Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Winter's Must Haves....

I vaguely remember remarking this past summer that I thought I liked winter.  Now that it's here (and rather new, in the scheme of things) it's not too bad, but I'm not sure I like it.  Of course, we still have Christmas to look forward to, but once we're in the doldrums of winter bleakness, I have to work a little harder to stay happy.

There are a few things in my arsenal - a few little luxuries and habits that keep me from hopping on the next plane south.

In no particular order, here they are!

1.  Food.   I know, I know - I always require food, no matter the season.  But, there are certain things that I crave, certain things that you can only purchase at this time of year.

I tend to make more soups, stews, and heartier fare.  I also tend to bake more.  It's almost like we're getting ready to hibernate!

my favorite lunchtime treat - stewed eggplant with naan

double - layer brownies - recipe coming soon

Clementines - we easily eat more than two boxes a week
Egg Nog - the perfect coffee creamer - you only need a splash

2.  "Good Gear".  This is a phrase that Rob coined for the clothing he uses for outdoor activities.  I don't ordinarily participate in many outdoor activities, but I love dressing warmly indoors, too!

During the day I keep the heat at a balmy 65 degrees - so layering is key.  

Of course, my beloved smartwools!  I wear a pair every day from October to April

 Rob ordered this Under Armour shirt for himself - but, sadly, the men's xl size fits me perfectly.  I love this shirt - it has a fleece lining, mesh armpits, and is ruggedly built.  I didn't realize I was such a fan of Under Armour. 

I should also mention [under the good gear classification] - heated seats in my vehicle - love them. 

3.  Exercise.  This is a must for my winter happiness.  I need Vitamin A in my life.  Even if it's frigid (like this morning, at 23 degrees) my mood is so much better when I exercise and spend time in the sun.  I find it much easier to exercise in the winter - the humidity of our summers is not fun to be sweating in.  I typically run for about 30 minutes, right after putting the girls on the bus.  I then come home and use exercise TV for yoga or pilates for about 20 minutes.  I find I eat healthier, accomplish more, and am all-around a more pleasant person.

love, love, love trail running shoes - these are saucony

4.  I pamper myself.  I slather on the lotion all winter long.  Eucerin Calming Creme - love it.  Burt's Bees Lip Balm - love it.  Target brand face cream with spf - love it.  None of these are terribly expensive (the Eucerin is about $10 for a large bottle) - but I need them during the winter.

So, what are your winter must-haves?  Do you love winter or hate it?  How do you keep yourself happy during the grey days of January and February?


  1. What a great post! I'll have to think about my answer a bit since I'm currently pondering life so I'll just fit this one in and get back to you. :D

  2. looking forward to it, Becky!!

    And this just in from Aunt Sue -
    candles, good books, and naps!
    I agree wholeheartedly, Sue!

    I also should have added flannel sheets to my list. A definite must-have in this drafty old house at night!

  3. What a fabulous list. Winter is such a distant memory I cant even recall it.

    It looks pretty much like a list I might make minus the running shoes and paragraph about excerise being an essential and integral part of life...

    We dont get pre-made egg nog here. See how deprived we are?

  4. Winter is very very mild here, probably the only winter thing I sort of need sometimes is moisutriser as there is much less humidity. Oh and heating for the times it does get really cold at night (that's really cold for here) around the mid 30'sF, and that usually means it will be up around 70F during the day.
    I have experienced really seriously cold weather, we spent a few days in northern Finland back in Dec 1999, it was -22F (-30C) now that was horrible. Nothing could prepare me for that.

  5. Great post, Kirsten. Yep, warm stuff, "good gear", sunshine (even if it comes from my SAD lamp), moisturizer, exercise...all those things. I think you nailed it.

  6. Kirs-I totally agree with the soups, heated seats & flannel sheets-add to that automatic start on my car (we don't have heat in the garage) and my cuddle-duds (like long underwear only for under good clothes, like blouses & knit pants!!). It was up to over 40 degrees today-now the temp is on it's way down & it's raining-& supposed to get really cold with snow & 30 mph winds before the weekend is over-glad we're home & have no where we have to be this w/e! Only in Iowa is there such drastic changes in weather in a short time!