It's snowing. Again. Here in the Deep North, right up against our dear friends in Canada, we should be used to it snowing all the time but this winter it's been a little ridiculous, don't you think? The forecast for the week is more snow and frigid temps. Here are a few things that help me keep warm, happy and sane despite the cold and endless white stuff. What's helping you survive this winter? Please share!
1) Alpaca fiber socks. These socks are the best socks in the world! They are called Survival Socks for a reason! Warm, soft and amazing at keeping dry. If you wear boots for any reason, for sport, for work, to dig out of the snow or walk your dog through the snowdrifts, these socks will not let you down. Even after coming in, I keep my alpaca socks on to pad around the house.
2) Bonjour Primo Latte battery operated whisk. I am not big on kitchen gadgets but this is one I love! For under twenty bucks you can make your own skinny vanilla latte at home any time you want! Try this recipe: 3/4 cup 1% milk + 1/4 cup water heated in the microwave for 30 seconds, 1/2 tsp sugar, 1 tsp instant Espresso, a drop or two of real vanilla extract. Whisk with your new toy and Voila! A frothy low cal treat!
3) Hot chocolate. Not just any hot chocolate. Ghirardelli Chocolate Mocha! I take my chocolate very, very seriously. This stuff is the Rolls Royce of hot chocolate. All other hot chocolate will turn to chalk in your mouth after you taste this rich goodness. That's all I have to say.
4) Roku. If you have a Netflix account, a wireless server and an accommodating television, consider getting a Roku. A box that streams in every television show or movie that is on your "watch instantly" Netflix queue. There are other appliances that do the same thing but our Roku cost less than $70 dollars. All the Psych and Monk episodes you can stand passes the time during a blizzard.
5) A ruana, shawl, cosy blanket, throw or snuggie. OK, maybe not a snuggie but I love my favorite ruana, a soft wrap that traps my body heat just where I want it and it looks good, too! Which, let's be honest, a snuggie can never do, even a leopard print one. Just thinking about my ruana makes me feel warm. I think I'll go get it right now.
6) Treadmill. If it weren't for my treadmill I would be a sad, flabby mess. As it is, I know I'm not in as good shape as I am in the summer when it's so easy to go outside but what the heck–it's winter and I'm not going to get all guilty about slowing down. Activity is a depression buster, though, and not being a skier, walking or running on my treadmill gives me a needed charge of energy to keep me going when the carbs are calling and the couch is sooo comfy.
7) Oil popped popcorn. Microwave popcorn is good but real oil popped popcorn has that special almost like movie popcorn taste. Some people say popping your own is healthier than microwave. I don't know but I do know it's cheaper! Popcorn is not that hard to make once you have the knack. Try this recipe.
8) A dog or a cat or any cuddly pet. Their furry goodness warms the heart and makes the frozen days feel less isolating. If they let you get close, their body heat is a good as any heating pad. They are great entertainment value as well! My dog happily hopping in the deep snow makes me laugh every time. Winter depression busted!