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How I Survive The Winter

Eva Amurri Martino wears old navy jeans, black snow boots, a grey sweater and pea coat and stands in the snow outside her Connecticut home

Ever since we moved from Los Angeles to Connecticut it’s been a shock to my system when it comes to the weather! I am originally from NYC– but I spent almost ten years living in Los Angeles and to say that I got used to the sunny, mild weather year round would be a gross understatement.  Honestly I think that experiencing 60 degree Winters for that long may have ruined me for life! Out of all of the adjustments we’ve had to make with our move, I think the long Connecticut Winters have been the hardest for me.  This year I made a commitment to myself to have a “better” Winter than the last one, and I’ve been making a concerted effort to find ways to get myself through it.  Even though it’s “Already” February, I think we all know that we’ll be experiencing crazy weather and even snow storms in to the Spring.  I always find myself really struggling with the feeling of a neverending winter around this time every year, so today I thought I would share how I survive the Winter.  Hopefully it will give you some ideas if you’re needing some inspiration to get over the hump!

Eva Amurri Martino jumps through the snow outside her Connecticut home while wearing black furry snow boots

1. Stay Warm

I bet you’re thinking “Duh!” But chilly winters are not the time to choose fashion over function.  If you live in a cold winter climate like me, it’s SO important to make sure you have a warm enough coat, functional snow boots, and lots of layers and warm accessories.  Last year, I didn’t even have a proper puffy coat for the Winter.  I don’t know what I was thinking! I guess I just figured that I could layer and that a simple wool coat would be warm enough even for the chilliest days.  Boy, was I wrong.  Having a positive outlook during the Winter months has a lot to do with being comfortable! This year I got wise and invested in a great, super warm parka– as well as some great snow boots.  These next few weeks is a great time to buy sweaters, jackets, and Winter accessories because so many brands have major sales!

Warm winter clothes…

 

2. Be Prepared To Be Indoors

“Lean in”, as they say! Instead of wishing you could spend more time outside, get in to what it means to hibernate.  Get some great loungewear and slippers.  Pick up a few delicious teas at the grocery store– or try out a hot cocoa bar for entertaining! Use this time to binge-watch awesome movies or shows.  A few of Kyle and my recent favorite shows are “Ozark”, “The Handmaid’s Tale”, “Godless”, “Homeland”, “The Sinner”, and “Chef’s Table.” I also love “This Is Us” even though Kyle doesn’t watch with me! We also have recently started getting in to playing boardgames at home.  Get a group of friends together, or even make it in to a great at-home Date Night.

Eva Amurri Martino bundles up and enjoys the snow in the yard outside her Connecticut home

3. Create Coziness

The best part about Winter is giving yourself permission to create coziness for yourself.  Now is the time to bust out the comfort foods and the baking! I love making my Slow Cooker Meatballs for my family all Winter long.  Check out some of my other favorite slow-cooker recipes in the same post! I’m not the biggest baker (I much prefer cooking to baking) but I make sure to have some cookie dough in my fridge at all times so we can always bake cookies if a snowstorm blows through.  I also keep Spaghetti and my favorite bottled pasta sauce in the pantry for the same reason!

Winter is also the perfect time to indulge in luxurious baths and self care! Create spa time at home! I’ve recently been turned on to the new Goop Bath Soaks and I’m obsessed.  So wonderful! I love them all.  It’s so nice to light a yummy smelling candle, soak in the tub with a glass of wine, and even throw a Sheet Mask on for good measure.

One of my favorite ways to unwind this Winter after the kids are down has been to light a fire with Kyle and enjoy wine together.  Sometimes we read a little with blankets and tea, and try to rest and rejuvenate our energy.  I know once Summer comes we’ll be running all over the place and doing so much that it’s nice to hibernate a little until then.

4.  Keep Kids Occupied

One of the most stressful parts of the Winters for me is ALWAYS how challenging it is to keep my kids occupied indoors for days (and months!) on end.  It just ends up feeling depressing looking at the same walls for so long.  I like to begin Winter with a few great ideas written down for when I get stumped or I’m just too exhausted to be creative.  Yes, I mean written down! LOL.  I have a Note on my iPhone with a bunch of indoor activities listed as I hear about them, or imagine them.  I save them for later and reference them as needed.  Just a few ones I’ve used recently: Creating roads with Painter’s Tape on the kitchen floor, spraying shaving cream on the shower walls and letting the kids make designs in it with their fingers, making an Animal Parade of stuffed animals, Creating a “store” of all the kids’ toys and letting them go shopping with shopping bags, putting the kids in the tub with bath soap and their non-electronic toys and having them help me wash all the toys…I even got a jumpy house last Winter and it has saved us a few snowed in weekends!  I also like to have a few great crafts in my back pocket.  I’ve shared a few that are great for this: cute little Lovebugs, recycled Planters for your Springtime flowers, A DIY Terrarium to bring some green indoors, or even a cute and fun PomPom Mirror!

Eva Amurri Martino throws a snowball in to the air in the snowy yard outside her Connecticut home

5.  Stay Healthy

The Winter can bring the most brutal battle with keeping yourself and your family well.  It seems like those crazy four months end up bringing about the worst sickness, and the most stressful times for our family.  This Winter alone has landed us in the ER already! I have written a couple of posts about keeping the kids well (HERE and HERE) but it’s just as important to stay well yourself!

In the Winter months, I always make sure I have a good vitamin C supplement on hand.  I also take a probiotic as well as Vitamin D, and a Multivitamin.  I recently found these awesome echinacea drops and I’ve been adding them to my tea once a day.  I find that humidifiers also help in all of our bedrooms when the air is dry or we’re coming down with something.  Just make sure you’re changing the water daily and disinfecting the humidifier weekly!

Eva Amurri Martino wears old navy jeans, black snow boots, a grey sweater and pea coat and stands in the snow outside her Connecticut home

I hope these methods inspire you to not only survive but ENJOY the rest of the Winter months.  And if all else fails, start planning your Summer! Ha!  Do you have any great tips for getting through the dark and cold Winters? Please share in the Comments below.

 

 

 

Photographs by Carter Fish

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19 Comments

  1. Camilla says:

    Some of my favorite games/activities/projects I enjoy doing with my nephews are:

    ~Making Moon Sand (8 cups of flour, 1 cup baby oil)
    ~Hot Potato Game (musical potato passing game)
    ~Make cake pops
    ~Hopscotch with Painter’s tape
    ~Edible finger paint
    ~Indoor kids garden
    ~Cardboard playhouse (from a fridge box or other large box) Paint and decorate
    ~Make bird feeders
    ~Laminate family photos to make a Memory Game
    ~Get a Disco ball and have a dance party
    ~Put sheets over tables to make a fort
    ~Get out the plastic Easter eggs and have an egg hunt for snack with Goldfish or other yummy treats
    ~Line up kid sized chairs to make a bus for stuffed animals and sing “Wheels On The Bus”

    02.26.18Reply
    • Wait you are the second person to tell me about Moon Sand, and I have never heard of it before! I have to try it!
      Thanks for sharing these awesome ideas with the community
      xo

      02.26.18Reply
    • yes to the disco light! my mom got one for when all the grandkids are over and it is ALWAYS a hit, so so fun!

      02.26.18Reply
  2. Emily says:

    This is a great list! I live in the mountains of Colorado, and relate to all of these, especially having proper winter gear and creating coziness through food!

    02.26.18Reply
    • CJ says:

      Me too except I live in Denver! I also work from home 100% of the time and it’s staring to feel like the walls are closing in. The winter is hard and it starts to feel like it won’t end. But it will!!

      02.26.18Reply
  3. betsy says:

    Agree with all your comments! However, I have to add a big one that has been a game-changer for me (in Chicago). You also need to get outside! With the right gear, it’s actually fun to get yourself and even your kids outside a lot in the winter. We invested in balaclavas for our kids this year (hat and scarf in one) and they are amazing–less gear and they stay warmer. I was forced to go outside more when I lived in a condo and got a dog, and I was pleasantly surprised that I stopped hating winter as much (instead of the opposite). It isn’t always possible, but it is seriously worth the effort for your mental health!

    02.26.18Reply
    • Agreed! Chicago definitely teaches you the best, most practical ways, to enjoy the outdoors in winter. I’ve also learned you can’t always look cute in the winter, comfort over appearance always!

      03.02.18Reply
  4. Courtney says:

    Painting coffee filters with water paints is kind of our winter jam, you can craft them into some rad things after. (I usually stock pile the painted ones for a bit then turn them into something).

    02.26.18Reply
    • Whoa this sounds awesome! Need to try! What kind of things do you turn them in to???

      02.26.18Reply
      • Liz says:

        Yes do tell…

        02.26.18Reply
      • Courtney says:

        Honestly, there’s so much you can do I’d just reccomend googling DIY coffee filter crafts. Generally if it’s around a small holiday I’ll figure something easy out. But if you really want to get your craft on (think Anthro window display) you can make flowers, poms or other fun decor for parties or whatever.

        02.27.18Reply
  5. bella says:

    I love these ideas, even though I don’t live in a cold climate state. One thing that was recommended to me was, in addition to my regular vitamins, to take Elderberry Syrup every day from October through April to boost my immune system. I think it is also safe for children. I love to cook and bake in the winter season and love to read and be cozy.

    02.26.18Reply
  6. Stacey M says:

    What do you do to disinfect your humidifiers?

    02.26.18Reply
    • Good question! I use white vinegar. I fill the base with 1/2 white vinegar and half water. Then the basin part where the water goes, I put about 2 cups of white vinegar and 2 cups of hot water and shake it up in there. I let it sit for five minutes, then shake it up again, and five minutes more. Then I wash thoroughly with soap and hot water. I dump the vinegar mixture out of the base, scrub the base out with a sponge, and then rinse it with hot water.

      02.27.18Reply
      • Stacey M says:

        Thanks Eva!

        I will definitely be cleaning mine this way from now on!

        03.02.18Reply
  7. Bogdana says:

    Puppet theatre 🙂

    02.27.18Reply
  8. IC says:

    I use a lots of herbs and spices in my cooking, kids love it .. ginger, garlic, curry , turmeric they contain components that help to boost our immune system.

    02.27.18Reply
  9. Jo Phillips says:

    I live in the UK so our winters aren’t great. My number one tip for surviving is booking a holiday at some point through the winter so you can go see the sun and feel warm! This years was Sri Lanka just before Christmas and it was brilliant. Love your blog Eva xx

    02.27.18Reply
  10. Nancy Fonta says:

    It has been unbearably freezing in LA. Sometimes even in the 50s.

    02.27.18Reply