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appreciating the winter months

Emily Oster

Ok let's try this again - happy 2015! Tuesday, January 6th will be my official start to the New Year as one - the New Year and its resolutions don't start until you are back home and two - yesterday was just one of those days which is no way to start off a new beginning. 

First a recap from the holidays - we spent a lovely Christmas at home with Jeff's parents and sister and enjoyed a quite Christmas Eve and Christmas watching movies, cooking, listening to holiday music and just relaxing. On the 26th, we headed up to Chicago to break up the drive to Northern Michigan and also picked up my sister and her fiance. We arrived to the Harbor Springs area on the evening of the 27th and celebrated my Dad's birthday as well as did Christmas part two. We enjoyed a week of skiing, sleeping in, eating WAY too much and reminiscing about how last winter we were in throws of wedding planning. The Harbor Springs/Petoskey area is truly one of my favorite places on earth and I just love being up there. Its so beautiful and relaxing which, of course, makes leaving rather difficult. We started our trek South this past Saturday and arrived home late Sunday afternoon. While it was definitely sad to leave Michigan and end vacation (not to mention come home to water in our basement) it is nice to be home and get back into the routine of things.

Now onto the start of the New Year. Yesterday, I read this post on House of Earnest and could totally relate. While the beginning of January is filled with a sense of newness, I am always sad that our time in Northern Michigan and the holidays are over. Last year, we had our wedding to look forward to in February and were crazy busy with planning and ops an unexpected appendectomy. This year, we have a few plans for the coming winter months but obviously nothing like our wedding. As such I want to try to maintain some of the specialness that is the holidays throughout the rest of the season. Its not anything major just small things that help to make winter feel cozy and warm rather than dark and depressing. I am not entirely sure what this means yet but I do know I want to do the following.

  1. Keep the candles burning - I tend to only light candles around Christmas which is really a missed opportunity as a little candlelight can instantly brighten a space and my mood.
  2. Keep the music playing - I am a holiday music junkie and with only four weeks of the year to listen to it - I listen to it a lot! However, much like the candle thing, music (not holiday themed) while spending time at home is quite enjoyable and I often forget this when its not the Bing Crosby time of year.
  3. Enjoy being at home - This is a general one but in winter its easy to feel trapped inside but with a simple, change of mindset winter can be the season to APPRECIATE being home.
  4. Make fires ALL THE TIME - We are really loving our wood burning stove and having it going really makes the house so much cozier. Not to mention it is becoming an invaluable heat source as, yesterday, I had to crank our thermostat to above 75 just to get the house to have an indoor temperature of 60!
  5. Baking - While I am not a baker and definitely need to detox from vacation, I want to keep baking. And the winter, when you aren't sweating in the kitchen because its 100 degrees out and the oven is set to 400, seems like the perfect time to do it. I am especially interested in learning to make bread...
  6. Flip the holiday decorations to winter seasonal decor - This was the tip I gained from House of Earnest and I love this idea. Up North our family house is sort of always in a winter seasonal mode and it makes it that much more enjoyable to be up there from December through March. This will be harder to accomplish here in St.Louis, seeing as we are not living in a vacation locale that receives a ton of snowfall, but I think I can make some small changes go a long way.

Below are a few winter themed rooms and vignettes that I have been looking at to gather some inspiration. 

from top left - spruce pot via  Accessorize Your Home  - wreath via  BO BEDRE  - Aspen home of Aerin Lauder via  VOGUE  - sheep skin sofa via  veronica loves archie  - house plant via  The Unexpected Houseplant  - interior via  love maegan

from top left - spruce pot via Accessorize Your Home - wreath via BO BEDRE - Aspen home of Aerin Lauder via VOGUE - sheep skin sofa via veronica loves archie - house plant via The Unexpected Houseplant - interior via love maegan