Saturday, January 28, 2012

Cabin Fever Has Never Felt So Good

There are those who feel a little glum after the holidays have passed, but I’m not that guy. In fact, I still take joy in the cold winter days ahead where outdoor chores are kept at bay and I can cozy into the digs of home with my family and friends.

Comfort food and comfortable surroundings is the key to setting just the right atmosphere and it’s the small touches that make those cold winter days even more bearable. Before the first foot of snow falls, I ready my home to ward off the potential effects of cabin fever.

There is nothing better than a crackling fire, but I opted for gas logs a few years ago to make things a little easier and cleaner. However, I did find logs that were authentic and create an amber glow with warmth to boot. I also light lots of candles, but only burn one scent – my preference is Votivo’s Forgotten Sage which has the distinct smell of pine.

Vintage camp blankets fill a large basket and everyone grabs their favorite to snuggle up for family movie night. I’m still looking for a stylish version of the snuggie but haven’t had much luck there.

Nothing says “bring it on” like a good game of cards or a board game that takes you late into the night. I recently came across some beautiful antique wooden checkerboards that are as pretty on the wall as they are in a high stake game of checkers. On a recent antique buying trip I found some vintage wooden lawn pins that we use in a version of indoor bowling.

We also take the games outdoors because that’s what makes the return indoors all the more fun. Though with it comes all the muck and mire and the abundance of coats, scarves and gloves that seem to multiply on their own. Invest in some rugs that can take the wear-and-tear of foot traffic. We use old colorful Persian rugs that have ample pattern and look better with age. We also have a large basket and a large scale coat rack right at the door to greet shoes and coats.

I get a little fluffy in the wintertime and it’s not because of the goose-down coat that is hanging in my closet. Whether it’s an evening of entertaining friends or hanging out with the kids, food is usually in the spotlight.

Something that is fun is to get everyone involved by making individual specialty pizzas. We plan ahead by placing various toppings and sauces in vintage ironstone bowls that can be passed around the prep island. The crust is a blank canvas and everyone is an artist as they layer on color and texture.

So here is to greeting winter with a smile and warm heart. Wishing you a new year of good health, happy homes and great memories.

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