I’m Celine Bell, mom of two young sons. My youngest son eats anything and everything, but my eldest, who is nearly 5, is an incredibly picky eater. Ollie has helped us have fun with food, and make every meal an adventure. I’ve also learned to worry less about it, and relax around food. If he’s happy, then I’m happy.

The change in seasons is tough as a parent. Not only changes to clocks, but changes to weather, temperature and activities. And of course, food changes with the season! It’s giving us an opportunity for warming bakes and casseroles, as well as the celebrations we’ll enjoy for Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas. I hope both my sons enjoy the food, and the time spent round the table as a family. I look forward to sharing our adventures with you and the Ollie Club!

GUEST BLOG: Winter is Coming –
The Good and the Bad About the Changing of Seasons When You’re a Parent

It’s colder. It’s damp. There are soggy leaves in the park to skip through, but lots of them conceal aged erm – dog ‘presents’ – best avoided with super speedy toddlers!

There are so many reasons to dread winter.

1. Getting out of the house with kids is hard even on a summer’s day. Getting them dressed in winter is like dressing a squid on acid. Lip balm on chapped mouths, two mittens, ideally matching per child. Layers for them. Layers for you. You are boiling before you walk out of the front door, and as soon as you get out – you freeze.

2. Killing long sunny days in the park works well in June. In November you spend a fortune warming up in the café, one or the other will fall in a puddle, and it gets dark at 4pm anyway. You spend long afternoons indoors looking at the condensation building on the window as you watch ‘Moana’ for the eleventy-billionth time. At bedtime, everyone is irritable because they haven’t run off the day’s energy. You have to eat chocolate cookies hiding in the bathroom so the kids don’t eat them too.

3. Having to get up for night-wakings when the house is icy cold, the tiled floors make your toes curl, and your babies still need you, is grim.

4. Being snotty. Because the nursery runny nose will last until April, as will the sneezes, and piles of snotty tissues.

5. The clocks change for Daylight Savings Time (it’s November 4th this year). And that hour’s difference erases your well-honed routine for at least a week. Not even the Gro-Clock can save you.

6. Winter-loving, Christmas-obsessed people, screaming festive cheers and snowflakes are hugely irritating. Go away. I miss the summer. I miss rosé wine.

But it’s not all bad.

1. The colors. The leaves are amazing. You can teach your young leaf-peepers the colors – copper and auburn, rather than orange and yellow. Stick leaves onto bits of paper, catch them as they fall, and jump into the massive piles of them blown into a corner of a park.

2. The cozy movie afternoons. Cook some popcorn, grab some blankets and have a daytime pajama party. Stay warm by the fire and hunker down.

3. The food. A warm stew, bubbling in the pot. Halloween chocolate binges. Thanksgiving turkey – and the rest. Eating the advent calendar before December starts. Because you can keep your bikini body under wraps til at least June.

4. The clothes. Cover that mac-and-cheese-lard with a fluffy cardigan, thermal leggings, woolly socks and ideally have a cat on your lap at all times. Or a cuddly toddler will do.

5. September is behind us. That new-school-year-new-pencil-case feeling is over. No more headlines screaming at you to have a fresh start (at least til January, when “NEW YEAR, NEW YOU” makes you want to jump out of a window). You can be selfish and hunker down. You can say in ominous tones, “Winter is coming.”

6. Cuddling for warmth. Beware. This got me knocked up. Maybe not so wise after all.


Thank you, Celine, for reminding us why the impending winter might not be so bad after all! Read more insights from this mom of two on her blog, Bell From Bow, and check her out on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

What helps you and your kids get through the long, cold winters? Share your tips with Ollie Club on FacebookTwitter or Instagram and win a signed Ollie Storybook to cuddle up to with the kids this winter!

Making every meal an adventure.

Messy fun! Sheena x