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A VERY Long Overdue Winter Catch Up

winter sunset

My goodness have I got some explaining to do. I don’t think we caught up in autumn and here we are at the end of winter and already a good way into March! The good news? Spring is on its way. Having spotted more than a few daffodils already, I can confidently say that winter is ‘closed for business’.

I’m all too aware that my blog has been a tad neglected lately so we’ve got loads to catch up on. I love a good natter and these chatty posts really scratch my writing itch as well as my need to let off steam every now and again. Are you ready?

Inside Winter ’18/19

thoughtful poseIf you’re new to my blog, ‘Inside’ generally refers to anything that has been ruminating around in my head. I love to evaluate thoughts, cultivate new ideas and throw out my latest epiphany on this here blog – you have been warned!

If you’re a regular to IOB, you will probably know that winter has been an odd one. Christmas and new year didn’t go as planned but we managed to squeeze the best out of it by reading a lot, snuggling up in front of the fire and catching up on some great TV.

I’ve made regular hints that we’ve been going through a tough time over the last 6 months. Whilst my blog has always been a place of honesty and I find writing to be an amazing form of therapy, sharing publicly is not always appropriate or necessary. I hope that you understand. I remember coming across this quote back in December and whilst it pains me (I’m a natural over-sharer) it’s so true.everybody-has-a-chapter-they-don't-read-out-loud

So it’s been pretty silent round here. I’ve found it difficult to get enthusiastic about some of the topics I normally discuss and enjoy sharing. We’ve very much holed up at home too – what better time to hibernate than in winter, hey?

Although I did start to wonder if I’d become an introvert in my old age, deep down I knew that hibernating would only be a temporary thing. It’s taken a little longer than I would have hoped but I’m beginning to feel much more like myself. A few timely conversations and some thought-provoking reading material, have helped me realise that I need to stop allowing my circumstances to dominate everything. What starts out as a feeling of sadness (which is perfectly okay of course) can quickly become unhealthy wallowing (not okay) if we don’t nip it in the bud.

In short, I think spring is definitely around the corner (in more ways than one) – it’s time to start making a few tentative plans and allowing myself to be me again.

Outside Winter ’18/19

Again, for the benefit of any newbies, when I talk about ‘Outside’ I tend to mean all things fashion, home, or hobbies related. Excuse me while I whizz back through the 20,000 photos on my phone’s camera roll *hides from backlash* to remind me what I should be sharing in this section.

We had a bit of a kitchen makeover in January. Nothing major but we booked a decorator in months ago and before we knew it, January was here and we were under pressure to choose a paint colour! I’ll be honest and admit that we did think about cancelling him as our heart wasn’t really in it but we decided to just bite the bullet. The new light fitting was a panic buy but we absolutely love it.


kitchen industrial decor

We also managed to tick off a few of the MANY outstanding DIY jobs. I’ve now got lights where there were just bare wires and a shower head that produces more than just a trickle of water. Next up is our study, or maybe the downstairs loo – I always like to have a project on the go.

Confession: I’ve become a little obsessed with the adorable Marie Kondo. I’ve made a start by gutting the odd cupboard here and there but that’s as far as it’s got for the moment. The thought of emptying my entire wardrobe onto the bed fills me with dread. I honestly think I would still be here at the end of spring, deliberating over what constitutes the term ‘sparking joy’. Watch this space!

One thing that did improve my winter no end, was a collaboration with Boden. Every month I got to choose some new clothes from the Boden website and all I had to do in return, was post some pictures of me wearing said clothes over on Instagram. It took a while for me to stop pinching myself but once I did, I thoroughly enjoyed this opportunity.

I think out of all the clothes I chose, these trainers were my favourite.

Boden Leopard Print TrainersAlong with this gorgeous forest green coat that so many people comment on.

Boden Winter Forest Green Coat

I have worn both items so much over the last few months and I absolutely love them. The experience has reminded me that Boden makes some stunning items of excellent quality. I used to shop there a lot, especially for children’s clothes (although I would often wait for the sale, I must admit) but haven’t for a good few years. I’m now officially back!

I was feeling exceptionally smug about not having bought any new clothes for over 2 months, then remembered that the reason behind it *might* be something to do with my wonderful new collection of Boden clothes!

Beyond Winter ’18/19

In early January, I went to London to meet up with my uni girlfriends. We tend to use this opportunity to go back to our roots by all 4 of us sharing a large room with two double beds in it. This year we stayed in the Marriott Hotel, Marble Arch which was perfect for our needs.

After much deliberation, we decided to have dinner in The Ivy Brasserie in Soho and went to the Comedy Store in Covent Garden for some much-needed laughs afterwards. Despite living not too far from London, I’m not really a regular so it’s always a good form of escapism for me.

Comedy Store Covent Garden

A somewhat blurred picture but I tend to think that if there’s very little photographic evidence of a night out, they are often the best ones!

We try to make the effort to get together at least once a year. I seem to remember that we agreed to a spa break next time so if you’ve got any good recommendations, let me know!

As a family, we managed to get away to Les Gets for a week of skiing this winter. We usually try to go in February half term and although we own an apartment out there, we have to nab it quick before it gets booked up. It’s been a good year for snow and we were all desperately in need of a break so it came at a good time.

We had a humorous stay in a B&B on the way down (we drive from the UK to the Alps usually) which was more akin to a haunted house than any of us felt comfortable with. Let’s just say that next time *I’ll* do the research before booking!

Skiing is a fantastic break from regular life. The fresh mountain air is perfect for blowing away the cobwebs and the scenery never fails to leave me awe-struck.

ski scenery porte du soleil

One more piece of good news that happened this winter…we have another driver in the house! Against all the odds, my eldest daughter passed her driving test and all of our lives are better for it.

She’s still enthusiastic enough to run errands for me at the drop of a hat and it’s particularly useful when I don’t feel like driving out to pick her sister up from a party at midnight – it’s amazing what she’ll do in return for me regularly filling up the car with fuel!

In many ways I’m glad to see the back of the winter months and am very much looking forward to seeing what spring holds. As always, thank you for reading my musings.

Inside, Outside & Beyond




  • Here’s hoping spring will be a better season for you all, but it’s good to see you have had some enjoyment during the winter months too. I absolutely love your kitchen light fitting and it must be nice to get the shower sorted out.
    I’ve never fancied actually doing skiing, but I think I would be very happy enjoying the scenery, your photos always look beautiful.
    Very well done to your girl for passing her driving test! I can’t wait to have my son driving again, it is so useful when they’re willing to help out.
    Now if only Superdry wanted to collaborate with small time parent bloggers… Or any sportswear brands, I’m not too fussy!

    • Suzanne

      There’s always enjoyment to be had isn’t there? We have done some lovely things and that has really helped. I hope you’ve got your son sorted on the driving insurance now! It makes so much difference doesn’t it? xx

  • Gail

    I’ve picked up that you’ve been having a hard time lately Suzanne and I hope things are getting better. I love that quote about not reading every chapter out loud – it’s so, so, very true. It sounds like you’ve also had lots to enjoy this past season, though (still envious of your Boden collaboration! 😉 . Hope Spring is wonderful for you and your family. A new season and a time for growth and hope. xx

    • Suzanne

      I’m missing the Boden collaboration, I must admit! Fingers crossed that spring and its literal new growth brings a virtual one too. xx

  • Nipa

    I’m with you on the over-sharing. I’m often shocked by what people are willing to share publicly, but I figured I was just old-fashioned! Social media has created such a cultural shift. Good luck, getting through your “chapter.” xo Nipa @fashionipa P.S. Have you seen Marie Kondo’s show? I was so excited to watch it, thinking it was going to be a “how-to organize” resource, but the first couple of episodes just seemed like a cookie-cutter reality show. So sad!

    • Suzanne

      I think it’s very hard to strike the right balance, Nipa. I love that social media has encouraged a new sense of ‘me too’ but the line is often so thin. I have watched quite a few episodes of her show and I like it!

  • Plutonium Sox

    Brilliant news about your daughter’s driving test, that must make life easier for you all. I love that photo of the sunset over your garden. I hope that spring is kinder to you than winter was. It’s definitely the season of hope.

    • Suzanne

      I know you love a sunset Nat! Thank you for your comment. I love spring for bringing hope with it. xx

  • heather

    hi i knew that you were having a tough time from some posts – glad to hear you are feeling more you . I am always how much better i feel when spring is here – even if i was unaware i always feeling out of sorts before!

  • Suzanne

    I know you love a sunset Nat! Thank you for your comment. I love spring for bringing hope with it. xx

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