That back to school feeling & September goals


Hi again, it’s time to start rolling out some autumnal treats and challenges! The weather’s cooling off a little and I have that Back To School feeling, big time, so I thought you’d like an update about what’s coming up on the blog. I’ve also set myself some goals which are in line with the current season and with new things I’ve been learning about so those are included here too.

First up, the changing season means it’s time to roll out those warmer clothes. I’ve been putting together my Autumn Capsule Wardrobe and I’ll be publishing some articles about it this week from Wednesday onwards. It’s full of transitional threads to keep us all stylishly warm right now, and there will be another update in a few weeks when we’re about to head into full-on chunky jumper season.

Look out for new season shapes and colours, with a few nods to catwalk inspiration and street style – all on an affordable budget, and with some thrifty styling tips to make sure that it all works and is efficient as well as aesthetically pleasing. You’ll probably have a few things from last autumn that will still look great, so don’t worry about buying everything new.

Speaking of which, one of my personal challenges this month is to get all my warmer clothes out of storage and give them a good wash and a check. I’ve put about two thirds of it through the laundry so far, and the next job is to work my way down the list of mending and alterations. So far I’ve fixed a jumper and a camisole, and slightly altered a dress, and I’m hoping to get everything else done in the next week or so. If you aren’t already doing something like this yourself, maybe you’d like to join in.

Oh no, she’s using the C word

Yes, sorry about this, but there will also be some Christmas ideas coming up in the next few weeks. I’ve been to some of the best festive showcases around, and there are so many new products to review for those all-important gift guides this year, along with all the usual ways to get prepped and spread the cost without overspending.

In particular, I have been really impressed by the quality of the fair trade offerings this year, and there have been some great cruelty free and vegan finds too. I was also blown away by brands that are trying to be green and clean, ranging from recyclable packaging to total reduction of their carbon footprint, so stay tuned for more of that.

Another big trend is wellbeing, relaxation and stress reduction. Some of this was all about the pampering treats, but others are more on the health and science side of things and they definitely deserve a closer look.

Well, well, well…

All this has got me very excited about evidence-based ways to improve your wellbeing and happiness levels, even on the tightest of budgets, and I’ve been doing a huge amount of researching and writing behind the scenes for the past couple of months so I’ll be unveiling a whole new project based on this very soon.

In the meantime I’ve been experimenting on myself with some of these new ideas and have been making all sorts of changes to my daily and nightly routines and more. For starters, I’ve been learning about sleep science and have been trying to get more zeds where possible. My otherĀ personal goal for September is to avoid alcohol as even a small amount can affect the quality of your sleep, yes, even one glass of wine in the evening can have this effect in many people. While I wasn’t exactly sloshing it back I still think it’s good to have a break from the booze for a while every now and again anyway, and I’d rather do it now than in January to be honest.

So far the non-drinking has been easy enough, but I did wince in the middle of last week when I had to turn down a class of free champagne at a launch party. Yes, you did just read that correctly, I *turned down free champagne*. What’s happening to me? My brain and liver had better be extra sparkly by the end of this.

Fortunately there have been some extremely impressive new soft drinks launches recently, some in time for summer sipping, and others that will be coming onto the market in time for the party season. This taps into the trend of many people drinking less for personal and health reasons, and wanting something more sophisticated than a standard cola or orange juice. I’ve been trying lots of these out – many of them very cocktail-like – and will be bringing you my picks of the bunch in a few days.

Tidy up, get organised

You could argue that spring cleaning in September is like wearing sunglasses at night, but I have a very strong urge to declutter and get organised after a long hot summer. It’s definitely part of the Back to School feeling, and I’ve been trying to do five mini declutters each week this month rather than trying to do everything all in one go and getting overwhelmed. If you overload yourself then not much gets done in total, and you often simply end up moving the mess from one place to another without ever truly tackling it.

The mini declutters are very manageable and I’ve been tidying up one small area at a time. That could be a large shelf or drawer, a box or a small cupboard, I just needed to make a list and stick to it. So far I’ve sorted out the baking box, a couple of small kitchen cupboards, the sideboard by our dining table and half a bathroom cabinet. There’s the rest of the kitchen, bedroom drawers, the wardrobe and the garden shed to sort out next but I’m trying not to think about all that big picture stuff and simply concentrating on plodding along, ticking items off the list one by one.

There’s been plenty to throw away, donate, give to charity, mend, recycle, move somewhere else and generally tidy and streamline, but I’ve also been using the opportunity to add organisation and storage, and make a note of things I need to buy or fix to make the space work better, or just make life easier or more pleasant.


What are you getting up to at the moment? It’s a busy time of year, full of new beginnings. I’ll be back here tomorrow for the launch of a brand new Autumn Capsule Wardrobe.


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  1. Dear Penny,
    I am still gardening for the winter times. Did some declutter ages ago. Be away for 1 week this coming saturday for a short break before starting all over in October. In a hurry to read your coming articles.
    Love, Pat

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