Winter has to be one of my favourite seasons of all, simply for the art of Hygge (or Coorie as we say in Scotland!). Nothing beats the roaring fireplace, the tactile blankets and warm lighting. Coupled with family cuddles and your favourite film and well that sounds like perfection to me!

But before I dive into ways to make your home cosy for winter, it’s worth mentioning that it’s important to fully understand the basics of winter-proofing your home. With tips such as bleeding radiators and checking insulation to ensure that your home stays cosy.

Having a worry free winter is always important. With the holiday season and family & friends descending upon you, you don’t want to get caught short on anything heating related (like we did with the oil… read on for that saga!) That’s why things like boiler finance is a life saver. With options from as little as £24 per month. It’s great peace of mind at this time of year.

If you want to know more about boilers and ensure your home stays cosy this winter, then check out Local Heroes.
Now let’s get back to making your home cosy…

The warmth at this time of year is more than just heat alone. It’s an all round experience, one with textures, aromas, feelings and light.

To get the most out of feeling cosy this winter, surround yourself with your favourite candles. My favourite smells for this time of year has to be fig or Christmas tree. Layer this up with the sound of crackling fire. If you don’t have a fireplace, then check out candles with wooden wicks that crackle as they burn. That warm glow is perfect for that added cosy vibe.

No one wants stark bright and harsh lighting at this time of year, so switch off the big light and reach for the lamps or fairy lights instead for that perfect level of ambiance.

Another must is soft fabrics and cushions. Think rich textures such as velvet, or wool. I personally don’t think you can ever have enough cushions for that added level of cosy on the sofa.

Layering rugs and blankets is something that is often overlooked, but gives that extra luxury and welcoming touch that will make your living room hard to stay away from.

Getting set for winter however, goes so much deeper than a few cushions and blankets. Being a grown up means there’s various tasks that needs undertaken to make sure the house itself is fit for the colder elements too.
A few things we also like to check for winter:

• Our boiler servicing is up to date.
• Oil in the tank – Being in rural Scotland it’s important to make sure that our oil central heating tank it topped up (we failed on this one this year, as I broke my leg and was in hospital and we ran out on the 27th December. Thankfully our local oil company stepped up!)
• Gutters are clear of leaves and keep an eye when there’s also snow or ice.
• Water system is serviced and filters are up to date (we aren’t on the mains water network) and that the insulation is good.

What tips do you have to keep your home cosy and inviting during the colder months? Let me know in the comments.

This post is in conjunction with Local Heroes but all thoughts are my own

My Symphysis pubis dysfunction (SPD) and back issues is something I’ve talked extensively about both here on the blog and on my YouTube channel. MM will be 4 years old this October and so that means I’ve been struggling to maintain basic movement since March 2015, when the SPD kicked in second time around.

It’s been some journey! But after a number of consultants, specialists,  various tests and finally an MRI to ascertain where the issue lay, the diagnosis came down to complete muscle degradation due to c-section delivery and SPD. Now I could get mad that this wasn’t spotted sooner, or that there doesn’t seem to be a process for recovery from SPD post c-section, but I’m not going to focus on something I can’t change. Instead I’m going to put all that energy into building my body back up to withstand normal activity.

I’ve been placed on a pain killer that deals with nerve pain to eliminate the current pain enough, allowing me to begin rehabilitation physio training. It’s certainly going to be a long road to recovery. One full of ups and downs, but I’m determined to do this for my girls. To lead a normal family life and do the everyday tasks that I’d taken for granted. Now that I know there is no “real” structural damage to my back and that I can’t do any further harm I’m looking at ways to build back up.

exercises for SPD

One of the things I’m working on may sound pretty simple, but I can assure you that it’s not for me and that’s walking. I’ve not been able to walk any great distance for fear of pain for over 4 years. I’ve popped the “baby steps to 5K” app on my phone and going out 3 times a week to simply walk the distances. As is always the case though, I got a little too cocky and started to add in little 20 second bursts of jogging. That was a big mistake as I landed up being bed bound for 2 solid weeks with fluid on my knee. It’s so very easy to compare your progress to others and start to “ramp up”. However, it’s so important in these cases to listen to your own body and go at your own pace. Before the knee injury, I was walking 4K, which was taking me 40 minutes. It might not sound like much, but if I tell you I couldn’t walk more that 5-10 minutes before without ending up in acute agony for a few days, you can see the achievement. One thing that injury has taught me is that slow and steady wins the race (that and stretching is essential!) So I’ve signed up for low impact training to build up my core strength more before I try and do the app again. And this time, I won’t be pushing my body or comparing myself to people who are able and can push it.

One of the big goals I have to work towards is the Great Scottish Run, which takes place in September in Glasgow. There’s a number of runs over the 2 days, from Toddler dash, right up to the half marathon and entries are open now.

We’ve signed up to the family mile and nothing will make me more proud than to be able to cross that line with my little crew. From someone who hasn’t ever been able to do the parents race at sports day, that’s going to feel like a huge achievement for all of us, as my inability affects us all. Hopefully that’ll mark the end of this painful stage in my life and be the start of a new chapter… One where I can be the mummy I want to be.

I’ll be documenting the training journey on Instagram stories, so you can watch my progress leading up to the event.

Disclosure: This is a collaborative post with The Great Scottish Run

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