50 Things To Do In Winter | 2021 Prep, Getting Cosy, Being Present

Winter really excites me. The turn of a New Year is on the horizon and it marks a new chapter for us all. The weather doesn’t allow for socialising and the time spent alone can be isolating but, if used correctly, can be a time of self-improvement. I wanted to make a list 50 things you can do in Winter. Some of them are Christmas oriented, but the majority can be applicable for anyone no matter their religion! They’re all supposed to make you feel good, cosy, and confident.

This post is made in collaboration with my dear friend Meg, but you may know her as The Blog Girl or @baking.by.meg! We collaborated before, way back in summer. It was absolute pleasure working with Meg so we’ve decided to collaborate again, this time on a 50 things to do in winter post! Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard to come up with so many ideas. But, if there isn’t something here that floats your boat, Meg has another 50 things on her blog. Click here to see the post! Please also follow Meg’s Instagram, she is the most wonderful baker and you will surely enjoy her content.

Let’s get into it!

  • Create a really extravagant, over-the-top hot chocolate
  • Have porridge for breakfast 
  • Make a Christmas Pinterest board
  • Read an entire book in a day
Photo by Any Lane on Pexels.com
  • Blankets
  • Make some wintery wallpaper for your phone, laptop etc
  • Bullet journal Christmas movies you want to watch
  • Write out your New Year’s Goals and how you will achieve them
  • On a frosty morning, brew a cuppa tea and drink it outside
Photo by Ivars on Pexels.com
  • Drink lots of hot water – but make sure you don’t burn yourself!
  • Go for an early morning walk
  • Cook up a big breakfast: hash browns, egg bread, beans – the lot!
  • Practise calligraphy so you can impress people with your Christmas cards
Photo by Anthony Shkraba on Pexels.com
  • Make a Pinterest board for your 2021 manifestations 
  • Do a series on your Instagram (12 Days Of Musicmas, Takeover Tuesday, What I Wore Wednesday)
  • Bake gingerbread 
Photo by Nicole Michalou on Pexels.com
  • Go for an afternoon walk to see the early sunset
  • Watch the sunrise 
  • Learn how to knit
  • Sort out your emails and unsubscribe from unnecessary mailing lists
  • Unfollow people who won’t bring your positive vibes in 2021
  • Plan content ahead of time!
  • Prioritise revision for end of term tests
  • Sort out your wardrobe 
  • Determine what gifts you’re getting for people for Christmas
  • Bake mince pies
  • Get a nice planner for 2021 or set up your bullet journal for the next year
Photo by Ivan Samkov on Pexels.com
  • Watch telly in your duvet on the sofa
  • Sort out your room thoroughly
  • Sell things you no longer want
  • Video call your friends
  • Do a Secret Santa
  • Change your bedding to something more seasonal
Photo by Jan Kopu0159iva on Pexels.com
  • Decorate your room
  • Go for a walk with your friend
  • List out everything 20 things you learned in 2020
  • Spend time with your family
  • Play board games
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com
  • Try some interesting new tea flavour
  • Bake something unusual
  • Listen to the birds
  • Whip out your colouring book and settle down for a cosy afternoon with a good film and get colouring 
  • Learn different zentangle patterns 
  • Set a Goodreads goal for next year
  • Make pom-pom room decor
  • Start a scrapbook
Photo by Lisa Fotios on Pexels.com
  • Read through old letters
  • Find a penpal to start writing to
  • Go through a recipe book and tab things you want to make
  • Sort though old photographs 

This list has a balance of looking forward to the New Year, and being grateful for the moment. Let me know if you try any of these! I’d love to see your pics on Instagram.

What do you want to do this Winter?

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

5 Easy Ways You Can Be An Organised Blogger

Welcome to blogmas day 15, today on the subject of productivity.

I am a student and blogger, and with those things come many responsibilities. Beside my side-hustle and studying, I am part of a GirlGuiding unit and I also take cello lessons. But most importantly of all – I’m human! You might be wondering how I juggle it all. Later on this week I will be sharing another installation of my Chats With Cath series. In that post I will be going into more detail about how I’ve pushed out 1 blog post a day, and the stress of December. At this time of the year I love to address the notion of self-care. It’s important all year round, of course, yet when things get the most hectic is when we need to be the most mindful about how we look after ourselves.

This post includes 5 ways I stay organised as a blogger. Hopefully you can use my tips to make you more time efficient, and therefore being able to carve out more time for yourself, friends and family.

Keeping a list of post ideas

Keeping a list of blog posts ideas you get on the go is really handy, especially when you come to the keyboard not knowing what to write. I have a list in my Notes that I add to every now and then. Once the ideas have formed, I add them into a calendar. My three content buckets are sustainability, wellness and lifestyle. I don’t like to clump posts of the same niche together. Seeing my posts a month at a glance allows me to spread out the different ‘type’ of posts – so that you come to my blog seeing a range of writing. It’s also refreshing for me to write in different styles!

Drafting Instagram posts

Thank you Instagram for this marvellous feature. I will right my captions in Notes first, then copy and paste into an Instagram draft so it’s all ready to go. Instagram drafts allow you to add the location, tag people and select the chosen photos all at once. When it comes to your posting time you just hit publish, paste the hashtags in the comments, then you’re all good to go! 

Google Calendar

I set reminders with the title of each blog post and when it goes live. This way I know what to write in the correlating Instagram post. But, most importantly, my calendar reminds me what to write and when for! When I’m doing IRL school, Google Calendar is helpful. Otherwise I get so lost in school work that I forget I have a blog… (I’m not joking)

Spending half and hour doing blog related admin everyday

30 minutes goes a long way! I shared in my Cosy Night Routine post (please read it here if you haven’t already) that I enjoy doing this in the evening. Depending on the day I’ll either respond to emails, reply to comments, read your posts or reply to DMs. Ideally I would get all of them done but I just leave it up to future me. 

Master to-do lists

Every weekend I make the most mammoth to-do list with every thing playing on my mind that I know I need to complete. From this long list, I can divide the tasks up depending on urgency. Then they will be allotted a certain day in the week for me to get it done. This way of weekly planning I find keeps me on track. If you have any time to spare, you may want to take a look at Holly Gabrielle’s video on weekly planning because I use the same method as her. It is much easier to explain through dialogue than typed words! I’ll link it here for those curious.


Hopefully you will find these tips applicable to your current blogging ‘routine’. Everyone is different so these tips may not work for you, but I hope you can mould and adapt them to fit your lifestyle. 

What apps do you use on a daily basis?

I’ve seen Notion flying around a bit lately! I’d love to know what apps you use regularly. You might see me try them out in a future post 😉 Please leave some suggestions so I can make that post happen for you.

Have a very happy Tuesday!

Catherine x

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

Goodreads: @cathjaneblog

Pinterest: @cathjaneblog

Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

5 Effective Ways To Be Productive on Dark, Rainy Days | Collab With Zainab Chats

Winter in the Northern hemisphere is kinda tricky. As soon as you get back from college/school/work, it’s dark. And since your mind associates dark with sleep… you feel less energised to complete work. It’s hard enough as it is, never mind pitch black outside. That’s why I thought it might be useful for any of my northern friends, to share ‘how to be productive while it’s dark’. Some people work at night anyway, which is so credible. However, on a recent Instagram poll, most of you preferred to work in the daylight!

This post is brought to you in collaboration with my main man, no.1 supporter, incredible blogger Zainab! We’re both delivering a post about studying/producivity. Her’s is a Productive After School Routine – so they both tie in together which is perfect. I would have done an after school routine but I’m not going into school right now due to COVID isolation. That’s the reality of so many of our lives right now and I hope you find this post relatable and informative!

Let’s jump into it!

Nice lights

Working in the dark requires a light on, that’s agiven. However if you can – jazzing up your space with ‘nice’ lighting such as strings of fairy lights, candles, LED lanterns makes the late night working much more appealing! I enjoy lighting a candle or having my fairy lights turned on to feel extra special. It makes me look forward to studying/being productive.

A small to-do list

The last thing you want is an overwhelming to do list! That is why I strongly believe in weekly planning. Dump everything you need to do into one mammoth list. Then pick a few to do each day. If you’re working after school, set a max of 5 tasks. The more you add the more resistance there is between starting your task and getting it done.

Take breaks when something becomes mundane

If you’re getting bored by your task, take 20 minutes to do something completely different then return. I might want to tackle a biology paper, but then get bored in the middle. At that point I might start writing a blog post, then return to the biology paper in a couple of minutes. Or tidy your room! Something small, not too distracting. You could call it procrastination but it’s effective, right?

Do two things on rotation

This one works for two large tasks, and doesn’t necessarily apply to working in the dark. For example: I have a history assessment to write and an English presentation to pull together. I do the history for half an hour, then switch to the presentation for half an hour, then switch back to the history. Then you’ll never reach a point of boredom! I think this is a more efficient way of doing something, as opposed to doing one after another.

Snacks 

TW: food. If you’re suffering from any form of disorded eating and food triggers you, please do what is right for yourself and skip reading the next paragraph. 

Food = energy. Energy / work = productivity. The more energy you have, the better your productivity will be. It might not be dinnertime yet but you still need a boost to carry you through. Listen to your body, have that snack, and feel much more confident in completing your work. You deserve a snack and you probably need one after all of the effort your brain has been putting in!

I hope these tips help you to be productive while it’s dark outside. I know I need these tips every now and again! Working with pitch black outside isn’t that fun but you gotta do what you gotta do. Let me know if these tips make it easier for you to work in the dark!

Please check out Zainab’s half of the collaboration! She’s so wonderful and amazing, and would dearly appreicate a follow from you. Her blog is linked here, her Instagram here and if you want to be friends with her on Goodreads you can do so here. 

Thank you for reading!

What’s your favourite time of day to study?

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

10 Easy, Effective Ways To Be Sustainable This Christmas

Blogmas day 8! Welcome back to Christmas with Cath… we really should have called it that! Anyway, today’s blog post is all about sustainability, and little things you can do this Christmas season to make a big (positive) impact on the planet.

I really hope you use these tips! 

Use recyclable paper to wrap presents with

If you don’t know if your wraping paper is recyclable, do the crinkle test! Scrunch it – and if it ‘unscrunches’ then it contains plastic or some other material that isn’t recyclable. I use brown paper to wrap my presents and this is a great option! Try to use recycled paper if you can. The brown paper also adds a nice rustice *aesthetic* touch to the prezzies.

Buy locally

Avoid shipping and get something from your local area! Shipping is costly to the environment (and your bank account). Supporting small businesses is also really cute, if you can afford it, but if not then popping into town (mask on of course) buying something from Wilko and avoiding the excess packaging of an online order is a great sustainable choice! 

Use last year’s Christmas cards as gift tags

After Christmas every year, my mum and I cut up the nice cards to turn them into gift tags! This is a great way to reuse existing paper (we don’t want to cut down loads of trees!). This also makes each gift tag individual and unique! A very cute touch to any Christmas gift.

Make your presents

If there’s anything you can make that your friends and family would appreciate, go for it! It tests your DIY ability and makes every gift nice and personalised. Or, at the very least, make your Christmas cards.

Buy from small businesses

Small businesses have had a really rough year so now, more than ever, it’s important to support them. I have my own small business selling scrunchies! All the profits go towards my service trip to Kenya in 2022. On this trip I’m going to facilitate school sessions for under-priveliged children near Mombasa. All scrunchies are £2 and I’m offering some Christmas patterns at the moment!

Make your own festive treats if you can

Earlier on in blogmas I shared 5 festive baking recipes. Knowing where what you eat comes from is comforting! Baking is also a really good activity to do at Christmastime. 

Read the label! So much festive food contains palm oil. Nasty.

It scares me that so much processed food contains palm oil. Palm oil is so destructive to the environment and by eliminating as many palm oil products as possible you are SAVING the future of the HUMAN RACE. Rainforests contribute so much oxygen to this planet and the destructive nature of palm oil culture (80,000 acres of tropical rainforests daily) will quickly lead to the end of Earth as we know it.

Donate some money

It’s the most wonderful time of the year… to support people who are less fortunate than you are.

Wrap up warm: limit the amount of heating you are using

Northern hemisphere peeps! It gets extremely cold. Try to turn the heating down a notch this winter, and wrap up warm. 

Buy cruelty-free skincare products

If you’re planning to buy any skincare products this season, please ensure they are cruelty free! I always think about the run up to New Year as an opportunity to practise self-care (face masks, lots of baths, piling up the body lotion). That’s not to say you can’t do these things at other times of the year, of course. But if you’re going to buy bath bombs for your mum, make sure they’re cruelty-free. This isn’t really about sustainability but it’s too important not to include! 

Thank you for reading until the end! 

What advent calendar do you have this year?

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

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Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com

Step Into Blogmas! (Let’s Go Together)

People watching snow fall forever and ever!

I’m pretty excited – I don’t know if you can tell!

This year I’m committing to blogmas. 24 days of content up until Christmas day. The media is going to be saturated with Christmas content so it would mean a great deal if you could read mine. I will also make sure not all the posts are festive because quite a number of my followers are Muslim or not religious at all 🙂 

Excitingly, there are going to be a few collabs coming your way. At the moment I have scheduled one per week!

Over on Instagram, I will be posting frequently: every Saturday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday. There is an amazing IGTV coming your way too which I can’t wait for you to watch. Experimenting with video making this month is going to be a priority.

Tomorrow I’ll be greeting you with the first *official* day of blogmas which is a Christmas playlist. 

I hope you’re ready for all the content I have planned for the next 25 days.

Will you be joining?

Have a fabulous December,

Catherine x

Find me elsewhere on the Internet:

Instagram: @cathjaneblog

Goodreads: @cathjaneblog

Pinterest: @cathjaneblog

Email me! cathjaneblog@gmail.com