I’m a country girl. I grew up overlooking a valley in Gloucestershire and even though I enjoyed living in Leeds, London and New York, I knew when I finally settled down to raise a family, it would be surrounded by greenery. We bought our house down a farm track over 6 years ago and swiftly got Mia, a very crazy and loveable Labrador.
She soon became an integral part of our family and despite her energetic nature, she is the biggest softy, especially with the kids. They can honestly do anything to her – and often do – and she will just raise an eye or gently move away. When J and A were little they both used to use her as a step to get up onto the sofa!
I feel very lucky to be able to give her, and the kids, the freedom to run, play and be surrounded by open countryside everyday. In Summer it’s bright and beautiful but in Winter, even on crisp blue sky days like these, it can get very bitter. As our house is literally in the middle of fields, there is no protection and the wind whips up quickly across the flat landscape.
But as the saying goes, there is no bad weather, only the wrong clothing and with a dog who has unending enthusiasm, we need to be able to get out and about everyday. So when Millets asked us to try out their women’s winter jackets and women’s walking boots I knew we could put them through their paces.
I have had the same winter coat for 9 years! It has lasted me well but was getting to the end of its life so I was excited to try out this North Face Evolve II Triclimate 3 in 1 Jacket. My first impressions were how sleek it looked and how soft the interior fleece is.
It has an outer waterproof jacket and in an inner fleece so you can wear both layers together or zip out the fleece and use them separately. This makes it so flexible and I can see me using it across all seasons. It would be great to take camping, when you’re not sure what the weather will do, or to wear separately for running or in Spring. Despite this layered feature, the coat is still very slimline and doesn’t feel or look bulky.
It has two interior pockets, which are always useful for keys or keepsakes and two large outer pockets for a dog lead or just keeping your hands cosy! Another great feature is the hood, which has a peak on so it doesn’t cling to your head and you can pack away into the collar. There are velcro adjusters on the cuffs, which are very useful as sleeves are always too long for me and the high collar which will keep my neck protected from the wind.
The fields behind our house have footpaths which can get very muddy and the footpaths and track are very uneven. This means that a sturdy pair of shoes is a must. I wear my wellies a lot but they are not very supportive or good for running after children or going on long walks. Mia doesn’t want to hear that my feet are aching when she’s running after a stick for the 75th time!
These Brasher Country Master walking boots have a strong tread on them but are lightweight and cushioned inside. I know that, whatever the weather, and however many puddles I have to slosh through with the kids, my feet will be dry and warm in these. Obviously you want your walking boots to do a good job but it’s nice if they look stylish too and I like the simplicity of this deisgn – you wouldn’t feel conspicuous wearing these into town.
Most importanly, Mia is happy that with my new dog walking clothes I will have less excuses not to take her out in the wind and rain this winter as she doesn’t care how much mud there is around, it’s always stick throwing season!
Disclosure: The brands included in this post asked for my opinion on the products featured from their range. All words and opinions are my own.