This post is sponsored by Tradlands, a Made-in-America shirt company making some of the very best button-ups for women.
Write a blog for long enough and it’s admittedly a little hard not to sound like a broken record. Sometimes I imagine longtime readers yawning: “Here she goes again: Gearing up for winter.” “Any day now she’ll announce an ecstatic experience involving hot chocolate and a pair of cozy socks.” “Girl’s got a whole thing going on with hot baths and salt soaks.”
It’s true. Every year, around the time of the winter solstice, I launch a full-on personal campaign against the winter doldrums. There’s usually hot chocolate involved. And warm baths. I love a good pot or ten of forced bulbs. I usually write about them in this space. Heck, I usually write about them in other places. I’m into it.
So, here’s an annual post that’s pro-winter and anti-winter-blues. And in celebration of the very coziest shirts in my closet, this year, I’m partnering with Tradlands to bring you a list of my favorite tricks for actually enjoying the season (psst: there’s a very special discount at the end of this post).
+ Get warm. I’m a big proponent of the idea that there’s no such thing as bad weather, only inappropriate clothing. And of course I’m a believer in flannel. It doesn’t get much cozier. No surprise, Tradlands makes some of the best women’s flannels out there. Currently available in four different styles—the original Arapahoe Red (featured here), the Arapahoe Snowflake, the Boulder Frost, and the Boulder Carmine—Tradlands flannel shirts are so cozy you won’t want to wear anything else. I have two of these shirts and like everything else made by Tradlands, they’re incredibly well-made, fit beautifully, and they’re cute to boot. Take my word for it, but you can also invest worry-free: Tradlands makes online shopping super easy with free domestic shipping ($5 to Canada and $10-$15 International) and free returns and exchanges.
+ Get moving. My crazy sisters do a weirdo Christmas Eve jog. I never join them. But this year, I’m going to give it a whirl. We’re all going to be in different places, but I’m hoping to do a simultaneous sisters’ run anyway. If I make it around the block, I’m declaring success. With any luck I’ll make it a habit that lasts into the new year. Baby steps.
+ Go someplace cozy. In New York City, cozy is often synonymous with crowded, but there are lots of places in the city that are actually more fun visited on a cold and dreary day than a warm one. So if you’re not someplace with easy access to a well-stocked wood pile, head to a restaurant or bar with a fireplace instead; choose the dark, basement restaurant for date-night instead of the rooftop; find a place serving mugs of mulled wine and beeline thataway.
+ Tackle a new project. I’ve just started knitting a certain someone in my family a toddler-sized scarf for Christmas. I can’t do much more than make a very basic rectangle, but I’m finding the offline project to be so rewarding. (Not to mention the finished product is gonna be cute.) Choosing the wintertime to embrace mildly challenging projects that exist outside of the realm of the internet helps me to fight what I call Netflix malaise. Maybe knitting is not your thing. Chop wood? Maybe chopping wood is not your speed? Reorganize your dresser drawers? Just about anything’s preferable to doing nothing and choosing a project with a clear beginning and end is key.
+ Embrace the outdoors. I think the stark difference in the amount of time that I spend indoors in the wintertime has more to do with a lack of light outside than a lack of warmth. But when I do muster the courage to bundle up and head outside—even for an after-dark walk—I never, ever regret it.
+ Bring the outside in. Even when it feels like everything is bleak and gray for months on end, it’s nice to embrace the bits of outdoorsy beauty that exist in the wintertime. A carefully pruned branch of rosehips, a piney bough, or a cluster of winterberries can do as much work to make the indoors feel festive and bright as a posey of daffodils or wildflowers in the spring and summer. + Break out of your routine. Winter is the time of year for getting cozy, but that shouldn’t mean you also get bored. Identify an element of your day-to-day life that feels boring and see if there’s a simple change that you can make to reenergize it. For me, that’s dinner. Solution? Get a new cookbook; email friends asking for favorite weeknight dinner suggestions; do a search for a new food blog and work your way through the archives. Instant reset.
+ Invite friends over. Grumpy downstairs neighbors aside, there’s no reason that we shouldn’t invite friends over for cozy evenings all winter long (and long past the holiday season).While I can’t quite muster her outrage, this piece got me laughing and wanting to focus on inviting friends over to our place even more often (keg not required).
What about you guys? Gimme your best!
And in case you’re needing something cozy to kick off the season or give to a friend in need: Tradlands is offering Reading My Tea Leaves readers 25% off their entire collection through December 25, 2015 with the code giftwell.
This post was sponsored by Tradlands. Thanks so much for supporting the brands that support Reading My Tea Leaves.