my take on how to enjoy the winter months.

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we are half way through january. how are you doing? how are you feeling?

i’m smiling big in my puffy warm red coat, but that’s because i’m trying to enjoy january, despite her bringing a rough start to the new year over here. we’ve been fighting off a whole lotta germs that made their way through family members ever so slowwwwwly at the start of the month (think the flu + an ear infection + pink eye + a virus + a cold that came with a lingering cough that just won’t go away, weeks later and too many pediatrician appointments to count). add twenty degree weather to the mix and january, you know how to make an entrance.

BUT, i’ve been making a deliberate choice every day to push past that survival mode feeling and get more out of january. at times it’s been hard, i’ll admit. but it’s also been so worth it.

i wanted to share what i’ve been doing that has helped the most. some are such basic little things. and others, a little of a stretch for me.  i broke it out into a list for you below…

by the way, i was going to title this list: DEAD OF WINTER SURVIVAL GUIDE but it sounded too sad and it’s also sorta harsh… and so, TIPS ON ENJOYING JANUARY was where i landed.

TIPS ON ENJOYING JANUARY (and all those other cold months ahead)

1.

twenty-ish minutes every evening for me…my mind, my body, myself!
each evening, i’ve been setting aside twenty (sometimes ten, sometimes thirty if i’m lucky) minutes for an epsom salt bath, or a bubble bath once the apartment is sleeping soundly.  if i don’t have the spare minutes (which has happened several times with the sicknesses we’ve been festering off and the writing i’ve been trying to keep at), at the very least, i’ve been resting briefly before sleep with my heating pad on my neck and back. mentally giving myself this breather at the end of a long day where that feeling of go-go-go all around me feels like the biggest luxury. i look forward to it all day. sometimes i listen to a podcast or read while doing so, but i put my phone away (no social media scrolling, no texting distractions.) it’s the wind down i need during winter.  these lavender scented epsom salts are what i use (or else the kids bubbles!).

2.

organize, declutter or tackle a project that’s been on my to-do list for too long!
depending on the project, you might have to give yourself a full week or even a full month. for january, i’ve been working my way through a lot of old hard drives of ours that have old videos and photos. some of our super old ones were needing to be backed up to a more current hard drive because they are old and they can get glitchy or break over time. i had feared i’d lost an entire year of videos from 2012 (the year samson was born) because i couldn’t seem to access files on the hard drive last i tried and so i was so nervous to attempt again in fear it would all be gone. it’d been on my list for like a year and this month i finally got to it. i was able to access ALL the videos from samson’s birth and around that time and i am so thankful i set aside the time to do it and get it done. i’m about halfway through backing it all up, but it feels like the biggest weight off my shoulders knowing those special memories are secured once again.

3.

brighten your ensemble, with a colorful accessory or a swipe of lipstick!
i’ve been preaching for years about what a swipe of red lipstick can do for a girl. and i still stand by it, especially in the cold when it gets dark early and sunshine is scarce. wear the pajamas under the puffer coat, skip the bra and don’t shave the legs til april, BUT pull out the lipstick as a pick-me-up for you and only you, because it’s an easy one to lift spirits and help you feel pulled together. and if lipstick isn’t your thing (it should be though), you can do the same with a bright and colorful accessory if you’d like. the best shade of lipstick (that is still my favorite years and years later) is THIS RED LIPSTICK in the color beso.

4.

moving my body as often as i can!
i am so not a runner, but central park is one avenue away and i have fallen in love with getting outside (even in 24 degree weather) and moving my body in the park. i have been trying harder to get moving each day and while some days right now it just isn’t in the cards, the days i do move my body are the days i thrive. i’ve been binging on the serial podcast when i’m at it, and it takes my mind off the cold and also off the fact that i’m running (jogging? this is definitely more of a jog i would assume).

5.

making meaningful meals and snacks!
so, i’m more of a donut every day twice a day sort of gal, but lately, i have made an intentional effort to be aware of what i’m putting into my body and striving to eat well-rounded meals. like, vegetables?! what are those!!!? making sure i have vegetables every night at dinner has been a big goal. and just being aware of what i’m eating instead of just eating to pass the time. in doing so, i haven’t been consuming foods with added sugar since the start of the new year and i plan to keep at it for six months (i’ll reevaluate this summer.) the biggest surprise is that i haven’t been craving the added sugar the way i thought i would (i mean, i do think about a warm chocolate cookie rather often) but my body and mind have felt really good. and reaching for the fruits and veggies has been rather enjoyable so far. i’ll keep you posted.

6.

planning something special to look forward to!
when the holidays are over and everything just feels cold, it’s always nice to have something to work towards and look forward to. for me, it tends to be planning something around travel! right now, i’m excited about a big summer trip that involves the beach and i cannot wait. it’s been a fun distraction when i’m feeling cold or down to plan a little bit of it. if you don’t have a trip coming up, making plans for a special dinner or birthday of a family member or friend or even just a girls night in with good friends – it’s all important and meaningful and fun to look forward to.

here’s to the next half of january, and all the winter months that follow. please share with everyone below if you’ve found anything else to help you make winter more enjoyable. xo
ps. my red puffer coat is from HERE. scarf from HERE (blog items on sale, too!)
  1. Joanna Freeman

    Oh my gosh I needed this! Thank you!!! We have been through all the sickness too with our three here! 💆🏼‍♀️

  2. You look radiant! Good job being intentional. Winter can be a beast especially with little ones!

  3. Scarlett M. / New Rochelle NY

    Inspiring! Thank you so much!

  4. Annie

    This is an excellent list! My goal is to backup all my videos and photos as well! It’s an easy task to keep putting off.

  5. Sue Schiek

    Hi,
    What brand are your children’s coats/snowsuits?❤️❤️

  6. Hannah G

    I’m a California girl that moved to a northern state and had a haaarrdd time adjusting to “real winter.” I’ve worked over the past two years to have a “no such thing as bad weather,” mentality! I’ve had to learn how to layer & what gear to buy, but we’ve enjoyed so many magical winter walks. Instead of indoor play dates during the winter, I try and convince girlfriends to bundle up for walks or brave the park. Not only are we getting fresh air, but less chance of sharing all those winter bugs that float around the indoor play places!
    My husband and I have also instituted a night walk for our family where we all bundle up and bring headlights and a large thermos of hot drink! We were missing the chance to connect like we could in the summer on warm evening strolls, and we just had to purpose to go walk anyway!

    • josh

      I LOVE THIS! Good for you, Hannah!!

  7. ashley

    something i recently discovered during these cold, winter months is hot, candle-lit showers. game changer!!

  8. I wAnt to thank you for your post about how you edit in Lightroom. It has been a revelation. It has made a huge difference in the look of my photos. I just use your philosophy and some of your numbers. Brilliant. Thank you. Please post more about your way with photos.

  9. Jess.

    For people with slightly older kids: board games. Our 12-year-old never fails to call any day in which we play PayDay “the best day ever.” We just discovered Spot It!, which is a riot (sometimes, um, literally). Of course we love long strategy games like Settlers. Basically, anything we can sit around a table and play is putting the “win” in our winter this year. ;)

  10. Allison

    Such good advice! I force myself to do “me time” at night. My husband makes me do it before I do anything else for him or clean up (but he usually surprises me and cleans while I shower/take a bath)

    that beso color is the BEST!! I’ve been using it for my pop of color for years too. Plus it smells amazing.

    Allison
    https://clementschronicles.com

  11. shianne

    Love organizing in the winter too! keeps me busy!

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  14. It’s like you knew exactly what I needed to read right now. Winter is always a struggle for me and by the time January and February hit I feel like I’m stuck in a repeating movie like Ground Hog Day or something. But this just made me excited to be in these colder months.

    Stephanie | SPV Living

  15. I love this blog and your positivity! January and February are so gloomy here in London, I find myself longing for spring, but I agree that making plans for trips and doing fun things with friends, my kids and husband really keep me going!

  16. Liliana Ferrari

    Adoro la tua lista per sopravvivere a questo inverno! E sono assolutamente d’accordo con te per quanto riguarda il rossetto rosso: anche per me ha l’effetto di una vitamina!! Un bacio Liliana http://www.welcomefall.com

  17. anupriya

    I loved your blog. Its is so colorful and vibrant that just a look at it did wonders to my mood. And about this article. We do not have severe winters in our part of the globe, but still I do like to brighten up my wardrobe to fight the cool air outside.

  18. Grace

    hey naomi,
    where are the pants from that you have on in this post?
    thank you!
    grace

  19. Kerry

    Hi! I am doing my graduate dissertation on pierogis and I know you have highlighted them on your blog in the past. I was wondering if I might be able to interview you over the summer about them.

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