for weeks, and for most of the time with no face to face human contact at all. Even for an introvert, it was hard going at times.

Yet, there are ways we can nurture our souls even without being able to enjoy the fresh air and the calming effects of nature. The other day I had an experience of one of those ‘soul food’ moments. You know those moments when you are eating something hot in temperature like a broth or some kind of potato or vegetable dish, or some other comforting home cooked meal with healthy ingredients, perhaps something that is your ‘go to’ comfort food. Unlike unhealthy ‘fast food’, the heat of it causes you to slow down, you can feel the warmth in your belly, you are more awake to the senses of taste and texture and the beautiful aroma of different ingredients that awaken your senses. Perhaps as you read this different memories come back to you of homely times, or of times by yourself where you have taken a moment to really enjoy what you were eating and the experience has lingered with you.

Slow down, enjoy, nurture yourself. Whether that be by feeling the fresh air on your face, by taking time over a healthy meal, by making yourself a comforting wintery hot drink and eating your favourite snack, by creating a cosy environment, lingering over a good book or getting cosy and watching a film that makes you feel happy, there are so many moments that we can seek to experience more deeply, whether we are facing this pandemic alone or with other people. Amidst the ups and downs of these times, think of how you can nurture your soul, even if that is the tiniest moment at a time that no one else will ever see. Add to these moments day by day, bit by bit, and you will feel all the better for it.

Stay safe, and much love dear friends. xx

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Surviving The Pandemic Together. Words of Encouragement (22): *A nice safe space*.

*A nice safe space*.


For those of you with gardens, you may be sorted with this one πŸ˜‰ For the rest of us, we may be apprehensive to go out even for that once a day form of exercise. I am, as I live in a building with a footfall of hundreds of people within the two blocks of ten and twenty stories, with each floor having at least 6 or 7 flats housing single people, couples, small and larger families. I feel safer and more socially responsible staying inside.


I think it would be a helpful thing for us all to have a nice safe space in our homes or our gardens where we can be ‘tech free’, switch off from the world for a few minutes, and relax and enjoy. Something much needed for our mental and emotional health in these days. Feel free to share pictures of your little ‘getaways’ to inspire, uplift and encourage others reading this. Alternatively, the ‘blanket fort’ is a popular choice – # staycation vibes. πŸ˜‰ 😎 Don’t compare with others, and make the best of what you’ve got .

Here is a little look into my attempts to recreate a beach-house vibe πŸ™‚

Rest well. x

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Surviving Winter: A Beautiful Wintertime Diary (continued)…

Sunday 17th November 2019:

It’s a bright and beautiful Sunday early afternoon. I spent some quiet time this morning listening to worship music, praying and praising God while playing worship songs on my violin. Taking time for a bit of self care and reflection, and tidying up, and hopefully by later this afternoon I’ll catch some of that winter sunshine while it is still here, God willing.

But back to my update on how I’m getting on with putting my Winter Survival Guide suggestions into practice. Friday night was a night for this one:Β  https://wordpress.com/read/blogs/129815114/posts/4891

It was cold, dark, and I’d had a long albeit productive week at work, and I was spending the evening alone. I’ve been feeling tired after work this week and working through some things that had been bothering me a bit, so I haven’t really had a lot of time or energy to put into practice some of the other perhaps more productive Winter Survival Guide tips this week, alongside the fact that I have been blogging a lot! πŸ™‚

So, Friday night was definitely a good night for a cosy night in and for a bit of a treat, so I ordered in a takeaway, I was in the mood for Wagamama, so here are the obligatory pictures of what I got – all vegan too I’m pleased to say πŸ™‚ Yasai Katsu Curry, and panko breadcrumb covered aubergines in a bun, with a side salad. Delish! πŸ™‚

I ended up not watching a film, but enjoying my ‘go to’ cosy night in fix ofΒ Grey’s Anatomy.

Sometimes we just need an evening like that, no pressure, some good food, and the chance to unwind after a long week. Have you had any cosy nights in lately as winter approaches? What did you do, or do you have any film or TV recommendations?

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Winter Survival Guide (30) ~ Lighting.

With my love of all things cosy, you may have guessed that I’m one of those people who has ‘fairy lights’ dotted about my home all year round. Mostly single colour lights with a soft yellow or white glow so that they’re quite subtle. They really add to the atmosphere, and I love looking at them, and the cosy feeling they bring.

If you don’t have them in your home throughout the year, why not start bringing them in and putting them in a bit earlier than December? I imagine most people wait until December, but with it being mid-November, the days are getting darker earlier and having that extra bit of cosiness at home makes it less gloomy to stay in on a winter’s evening.

I highly recommend it! πŸ™‚ I wonder if there are others among you who also like to have fairy lights in your home throughout the year? Drop me a comment if you do! πŸ™‚ x

Here’s a couple of pictures in my home, taken a few days ago:

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Winter Survival Guide (11) ~ A Cosy Night In.

If it’s anything, this time of year is the perfect time to snuggle up indoors and to have a cosy night in, whether that’s on your own or with your loved ones or friends. I love putting on some cosy and comfy clothes, warm socks and curling up on the couch to watch a good film, box set or TV programme.

In the UK, you know it’s autumn / winter time when ‘Strictly Come Dancing’ comes on the TV. It signals the countdown to Christmas and it’s become a bit of a TV tradition for me at this time of the year.

What are your favourite films, series or TV programmes to watch that make you feel cosy during the winter seasons? Do you have an equivalent in your country to the show I mentioned? Whatever you choose to do, stay warm, cosy, healthy and happy! πŸ™‚ x

woman in grey jacket sits on bed uses grey laptop
Photo by bruce mars on Pexels.com

Winter Survival Guide (5) ~ Take a Break and Drink Some Festive Tea!

I’m a chai tea latte kind of a girl. Just saying πŸ™‚

These seasons quite often not only get a lot colder, but become much busier as well. For a lot of us busier can equate to things being more stressful. However, all is not lost, as with the approaching winter season, coffee shops, cafes, tea rooms and the like all start introducing those wonderfully named and flavoured festive drinks to keep us warm, cosy and happy.

So don’t be afraid to take care of yourself and take a break. Self care is important all throughout the year, but during the winter seasons we can sometimes put ourselves last while trying to tick a lot of the boxes on our ‘to do lists’ while also trying to be charitable, helpful, get things done and keep everyone else happy.

A cosy break and a hot cuppa every now and then can do wonders. Especially with so many new varieties of flavours to try, it is the season to be cosy! Or even to sit in your own home on your own, with your family or a friend or two and sip a hot drink while eating some sweet treats and catching up or watching a film….or even, writing your amazing blog posts!

It’s also nice to remember others at this time of year, and extend a ‘cup of kindness’ yet as Auld Lang Syne. Maybe that cup of kindness could be in the offering of a hot drink to a homeless person out in the cold on a winter’s day. As we care more for ourselves, we also are able to care and give more for others.

So, what festive flavours take your fancy? Hot chocolate sprinkles, cinnamon sticks, pumpkin spice, mulled wine, toasted marshmallow, gingerbread latte, or something equally exciting that I haven’t heard of before? Drop me a comment and let me know what your cuppa of choice is. Personally I think you can’t beat a good old fashioned tea, or chai tea latte (with cinnamon), or of course a good old hot chocolate on a cold winters day!

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Winter Survival Guide (2) ~ Where in the World are you from?

One of the most fascinating things about blogging on Word Press, is the amazing insight into the variety of countries that you, my lovely readers, represent. I’m sometimes amazed at the countries and flags that pop up to show me where people are viewing my blog from. It makes me really excited, and I welcome you all. If you want to introduce yourself or post a comment on which country you are from and what November and December is like for you where you are, then that would be splendid! πŸ™‚

That being said, and knowing that some of you live in places where the sun is still shining at this time of the year, I’ll let you in on a little ‘secret’. If you haven’t guessed it already, I’m writing from not-so-sunny Scotland! Your colder temperatures would probably be what we consider to be ‘summer’ weather πŸ™‚

And so, some of the things I write about on ‘surviving winter’ may seem a little odd depending on where you are from, but that’s part of the adventure of learning more about life in different parts of the world.

My advice from this post is a short and simple one to begin with, now that the introductions have taken place, and that is to wrap up, stay warm, and cosy.

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Oops!

I realise that I started blogging about my autumn home dΓ©cor ‘makeover’ as it were (just simple changes for these beautiful autumnal seasons), but I haven’t got around to posting the updated pictures, so if you read those posts, you will just have been left with the ‘mess’ and the aim to transition from one season to the next in my home.

Sorry about that, friends! πŸ™‚ Coming soon….I’ll hopefully post some updated pics and ideas before Christmas comes around and it’s time for another change! I’ll try to do my autumnal home update this week…!

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Autumn & Winter Home DΓ©cor 2019 ~Cleaning and Decorating Inspiration.

 

Gathering in the Leaves:

This morning, the sun is shining, and there is a chill in the air. I was woken by the sound of machinery outside, and as I peeped out of the window I saw that someone was operating an industrial leaf collecting machine – I’m sure that there is a technical term for such a contraption, but I don’t know what it is!

This is a sure sign of autumn! The heavy leaf fall is a sign that summer has passed and we are approaching winter. Perhaps wherever you live in the world, your seasons differ. You might have a more intense autumn with vibrant, ever changing colours as the leaves transform and then fall. Or maybe you have subtler transitions into the latter part of the year. Nonetheless, we are in mid-October which means the year is drawing gently to a close, and leaves are being gathered, and pushed aside as more continue to fall.

An Autumnal Shift:

Within the home, many people are beginning to make a shift as well. I like to modify my home dΓ©cor to reflect the changing of the seasons as many other people also do. In recent years, there have been trends to embrace the Danish concept of hygge, in terms of lifestyle as well as in the home. If you’re unfamiliar with the term, hygge can be described as follows:

“Hygge (pronounced hue-guh not hoo-gah) is a Danish word used when acknowledging a feeling or moment, whether alone or with friends, at home or out, ordinary or extraordinary as cosy, charming or special”.

Think of the feelings of cosiness sipping a hot drink on a cold evening, while curled up on the sofa in a cosy blanket while wearing your ‘toastiest’ socks. Or the wonderment of looking at the fairy lights in a beautiful Christmas market, and enjoying the scents of cinnamon, of hot chocolate, and bonfires. Think of a relaxed evening in with friends and family, playing board games and enjoying life together. Think of a reading a good book in your favourite ‘cosy corner’, of that warm glow of fully living in those special yet simple moments of a life appreciated for its gracious simplicity and well lived. Think of warm lighting, starlight, candlelight and soft music, or a hearty home cooked meal – the ultimate ‘comfort food’. And the possibilities go on as far as your warm heart and imagination can reach….

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Photo by Mark McCammon on Pexels.com

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Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

We move from the vibrancy of spring to the muted tones of autumn and the cosiness of winter time.

Homeliness, Hospitality and Reaching out to those in Need:

Although the sun is streaming through the blinds on this crisp, cold, autumnal day, days like this are becoming fewer and further between. Yesterday was a day for warm coats, and the day previously we saw lashing rain, incessantly beating down upon us, as we huddled indoors or under grey skies. It is a time when, if we are blessed to have a home of our own, a roof over our heads, we can make time and space to allow our winter seasons to be more cosy, homely and inviting.

Not only can we create a warm and pleasant environment for ourselves, but it opens up opportunities to be hospitable to others, and when we are relaxed and things are in order, then we can also invest our time, efforts and energy into reaching out and helping the poor and others less fortunate that ourselves materially. We can create a quiet space to pray for those in need, including the homeless, we can gather our friends together and begin preparing toys, gifts, hampers and wellbeing packages to distribute perhaps at Christmas. We can make crafts and home-baking to sell to raise money for charity, and we can invest our time in creating a little more community spirit, and of going out to meet people who may be lonely with no one to talk to. Once more, the possibilities only end where your imagination does…

When the leaves are piled high all around you!

However, while we sit together and dream of such inviting days, you like me may find that you have a whole heap of leaves to rustle through first, and tidy up, if you’ll pardon the pun. We need to shed spring’s skin and allow things to change as we transition from one season to the next.

The reality of the mess:

Personally, in order to get to this dreamy autumnal and winter home scene, there’s a lot of tidying up to do! However, for inspiration I have been looking through some of my old blog posts in my ‘home and lifestyle’ section. I have lists of encouraging tips and suggestions in various posts, but the one that encouraged me not to be overwhelmed or distracted by the mess, is to begin with a vision of what I want each part of my little home / apartment to look like. Once my heart is engaged, my mind can set about prompting me to action in the more practical tasks.

Dreams and visions:

One of the things I suggest is to have some sort of ‘vision board’, whether electronically, or jotting down ideas and scrapbooking pictures, it depends on what works for you. I think a nice way I’d like to do it is by ‘cataloguing’ some of my ideas in subsequent blog posts so that I can share this journey with you.

A starting point:

For now, however, in case it is an encouragement to you that I too have a bit of work to do, here is where I am starting from, at least with my kitchen…I hope to follow up with sharing a vision board in subsequent posts and to do this for each room as I move through my home.

So for now friends, happy cosy autumnal living, I hope you have a safe and blessed season ahead. x

Where I am starting from as I say farewell to this year’s spring and summer:Β 

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