For us, this winter will just not let up. The entire eight years we've lived in this tiny town, we've never had snow quite like this. While I'm tired of it, winter does have it's perks.
One perk that I'm choosing to focus on is that winter invokes coziness. During the spring, summer, and fall, our family is very busy going in lots of different directions, working on outside projects and so forth. There's always so much to do. However, during the winter, there are less projects to do, no yard work (unless you count shoveling snow out of the driveway, ha!), we all tend to stay home more, we're together more, we slow down more, and we're indoors more. I love having my husband and my three chicks all safely under the same roof for days on end. I cheer inside when after school activities are cancelled, due to slippery roads, and we're forced to slow down and just BE together. It's one of my favorite things... just being with my family.
There are a handful of things I do to make our home feel cozy during the winter. One thing I do is fill that old rusty bucket, by our front door, with ice melt to keep our front steps safe as we come and go.
I also display cozy blankets for snuggling in on this wooden ladder. I frequently wash them because they all get used on a daily basis. A dear friend of mine gave me this ladder. If you want one, they look pretty easy and inexpensive to make.
Candles. They make any room feel warm and inviting. Our favorite candle scents are anything vanilla or cinnamon.
Speaking of cinnamon... I really like my home to smell good. All winter long, I've kept a pot of water filled with a few cinnamon sticks, whole cloves, dehydrated oranges, and a sprinkling of nutmeg and all spice. When we're home, I simmer it on low during the day and add water to the pot as it gets low. It smells divine. When people come over, they often ask if I'm baking something. :)
I like to have a lot of citrus around this time of year. I find that if I keep it in a big bowl, out in the open, that we tend to eat more of it. Not only does it look pretty, it keeps our immune systems healthy too. Knock on wood, none of us have been sick this whole winter season. ...I probably just jinxed myself by saying that.
To keep our hands and bellies warm, I keep a pail full of hot cocoa and spiced apple cider mixes on the counter. They get used a lot, so what's the point of them taking up space on a shelf in a dark pantry. Find a cute bowl or container of some sort and turn something that gets used a lot in the winter (hot cocoa) into a decorative part of your kitchen.
Candles are great for ambient, warm light around these dark gloomy days of winter, but so are battery operated twinkle lights! I bought this set at Marshall's, but they sell them all over now (Target, Amazon, etc.). These particular twinkle lights are set on a timer. They go on for six hours of the day and turn off for eighteen.
The last thing I like to do to cozy up my home in the winter is to turn on all the lamps. Overhead lighting seems too harsh. Lamps allow just the right amount of light to create the perfect happy mood when winter forces you indoors.
If you live in an area where your winters are warm, bless your heart. If you live in an area where the winters can be brutal, take heart. Cozy your home and endure those blessed three to four months with contentment and gratitude that once a year you're forced to slow down. Silver white winters will soon melt into spring. :)