Cold weather in November is perfectly normal, but because we’ve had such a long Indian summer (even the start of November was mild!) we’re feeling the cold front moving in and it is an affront to our bodies! Last year in January I wrote a blog post about keeping warm. I feel the need to add to this list of hints and tips.

Here are some hints and tips for staying warm this November as we move into December and the temperature rapidly drops:

  • Get a hot water bottle for every member of your family. They are wonderful and you can get mini ones for the littlies and soft furry covers for them which will delight the kids. When I’m working, I have one on my lap that I can warm my hands up with (my hands get frozen when I’m working!). Hint – for preparing them for the children, just put a small amount of boiling water in and then top it up with lukewarm water so it’s not scalding hot!
  • Get a rice or lentil heating pad. We love these and make them out of old odd socks (my husband’s invention). Fill with rice or lentils, tie up the end, stick in the microwave and you have a hot sock that you can put on the back of your neck, in your lap, under the covers, around your head, inside your pillow case, on your hands. Make sure there are no holes in your socks though!
  • Stock up on fruit and herbal tea – especially tea with echinacea, hot chocolate and… what’s that stuff called here? Ovaltine. Sounds horrid but my kids love it. And obviously have a vast amount of ‘builders tea’ on the go at all times. (see how British I’ve become!)
  • Get Netflix or AmazonInstant, lots of blankets and cuddle up with the kids.
  • For those who refuse to turn the heating on, invest in a lightweight puffer jacket – one that is not too bulky but that is really warm – and wear it around the house to retain your body heat.
  • Drink lots of fluids. Don’t ice up your drink too much.
  • If you do have a sore throat, gargling warm salt water can help.
  • For car journeys, put lots of blankets on top of the kids to keep them warm and snug.
  • GLOVES – Never de-ice your car without gloves/mittens on.
  • Layer the kids up in clothes. An extra T shirt under their tops and tights under jeans or pants for girls helps to keep them warmer. Isn’t it funny how sometimes kids don’t seem to feel the cold? I’m forever telling them to wear their coats, but my older two don’t seem to be bothered by the cold!
  • Have homemade soup on the go so you can heat it up for after school for a hot snack. Even just a small cupful can do wonders for heating the kids up.
  • HATS
  • SLIPPERS or socks. Don’t let those little feet get cold.
  • For old draughty houses, get some door draught excluders or make one out of rice or lentils.
  • Jumping jacks. Warms you up, good exercise and increases your energy. Or if you don’t like jumping jacks, then any quick movements to get your heart rate up – just a 4 to 5 minute running in place exercise can help. Of course going to the gym can do it – but I don’t have that luxury!

Here’s my prep for pumpkin soup and pumpkin pie. Getting ready for Thanksgiving!

Pumpkin soup
Stay warm everyone and please share your hints or tips for keeping warm when it’s getting cold in Britain in the comments below.

Meghan Peterson Fenn is the author of Bringing Up Brits and co-author of Inspiring Global Entrepreneurs with Heidi Mulligan Walker. Meghan is also the Director and Chief Designer at her own design company, White Ochre Design Ltd. And, she is an award winning expat blogger.