Well it's been gloriously sunny here, and I have had a wonderful day soaking up the sun's energy exploring the Gardens at Peckover House in Wisbech with my boys and my aunt who stayed over last night. 2 acres of riotuous, fantastical, magical planting - each flower, shrub or tree a marvel, a wonder!
Any of you local mamas who haven't visited - do it immediately! It is so so beautiful. And there's a tea room :-) I'm going to spend the Autumn/Winter making sure we regularly go to places like this with - places with such spectacular flower arrangements it feels like summer all year round - the perfect antidote to the bleakness of the fen landscape we have here in the Winter months. I am going to look at planting more things in my own garden to try and replicate some of that kaleidoscope of colour I saw today. Check out these beautiful plant pots I have lined up in mind.
So I wanted to share with you some thoughts I've been having recently about how to harness the maximum amount of sunlight on those shorter, darker days. How to live more colourfully, more vibrantly.
Obviously, being outdoors when the weather is nice is a must whenever you can. But what about home days when we're indoors and its too windy, rainy, wet to be outside, when we're not visiting friends whose laughter keeps us smiling - those days when the weather is not sunny at all.... how to make the house feel sunnier, brighter?
I've been considering re-arranging the house/rooms a little with this thought in mind, and Carol Venolia, sums up my own intuition in her book "Healing environments". She rightly says that
"We're at our best when we awaken in the east light, carry out our main activities in the south light, then rest at the end of the day in the west or north light"
Arranging our rooms and daily activities so, as much as possible, we follow the path of the sun makes perfect sense. Not a path taken seriously enough by many work settings, and I feel very sorry for people who work in environments where no regard has been given to this vital consideration for people's health and well-being.
So what can we do to harness the sun and maximise it's influence in the house?
Well, I compiled a....
Sunshine to-do list!
- polish up all our windows so they sparkle
- think about brightening the colour-scheme in some rooms
- invest in a couple more lamps around the house in those rooms which face north/have small windows
- replace two sets of fairy lights that broke months ago
- put more crystals in the windows - rainbows on the walls are so fab at the moment in our living room, LOVE them!
- put up some carefully placed mirrors to reflect sunlight - maybe go charity/junk shop/car boot sale shopping and put an arrangement or cluster of little ones together as a feature to bounce more light around
- hang up some christmas tree bauble glitter balls we have and back up on a thread from the window - they looked so awesome whenever we've done this before - when Finn was a very young baby he would just adore it when our sunny little lounge filled with rainbows cast by a crystal hanging in the window, and I would spin a hanging mini glitter ball sending little white dots of light all over the room (who needs fisher price to give your kids a super pretty glitter-ball-light-show, huh?)
- push furniture near windows
- buy some winter indoor flowering plants to put in the windows - begonias for bright colour are my fave!
- hang up/make/put on christmas list more stained glass pendants to shine colour into our rooms like these beauties
- use more window stickers, illuminations etc
-trim back plants/bushes that obscure light from the windows
- swim at the local pool more often and bask in the sunlight pouring in though those big windows. It always feels so healing being in shimmering, sunlit water.
- visit as many sun-rooms/conservatories as possible
- could do salutations to the sun yoga every morning?
- hang out most of all with positive people who have a bright outlook, who laugh lots and give out love and good vibrations
Go bright, bright, bright!
- go through all our clothes and customise darker items of clothing with bright buttons, a bit of stitching, something groovy and colourful
- get a bit more glitz, texture, and colour into my own wardrobe - be more adventurous with different types of fabrics in my everyday outfits - silky, shiny, sparkly, fluffy, glittery.
- paint my nails bright more often than the once a year I paint them currently!
- go to the hairdresser (first time in about 3 years!)
- get in some new fabrics to spice up the home decor - new cushion covers maybe? Maybe make them from recycled second-hand fabrics
- start stitching the bright rainbowy/colourful crafy thing I am making with the boys
- eat brightly coloured healthful food and have more raw/ superfoods in our diet to stave off the winter colds
But it's not all about the sun in the darker months. As the darkness draws in each night there is a certain pleasure in embracing the snuggly, cosy, and ritualistic little wintery treats. So I've put together another checklist to help get the most out of the cold evenings:
Cosy up the night-time vibe!
- buy/make more candles/candle holders
- work on creating the optimum mood lighting for each room - soft, pretty, maybe a bit sparky too
- actually get round to tiling and getting our wood-burner installed so we can relax as a family and as a couple by the hearth
- buy/make the mother-of-all snuggle blankies
- go for more moonlit walksas a family, all wrapped up snug in warm clothes
- learn how to make some less fattening home puddings than we scoffed all winter last year - hehe!
Well there we have it. A rather comprehensive list.
What are your favourite Autumn/Winter sunny tips, dear reader?
How do you keep things sunny in your life?