Thursday 8 September 2016

Preparing for Autumn #TBT

We're coming in to my favourite time of year and I thought I'd take a moment to share some of my favourite things about this season, from past posts, including preparing our home for autumn and my favourite lipstick shades for the months ahead.


September has begun and I'm embracing autumn without hesitation. Summer didn't ever really get going, did it? My maxi dresses were never worn and my tan never had the chance to begin (not that I ever go an impressive shade, to be fair).

So, I'm saying so long to the end of summer and taking a big giant leap into autumn. My favourite time of year (in the lead up to Christmas).

Here's what I'm looking forward to:

* The changing colour of the leaves on the trees - the ones around the corner of our house always seem to change shade day by day, from bright green to fiery red

* Buying a new coat - because you just have to every year, don't you? This is the one I'm lusting over

* Big jumpers, chunky cardigans and layering up 

* Shade of mustard, burgundy and bottle green - my perfect autumn palette 

* Fingerless gloves and cosy snoods

* The arrival of the Starbucks red cups - hello Pumpkin Spice latte!

* Dressing Ethan up in warm clothes and a cute bobble hat

* Wearing a bobble hat myself -bad hair don't care!

* Looking forward to Halloween, although we probably won't actually do anything when it comes around

* Writing lists for the festive season - I start my research very early on and will begin hoarding magazines and pinning on Pinterest in just a few weeks, I'm sure

* Getting out and about, anywhere my knee high boots will take me

*...followed by sofa days snuggled under a blanket

* Dark nail polish and lips, a great autumn combo

Cosmo's '20 things that happen to every girl in the autumn' could have been written about me.

Just a few days at home this week (and the services of a pro cleaner, as you can read about here) has really helped us to get things a bit more ship shape for the new season.

Every three or four months, I feel the need to have a big sort out so that anything old is packed or given away to create room for the new things we need. Why just have a spring clean, when a busy house means you accumulate 'stuff' all year round?

It seems I'm not the only one, as I've just seen a post by Hannah at Mum's Days about a Japanese book called The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up which seems to be sweeping the world by storm (sorry for the pun!). The general ethos seems to be clearing clutter for good and reaping the awards - it sounds ruthless and fascinating so check out this post by Hannah and her upcoming posts on how she's implementing the rules from this book to find out more.

So, what does an 'autumn clean' look like? Here's what we've been doing in our house:

* The big clothes swap

Down come the suitcases from the loft, filled with warm coats and snuggly jumpers. All our winter clothes have been unpacked this week, so we have everything from boots, hats and scarves through to our winter coats and layered items now in our wardrobes (and under the bed, as clothes take up more room at this time of year!).

In their place, our summer clothes, including unworn maxi dresses, are going back into the suitcases and into the loft until next spring at the very least. We don't have the space to keep everything in our wardrobes and this way, we know we have what we need close to hand.

We also review our clothes as we get them down and when we store them away, to make sure that anything looking a little worse for wear either gets thrown or donated, depending on condition. I'm trying to be much more ruthless so if it hasn't been worn for a season, it's gone!

* Clear the clutter

I have no idea where half the clutter in our house comes from (I swear untidy pixies sneak in during the night to dump random crap here and there to fill all our cupboards and drawers) and it's one reason why I don't think I could ever face moving house.

We have taken each room in turn and had a good look and a good rummage to see what we really need and what really needs to go. When you have a few days to do this over, it's not so bad. There's the Ikea unit in the lounge, with its handy storage boxes that can hide all sorts away; each one has been checked and used as needed. There's our dresser and bureau, which both seem capable of storing twice as much as you'd expect; both have been cleared on top and inside, so there's less clutter, a logical place for everything and even space left over now.

Bills and paperwork are all in one place (with important documents like passports and insurance policies nice and safe). We only have as many glasses as we need, rather than enough to host a party for everyone we know. Tatty old cushions have given up the ghost. And every drawer and cupboard has a clear purpose now. Phew.

Whilst we have a lot of stuff in the loft, we are being much more choosy about whether something stays or goes. With Ethan well into his two's, there's been quite a few clothes, toys and other baby paraphernalia to sort through over the past year and we've kept the bigger or more expensive items (such as his pram / travel system and cot) into the loft then sold some items on eBay and donated many others to charity.

* Cupboard challenge

I think we're all guilty of buying fresh food week in and week out whilst still hoarding spices that have long since gone out of date. I've done a bit of stock-check of our cupboards, to see what we already have and work out what few things we need to turn these into meals, rather than shopping almost from scratch every week.

It would be a great challenge I think to try and use everything up before doing another shop - might force you to get creative with your cooking at the very least!

And it's helped. I may even get to clean inside these cupboards one day...

* Home sweet home

Autumn means nights in watching movies, with a snuggly blanket and candles flickering away. We've got a few bits unpacked that help us get settled in for the colder, darker nights ahead and having cleared the way first means that we can be organised and comfortable.


What better reason for refreshing your look and your make up bag than the changing of the seasons?

With autumn coats unpacked and shades of mustard, burgundy, plum and teal awash on the high street, it's a great time to add a few new seasonal shades to your lips too.

I went shopping a couple of weeks ago on the hunt for some autumn inspired lip shades. I was looking for matt finishes - I love the flawless look and at this time of year, you can dare to go a bit bolder. I wanted a rich raspberry red, a deep plum, a warmer nude and something that would pack a little punch too.

Here's what I found...

For budget buys, you can't beat a Rimmel lipstick or a multi buy. I bought two Revlon lipsticks for £10 in Boots and picked up the most perfect shade of bright red (I've come to believe you can never have too many reds) and a richer red too, which is great for this time of year.

I also stopped off at No 7 too. They do a match service now for your lipstick, so once you know your foundation shade, you can see which lipsticks they recommend to suit your skin tone. I'm Calico, as pale as pale can be, and whilst there's a few nice suggestions, I prefer some of the other shades as I like richer colours rather than the 'barely there' look. I need to add colour somehow to my face!

Top shades I recommend you take a look at are Autumn Truffle, a soft brown / orange / red that I think will suit a lot of people, and the slightly stronger Sweet Chestnut. For a pink pout that's perfect for the season, Cranberry Kiss is lovely. And the matt crayon featured above is brilliant when used with the lip liner for a precise line. Trust me - these lipsticks, which are often on offer, last really well, give a good pigmented finish and feel soft on your lips to boot.

I really like the Bourjois shade for every day wear - it's a warmer nude and works well with lots of different outfits too.

And for the days when I want to go for full on colour, the L'Oreal purple/pink is the perfect vibrant shade. It's not for the fearless but I love it.

What are your favourite shades at this time of year? Do you change over your make up?


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