It seems silly, composing this post when the thermometer recently soared above 60 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet the next “weather-alert,” “blockbuster,” “snowmageddon” storm is likely on its way. How many days until spring?
It’s non-stop for me from October through New Year’s. And then…? Nothing. No big holidays or epic decorations. Hardly a cookie to bake. I pondered these sad facts as I gaze out at my yard, a.k.a. the frozen tundra. Spring and summer plantings dormant beneath crusty earth. Even my spacious colonial feels claustrophobic. With three rambunctious dogs I miss that big yard!
It’s a long, dreary winter for those of us stuck in the cold, but does it have to be? Call me a hopeless romantic—really, I’m fine with that—but I say, “Hell no!” There are things we can do to not only survive winter but thrive. Just think like a romance author!
Embrace the FlameI love our wood stove, fireplace, and especially candles because they brighten my home and mood. Bonfires are great too if you’re able to stay warm. Champagne or mulled cider under the stars or by the hearth with your honey? Yes, please!
Don’t like real fire or there’s no fireplace? I highly recommend flameless candles like these from Bed Bath and Beyond. These tapers (you'll need your own holders) look so real they’ll fool everyone, creating a warm romantic glow.
Take the charm of what I call “light magic” to the next level by decorating indoor trees and other items. How about a blanket fort covered in fairy lights? An idea with possibilities for all ages! Or perhaps a take on a holiday tradition with battery operated window candles. I began doing this post-holidays after visiting historic locations. Lovely B&Bs deliver year-round, old-world ambiance with flameless window candles. My favorites are those offered exclusively by Plow and Hearth. They’re attractive, relatively inexpensive, and they have timers. No dangling cords, plugs, or remembering to “light the lights.”
Expand Your Horizons Stuck indoors? Perfect time to read! Reading allows you to go anywhere. The Old West, the moon, or my personal favorite…a haunted mansion. Solve a mystery, study history, even meet a new book boyfriend. Sorry Mr. H!
Be CraftySites like Pinterest are a great way to spark new interests. Bullet journals, calligraphy, cooking, or home improvements projects. Maybe tips on starting an indoor garden? Or just “pin” the things you love, like me. Check out my Pinterest boards.
Snuggle The best way to do this is to engage your significant other or furry best friend. Pajamas, a toasty-warm blanket, and yummy snacks enhance the overall experience. My personal favorites are chocolate chip cookies with hot cocoa. However, some days demand wine and chocolate.
What's On Tonight? Think outside the box and pick a different genre, one you don’t typically watch. Host a movie night, including one or many friends. Or just you and the cat. Buy or make special foods and drinks. Vampire wine for “fright fests,” tea and scones for a Jane Austen marathon, pizzas and beers for game show night. Pop some corn, drag out the candy bowl, and be scared, thrilled, laugh, cheer, or fall in love. Just make it new-to-you and special.
Serenade Me As with TV and movies, the key to successful mood-altering music is choosing something unique. I love listening to music while cooking, and I often gain inspiration from my travels. Here are a couple of think-outside-the-box music options to enhance your winter space. The first is something I discovered in Salem, MA. Ghosts by Llewellyn. New age music inspired by ghost stories of the UK. Or perhaps you’d enjoy something historic? Colonial America – Hesperus. Spirited sounds from across the sea to the shores of the new land. It’s one of my favorites because I feel as if I’m visiting Colonial Williamsburg.
Get Out There Sometimes the best way to beat winter is to accept it. Bundle up and build a snowman, walk the dog, sled with the grand-kids, or try a new winter sport. No need to climb mountains unless you want to. A walk in a city park does the trick!
So, for this romance author the key to surviving winter is filling my space with light and warmth, doing special things for myself and with friends, expanding my horizons, and getting out there.
Send me your thoughts and suggestions, I’d love to hear from you. There’s more winter on the way. Although that groundhog did predict an early spring…😊