Don’t fight the cold. Embrace it! Use the cold weather to take advantage of all the things you need and want to do inside this winter. These cold temperatures, icy rain, heavy snowfalls shouldn’t be thought of as an inconvenience, but as a gift. We all need to slow down and rest. We all have things to do inside the home that we tend to put off for a rainy day. Well, that rainy day (or icy, or snowy) is here, and as they say there’s no time like the present! My favorite weekends are those that are the perfect mix of productivity and relaxation.

What are you doing when it's cold outside?

What are you doing when it’s cold outside?

Spend the day in the kitchen

We have a pretty good idea when inclement weather is headed our way and since we tend to hit the grocery stores to stock up on milk, bread, and wine why not stock up on other essentials as well? A cold day is a perfect day to spend in the kitchen. Make a large pot of soup that will feed your family for a couple of days. The soup will make your home smell wonderful, the steam will permeate the air, and add much needed moisture. Did you know that moisture traps heat which will make your home warmer and much more comfortable? Pasta sauces, chili and stews are also great ideas for a cold winter’s day or night. Soups, chili and stew all freeze wonderfully, so why not package some up for the freezer and you’ll have some prepared meals for a busy night when you don’t have the time or feel much like cooking.

Cook up a pot of Black Bean Soup and serve with a side of salad and hot corn bread.

Cook up a pot of Black Bean Soup and serve with a side of salad and hot corn bread.

De-clutter


I know, I know the dreaded word and we’ve all been meaning to do this and we’ve all been putting this off. This is perhaps the only task repeatedly written down on our To Do lists… over and over again because we simply can’t find the time, desire or inclination to do so. We’re trapped indoors, and so, therefore there’s no time like the present. My advice is to start slowly. Break it up into smaller projects, compartmentalize if you will. Start off in the kitchen and work on the fridge, the pantry and the junk drawer, or drawers if you have more than 1. You will be surprised that this won’t take up much of your day. When you clean out the fridge do be sure to check expiration dates and toss what hasn’t been used in a while and including those strange and esoteric sauces and dressings you thought would be a good idea at the time. When you get to your pantry, make 2 piles. Have 1 pile of items to toss and another pile to donate. Why not do some good while you are de-cluttering? All non-perishable goods that you haven’t used in a while can go to soup kitchens, food-banks and homeless shelters. This is also a good time to take inventory to see what needs to be replaced. When you tackle your junk drawers, have a large garbage bag on hand. If you want to take a mini break in between and enjoy a hot cup of coffee or tea, do so. Watch a movie, read a book, take a long soak before you move on to the next task. Figure out what room will be next. As you go through your house to make 3 piles: Toss, keep, donate.
A few years ago I had the privilege of listening to Nate Berkus talk at the Architectural Digest Home Show in New York about his book and the philosophy, The Things that Matter. I now subscribe to this theory. If it matters keep it and if it doesn’t, toss or donate it. You’ll be amazed at how good it feels to lighten up your home!

Have a movie marathon

 

We spend so much time running around – to meetings, events, school, sports, Birthday parties, running errands and doing for others that we rarely take enough time for ourselves. Instead of cursing under your breath that you can’t get this done or that done, why not give into it? Why not tell yourself that whatever it is can wait until tomorrow or Monday? Most likely it can. When was the last time you sat down and relaxed for the sake of relaxing? Why not make yourself at home on the couch and have a movie marathon! Watch all those movies you meant to see in the theater but never did, or catch up on your favorite television series. Tell the kids that the television is yours today!

ThanksTheHyperbalist.com for the book recommendations!

ThanksTheHyperbalist.com for the book recommendations!

Lose yourself in a good book

If you’re anything like me you don’t have much time to read – a book that is! I read all day and night but I read for work, I don’t often get to read for pleasure and when I do, my eyes usually closed before I can get to the bottom of the page! Whether you prefer to read on Kindle, iPad or good old fashioned paper (the latter is my preference) there’s nothing like getting lost in a good book! I love to read in the bath, filled with bubbles, a glass of wine by my side… It’s the most luxurious thing, but maybe not the best idea if you’re using an e-Reader! I love to read on the couch in front of a roaring fire, and even curled up in my very warm bed, with a hot cup of tea on the bedside table. If you’re looking for some good reads be sure to hop on over to check out the Shelf Pleasure section!

Photo credit: Christine Bauer

Photo credit: Christine Bauer

Take a Nap

When was the last time you got a full 8 hours of sleep? Research indicates we need that much for brain functionality and to keep our immune systems running at optimal capacity. Most of us don’t get nearly enough sleep. So why not try to catch up a little? There’s nothing as luxurious as a long afternoon, midwinter slumber! Crawl back into your warm and cozy bed… tell the kids and the husband to keep the noise levels down and go off to dream land – it’s like a mini vacation, maybe even better!

photo courtesy of Health.com

photo courtesy of Health.com

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