There’s so much to be said for living in the moment and appreciating what you have right now. And there’s nothing like a season-specific “bucket list” to help you find joy in the small moments.
Winter, with its short, bone-chilling days, can be tough, even if you’re someone who loves this time. Flip the script; go for “cozy.” We’re taking inspiration from Liz Marie Galvan, who has a bucket list for each of the four seasons. She details it in her new book, Cozy White Cottage Seasons: 100 Ways to Be Cozy All Year Long.
Liz, husband Jose, and their baby live on their “forever home,” a hundred-year-old farmhouse on eight sprawling acres. “Cozy cottage style” is what Liz conjures for her little family.
“Whether you’re savoring the fresh air of spring, the vibrant and joyful colors of summer, the ever-changing wonders of fall, or the wrapped-up-in-blankets warmth of winter, each season beckons with its own brand of coziness,” she writes. “Look for rainbows” is on the list for spring; “jump in a lake” for summer; “make an apple cider bar” for fall.
Taking inspiration from Liz, here are a few of our own ways to stay cozy when the mercury drops, including two cameos from her list.
Sometimes it’s good to roll up your sleeves and tackle something a little tricky over the course of a weekend afternoon. (Take comfort in the fact that you’re going nowhere.) We’re so smitten with Rebecca Firth’s Bûche De Noël recipe. It’s got white chocolate, peppermint, toasty meringue, and the sweetest little rosemary trees. Bonus: It’s actually doable (with patience).
Got a fireplace? A laptop that will “play” a log fire. Great. Focus on one delicious, slow-sipping drink, such as the non-alcoholic chile hot toddy pictured here, hot chocolate, or any of these tasty warming winter drinks, and zone out while watching the flames. It is totally OK to nod off.
3. Curl Up With a Throw and Read All Day
More specifically, curl up with one of our super-soft blankets and throws and read a book. Maybe half a book, a whole book, a whole New Yorker from the big stack. This is a Liz idea, and it’s a grand one. When was the last time you afforded yourself the luxury of losing yourself in a book? Think: 100% hygge.
Remember the last time you had homemade pasta? Remember that texture, that supple bite? What would you put on yours? Bolognese? Cacio e pepe? Carbonara? The sky’s the limit. This is an afternoon project, but it’s so totally within your reach, and the results are a marvel. (You also save yourself $100 on dinner and wine at the local Italian place!)
Liz’s idea to bundle up and go for a walk, looking for the North Star, is so lovely. Here’s a guide from Scout Life how to do that, for those of you who are more indoor cats.
It’s a tough competition, but we’d argue that no air freshener is superior to bread baking in a hot oven. This recipe is absolutely fantastic, and easy. There’s no kneading, no dough hook, no sweat. Picture yourself sitting with fresh bread, room-temperature butter, sea salt, and no one around to share it with. Bliss.
7. Gather Warm Clothes to Give Away
If you’re anything like us, it’s easy to get in your own head about what you need, what the kid needs, what the dog needs, and what the traffic will be like on the way to the store. Stop. Breathe. Consider what you’ve done recently for someone you’ve never met.
Though spring cleaning gets all the buzz, we love a winter purge of good-condition, warm clothes we no longer wear. Give them to charity along with a check. (Most donations are tax-deductible.) Have your kid help you, so she starts understanding that this is part of your holiday tradition. Good work out there.