January - The Comfort Month
Now that the holidays with their glitz and glamour are gone, the harsh January weather settles in with its bleak skies and bone chilling wind. I'll be the first to admit I hate January. It is by far my least favorite month of the year. The ground is frozen, no flowers are ANYWHERE in sight, no leaves (except lingering dead ones) on any non-evergreen trees, no neighbors strolling outside late in the afternoon (or really, anytime), no barefeet to be seen, no windows open with the breeze blowing in, blah blah blah. I know, I've depressed all of you now.
But with January, I dig deep inside to my inner resources for finding everything COMFORT related. This is my month that I search high and low with the sole purpose of softening the blow of January's biting edge, to somehow get me through to February's door. Comfort comes in many categories and in many ways. But here are a few of my top "must have" comfort items for January:
A good smell goes a long way. And when you need your spirits lifted, the perfect comfort scent will do just the trick. For me, here are a few favorites:
Thymes Candles: Frasier Fir
Trapp Candles: White Fir or Wild Currant
Nest Candles: Bamboo
Or when in doubt, a saucepan with simmering water filled with lemon slices and cloves smells heavenly!
Even though I can't pick my flowers outside, it doesn't mean I can't enjoy them inside.
Paper Whites - I could fill my house with these. Always fresh and simple. And one of the few that are fun to watch while they grow.
Amaryllis - These beauties are bursting with color -- which sometimes is helpful when the outside is so gloomy. The best part? They will keep reblooming for a while. I've had mine for 2 months and am on their 3rd round of blooms.
Christmas Cactus - these are often overlooked but I love them. Their little tips typically bloom right before Christmas and continue on until late January. Don't water them until they're bone dry - and they'll last longer. The best part? They'll stay green year round as a house plant and will bloom again next year.
A good pair of socks goes a long way, especially when you are wearing them in your house to keep your toes from feeling those the cold floors! My husband gave me several pairs of the most unbelievable socks for Christmas, that I have literally worn every day. (Does that make me sound old and boring that I am excited about socks?) Oh well. In any event, they are infused with aloe which makes them even more amazing. You must try these out to see what I mean! Click here for buying information:
I do a lot of reading in the winter. Probably because I am not spending much time outside:) And to me, reading can be a novel, coffee table book, newspaper, etc. Whatever stimulates the brain - works for me! Here are a few comfort reading materials I've been into already:
Carolyne Roehm's "At Home in the Garden"
Carrier & Company "Positively Chic Interiors"
Barefoot Contessa's "How Easy is That?"
Hey, don't judge, but January is a bright spot for me in TV land, as new series and shows on Netflix roll around once again. In addition, Downton Abbey is in its sixth (and final! boo hoo) season. You better believe I am curled up on the sofa at 8pm Sunday nights, channeling my inner British accent and dreaming of living in that amazing house!
Finally, my end all - be all - comfort for January is FOOD. (and maybe some wine too:) But the food is really what makes the month tolerable for me. I don't think of January without thinking of hearty chilis, creamy tomato soup, cheesy lasagnas, hot chocolate, savory meatloaf, chicken pot pie, cornbread and more.
I do love to cook, so by distracting myself from the bleak temperatures outside by cooking something yummy inside, I somehow survive the month happier ( just maybe a few pounds heavier).
Need a little kickstart in the kitchen? Here is my favorite go-to chicken pot pie recipe. Easy to make and everyone loves it. Serve with french bread and a good bottle of pinot for the adults, and you're set!
Chicken Pot Pie:
1 rotisserie chicken
1 box of pie crust (in rolls) - Pillsbury is great
2 bags of frozen mixed veggies
1 can of cream of chicken soup
1 can of cream of mushroom soup
3/4 -1 cup milk (depending on consistency you like)
salt/pepper to taste
Combine rotisserie chicken (shredded), veggies, soups, milk and spices together in a bowl. Mix well. Grease a 2 quart dish. Unroll one of the pie crusts and line the bottom of the dish with it. Pour in your bowl of mixed ingredients. Then, unroll the second pie crust roll on top of the dish. Pinch around the edges to form a crust, and cut slits in the middle to allow steam to come out. Cook in a preheated 350 degrees oven for 30-40 mins or until warm and bubbly. Enjoy!
Now after writing this, I am definitely feeling cozier already! Bundle up and get your cozy on!
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