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A Little Autumn Catch Up

[dropcap]M[/dropcap]y head has been awash with potential posts over the last few weeks, a sure sign that I’m long overdue a catch up on here

Autumn is always such a busy time of year for me but I do love it. September signals the start of all things new and I’m so in love with the changes that nature brings to this season: crisp copper leaves, frost on the grass tips and the odd surprise toadstool if you’re really lucky!


[dropcap]I[/dropcap] could almost write a book on the learning, over-thinking and adapting I’ve done during the last few months. I don’t know where to start really – possibly why I’ve concentrated more on ‘Outside’ and ‘Beyond’ posts of late.

Firstly, I’ve spent a lot of time questioning my blog and what purpose it serves. Yes I know that I tend to visit this little conundrum every 6 months or so and you’re probably tired of hearing it by now, but I do think it’s important to regularly question what we are doing and why.

autumn frosty morning

Being a Christian, I have a tendency to get weighed down by my purpose, wanting to ensure my life counts for something. But as a well-meaning person who loves me very much (*cough* my husband) pointed out, it’s okay to just enjoy life – the ordinary aspects, the sometimes frivolous, the things we’ve been blessed with – if someone else is inspired by my creativity, then double bonus!

Did I mention how busy we’ve been this autumn? I don’t know why I’m surprised really, we have four birthdays within 6 weeks of each other and every single year I feel frazzled and a little overwhelmed by mid November.

16th birthday cake, oreo cake

It has forced me to rethink life (sounds dramatic but you know what I mean!) and the word ‘balance’ has cropped up time and time again. I committed to hosting a bible study at my house on a Tuesday evening this term but didn’t really consider the implications of all that would go with it. With the bible study comes daily homework, rushed meals and some much-needed tidying of the house. All before 7.30pm!

balance quoteFor a moment I forgot that when you take on something extra, other things need to go in order to make room. Balance – it’s so important in all aspects of life and it will look different for all of us. Let’s just say that I’ve had an essential declutter of the diary and being kinder to myself has been brought a little higher up the list.

This song has been on a loop just recently.



[dropcap]A[/dropcap]utumn has been about woolly jumpers, ankle boots and cable knit tights for me. My daughter hates them but I love them! I’ve discovered some gorgeous ones from Next that come in all sorts of colours and they are so warm and snuggly.

I’ve also discovered Essie nail varnish and I’m in love with it – affordable, hard wearing and loads of gorgeous colours. Two coats last at least a week if not longer, and no, I’ve not been paid to promote it! The day I discovered that my nails matched my coffee cup was a good day!

essie nail varnishOur builders finally left at the end of October so we’ve been making full use of our garden room ever since. We’ve been able to say ‘yes’ to 16th birthday parties and the dreaded sleepovers. In fact I think we’ve had four sleepovers since the end of October!

I am so enjoying the novelty of closing the door on all the mess, to be dealt with when we are feeling braver. It’s been everything we had hoped for and more. I’ve even taken to disappearing down there for a few hours to do some work in peace. Having a  coffee machine down there helps enormously!

timber garden room,


[dropcap]E[/dropcap]very time I walk out of the door on a cold frosty morning, I can almost smell skiing in the air – the time is drawing near folks! We’ve booked tunnels and flights to squeeze in two ski trips this coming season, one as a family and one just the husband and I. Can’t wait!

Other than that, I’m beginning to research family summer holidays and I am also planning a little trip to New York in early July with my girls. The youngest will have just finished her GCSEs and the eldest will have recently turned 18 – two big things to celebrate (any excuse ?)!

New York has been on my bucket list for as long as I can remember so I’m excited about planning it. Don’t fear, I am taking my sister with me for moral support – I’m not sure that the three of us alone in New York would be a good idea!  If you’ve been to New York and have any tips on hotels or ‘must sees/dos’ then please do add them in the comments below.

And that just about wraps up autumn. Now we are on to Christmas and all the excitement that brings. Don’t hate me but I’m actually planning to put up a Christmas tree at the weekend…all will be revealed next week!

Inside, Outside & Beyond




  • It was all going so well until you mentioned the Christmas tree…
    Your trip to New York sounds very exciting!
    Love the Oreo birthday cake and glad the garden room is working out so well.
    I can so relate to that feeling of taking on something new and it having a knock-on effect on everything else. Panto rehearsals have just started, which always have a huge impact on our lives every year.

    • Suzanne W

      HA ha I knew you would be cross about the tree! Oh to panto rehearsals, it’s such a love/hate relationship sometimes isn’t it?

  • Plutonium Sox

    Ooh I’m jealous of your trip to NY, I do love it there. My recommendation would be to have dinner and cocktails (mojito in particular) in the revolving bar at the top of the Marriot Marquis in Manhattan. It’s fabulous. You get to see the whole skyline whilst treating yourself to delicious food and probably the best mojito ever. I feel the same as you about balance. It’s so important and yet, I get it totally wrong most of the time.

    • Suzanne W

      Thank you so much for the recommendations! I don’t know NY at all but am getting excited about planning the trip. Love Mojito too!

  • Seaside Sparkles

    I’m a big fan of Essie nail varnishes too, one may have fallen into my basket in Boots to qualify for extra points. Your NY trip sounds so exciting it’s on my bucket list too and I think we’re planning for around 2023 when there are a lot of big birthdays, it’s never too early to plan! Some pertinent comments about balance, we all try but life gets in the way! Thanks for the post

    • Suzanne W

      Interesting how many people relate to my thoughts on balance. 2023 will come round soon enough no doubt!

  • lorraine

    A trip to New York with your girls will be fun. I hope the garden room makes you take some time for yourself and relax.
    My hub and the teen went to see the eldest in Seattle this year, they loved it there.
    I think we’re all going over next year but maybe meet him in California so it will be a holiday for him too. I’m not really a traveller so I think it’s exciting but am happy to stay home with the dog. ? x

  • Gail

    Lovely post Suzanne, I enjoyed reading your thoughts about life and balance. Sometimes I question the ‘frivolity’ of blogging but then at the same time I know it’s something myself and a lot of other people enjoy 🙂 Your garden rooms looks fab – I would love that as a hideaway for writing. And a trip to New York, how exciting! I’ve never been but I’d love to go xx

  • Amanda

    Your points about finding balance are so important, one I think more us need to focus on. Loving the idea of bible study, do you do bible journaling? I’m a lapsed Catholic, recent life events have had me questioning everything and seeing the comfort and reassurance others find in their faith has really questioned my lack of direction with my faith, sorry, I’m rambling here!

    Anyhoo, sounds like a crazy yet rewarded few months, New York sounds like a well deserved treat for you all!

  • Sandra

    Thank you for this post – I love that song and it has really lifted me this morning as I’m in my sick bed and feeling a bit low!
    Your garden room sounds lovely, as do your travel plans – sometimes a change of scene is so necessary!
    Keep up the good work with your blog, I really enjoy it – a great mix of subjects and so refreshing. ?

    • Suzanne W

      Thank you for your encouraging words Sandra, that really made my day. Hope you’re feeling better soon 🙂

  • Aaah Essie is my FAVOURITE nail polish!! I love the stuff. As well as having such fab colours, it lasts really well too! The garden room looks AMAZING!!!! What a gorgeous space Suzanne — you must be thrilled CX

    • Suzanne W

      I cannot believe it’s taken me this long to discover Essie!

  • Sophie

    These photos are gorgeous! Love the blog post 🙂 Autumn is just THE best time of year! The smells, the colours, and of course then fun!

  • natalie

    Life is just so busy isn’t it. I am too questioning what is all this blogging business is all about – and I still don’t feel like I have any answers. I guess I struggle trying to have some kind of balance.

    Oh New York is amazing – you and your girls will love it. It is the most amazing city – be warned once you have been once you will want to go again and again. x

  • Nancy | MapandFamily

    Such a good point about other things having to go when you take on something extra. I still don’t think I’ve learnt that properly – even thru bitter experience!
    New York is a fab place to visit with teens! I’ve some posts about our trip there on the blog. We stayed at The Sohotel which I liked and was in a good position for cool places for breakfast and shopping etc. But renting an apartment would be fun too and that had been my original plan. We went in July – it was very hot – plus there’s an amazing sunset to catch in July called the Manhattanhenge (Google it ) I only realised later that we’d happened to see it!

  • Emily

    I do love a good old catch up post. I’m so intruiged by your garden room. I saw it in insta and couldn’t work it out. Does it go underground?

  • Jenny

    Oh those nails love the grey. Look at those Autumn Wintery photos so beautiful. That blue sky always makes me smile too. Garden room sounds lush girl I am coming over to visit. hahaha #wrc

  • Your garden room looks amazing! It must be so nice to escape too – if it isn’t hosting a sleepover! I know what you mean about balance, it feels like this time of year is so busy we are forced to do so much when really all I want to do is slow down. There is nothing wrong with taking a little bit of time out now and again to recharge xx

  • A friend of mine once said “balance is a unicorn” – it simply doesn’t exist. I think we all have our own unique versions of balance and sometimes we’re better at achieving it than others. I try and remember that the busy periods are just temporary and that they will naturally balance out with slower times if I stay mindful. I’m so jealous of your trip to New York – I’ve been wanting to go for the longest time. Will look for ward to reading all about it next summer.

  • Ah I dream of a garden room!! We’ve talked about getting one built for around three years, but alas it’s turned into nothing. I can’t wait to take me girls to NY one day. My mum took me a month after I finished my GCSE and it was such a special trip. You’re going to have the most amazing memories and you all deserve it!!

    • Suzanne W

      Ah it’s so nice to hear from someone who went as a teenager! Glad you loved it. I can’t wait now 🙂

  • Morgana

    Oh gosh that never ending quest for balance, it’s just so elusive isn’t it? I too have taken on more commitments with church recently (and so has my husband) and it’s left me feeling rather frazzled. I took a step back and worked out what should stay and what should go and what changes we needed to make and I feel better for it. Sometimes I get so caught up in the ‘doing’ that I forget that we’re supposed to ‘be’, if you know what I mean? xx

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