Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Loving Winter

As promised, here's my list of Winter Activities to get you Loving Life (or make you super-busy!!) Above is a sneak peek of my dad's fireplace at the lakehouse-in-progess. He handpicked all the stones in the fireplace & helped put them up. (The center one is sort of like a cross, see?) The fireplace is lit practically from October through March. I've divided my list into a few different sections- activities, things to give you a spring fix, organizational projects and decorating projects---

Activities that get you Loving Winter Life:

#1 seems to be sitting by the fireplace with a hot cocoa or glass of wine & some good music or a book or friends. The image below is from and I'll take all the prosciutto and sausage too!! Design Ties , LaurenFaythe , rightbank and Lindsay from Everything LEB all mentioned sittng by the fire as one of their favorite things to do in the Winter- Definitely perfect!

2# Get all bundled up & go for a walk with the people you love. It's such nice quality time & if you're really warm & cozy, you'll really enjoy it. Have you ever regretted a walk? (Sometimes I'm so lazy & kind of dread getting all bundled up but I'm always happy I did.) (image below by Djoz Clement at

The trick here is to take the walks even when it's not this picturesque outside. (You know with no snow & dead grass & bare trees all around.) #3 (By the way, after #1 these are all in no particular order)

#3 Veg out: Put on your comfiest sweats or pjs & get a bunch of blankets & some good junk food & a movie (or 2 or 3!) --Probably my favorite Saturday activity in the winter before I had Christian. (It's actually comical for me to picture my husband & I doing that now- hahaha we have our own version of it with Christian but it entails being responsible and often vertical= so not the same) We do this at night now. ;) Below's a pic of Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman when she describes "vegging out." :)

#4 Camila from High-Heeled Foot in the Door suggested baking & watching movies all day when it's really cold out. Yum! Yum! (I'm into cookie dough too!)

#5 Make a soup every week. I love doing this on Sundays and having a big pot for lunches and last-minute dinners throughout the week.

#6 Make a really good meal & get excited thinking about it. Knowing what I'm having to eat that night just really gets me in a great mood. Eating's one of my top 5 favorite activities. Enough said ;)

#7 Get some new music. I'm always so happy when I have new music. Especially music that makes me dance (My husband downloaded Rihanna's Disturbia for me & gave it to me first thing when I woke up on Saturday morning--- Needless to say I was dancing at 8 am.- she's good.) Below is a pic of my husband (2nd from left) & his friends (who would all probably kill me if they knew I posted this) at their best friend's wedding rocking it out. (good thing they don't read my blog!! hahahahah)

#8 Have a party. Get your place looking good, make some cocktails & appetizers & invite your friends over.

#9 And on another note, a reader, Dianne, suggested that this is the time to simply "be still." She says the rest of the year is so busy & we should realize that this gift after the holidays &before the Spring is our time to rest. I think realizing this can really make us stop & not click away the time.

#10 Take a nice long hot bath. Light some candles, put on some Enya (hahah yes, i love her!) and make sure the kids are in bed!! (pic below from "The Holiday")

#11 Terri from Wind Lost suggested taking a computer-free day every once in a while & I totally agree, although it's tough. (Especially now that I've met all of you, I'm so excited to get on the computer & read your blogs & comments but I also think it's really important that we all don't put too much pressure on ourselves to post & read posts & make comments. Lately I've been almost feeling almost a little pang of guilt when I realize I haven't gotten on the computer to read & make comments on my favorite blogs (whose numbers are growing!!) Sometimes I think it's important to take a step back & realize we'll all still love each other even if we take some days off. :)

Ideas for when you're craving Spring like crazy:

#1Michele from My Notting Hill had a great suggestion to wear tropical suntan lotion as your daily moisturizer #2 Grow an indoor garden. I love this conservatory (below) of Lisa Ishimuro's home from Country Living. You could never get the winter blues here!!

This helped me a lot one winter. My bestfriend & roommate at the time suprised me with some beautiful potted herbs & it was just so special! Then me being me (and excited about everything & into overkill ;) I found more pots at thrift stores and bought a ton of mini roses & filled a whole room with the plants. It was all good at first until the roses got these little gnat-bugs. I love to garden but I'm so not good at it haha. (I'm the type that likes it because I like the intial project & I like how the plants look & smell & what they do to a space be it indoor or outdoor, but I just want it to stay fine. I'm not so much into the nurturing thing with my garden, which is why outdoor gardening suits me so much better!) Also forcing bulbs is a great winter thing to do. Much less maintenance although last year I managed to forget to add water to my bulb and it never bloomed. (It was in a conch shell and would have been very pretty if it had!) -- idea from beloved Cottage Living below...

#3 Now this one can be expensive depending upon you, but I think giving yourself a little shopping trip, a pretty haircut and maybe some new fun beauty products sometimes gets you a little excited about life. When you feel good about yourself, you tend to be happier. WARNING: DON'T DO THIS TO YOURSELF!!!! (I CANNOT believe I'm posting this pic of me! hahaha I totally messed up my hair one day)


#1 Do all those little house projects that you've been putting off! Make a punchlist & get it done. It's so much easier to do this stuff on a cold winter day than in the summer when you'd rather be outside. When my husband & I moved into our townhome back in 2005, we made this huge 'To do" list. We did all the big things on it like finishing the basement, new floors, redoing the bathrooms, painting, but we left all the little things out like-- repainting a piece of trim here or touching up paint there, or getting a new cover plate, etc. When we put our house on the market, of course we had to do all those little things anyway & it made such a difference in the way the house felt. Like most people selling their homes, we wished we'd done it all sooner and vowed that in our next home we'd get all that stuff out of the way. (most of the projects took less than 30 mins) #2 Reorganize your closets, pantries & etc... Get rid of all the stuff you no longer wear or need. (Purging feels so good!) pic below from Country Living:

#3 Photo Albums: If you're anything like me, you're behind. I used to be SO on top of this until I started taking thousands of pictures of my baby hahaha (Now, to make it easier I'm doing those Snapfish albums.)

#4 Blueprint Bliss suggested getting the yard ready for all the work that needs to happen in the Spring. This is a good one because now's the time for pruning and for me, emptying out all those pots I should've emptied out in the Fall. (Image below from )

Decorating/ Pretty Projects:

#1 I read a great suggestion in House Beautiful to buy a bunch of those little hockey puck-like lights & stick them everywhere for mood lighting: under consoles, above & below cabinets, behind plants, in closets. This is definitely on my list because it adds so much to a room & is so easy. I would probably only use the lights when the house was clean & my husband & I were just relaxing together or when people came over, but it's such a nice option to have that really makes your space feel amazing. (image below from

#2 Containers: Switch out all your old mismatched storage containers & replace them with coordinating ones you buy, make or find at a thrift shop. (I could go insane at the Container Store but with their prices do much better at Ikea or Michael's.)

#3 Reaccessorize your surfaces. (I used to be the only one I knew who did this until I met all of you bloggers!!!! :) This one kind of goes without saying, but it's always a nice pick-me-up to switch things up & showcase some different items on your shelves, tables, consoles, nightstands, etc. The winter after Christmas is very different and I usually reaccessorize for winter once the Christmas decor comes down. (I'll post pics in a future post) (below's a pic of our hutch that I have so much fun accessorizing seasonally.. hahah or tri-seasonally??)

#4 On that same note, at the beginning of the season, switch out throw pillows & blankets to get you in the mood for the season. I'm loving my cozy white "fur" blanket (below) this year!

#5 Find uses for all your fabric scraps. I recently just made a bunch of napkins from my leftover fabrics & it's such an easy thing to do. You can mix & match them for a bit of a Bohemian-eclectic look if you don't have enough of the same kinds of fabrics. (I'll post some pics of the finished products soon!!) You can also do runners, pillows, tablecloths... just get them out of those storage bins!! :) (Image below from Country Living.)

#6 Create a family/ friends photo wall out of a lonely hallway or stairway. I have a bunch of photographs I've beeen meaning to frame & have never gotten around to doing. I think family photos have such a big impact when they're grouped all together. (Image below from Pottery Barn... don't they do a beautiful job with photo displays?)

#7 Paint something!! you know there's that piece you have that you've been meaning to do something about. Give it a coat of fresh paint. (below, before & after photos of an ikea chair in a client's in-process dining room)

She painted it a glossy orange & we reupholstered the seat in a nubby linen. (The table will be painted black to match the West Elm chair in the background & the walls are going olive... will post after pics!)

I'll probably be adding to this final list this weekend, but I'm all out of ideas at the moment. :)

And just one last little last thought... Sometimes I think making others happy really makes you happy. When you really do something nice for someone & make their day, you sort of get this great little feeling inside. (haha is this a selfish reason for doing something good?!!! ;) But really, I've noticed that when I'm out & I smile more at people & connect more with others, it puts me in a better mood.