5 Tips for Surviving Winter

Happy first Saturday of 2017, friends! It seems like most of the country is experiencing colder than normal temperatures, and might have even gotten a bit more snow than is typical. Three cheers for winter!

Winter and I have a love/hate relationships. On the hate side, there’s the cold weather, the cold wind, the cold snow, the cold ice. You can’t escape it; winter is cold, cold, and more cold. On the other hand, winter is so cozy! Its pace is slower than the frenetic go-go-go of summer, and it encourages us all toward our hermit-like tendencies. Even though I’m an extrovert through and through, I don’t hate that aspect of this colder and darker season. I love snuggling in to watch a movie, making homemade pizza, and going to bed early. I love enjoying my coffee by the fire the next morning, and I love having an excuse to stay home and cancel plans occasionally (hello, snow days!).

If you’re having a hard time finding the joy in winter, here are 5 tips just for you!

Start an outdoor winter hobby. Fresh air is good for your health, for your mood, and for your body, so get outside! Even when it’s cold, bundle yourself up and breathe some fresh air for a minute or two. Our favorite winter activity is snowshoeing (Bob has Tubbs snowshoes and loves them), but you could try skiing (downhill or cross country), ice skating, or plain old hiking. With warm enough clothing, you’ll barely notice the biting wind and cold temperatures.

Sun lamp and essential oils. Maybe a little hippy dippy for some of you, but I swear by my sun lamp and (more recently) diffusing oils. Might it all be in my head? Yes. Do they make me feel better, happier, and more content with being indoors so much? Yes. Final verdict: worth it. I have this sun lamp and this diffuser, and they’ve both been great.


Vitamin D drops. If you live where the sun rarely shines in the winter, I can’t say enough great things about these Vitamin D drops. They work better for me than a vitamin pill, and I can tell a noticeable difference in my mood when I forget my drops in the morning.

Light a candle. There’s something delightful about lighting a candle–its soft, warm glow, the lovely scent wafting through your house. Something about a candle whispers cozy, cozy, cozy and it does wonders to lift my mood.


Find some community. Nothing makes the winter seem long and lonely like trapping yourself at home for 3 or 4 months. Even though it feels like a lot more work in the wintertime, find people to spend time with-go to church, invite friends for dinner, talk someone into joining you for your newfound outdoor pursuits. It will always be worth it!

What do you do to make the winter more manageable? I’d love to hear!

If you’re interested…a January trip to Sleeping Bear Dunes and an easy, comfort food idea for a dinner next week.

Saturday Small Talk

Yesterday felt like spring. It smelled like spring. The birds were chirping and snowdrifts were melting. This morning’s weather is reminding us all not to get too excited. It’s still winter. For 5 more days. Duly noted.

20140308_094312And so, I sit inside, enjoying the view and a cup of coffee in my new mug.


I’ve been thinking a bit about prioritizing my time and setting some long(er) term goals for my career. Food for thought: What to do when your career is failing. On a similar note, Advice for Dreamers.

Chocolate Chip Cookie Cake. Oh my delicious.

I love our kitchen/dining area, and don’t really care for the state of our living room. For solutions, I’ve been poking around Apartment Therapy. What have I found? Goodbye, Big Blank Walls; Simple Ways to Refresh your Home; 6 rental updates that won’t break the bank. Any of your fellow renters (or former renters) have ideas for filling up our white walls (without nailing a bunch of holes into the wall)?

Iowa Girl Eats posted a recipe for Baked Pesto Chicken Parmesan. It’s a 30 minute meal and is officially added to my go-to weeknight cooking options.

Enjoy your weekend, friends!


Sunday Small Talk

I consider myself to be more of a summer person. I like water in its liquid state, I like beaches, I like camping and cookouts. Winter makes all of those activities more complicated.

To make things more exciting, this winter has been more brutal than normal. And that’s saying something, considering Northern Michigan is not known for tame winters. That aside, I’ve surprised myself by not hating this winter. I think it has to do with how much of our free time we’ve spent outside.

20140222_141435This weekend was no exception. We headed up to Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore to see what one of our favorite summer spots has to offer in the winter. It turns out, a lot of wind! On an already windy and cold day, it only got windier and colder as we approached the coast. It felt a bit like we were on an arctic expedition. So much wind. So much ice.

20140222_150815There were several spots where the waves crashed through holes in the ice, creating geyser-like water spouts when the waves hit them.

20140222_152103When we were sheltered by the wind (thanks massive sand dune!), the icebergs in the lake were interesting to watch as they bobbed up and down with the waves.

20140222_153317 On our way out, we took a quick pit stop in Glen Haven. Even though it was bitter cold, you can’t beat the beauty of that blue sky!

What have you been up to this weekend? Anyone brave the cold and go on an adventure?