The SM guide to Surviving September

If back to school means colds, tired and grumpy kids, a return to washing PE kits and remembering after school clubs (hands up who has had a ‘late’ from school or a parking ticket already?) – here’s our guide to making it through til half term…


Whilst this might sound like something out of the Edina school of parenting, enjoying a wonderful bottle of fizz in the bracing outdoors is the grown-up equivalent of jumping in muddy puddles. We love the rich and robust Champagne Gremillet Blanc de Noirs NV (£32, All About Wine, Tiny’s Tipple, Christopher Piper etc) – which would pair wonderfully with Venison if you were at home – but is delicious alfresco after a dog walk or pony ride with a pulled pork roll (and toffee apples!)


Rainy Day Kids Adventure Book is the sequel to ‘Let’s Go Outside’ and packed with inspiration for getting little ones enthusiastic about drizzle. Their tips: fill a backpack with essentials like string and tape, invest in a good puddle suit (Frugi or Wet Wednesdays do some great ones) and never use the word ‘gloomy’ to refer to the weather.

Even without a book of ideas, what kid wouldn’t be thrilled at the prospect of hunting for shiny conkers right now – and displayed in a bowl they’ll keep spiders away too…

Comfort bars

No, not hotel lounges with leather chesterfields (although, let’s not rule those out!) baking these comfort bars involves firstly cleansing your cupboards by emptying every half used pack of pumpkin seeds, raisins, organic oats and almonds clogging up shelf space into a mixing bowl, adding a scoop of protein powder (we love Nature’s Plus Paleo one) and a spoonful of coconut oil. If the mix isn’t mushy enough, add that old banana that you’ve had in your changing bag – or a few blueberries. Press into a lined tin and bake on a low heat for about the length of an episode of ‘Ben and Holly’. Then be comforted by a) the fact that you’ll be snacking on superfood flapjacks all week and b) you won’t be showered with hazelnuts the next time you try to find a tin of tomatoes … #Win.


If Autumn flower arrangements make you think of those orange-overload far-too-cheery Thanksgiving style table centrepieces then keep it moody blue with the humble thistle. They look really elegant with antique roses or even just alone tied with string (if you’re feeling extra ‘spiky’). Grab a dried bunch for a tenner and it will last til Spring.

Investment Beanies

The bastion of fashion bloggers, a good beanie hat keeps one’s head warm, helps calm frizzy hair, hides most of your face when you don’t want to make eye contact at the school gate and forms an impromptu shopping bag when you don’t want to be hit with the 5p charge in Tesco. Celtic & Co’s lambswool pom pom beanie in claret is the colour pop equivalent of red lippy (or go all out for their cashmere version.)


Why brand your child’s uniform in Century Schoolbook when you can brand it with unicorns (or pandas, pirates and ponies?) Petit-Fernand’s stick on clothing labels make stitching nametapes into blazers a thing of the past – and the colours, fonts and designs can all be customised.