Yearly Archives: 2018

A Wondrous Winter

I’m buried somewhere under those cats and that blanket…

I’m loving winter this year. I usually dislike this time, the dark, cold post-holiday slog to spring.  But something about this year is different. I’ve been trying to put my finger on it.

First of all, I told myself that I would try and enjoy winter this year, rather than dread it. I’ve tried to focus on the many lovely things about the season, like cozy clothes, comfort food, and indoor puttering.  My cats love to cuddle more in winter, too.

We’ve also gotten a good bit of snow this year, which is such a treat.  I love the hushed peace that snow brings. Very few cars are on the road and the swoosh and rumble of traffic disappears.  I don’t realize how pervasive the background noise of traffic is until its gone.  And snow is just so, so pretty.

I love how “normal operations” are suspended after a snow, too.  School is canceled, work is delayed or closed, and telework is an option (for me).  The daily grind really wears me down–demanding commute, repetitive office chit-chat, outdated work customs.  I crave more novelty in my work week, and more control of my work life in general (like the option to work from home and set my own schedule).  Snow days provide a taste of that novelty and control for me.

I’m also enjoying my winter wardrobe this year more than I usually do.  I’ve bought a number of new things over the last few months–a raincoat, a puffer coat, some new sweaters and layering tees, black ankle boots, etc. I’ve banished thin, cold, scratchy, nylon-esque things from my closet and I’m sticking to what I like–thick knits, crew necklines, preppy layers, etc. Fall and winter clothes are just so much more fun than spring/summer clothes–scarves! boots! plaids! texture! It’s such a pleasure to feel cute *and* warm.

My skin is faring better this winter than in past winters, too. My hands still feel like sandpaper sometimes, but everything else is okay (face included, which usually gets so dry in the winter!).  I’m trying to remember to regularly use all my lotions and potions. 🙂

How is this winter going for you? Are you enjoying it or…not?  🙂



Bite-Size Decluttering Tasks

Out with the old…

Like many people, I get the decluttering bug after the excess of décor and gifts from Christmas. The idea of cleaning out a whole closet or garage or pantry is overwhelming to me right now, though—it’s dark and cold and I just want to snuggle on the couch!—but here are 31 ideas for mini decluttering sessions, one for every day of January!

  1. Christmas gifts you greatly appreciate but will not use
  2. Wallet
  3. Daily bag (purse, backpack, briefcase)
  4. Makeup bag or shaving kit
  5. Medicine cabinet
  6. First aid kit
  7. Shower/bathtub ledges
  8. Bedside table
  9. Jewelry box
  10. Top of dresser/bureau
  11. Sock drawer
  12. Undies drawer
  13. Refrigerator door (outside surface)
  14. Refrigerator door (inside cubbies)
  15. Coffee mugs and tea cups
  16. Drinking glasses
  17. Reusable travel mugs, water bottles, etc.
  18. Silverware drawer
  19. Canned goods
  20. Spare bags (plastic, paper)
  21. Laundry supplies
  22. Top of desk
  23. Pens and pencils
  24. Top desk drawer
  25. Gift wrap
  26. Pet toys
  27. Car: Glove compartment
  28. Car: Console and door pockets
  29. Car: Trunk
  30. Materials related to your hobby with the smallest stash/physical footprint
  31. Unfinished craft/hobby projects that no longer inspire excitement/interest

What did I forget?  Any other self-contained, manageable areas that you can think of?


December Memories, January Goals

This was the thirstiest Christmas tree I’ve ever had. It drank 0.5 to 1.0 liters of water every day and is still supes healthy one week into January. Such a good, pretty tree. I hate to give it up.

Happy New Year! How is it already January 9th? Don’t tell anyone, but my Christmas decorations are still up.  😉  December was lovely and I’m looking forward to January!

The Good

  • My mother received a clean bill of health after a year of aggressive medical treatment.
  • I had a wonderful Christmas season full of family, good vibes, and abundant, delicious food.
  • I took my family and a friend to see The Nutcracker. It was their first time going to a ballet performance and I think they really enjoyed it (“I’ve never seen a ballerina in real life before! I knew they danced on their toes, but I didn’t think they would do that here!”). A golden retriever even had a brief cameo onstage!
  • I had extra quality time with my family, including some one-on-one time.
  • I better managed my holiday stress than in past years. I dialed down the ol’ expectations (of myself), accepted lots of help from others, and made enjoyment/relaxation my goal, not perfection.

The Bad

  • A dear great aunt passed away. She was always so sweet and generous to me and to so many others. Losing her is bad enough, yet it somehow also feels like another mini-loss of my late grandparents. My aunt’s passing is the loss of another of the fragile, dwindling threads of worldly connection to my grandparents.

The Ugly

  • I engaged in a little bit of the ol’ comparison game (“How does she do all that? Why can’t I do all that?  Why don’t I want to do all that, too?”).

January Goals

  • Put away Christmas décor, but leave up a few items for winter décor.
  • Declutter personal belongings (craft items, décor items, clothing and accessories, etc.).
  • Enjoy the many good things about the winter, even though the holidays are over (snow days, sweaters, warm drinks, a couple of long weekends, etc.!).
  • Brainstorm resolutions and “guiding words” for the year.

Did you have a happy holiday season? Is your new year off to a good start? I hope so!