Monthly Archives: January 2017

Exploring behind the ropes


One of the things I love most about heritage museums, like Eldon House, is how different they can look at various times of the day. I captured some unique views during a behind the ropes tour. Join me for a glimpse into the hidden nooks and crannies at Eldon House.

For the best experience, visit the museum in person, there is something for everyone and lots more to explore.


Check out more about the museum at


A lady’s winter survival guide


Some embrace winter, others barely survive it, but one way or another we all must get through it. Here’s my top ten guide for how to survive winter with style and a little grace.

  1. Warm comfortable clothes. They should make you feel good, inspire you to get up and get moving to brave the cold. Think cozy, sturdy fabrics that either have interesting patterns or colours that you enjoy. If you like colour this is an excellent way to perk up your mood. Coats, cloaks, capes, cardigans, well – you get the idea.img_20170108_142951b
  2. Haberdashery, millinery or just plain hats! Any season can give an excuse for a good hat, but this is the time of year where they shine. Hats keep in the warmth, shut out the cold and protect you from snow, sleet and wind. You can stick to a reliable hat that goes with anything, or start a collection that compliments your ensemble. Walking around wearing a hat can make you feel fabulous even if you’re in a winter funk. They can make you appear taller too.15741213_10154284494740658_9049047973061943023_n
  3. Cozy accessories. You can wrap yourself in extra layers of warmth that can be added according to the weather and removed as you start to thaw. Not only are gloves, scarves, wraps and shawls a part of a lady’s winter wear, but the traditional muff to warm the hands is an elegant and cozy option.330px-francesc_masriera_-_winter_1882_-_google_art_project
  4. Tea and copious amounts of other warm drinks. Winter’s chill ebbs away with a steaming cup of tea between one’s hands. The soothing feel of warm liquid in the throat and the gentle sound of a china cup meeting it’s saucer with a clink is a comforting way to spend any hour during this dark season. One could probably spend a whole winter experimenting with a new tea every day – something fun to look forward to and share with friends. Some like coffee, espresso or cappuccino, and there’s also the ever popular hot cocoa. These specialty drinks can be enhanced with all sorts of flavours and toppings, to the point where they become a filling desert! A lady need not drink alone. Meet friends at a tearoom or hotel restaurant to share a pot of tea and have a warm sip and a chat. Gather friends for an informal or formal tea party, the more the merrier (and warmer). Hot toddies anyone?img_20170110_185855bw
  5. Light a fire, a taper, a candle. Part of the chill that winter brings is the shortened span of warmth from the sun. Rooms cool faster and the effect of the cold air is stronger when it is dark. Lighting a fire in a hearth or stove and sitting by it will warm you right through. Staring into a flame has a relaxing effect and the warmth of a fire or carefully placed candles can relieve one’s aches and pains offering a chance for a better sleep or a more energetic start to the day. Coming in from the cold to a warm fire is a heartwarming thing, and the infusion of heat can protect from the initial sting of the cold air if venturing outdoors.img_3165b
  6. Bundle up and go for a walk. You might have to work yourself up to the idea, but getting out for a walk when you don’t have to be somewhere is an excellent way to embrace winter. Through this action you’ll get fresh air, exercise and hopefully a little fun and an uplifted mood. You can tour the winter wonderland that is your own garden, journey through your neighborhood and wave at friends and passers by, or venture further to a park or nearby main street. Don’t forget to don your cloak or hat!
  7. Engage in an exciting outdoor adventure. A lady does not have to sit cooped up inside. There are many ways to try to avoid ennui or depression that grey days can weigh upon us. Outings such as skating, sleigh rides, tobogganing, snowshoeing, dog sledding or even skiing are all ways to make the most of a winter’s day. You’ll be surprised how much you laugh and the energizing effect it can have on your mood. Just get warm first, bundle up and plan to thaw somewhere cozy afterwards. It won’t be long before you’re looking forward to your next outing instead of bemoaning a new snowfall.pg12_tobbogan-articlephoto
  8. Read to your heart’s content! Bookworms – ever felt guilty about lounging around reading on a beautiful day? Well, on a stormy winter day you can rest assured no one will fault you for picking a good book off it’s shelf and holding it fast to your bosom, long into the night. A book goes wonderfully with a pot of tea and a blanket.img_5808c
  9. Cook up a storm. This is the best time of year to put fire up your oven and stove. Perfecting recipes is a great way to pass the time and as a bonus you’ll be spending time in the warmest room in the house. Once you’re done, the rest of your home will be cozy with the warmth and the scent of your culinary efforts. As a result, you’ll have a supply hearty comfort food at your fingertips for the days when winter might get you down or leave you feeling too tired to cook.15676403_1379455868754467_6294595514427567925_o
  10. Have a long winter’s nap. Slumber is key to feeling well. A good rest improves our mood and patience, which helps when in close quarters and avoids the early onset of cabin fever. Darkness falls earlier and stays longer, meaning you have a better chance for a longer and deeper sleep. So snuggle under those covers and say goodnight to winter. cushionstars700_b9922ba8-12fd-4a11-be35-5ed7ec3ce7b1_large

Other tips:
Pamper yourself with warm baths and self care products, at home or in a spa.
Grow plants to add life and oxygen to your home.
Celebrate in style, even if staying at home.15873577_10154286726585658_1794823345446040223_n

                                            Play a game, make a craft or work on a puzzle.15871941_10154286726095658_4465840707193092148_n

Spring will be here one day, eventually. By finding ways to enjoy the winter season, you may just realize it’s over before you know it. If it feels really slow you can always resort to another winter pastime…stockpiling essential foodstuffs. My crucial item is TEA, and lots (and lots) of it!


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