Where I live in the Bay, we don’t get to have actual seasons. The seasons normally go — Spring, Summer, slightly chilly Fall, no Winter and then back to Spring again. Particularly because we’re in the middle of a drought, we’ve only started experiencing nippy temperatures. This is my favorite time of the year because now I get to break out my scarves, coats, lattés, and big blankets.
Everyone loves it when it’s “snuggle weather” but because we get a shorter season this year, I wanted to come up with ways to make this holiday season extra cozy. At the same time, this is also the busiest months of the year for me, I have finals, I’m hosting holiday dinners, and I have to do all my Christmas shopping & decorating. So I wanted to come up with easy ways to get extra cozy this season. This is the “no recipe zone,” or at least the no measuring zone. Just simple, real ways to make this season even more special than it already is.
Host an indoor spa day with the girls. This will be a nice reprieve from the hustle and bustle of the holiday season. The whole season is about giving and that includes you too. I like to make a warm water foot bath with lemons, mint, and sea salt for each person and we do facials. Buy a fancy facial masque (my favorite is the Rare Earth Pore Cleansing Masque by Kiehl’s) and you’re set. I just put out easy snacks like chips & salsa, crostini topped with figs & brie, and fresh lemonade. Once your skin looks greats, you’ll feel great.
Make a big batch of easy tomato soup. It’s easy, roast a bag full of halved tomatoes with EVOO, salt & pepper, and a handful of garlic cloves at 400 degrees for 45 minutes. Throw it in a blender with a box of chicken broth in batches, and then simmer it on the stove for another 10 minutes, finish it with a big splash of cream and you’re set. I serve it with grilled cheese and it’s a simple dinner on a lazy Sunday. I made this the other day in between loads of laundry and Netflix.
Get crafty. I started using pastels recently and surprisingly, I’ve found the entire experience to be extremely calming. Something about blending the different colors, and having to slow down and build up the image relaxes me and helps me focus. If pastels aren’t your thing, try coloring. I’m obsessed with this one. Whatever suits you, going primitive with your hobbies is a great way to unplug and unwind.
Go fondue for two. My favorite kind of restaurant is the kind where you cook something yourself at the table. So whether it’s Korean BBQ, hotpot, or my favorite — fondue, getting to do the cooking without any of the clean up brings the cozy factor up x10. Also, if there’s an option to order a “romantic meal for two,” get it. Mention to your server that you’re having a romantic date and see what they can do for you, at the very least, they’ll help your evening go off without a hitch.
Invest in really cozy slippers. Don’t go cheap on these, no exceptions. I have two pairs of Ugg loafers that I have specifically to wear around the house. One of the pairs I’ve had for years. I’ve tried getting one of the knock-off brands (BearPaw) but it’s not the same. This is something that you’ll be slipping on the second you get in the house to unwind and wear for hours daily, so Tri-eat yourself.
Make my easy hot cider. This makes the entire house smell INCREDIBLE. Combine fresh apple juice (I like this one from Whole Foods), some sliced tangerines and apples, a few cinnamon sticks, and a few whole peppercorns in a pot. Simmer it for 10 minutes and serve it warm. DELISH. I serve this for weeknight movie nights all the time during this season. Just throw all the ingredients in the pot while people are settling in and setting up the movie. By the time the movie is about to start it’ll be ready.
So hopefully, you guys get the idea. It doesn’t really matter how you do it, but just make sure to make the most of the weather this season.
Get Cozy !!!