We may be travel bloggers, always eager to jump on a plane to the next exotic location, but we also gained too little pups in the last 18 months, therefore the home comforts have become just as intriguing as heading abroad recently.
Christmas is over, which means we’re in peak booking season for the travel industry, but if you’re not in the position for a holiday (or have to wait 6 months for the magic date), then making the house all toasty can be a great way to beat the January blues.
I wanted to share some ways in which we’ve done this over the past few months to make us feel all cosy with the pooches.
Dig Out The Hot Water Bottle
Call me a child, but there is something incredibly comforting about having a hot water bottle on the lap, while watching movies on the sofa.
Raquel was new to hot water bottles when we started dating (it probably wasn’t my coolest moment busting one out 6 months into dating), but it was a game changer for her.
We tend to tuck these away in loft space or under the bed for 6-9 months, so as the temperature is meant to drop 5-10 degrees over the next week, you may want to find where it has been hiding (plus give the cover a wash before it gets too cold).
A New Hybrid Duvet
Supposedly you should buy a new duvet every five years, while we had bought a nice new bed when we bought the house, but we stuck with the old worn-out duvet. So it was time for a change!
The Hybrid Duvet by Simba is 10.5 tog, which is warm enough all year round and is ideal with the temperature starting to drop.
The duvet has Stratos heat control technology…Basically, it can supposedly react to your body’s temperature like a thermostat learning what you need, helping to cool you in the summer or heat you in the winter.
But most importantly, the sizes went up to super king, so we didn’t have to worry about battling for covers in the middle of the night (*cough* Raquel, I’m looking at you).
Experiment With The Hot Drinks
I’m a coffee fiend, I absolutely live off the stuff. But sometimes in Winter I like to experiment, especially with caffeine free options I can sip on in the evening.
I’ve bought some chai tea, from Masala to cardamom, while I’ve also bought some chamomile tea for the evening. Of course, the temptation is to invest in a huge supply of hot chocolate, but having entered January, I now have the New Year’s Resolutions guilt.
Hot drinks will increase your body temperature for around 20 minutes, which may help with the pesky increases in energy bills that sky rocketed last year.
Ensure You Have Adequate Lighting
It gets dark outside around 4pm, which I hate, especially as we have to walk the dogs about 6pm in the pitch black.
However, another effect of the early sunset is that you often feel tired before bedtime. This can be combated with adequate soft lighting to stop you from heading up to bed an hour earlier. Of course, I’m not saying you shouldn’t get an early night (I need my 8 hours) but you don’t want to head up before necessary.
The addition of some desk lamps or smaller lighting around different rooms in the house can provide some much needed light to some dimly lit rooms.
Homemade Soup Time
I love making homemade soup, it tastes so much better than the store bought stuff. It’s also a great way to use up old vegetables that are on the turn.
Another benefit is that you can make a bulk load, so you have plenty for the next few days, reheating quickly either on the hob or in the microwave for a quick lunch break.
I want to experiment with a spicy parsnip soup recipe I read recently, which sounds incredible, while it also helps as I over bought parsnips over the winter period as the prices dropped really low. Of course, the temptation to add a little cream may happen.
Bring Down The Blankets Or A Spare Duvet
It’s movie time on the sofa, but something brings me back to being a child with my two sisters when I bring the duvet downstairs and chill on the sofa with it.
You may prefer to bring down a blanket, especially as food spillage or messes may occur over time. But it is a great alternative to putting on the central heating (saving you the extra pounds for your summer holiday) while it will leave you feeling really cosy.
You may want to also spend some time digging through whichever streaming service you’re using to find some great movies you can binge while under the duvet. Bring out the popcorn!
Find A Good Book
I’m not much of a reader (blame the ADHD), but when it’s cold downstairs and you want to curl up into bed with the warm duvet overtop, maybe it’s time to say goodbye to the screens (meaning put away your phone and turn off the TV) and time to pick up a book.
If you want a great shout, especially if you’re into your travel, then Shantaram was my favourite book of all time (recently made into an unsuccessful series on Apple TV).
Aim to read a certain amount of pages each evening, you could even sneak it in as a late New Year’s Resolution to finish a book by X date.
Of course, if you’re wanting to go out but you don’t have a huge budget and you’re local to me, then you might want to have a read of my list of the best free things to do in Brighton, from the Rockery to the Undercliff Walk.