Winter can be an absolutely wonderful time or a totally miserable time. I used to adore winters – fresh snow, days off of school, and lots of reading by the fireplace. Considering I’m no longer in school (and work from home), live in London (where rain is much more common than snow), and don’t have a fireplace, winters have recently lost their appeal. In fact, I find London winters very difficult to get through when it comes to maintaining an upbeat mood and a productive lifestyle. However, each year gets a bit easier as I get used to them and learn to do things that make me happier. And there are some essential things that help me survive the winter.
I’m linking up with Modern Mrs. Darcy to share the ten items that are saving my life right now, and helping me get through this winter in one piece. Thanks to Rachel of Never Enough Novels for the inspiration!
1. Our Nespresso Machine
I owe many thanks to caffeine for keeping me awake and alive these days. We recently purchased a Nespresso Vertuo machine to replace our old Nespresso and I am so happy we made the choice. The Vertuo machine allows us to buy bigger capsules and therefore make bigger coffees, which keep me awake and warm longer than tiny espressos. Our coffee intake has probably doubled, but we’ve also stopped buying coffee when we’re out and about; Sean even uses his Stojo keep cup daily to take a coffee to work. And I just purchased the most perfect mug to enjoy my coffee in!
2. The DYRC Facebook Group
I’m not going to lie. When I created the DYRC Facebook Group, I assumed I’d get like two members (the two friends that I force to join) and it would be totally inactive. Instead, it now has over 125 members. And they’re all so wonderful! It makes me so happy whenever someone comments on one of my discussion posts or posts a photo of a book they just finished. And I love when someone asks for recommendations and a bunch of members chime in. I am so, so excited to see where the Diversify Your Reading Challenge community goes from here.
p.s. It’s not too late to join if you want to be part of an incredible reading community!
3. Summer Plans
This is totally cliche, but looking forward to summer is definitely helping me get through winter. At the moment, we have plans to be in Portugal for a week in June, wine tasting in Porto and going to the UEFA Nations League Finals. We’re also planning a trip for our anniversary in August (Barcelona is the current front runner) and a glamping trip with friends to our favorite spot, Wriggly Tin Shepherds Huts. Summer feels so far away right now, but having solid plans makes it feel somewhat more within reach.
4. Barre Classes
I’ve been going to Barrecore for a year now, and more frequently in the past 2-3 months. When I did my first class of 2019 a day after returning from skiing, I was so sore that I was ready to retire from the class altogether. However, I’ve been going 1-2 (usually 2) times a week since and it feels so good. I love seeing improvements in my strength and balance and it’s actually great to feel super sore a couple of days a week. I’m currently participating in a 10 week challenge to go at least once per week – 4 weeks in and I’m going strong.
This month, I’ll also be doing a bingo challenge with my spin studio, Boom Cycle, to tick off 20 ‘tasks’ throughout February. I’ll probably need to go to 12-15 classes in order to get them all, but I’m determined to complete the bingo card!
Working out makes me feel great, but feeling like I look great while working out makes me feel really great. I recently signed up to Fabletics because I couldn’t justify purchasing anymore Lululemon leggings (for now, at least) and I’ve been so happy with the items I’ve received so far! They have options for every body type and I finally felt confident enough in a workout outfit to wear a leggings/sports bra combo to a spin class. The outfits are so cute and it’s so easy to skip a month if you don’t want something new.
Also, the clothes are extremely comfy and therefore perfect for the days that I don’t workout…or even leave the house. I’m loving (and living in) Fabletics at the moment. I’m officially hooked! Learn more about Fabletics
6. Kacey Musgraves
Kacey Musgraves is a genius. I’ve been listening to her songs on repeat recently and I can’t get enough. I miss country concerts in the US so much, so finding an artist that I can listen to on repeat often helps fill that gap. She has such a stunning voice and has so many more songs than I thought. I’d heard a couple of her bigger hits before, but have recently found that I love pretty much all of her songs. I stream her music through Alexa while cleaning up around the house, and through my Apple Music account whenever I’m walking to/from the bus or tube.
7. Learning French
As mentioned in my January Recent Reads, reading Gita Trelease’s Enchantée inspired me to learn French, so I started Duolingo right after I finished the book. I’ve always loved languages and have played around with many on Duolingo before (Spanish, Italian, Russian), but I’m trying to do French properly. I had a great streak to start, but that was ruined by my ski trip. Now, I’m on a 5 day streak and ready to keep it up. It’s only 5-10 minutes per day and I find it to actually be a really enjoyable way to spend 10 minutes in between conference calls or while waiting for water to boil.
8. Lots of Wine
Seriously. It’s cold. And dark. And, on most days, super rainy. A nice glass of wine at the end of the day is a much needed thing to look forward to! As always, I’m alternating between whites and reds, drinking whatever we have on our wine rack. Though, to be honest, we need to stock up. ASAP!
I obviously couldn’t make it all the way through this post without mentioning reading! One of my New Year’s Resolutions was to wake up earlier, and I’m using that extra time in the morning to clock 30 minutes of reading. And then both Sean and I are settling into bed relatively early and putting in at least 30 minutes of reading before bed. I’m bouncing around a few different books at any given moment and love that I have something to read no matter what mood I’m in. 2019 has also been the year of purchasing physical books, and I love watching my personal library grow (though we’re running out of room!). You’ll be hearing lots of reading related things from me this year!
10. Ski Trips
I actually love winter, but I don’t love dreary London winters. There’s a time and a place for cold weather. The place is Switzerland; the time is the duration of our ski trip. I love being in the mountains so much and we’ve been so lucky to ski more than usual this season. We took two ski trips in January and just booked one for March. Ski trips break up winter perfectly without having to avoid winter altogether, and there’s nothing better than aprés ski!
Are you a winter person or a sun seeker? Do you embrace the colder months or do everything possible to avoid them? I’d love to hear what things are getting you through this winter!