A Blog For The Farm Happenings And Whatever Else Strikes My Fancy.

Monday, 30 January 2017

7 Ways To Lose the Winter Blues

Winter is actually one of my top four favorite seasons. I think it's beautiful.  I love to go for long walks in the snow and I love trying to guess who all the paw prints and hoof prints belong to. I love snow and snow storms. I love snowshoeing and even sledding. As hard as it may be for some of you to believe, I prefer Winter to Summer.

Now, having professed my love for winter, I have experienced the feeling of being "Snowed In" and it's not fun. Here is simple list I've put together of tried-and-true ways to make winter your friend. 

Lose your winter blues and realize the beauty of the season. 

1: Go for a walk
Sounds easy enough, right? Bundle up in all your favorite layers, grab a camera or your earbuds (or both) and go for a walk. 

Experience winter.

 I like to walk through the woods, but a street or hiking path would be just as good. Spend some time in prayer and thought while you walk. 

Still thinking "Eww, cold." Well. all I can say is, you don't know what your missing till you get out there. 

2: Bake something from scratch
When your feeling locked up in the winter, fresh baked goods are one of the most amazing, warming things. But it's not just eating the baked goods that makes it so perfect, it's the actual act of making it. 

Imagine this: You've mixed together all the ingredients and set the batter/dough perfectly in the appropriate pan. You double check the recipe to be sure. The counters are dusted with flour, as is your apron. You think you might have got flour on your forehead as well but you don't care. You're already feeling warmer as the sense of accomplishment claims you from head to toe. The house fills with that warm, sweet smell as you sit, waiting for the oven to do it's magic. Than after it all, you are rewarded with the final product which you proceed to smear with butter, honey, or jam... it's amazing isn't it? 

 What? You don't bake? Oh, you only use boxed mixes? Well, I challenge you then. Make it from scratch. You can do it. It's not that hard and the reward is 100% worth the effort. If you don't have a recipe just Google search it. The internet is a treasure trove of recipes... to be honest, I barely ever use cookbooks anymore. You can also add any dietary restrictions to your search. For example: If you can't eat dairy just put "Diary free" in the search bar with whatever it is you're searching for (like "Dairy free muffins") you will be surprised at how many recipes accommodate special diets. It's super cool.

Some of my suggesting would be: cookies, zucchini/banana bread, scones, or muffins. And none of those should be very hard. 

TIP: don't forget the oven timer. The timer is your friend. 

If you happen to make brownies click the image for my super easy tutorial for adding an extra touch of mouthwatering goodness to any brownie recipe.

3: Tackle that photo album you keep talking about
Commit a day, a weekend, this winter to finally get that scrapbook or photo album together. How many of us have a pile, a drawer, ful of pictures, fancy stickers, printed paper, post cards, and enough photo safe glue sticks to last a lifetime? Winter is the perfect time to get it all laid out and organized in the way you want. It's fun and easy once you've started, you just need to get started. 

4: Go for coffee with a friend at a new cafe
You know that cafe that opened down the street? The one you keep meaning to go to but never find the time? Call up your bestie and make it a date. You could go to an old favorite cafe as well, but it's not as fun as trying something new. 

Your bestie doesn't like coffee? or maybe she lives in Ohio and can't make the trip for a cup of Joe? Go with your mom, I think it's about time you two did something fun together. Or your sister or brother. How about that friend you keep meaning to reconnect with but just haven't? 

Who ever you go with, it's a great way to add variety to your winter. 

5: Rearrange a room in your house
This is one of my favorites, and it's perfect for a cold, stormy day of being stuck inside. Rearranging can make a room that's feeling old and tired seem brand new. My mother and I are constantly moving the furniture in the house around and it can really make a difference!

My rearranging tips: 
  • Start with the largest piece of furniture and decide where you'd like it. Then arrange everything else around it.
  • Clean as you go. Move the couch and sweep where it was before moving on. 
  • Start a box of donatables. If you have everything looking wonderful, but you're just not sure where to put that lamp or that jar of silk flowers... there's no where to put that completely empty, but absolutely adorable, little box. Maybe it's time to get rid of those things and let someone else enjoy the.
  • Go a step further and buy something new to to brighten the room. Buy a throw blanket or a painting for the wall. Even something as little as a candle holder can make you feel like there's something new and cherishable about the space. You don't have to spend much, even less if you hit up all the thrift stores and bargain hunt for that special new addition. 
  • AND if you're feeling really ambitions you could make something for your room or give an old piece of furniture new life. There are tutorials all over the internet on how to do either of those things. I made a canopy to go over my bed. It was a fun project and gives the room such an elegant ambiance. Check out my tutorial HERE if you want to do something similar. 
6: Winter day+Good book+Cocoa+Soft blanket=Perfection
Honestly, when it's so cold that you don't dare step on the hard wood floors, and the window panes are frosted, and even the baked goods aren't helping, this is the trick. Bundle up in your favorite chair, leaving space enough for the dog or cat to join you, and spend the rest of the afternoon reading with a cup of hot, fragrant cocoa beside you. Whether you're reading your favorite psalms or the newest, most captivating novel... this is perfection.

7: Make a puzzle
When my family does puzzles we set up a spare table in the corner of one of the rooms and spread hundreds of puzzle pieces across it. We will go and stare at it whenever we feel like it and gradually the pieces start to form a picture. Usually the puzzle will sit there for a week or so till it's done, then we let it remain for one more day so we can stare in awe contemplating how clever we are. It is then returned to it's box to be put under a shelf and never touched again. 

This is a fantastic way to break through the winter blues when they've got you down because it lasts for more than just one day. Also, the fact that it doesn't take a lot of brain power can be nice if you're in a state of sluggish hibernation. 

And there you have it. 7 ways to lose the winter blues. I hope you have fun trying some of  these and let me know if they were helpful to you!

What's your favorite way of beating the seasonal blues? Share your ideas in the comments!

 When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet. Proverbs 31:21