The summer seems to have passed in the blink of an eye! I can scarcely believe the leaves will soon turn and we’re already well and truly into fall! Or Autumn as we call it here in Ireland. According to the fancy meteorologists, Summer 2018 was the hottest and driest we’ve had here in the Emerald Isle in a long time. It’s amazing how quickly you get used to the warmer temperatures. There is now a definite nip in the air and the rain, that we are normally so used to, seems like a pesky returning friend today, especially as I’d planned to paint my front door this morning!
As things have begun to cool down and the kids have returned to school it reminded me that soon I’ll spend my days battling the cold and evenings snuggled in a cosy blanket surrounded by the flickering glow of candlelight. But in order for all that to happen there are a couple of things I need to do first!
1. Freshen up your Winter Wollies
For me, this includes jackets, coats, hats, scarves, gloves, throws & snuggle blankets and winter bedding and duvets. I also take stock of what might need to be replaced. [Donating old winter coats, hats, scarves and gloves and decent bedding to a homeless shelter is a great thing to do this time of year. Any bedding that is beyond human use can be given to an animal shelter.] I’ve already washed all the winter throws and rolled them and placed them in an easy to reach basket in the sitting room. I’ve rolled some larger ones and put them in our hot press to go on top of our bed during especially chilly nights.
While I don’t need them, I am looking forward to [maybe, read: definitely] picking up a new throw or two. I’ve had my eye on some tartan ones that TK Maxx have every year and this will be the year I give in. Of course, now that I’ve said that they wont have them!
2. Choose your fall scents and stock up!
I love candles, incense, room sprays, wax melts, perfumes and body oils at any time of year. But for me, during fall and winter, they seem especially sensual and intoxicating. I’m also VERY particular and it was nearly the end of fall last year before I’d finally found ‘the scent’ for me. If you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I’ve purchased early this year and already have my favourite Pecksniff of England Pumpkin Seed and Pecan lighting every night. I picked a 4 wax large candle up a couple of weeks ago in TK Maxx for €16.99.
3. Get Your Boiler Serviced and Chimney Swept
Time for some adulting for any homeowners or renters. The absolute last thing you want is for your heating to break or chimney to block in the next few months. Not only is it a massive inconvenience it can also be very costly! Stay ahead of the [potential] headache and get things cleaned and checked well in advance! My energy provider schedules the annual boiler service for me and allows me to spread it over the course of my bills -so it doesn’t even eat into my candle buying budget!
And while you’re in full on ‘adult’ mode if you burn any type of fuel to heat your home, or just for the cosy effect of an open fire remember to place your order or stock up! I have a log burning stove and I’m blessed because part of my in-law’s farm is Turf, so our delivery will be arriving by the end of the month!
4. Get a flu shot!
Full disclosure: I only started this myself last year, BUT it was the first year I didn’t get the flu so its definitely on my list for this year! Also, it’s a good idea to stock up on tissues and routine cold meds to have in your medicine cabinet ‘just in case’. Especially if you have kids, cause you can be sure, despite the best preventions, someone will get sick!
5. Check your fall and winter wardrobe.
There was a time when I would swap out my clothes seasonally. Living in Ireland, where you literally have all 4 seasons in the day, this wasn’t terribly practical but due to the sheer volume of clothes I owned, it was a necessary evil. I’m now post-KonMari, so all my clothes fit [just about] in my wardrobe and dresser.
I recently just dry cleaned and mended my winter coats and I bought myself a new raincoat; so I know I’m covered, literally. I might pick up a few light sweaters though and definitely on my list is a new pair of boots. For the last few years, I’ve been buying the same pair of [absolute bargain] boots from Marks & Spencers. I usually pay about €50 for them and they work so well casually with leggings or jeans and look equally nice with skirts and dresses. They’re also a wedge heel so very comfortable to wear! I get 2-3 years out of them.
I know, I know… this is purely indulgent and totally unnecessary but its something I still love to do! Relax though, I don’t go crazy. For me, the extent is a nice wreath on the door, a swag on the mantle, some extra candles and a peppering of cones here and there. I switch out the throws I have on my coaches and ottoman for something more rustic ones and pop a few cute sayings on my chalkboards and that’s it really. My fall decor is subtle but still signifies the change of year.
Do you decorate now, or leave it all for Christmas?
7. Check Your Car Over
As we tend to use and rely on our cars more when its wet and cold make sure yours is in tip-top condition! Tyres, brakes, oil, water, radiators and your emergency kit should all get checked out and topped up for those ‘just in case’ scenarios!
Also, a really good time to put spare umbrellas and raincoats in the car too. There is nothing worse than getting caught out and about! I even keep a towel in my boot [trunk] which came in super handy yesterday my brother and I took an impromptu toe dip in the sea! The towel in the trunk works equally as well when you get caught in the rain too!
8. Start Your Christmas Lists and Shopping
Do not shoot me for using the ‘C’ word already!
Trust me, starting early will save you a tone of hassle and possibly money. I do always feel September is WAY too early to give this any consideration but by November when I’m done and its all safely stored away in the press, only to be wrapped I’m so grateful!
Getting your Christmas lists and shopping done early means that you’re not running around stressed through December when the shops are super busy and its less of a financial strain. It also means that you can actually enjoy the lead up to Christmas. And any time you do venture to the shops in December you can actually savour the experience as it’s not a mad dash to beat the crowds in order to get everything done!
9. Check in on those New Years Goals!
There is still a solid 3.5 months left in the year. Plenty of time to finish off any goals or resolutions you set yourself. Or, if you’re looking back over the year and realised you’re not happy with how you spent it, you can still finish on a high and it a much different position you are in right now. The summer can have an effect of derailing. Take some time now, to fix that and finish strong for 2018. You have plenty of time!
My 2018 took some very unexpected turns and while I still managed to get halfway through my goals for 2018 because of these unexpected turns my resolution and desire to continue with or complete 2 of my goals have changed. I’m now in the midst of deciding if they are something I still want to pursue or if they no longer fit with my future plans.
10. Update your diary & calendar.
September often means a new schedule for me as I’m sure it does for most. Because of a big surgery, I will be having next month the next few months are going to be different. Right now I’m trying to get a lot of things organised and sorted in preparation for the time when I won’t be able to do much at all. My main priority is to make things as easy for my darling hubby and I while I recover. I’m doing my best to avoid an overwhelming period after my recovery with Christmas and the Holidays.
Right now, I’m looking at the remainder of the year and checking what is going to happen, what I’d like to do and what I need to do. Doing the same will allow you to enjoy the change in season and all it has to offer, which is really what we should be doing all the time.
11. Get Your FurBabies Winter Ready
I’m a fur mama to 3 gorgeous little ones. My pets largely reside indoors and there is little change in their maintenance through the seasons, except maybe in their cute attire. [Yes, I’m one of those fur-mamas]. For those of you whose babies might require a little more thought and preparation now is the time to get that organised if you’ve not done so already.
A top tip for those of you, if like me, you live in a country where the clocks change in the fall and it gets much, much darker earlier we’ve just installed smart plugs on many of the lamps in our house that can be turned on remotely via an app if we’re going to be home late or are out for the evening.
So that’s the list of things to do now that its fall. Did I miss anything? What have you already done? Let me know in in the comments below!