7 Ways to Improve Your Winter Experience



I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think this winter is never going to end.


I feel like I have looked out of the window to a sky the colour of overwashed white T. shirts way too many times and I’m more than ready for some spring sunshine.


However, even as I write this week’s blog post, more bad weather is imminent in the West Country.


Stuck in Groundhog Day misery, I’ve tried lots of different ways to keep my “pecker up” over the past two months, which I thought I would share with you, in case like me you need a little inspiration.


Get Outside

I know it’s been Baltic outdoors at times this winter, but wrapping up in a duvet-style coat and chucking on a pair of walking boots has been the highlight of some of my weekends.


Getting us out-of-the-house has worked wonders on a Sunday, especially when you know you’ve got another week ahead of long nights indoors.  We’ve picked places where we haven’t walked before, has a café shop near or thereabouts for a cuppa post walk, and has decent views to lift the spirits.


If we’d had a dog with us it would have been even better, but that’s another blog post.  The knowledge that a roast and nap was on the cards once home also helped ensure it was a Sunday well spent.




Spoil Someone


It was my friend’s 50th birthday last October.  A big deal, we took a trip with our husbands to New York after many years of saving what we could from the housekeeping!


For her actual gift, I bought a three-hour Thermae Bath Spa experience and we agreed to go in February.  What a great idea.  A day out with a mate, who can make you laugh, remind you why you love, need and hold your girlfriends dear to your heart is just the tonic to fight the gloom of winter.


I know she needed it as much as I did and spoiling her for the day, with hubby as taxi, a bit of retail therapy, and plenty of booze thrown in was just the ticket and possibly too much fun for a Sunday.  But hey, we’re only “young” once.


It was also great to enjoy the sauna and steam rooms for a couple of hours.  We had a giggle while enjoying the heated outdoor pool over-looking the beautiful Bath skyline, and the delicious meal that came with the package deal was fab.  Thoroughly recommend Thermae Bath Spa,  if you haven’t tried it yet.


Read Up and Sit Up


I love a self-help or motivational book and I’d read a quote or two of Shonda Rhimes online that made me want to learn more from her.


I found that the writer of great TV shows that I love, like Grey’s Anatomy, had a book called A Year of Yes, and then found it was in my local library on shelf 12 (I love online access), so off I went to pick it up.


A great read, Shonda basically decided that for a year she would agree to anything and everything, where she would normally say no.


It’s a really honest read and I think a lot of it we can all identify with.  Who doesn’t like staying in their comfort zone?   But as you might expect, by getting out of it you can achieve so much more.


The book covers a number of areas including relationships, self-love and weight. I won’t go into detail and this might not be the book for you (I enjoyed it), but if there is something stopping you from achieving your dreams, there’ll be a book to help you out there.  Another positive way to while away the dark days


Try Something New


Valentine’s Day isn’t full of surprises in our house.  SP won’t mind me saying that he is a little rubbish at surprising me. So this year I decided that instead of cooking dinner for two, SP would. I bought all the ingredients for Sticky Pan-Fried Scallops, Sweet Chilli Rice, Dressed Greens and Quick Brownies to follow.


An hour and 40 minutes later and the kitchen is carnage.  I’ve offered SP a glass of wine on repeat after he first started swearing 10 minutes into cooking dinner, but he denied the “sweetener”, which as our main cook, I always lean in to when cooking something I don’t want to mess up.  But each to their own!


However, the meal was fabulous and buoyed by the highlight of trying something new, we agree as SP doesn’t have the kids tomorrow night, that we’ll go out to the pub for a cheeky meal.


We’re on a trying something new roll, so I go for a cod and chorizo stew and SP has a prawn linguine.  It’s delicious.  We also bump into three friends who come over to our table and say hi and SP outdoes himself in the drinking stakes (which will come back to bite him the next day).


It’s a successful week though, we have a laugh, and you know what we head into the weekend, not with the usual moans and groans from a week at work, but with a little more energy to make it special.


A change is as good as a rest and sometimes you need to switch the routine up to give daily dullness a kick up the butt.


Smell Good


I’ve been really keen to make my time indoors a better experience, so the fire has been on with its leaping (fake) flames.  New cushions, a pouffe and several new plants were also purchased in the Autumn to make our sitting room more welcoming this winter.


Adding to the ambience, candles have been lit most evenings.  I just love the smell and the way a scent can change how a room feels.  A favourite was the new Mandarin, Lime and Basil candle from Amphora Aromatics.  Fruity as you might expect, I found it quite delicate and could leave it on for hours at a time, without it getting over-bearing.  Loved it.




Raid the Rainy Day Fund


I rarely reach for the rainy day fund and I’m not a fan of spending lots of money, in fact I drive SP mad with my procrastination, but this month I delved into the rainy day fund and bought a few things to give myself a boost.  It has rained, after all.


It doesn’t have to be expensive, though I did buy a winter coat, but even a pack of three knickers, can give you a real confidence boost when needed.  I found the coat in HM, by chance, and I didn’t need it, but it was cut so classically that if I’m not wearing it for years to come I’ll eat my (woolly) hat.


At the other end of the scale, I bought a new moisturiser in Boots, which was on offer for around a fiver


I can’t recommend Your Good Skin SPF30 Anti-Oxidant Day Cream enough.  It is formulated with Green and Vitamin C, is quite a heavy cream and has a slight sheen/highlighting quality to it, which I absolutely love for giving you a much needed glow.


My skin feels super nourished when I put it on and it gets rid of that tight, dry skin feel you can get during the harsh winter months.



It’s certainly made me feel better, as has all the other activities.  I hope you’re getting through February without letting it get to you.  I know I’ve found it pretty tough this year.  If you are, perhaps try some of these tricks.  They might help.


And before we know it spring will be here….or it better be!


Have a great weekend.


Gail xx







  1. Maria
    February 23, 2018 / 4:05 pm

    Great blog. 💞

    • gailpainter
      February 23, 2018 / 4:09 pm

      Thanks babe 😉

  2. February 24, 2018 / 7:44 am

    Oh, I want to be your girlfriend too!😂😂😂

    • gailpainter
      February 25, 2018 / 12:11 pm

      Ha ha thanks Nancy. You are 😉

  3. February 26, 2018 / 5:17 pm

    Getting outside in the winter is so hard, but worth the fresh air! I also loved your idea to ‘spoil someone’. The kids and I did a care package for my mom after she broke her ankle and it was a major upper–and she loved it, too! We might try to do a care package for someone every month because it felt so good! xo

    • gailpainter
      February 26, 2018 / 6:16 pm

      Oh wow, what a fantastic idea. There is always someone who needs a bit of a boost and nothing can make you feel better as the giver. x

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