I love winter. And I love it in the kind of way that I will look out the window at fresh-fallen snow, exclaim “How beautiful!” and then I will wrap myself in a blanket and go back to watching Netflix. Don’t get me wrong, I actually love the crisp bite of winter air in my face, but my body sure doesn’t. I’m perpetually cold, and getting older brought on a brand new “fun” into my life – cold urticaria.
Allergic to cold or not, many people bid the coming winter season with a “Bah, humbug!” and hunker down. This is how you pimp out your pad for winter survival when you’re one of my people.
Step 1: Plant your flag in the room with the feature that provides the maximum amount of heat.
For me, this was a no-brainer. Our house had an aging living room that contained a lovely little gas fireplace which managed to heat the entire house for three days when our furnace died its final death a mere week before Christmas – and a week after bankrupted ourselves buying and moving in.
My husband decided that he wanted a proper basement man cave, so it was easy to yell “I claim this space in the name of me.”
Step 2: Make your couch decision like your life depends on it.
The proper couch should be comfy enough for your buttocks to survive being planted on it all day, be large enough to accommodate all of you while you have blanket-taco’d yourself in a Queen-size quilt, and have enough pillows to allow for proper positioning in both reading and binge-watch marathon runs of shows like Stranger Things. Such couch should also suffice to build a hella pillow fort and comfortably lose about 300 toys, because you never know when your kid might need to pretend he’s on a pirate ship.
I spent less time dating my husband before moving in with him than I did picking out a couch. I’m not even exaggerating.
Step 3: Build ye wall o’ books.
I mean, you can’t have the perfect couch and fireplace without a perfect bookcase sitting right next to it.
This bookcase wasn’t here when I moved in. My husband and I drew it on a napkin and built it with naught but Google, 15 trips to the local hardware store, and a borrowed table saw and router. If you’re less ambitious in the design department, I’m sure Ikea can hook you up (but you might spend the same amount of time trying to figure out the instructions anyway).
Our custom build let us incorporate a small touch-screen computer, lights, and speaker so it acts as a universal entertainment system: music, TV, and streams. But life has taught me you can jury-rig just about everything.
Step 4: Kit out with clothes and accessories.
You need to compile the perfect wardrobe that screams: I am warm, comfortable, and I probably am not going to shower today. I recommend you do you in this department, however you can hardly go wrong with an assortment of onesies, thermal socks, ripped yoga pants, and t-shirts that aren’t fit to be worn in public.
Accessorize your room with yet moar pillows, scented candles, mood lighting, and about 7,483 plush throw blankets. Because, you know, pillow forts and blanket taco fun for the whole family.
Step 5: Build a beverage station.
Hi, my name is Anne, and I’m a tea-aholic. I, for one, can’t see any reason to drink cold stuff (particularly when it’s plain water) when you can drink hot beverages all day. How, you might ask, do I do this without being high on caffeine, organizing my sock drawers at 3 AM? Black tea wakes me up, but after 4 PM I switch to naturally caffeine-free herbal to keep my tea on.
For the low, low price of an electric kettle and a box to house your collection of hot-beverage materials, you can have hot stuff at your fingertips for as long as there’s water in the kettle. Also, if you get those handy leak-proof vacuum travel mugs that they happen to sell at Costco, you can wallow in your pillow fort without worrying about spilling.
(Hint, hint, family who might be reading, wondering what I need as a Christmas present. Also, duplicate presents joyfully accepted; my desk could use one too.)
The box art has changed, but believe it or not, I’ve been drinking Celestial Seasonings‘ Lemon Zinger at least I’ve been 10 years old and living in Florida. My mom got me hooked on it, I wouldn’t be surprised if she still drinks it too (HI MOM!). I switch it up every now and again with Mandarin Orange Spice, Chamomile Lavender, and Sleepytime Vanilla – Celestial Seasonings is a good quality herbal tea brand with tons of varieties – but after almost 30 years, lemon is still my favourite, and great for anytime, whether I’m in the middle of my day or winding down.
Are you a tea fan, too? You’re in luck: We’ve got a great giveaway where you can earn a cash gift card and tea gift packs!
Disclosure: I have partnered with YMC and Celestial Seasonings and have received compensation for this post. But opinions are my own, and I’m sure my mom will be happy to vouch for the fact they’ve been “our brand” since before the Internet existed.