Embracing Winter

It’s here.  Finally.  Winter.  We’ve been spoiled so far with good weather in my corner of Canada, with only one big snowstorm in early November and just  an inch or two since then.   Like much of North America, we had a green Christmas.   It’s been cold then balmy, flurries then rain, zigzagging back and forth like Mother Nature can’t make up her mind.   But now that winter is upon us, we might as well decide to embrace it.    Here are some ways to enjoy the season or at least feel grateful to be hibernating inside.    

To Ski or Apres Ski

Such a difficult question….

Leave the Christmas decorations up.   While you might want to pack up Santa and his reindeer, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy all the twinkly lights for another month or two.    I usually leave my greenery up until Valentine’s Day.

lighted spruce decoration

Leave the outside decorations up too.   Snow on a plaid ribbon looks especially festive. 

winter pine decor with plaid ribbon

If you love the smell of pine, light a scented candle and indulge in some small luxuries like pine hand soap and hand cream. 

pine scents

Have oatmeal for breakfast, with raisins and brown sugar.


Then go for a walk in your warm parka.  If the seagulls can brave the cold you can too.

Seagulls in winter

Reward yourself afterwards by trying out a new hot drink.   Steep an Earl Gray teabag in a cup of steamy apple cider for a sweet/tart taste. 

Cider and tea mixture

Wear something in a cheerful plaid, preferably flannel. 

vintage plaid flannel shirt

 If you don’t own anything plaid, enjoy your morning coffee in a plaid mug. 

plaid coffee mug

Look out the window at the snow and be glad you don’t have to drive in it. 

Christmas Wreath

Take advantage of being stuck indoors and spend a productive day cleaning out your closets.   Save a scarf for a snowman.   Once you have room, buy a new winter coat on sale, in any color but black.   Winter needs a shot of color.  

Winter coats

If you must venture out, keep warm and look stylish by learning how to tie scarves like the weather forecasters on TV.   I swear they must take a course.  Winter is also one of the few seasons where you can wear a hat and not get stared at. 

plaid scarf and winter coat

Bake something, anything that smells good – muffins, cookies. apple crisp.  Go outside and come back in just so you can smell the kitchen.  

date nut loaf

Date nut loaf anyone?

While you’re outside, feed the birds. 


Go bird-watching with binoculars.   Hunt for those elusive cardinals with your camera.  cardinals AMc

If you’re lucky enough to get a snow day and the kids are off school, build a snowman or two. 

Have a competition for the best one in the neighborhood.


He does not look happy about that sunshine…

Have tomato soup and grilled cheese for lunch – you’ll need stamina to shovel the end of the driveway where the snowplow has dumped a row of boulders the size of icebergs. 

tomato soup and grilled cheese

Make comfort food for supper.  Turkey stew anyone?

turkey stew

January is sofa season.   Watch a movie or read your favorite magazines.  

chair and pillows Victoria

Read a book or two….or sixteen.    Buy enough books for the whole winter so you don’t have to go to the library at all.     

book outlet

Bookoutlet bargains….

We’ve all been hygged to death but comfy PJ’s, warm socks and flannel sheets on a cold winter’s night help make things warm and cozy.   A velour or chenille robe for chilly mornings is great too.    Not sure if I would have paid $35 for a pair of reading socks, but $12 on sale is good. 

Reading socks

What a marketing scheme…

Have cookies and cocoa before bed.

mug and cookie

And to all a good night!    Happy January!     (600 words and lots of pictures)





38 thoughts on “Embracing Winter

  1. lindasschaub says:

    Well now I know I need some “reading socks” too for my new hobby Joan – I’ve never seen or heard of them before – why didn’t we invent them and we’d be sittin’ pretty by now? These are great examples of nice things about Winter, though sometimes I am hard pressed to find anything nice to say about it – your photos could make me change my mind. I got out today for a walk at the Park and while taking the car for a little run, I saw two snowmen in one block. They were great and perfect as the sun was not strong, and the temps were very cold, so the snowmen stayed put and looking very cute. I wanted to pull over and take a picture of each of them, because I can’t remember the last time I saw someone had built a snowman, but there was snow and ice on the curb on that side of the street, so I did not. I think your photos are cozy looking, even the greens outside. I like the plaid cup and the tomato soup and grilled cheese looks very inviting (as does the sweet treats). Your mom’s paintings look perfect for this post.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      It was a big snowman, on my mother’s street in a house with lots of little kids, but I think the dad must have helped out because of the size of it. I saw one other one, not as good. The green plaid ribbon greenery was a $10 grocery store sale the week before Xmas, there was a small peice broken off the black pot, which you couldn’t see when it was turned towards the house. I do like a bargain. As for the socks – no way would I pay $35 plus tax for a pair of socks, no matter how nice they were. They’re lined inside with that sherpa stuff, but it feels like one is bigger than the other. But what a gimmick eh? It was at the Indigo chain bookstore, and they were all sold out of womens except the pair I saw on the sale table, but they had lots of mens left over though. They’re probably too bulky for walking though.

      Liked by 2 people

      • lindasschaub says:

        You do well on your bargains – I’ve always liked your decor in the kitchen, your plates and mugs that you’ve shown us in your blogs … I wish we’d come up with that gimmick … clever but yes $35.00 plus tax is ridiculous. Well you can wear them when you are cozy reading the books you ordered and the few from the used book sale … you are all set for Winter, not that you want it.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        I have a lot of nice dishes that I try to use now that I’m retired and home more. I’ve been into red lately, as I bought a set of red Rachel Ray dishes a few years ago, at the dollar store if you can imagine. I have lots of blue stuff too. I think if I was younger, a career at a decorating/woman’s magazine would have been fun!

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        I think you would have been good at that job Joni. If I was younger, I would go into a creative field of some type or in the travel industry, which also would have been fun. I think I’ve seen some blue and you admired that blue cobalt cat.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      I do like a red plaid. I found six plaid charger plates at MIchaels after Xmas for $1.50 each which I did not need, but bought because I liked the plaid. They were $8 each original price. The bird feeder was plain wood, but my mother painted it red for me. Sadly, it was not well made and only lasted one year. The lid would not stay on, and the holes broke, so the feed got wet. The little sparrows liked it, but I never saw any other birds at it.

      Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        It is very cheery – and why do they never seem to make bird feeders that are cute durable? I have had the same thing happen – but I like red anything and against the white fencing on the deck it looks cheery in Winter.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Joni says:

        Having it so close to the deck, meant there was lots of bird crap ON the deck, but I didn’t have any trees that I could reach to hang it in, so I moved it to a tall Rose of Sharon bush as I had heard cardinals liked the safety of a bush, but no luck.

        Liked by 1 person

      • lindasschaub says:

        Oh yes, the inevitable mess from the birds while enjoying their seeds and having to sweep it up as well. That is a drawback when having it so close to the house. I found that with the peanuts on the porch with the squirrels – always a mess when they ate it on the spot. When they took them “to go” that was no problem. The worse was when the Fox Squirrel pees on the peanuts to mark them as his – that’s when I moved them off the front porch! I’ve relocated them 3 X this year!

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Anne says:

    What a treat to scroll through your pictures. While we never experience winters like yours, you make being holed up indoors while it snows outside sound like not a bad thing. I’ll join you for tomato soup any cold day and I love the idea of Earl Grey tea brewed with cider, THAT is something I simply must try when our turn for cold weather comes round!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Joni says:

      I actually don’t mind January/Feb. indoors – it gives you a chance to hibernate and read. The Earl Gray tea with cider was something I saw in an old Martha Stewart magazine I had clipped out. I know you like your tea too but Earl Gray decaff is all I drink for tea, so when my brother brought me a gallon of apple cider I decided to try it out. I wish I could send you some of our snow in the form of rain! I don’t know how long the snow will stay around as they are forecasting rain and mixed precipitation this weekend. It has been a strange winter.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Ally Bean says:

    This post is an absolute delight. I agree that January is sofa season, a great way of looking at it. I suddenly feel like I need to wear my red plaid flannel shirt. Also, steeping an Earl Grey teabag in apple cider is brilliant. What a good idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks Ally…..I don’t mind Jan/Feb as it gives you a good excuse to cocoon indoors. You have a red plaid flannel shirt – we are two peas in a pod! The Earl Gray/cider combo I stole from an old Martha Stewart magazine. I used to clip things/ideas from magazines when I used to read a lot of them.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. annieasksyou says:

    Delightful! I love winter hibernating too, but for the most part it hasn’t been that cold.

    As for oatmeal and raisins, I have that every morning—with blueberries and almonds thrown in—plus a sprinkling of cinnamon.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Jo Shafer says:

    I enjoyed the conversation as much as the actual post. Yes, red and plaids are for winter. I just ordered a red pull-over sweater from Talbot’s. Now, I think I’ll paint our wood gazebo bird feeder red, too ~ that is, once spring comes and the wood dries out from recent light rains. All the snow melted, and the gardens are soggy with the residue. Snuggling on my library sofa with Charlie beside me (my cocker spaniel), a collection of winter reads, and endless mugs of Earl Grey are just the thing for these gloomy days. Oh, and tonight we’re having meat ball soup with barley and root vegetables for supper.


  6. Joni says:

    Oh I love Talbots! Such good quality classic clothes. Snow is mostly all melted now. I am envious of your soup, it sounds like just the kind of hearty soup for a winter’s day. I haven’t made soup much this winter, but I have been craving lots of root vegetables, now that I’m cooking lower fat and less desserts. I guess your body tells you what it needs to eat. Enjoy your supper Jo!


  7. Debbie says:

    Earl Grey and apple cider? I’ll have to try that combo!

    Don’t forget making hot chocolate…preferably on the stove and with real chocolate chips melted in! It’s slow going, luxurious, and cozy…perfect for a snowy day!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Joni says:

      Thanks for the idea Debbie…..I have that $20 French imported hot chocolate to try. I’ve been craving chocolate so thought I might try and find a good low fat brownie mix. The Earl Gray and hot cider is a nice mix. I hope you are dug out from all the snow!


    • Joni says:

      Thanks JP! That was the Hollywood version, as opposed to dirty snowbanks and salt stained boots. It’s long gone now, yesterday it was like spring here. But it may return tomorrow as more snow/ice pellets/storm on the way etc. BTW, I tried Poptarts last night. I was desperate for something sweet and saw it in the pantry. The Verdict: tasteless as in like cardboard with a smear of red stuff in the middle, which the ingredient list said were real strawberries. There were however not too many sprinkles, in fact very few sprinkles but lots of very sweet icing. I was afraid to put it in my toaster as it is temperamental and tends to burn things, and I had visions of all that icing melting down to the bottom and how would I clean it out, so I popped it into the microwave, which the box said was okay. I remember my little brother eating Poptarts occasionally when we were kids, there was more junk food available by the time he was growing up, and it having more filling?? I was surprised by the marketing info on the box, zero transfats, low saturated fat, no artificial flavours, and 4 essential nutrients – Iron, Thiamine, Niacin and Folic Acid – these might have been in the wheat flour which is the first ingredient, the second was sugar a whopping big dose of carbohydrates. 37g for one pastry. I was also puzzled by the fact there were 2 pastries in each foil pack, but I suppose there are 2 slats in most toasters. I was disappointed as the picture on the box showed a lot of strawberry filling oozing out, but it was a very very thin layer. Oh well, I’m more of a chocolate brownie person myself. The question is – what will I do with the rest of the box?


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