It’s the bleak midwinter here in the Midwest, and I’ve got to tell you, it’s my least favorite time of the year. I don’t like to be cold, the snow keeps us in, and the sunshine hides away for days at a time. Creating a cozy routine is key to survival. Today I’m sharing some of my favorite ways to make the most of this season that can be oh so long and dreary and cold.
I spent the last two winters down south on a mountain, and it was awesome. With the elevation, we did get some snow, but just a dusting or two throughout the whole season, and it washed away by the next day. Most of the winter was rainy (beautiful, romantic downpour) with fog rolling through…and then every few days the sun would be shining and it would be 60 degrees, and you would totally forget that it was the middle of January. By the end of February it was mostly sunshine and leaves starting to bud. Moving back here to the midwest with negative degrees and wind chill, and where it’s not really uncommon to see snow in April…It has been an adjustment for sure. But there are so many ways God is good, in all the sweet little cozy moments. You just have to look for them.
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What to add to your cozy routine:
Hot Coffee. This is obvious. I prefer hot coffee over iced all year round, but especially in the winter time. For me, sitting down in the mornings, in my chair with a steaming cup of coffee and a warm blanket, to sip and pray and wake up, it’s one of the coziest moments of my day.
I enjoy all kinds of coffees, but this winter I purchased a stovetop espresso maker from Ikea, and it’s so amazing! It’s very easy to use and makes a rich espresso…topped with some frothed heavy cream and I’m a happy camper.
Here are a few of my favorite at-home coffee recipes:
Hot water and teas. I have a tough time drinking enough water in the cold winter months, simply because I’m cold already. Drinking cold water just adds to it. So after my morning coffee, I usually boil some water in my pretty ceramic electric kettle. Keeping a steaming mug of water with lemon, or herbal tea with me throughout the day helps me stay hydrated and warm.
Refreshing creative habits. There is something to be said of snuggling up with popcorn for a movie night, and I do definitely recommend that. But I think expanding your free time to include some creative, off-screen habits is especially helpful in the winter time. In the summer it’s easy to be explorative and outdoors and well-balanced in this area, but when you’re tucked mostly inside for a season, you have to be a little more proactive.
some cozy things to do:
- Read a good book (Winter time is my favorite for digging into the classics)
- Coloring or painting. Youtube has an overflow of simple watercolor tutorials, turn on some music and pick up a brush. This is another reason I love to Bullet Journal!
- Sewing or knitting. A great time to pick up a new skill! Both of these hobby’s can be very therapeutic and relaxing. I made this hand-crocheted blanket earlier this year and it was simple and fun!
- Puzzles & games. Tis the season for new puzzles! Think that sounds boring? Turn on a good audiobook or podcast, open the puzzle box and get going…I bet you’ll be lost in the relaxing process in no time.
- Baking & cooking. A cozy routine has to include trying out new recipes! Taking the extra time to bake something sweet or a big pot of hot soup with warm flavors. Check out my Pinterest board for hot easy soup recipes!
Keep your home pretty. I am all about home decor, and after the Christmas cheer is put away, the house can seem a little dull. Brightening up the space with some warmth can make all the difference to the early dark nights. For me, that means leaving my christmas trees and garland up, with just the twinkle lights on. I also like adding in some whites, knits and wood decor pieces. Then candlelight brings it all together.
Wear warm things. This is a no-brainer. Get some buttery soft leggings. Pull on these thick knit slipper-socks. Get your favorite chunky sweater. Curl up with that warm knit blanket you just made. I love embracing all the cozy things you can wear, because then I’m not freezing cold and can actually enjoy all of the fun winter-time things we’ve talked about!
When all else fails:
Bundle up and face the cold! Sometimes, when the sun peeks out and the wind dies down, you just have to put on boots and layers, and get outside. Even just a ten minute trot around the block will do you some good. Then all the cozy routine things waiting for you back inside will seem that much more warm and sweet.
Stay cozy friends!