Saturday, January 4, 2014

The Wendy way to bring warmth to January


Well it continues to be freezing here, -24 this morning, but the universe is laughing at us, as Monday it will be +6 and then -11 the next day.  Whiplash I tell you.  Thank you global warming...

In these dark, cold days it is important to keep one's chin up.  Luckily for me, right now I have two chins, so there is even more to keep up.  However, the new regime is going along nicely and I am confident by the time I am in Florida  I may be able to fit into my pants without holding my breath and cursing.

I thought that I might share my plans to make January a little warmer:


Flowers

Many of you are like me: you buy flowers at the grocery store weekly.  However, it is even more critical to do this in January; we need that colour and life in our homes.  May I recommend that you choose the most riotously colourful flowers you can find, the ones that might even, dare I say, border on tacky or genetically modified - like say those horrid blue carnations?  You need to smile in January.  Now is not the time for good taste.




Tea

I drink herbal tea all year long, but I double up in January.  There is something so soothing about sipping a cup of tea while reading a book.  For me, the ideal January tea is something with a hint of cinnamon or vanilla or peppermint - doubly cozy.  Right now, I am still making my way through my box of Stash's White Christmas tea, which is quite delightful, along with my Christmas in Paris Tea.


Stash Christmas in Paris Herbal Tea


Barry gave me a Downton Abbey teapot/cup for one for Christmas and I have been using it faithfully!

And speaking of that...

Downton Abbey

Starts here in North America tomorrow night.  No spoilers from our UK friends!




I am as giddy as a schoolgirl at a One Direction concert in anticipation!

I have even done the Which Downton Abbey Character Are you quiz, and while I was sort of hoping for Lady Mary, I am Anna, which surprised me, as she is such a good person...

Did I mention that Barry also found me a Downton Abbey Christmas ornament?  Well he did...




Oh Matthew - at least you will always be on my tree....

It is not too late to binge-watch the first three seasons and catch up!


Dinner Parties

It is important to get yourself invited out to dinner in January.  You are likely on a diet.  If you eat at someone else's house you are not faced with

a) the wine drinking whilst you cook
b) the wine drinking whilst you clean up
c) the wine drinking with the leftovers

Luckily for me, I have secured us a dinner invite with good friends this evening, so I am feeling very virtuous indeed!




Eat More Vegetables

I am not a fan of over-the-top dieting or healthy fare.  Moderation in all things, for me, and I hope to find the moderation in me soon... However, one way to recalibrate is to eat more vegetables.  And the best way to eat more vegetables is to get out your cookbooks and find some yummy recipes that make eating those vegetables fun.  Okay - maybe not fun, but for sure satisfying.  My goal in January is to eat my way through all of the vegetables (save peas and beans, which do not agree with me at all and I will not share more details and you will be glad I will not...) and last night we did kale, and carrots and celeriac.  Three different recipes, all great. 



I am loving Kale chips these days, though Barry and my daughter curse the smell they make, which is delightful to me, less so for them. 

Put a rainbow of veggies on your plate this month and you will find a spring in your step for sure.

And finally, I recommend (besides exercising, which is always good):

A good book:

There is nothing so delightful as curling up with a good book in January.  Hopefully, Santa bought you a stack for Christmas.  I am currently reading The Goldfinch (I know - late to the party!) and a middle grade novel, Fortunately the Milk.  Oh and a book on healthy eating.  sigh..




But in the end, I recommend the flowers the most.  You NEED the flowers.  Everything else is just icing on the cake... Cake - hmmmmmmm......



Have a great Saturday and stay safe out there!!!

43 comments:

  1. BLOOMING LOVELY Well Blogger just munched my comment. Thanks for all the easy to-dos and Downton reminder. Must dash to collect fancy wedding show flowers, now reminded to nab a couple of colourful blossoms for self. That just might get me through de-cluttering another surface or shelf...

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    1. well my office is now spic and span so am doing the bakery drawer today and the washrooms... I bought bright yellow at the grocery store this morning!

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  2. Flowers it is. And boy do we have some tacky ones at Food City. We just started Sherlock Holmes (only one show left) and may try Downtown Abbey this summer...I do not like watching tv/movies alone so will need to wait for Em to return. It is a very cold 15F here, rain tomorrow, colder (low of 4F) on Monday and then a nice warming trend. Not suppose to get this cold. Oh well, a day of washing, shopping, and packing her up to head back off to college. May be a bit weepy this week :(

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    1. weep away - we are all here!

      We LOVE Sherlock holmes - cannot wait for the next season to start here!!! You will love Downton Abbey!

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  3. Thanks for the reminder I shall get some flowers today! I hope they survive the walk home in the cold. I have loads of housework to do today, I've been organizing but not cleaning and the filth creepeth! As it does.
    I think your veg plan is very sensible, I'll try to follow that as well. I've been having salads for lunch and cooked veg with dinner, but I'm also trying to make more desserts!

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    1. Hi Dani - I just find I was in a rut with my veggies so this is forcing me to be creative and when they taste new and exciting we are more likely to eat them, aren't we?

      today is girlfriend's birthday as we are going to make her cupcakes and boiled frosting... hmm...

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  4. I love flowers, I née ruby them anymore but I agree they are so cheering.
    You know I often wonder if harm will come to me because of the amounts of vegetable that I eat - I eat masses of them everyday - very UnScottish of me.

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    1. Funny I have been reading this book by Deepak about mind-body connection and food, and he says that as important as what we eat is how we eat it, mindfully and cheerfully! So all you need do it smile and you are golden!

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    2. Yes, and according to my Dosha, I must eat mine warm! I'm laying off the salads and roasting more veggies!

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    3. Yes, same got my daughter - she is supposed to eat her veggies warm, which I guess I am too, but I do love the crunch!

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  5. We are excited for Downton, although I hear there will be *unpleasantness*; as long as they don't bump off Maggie, I'll watch. The production needs to breathe a bit more, too much stuffed into each episode.

    I laughed at getting others to feed you! I'm sure you do your bit. Another couple did the Patriots night last Sunday, and it was fun NOT cleaning up after all the chili.

    Flowers, yes! It's so cold it's hard to get them into the house. As we may see 20 degrees today, it's time for a good snowshoe, the best calorie burning activity.

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    1. Oh 20 seems balmy right now!!!! I think we will get there tomorrow so I may give it a go as well!

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  6. With Mike having "gone" vegetarian I am hoping he will take to cooking so we will both get our load of veggies this winter. He is almost there. I have white flowers in the vases from Christmas that will be replaced with yellow ones. I have this hankering for yellow flowers all the time so maybe I should shake things up with something brighter this freezing January.

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    1. I have toyed with it, but since I can't eat beans, I am kind of loathe to, but I think I need more research.. Plus I do love chicken... I bought yellow flowers this morning and they have made my day! I am even cheerfully dejunking! Do you know I have 8 full boxes of variation kinds of baking chocolate! Crazy!

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  7. After dealing with busted pipes yesterday, these survival tips are a godsend. Colorful flowers, check. Hot tea, check. Vegetables, check (although the mister protests it's against the constitution when I do meatless meals). The Goldfinch, check. Saw the painting at the Frick last November and up-close I saw why it's such a compelling piece of work. Am interested to know your best read for 2013? I thought it was a very good year for publishing and it's a toss-up between this and Life After Life. I am leaning towards Atkinson though.

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    1. Oh no - busted pipes - hope they weren't a big mess!!! vegan son loves meatless meals, others will eat under duress but there must be rice, potatoes and pasta... I am loving The Goldfinch! WHen I finish today's de-cluttering that will be my treat! I did love life after life, too, though can't definitively say as I haven't finished The Goldfinch. I really liked the Luminaries as well. I have to give props to Charles Dickens and Virginia Woolf who gave me especially good reads as well this year, but I guess they don't need my help!!!!

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  8. The blue carnations cracked me up.

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  9. A bouquet of another kind - just saw in my Globe today that your article was the most-shared story of the week. You resonated.

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    1. A friend sent me the link to that this a.m. and I was shocked!!! Nice shocked, but shocked!

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  10. I have my paper whites planted so I am just waiting. The family hates the smell but they are so pretty. House is atrocious. Christmas needs to be packed away but other things keep diverting my attention. Monday is back to school for the girl and work for me and the hubs after a week of vacation doing nothing. Boy's classes don't start until the 15th so he gets to continue to be lazy. Back to the grind!

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    1. I hear you - I have been cleaning and organizing as I want to be writing, writing, writing as soon as the house is cleared on Monday! I still have an amaryllis to plant; the paperwhites are spent!

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  11. I love Kale chips!! I always have fresh flowers in the house. Costco has the best price but those lines drive me crazy...so the supermarket it is. I almost always buy white,(can you say predictable and boring?) but I think you're right, some vibrant color is in order!! You've sure been blasted this year. It was 69 here yesterday! Unseasonable for sure.

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    1. 69 - wow! You are right about costco - the lines are brutal - Barry avoids it like the plague!

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  12. Good lord. I just took that quiz and I'm Mrs Patmore!! What's that about? Already have my machine set to record the show, in case I'm late to the tv.

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    1. Well she is feisty and a good cook.....

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    2. I am those, but I was hoping for something more glamorous. Of course I guessed on a couple of answers. I wouldn't have picked any of the music.

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  13. Oh good grief, I am Tom Branson lol!!!!!!! Why do I have to be a guy?! This is what it means to be Tom Branson (which, by the way, I came up with whether I chose the cat or the dog):
    "You act like you hate nice things, but secretly that cashmere sweater you got for Christmas is your favorite thing in the world. Sooooo soft." I can't say that's incorrect, though!
    Stay warm!

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    1. Cate, that us seriously funny! Well Tom is a little dreamy..... And cashmere is nice....

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  14. My husband is reading Fortunately the Milk aloud to my daughter--she is 6 so can't quite make it through on her own, but she LOVES the story. Neil Gaiman makes delightful children's books. My favorite is Blueberry Girl.

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    1. They are wonderful and thanks to my dream occupation, I can read them all with delight and abandon!

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  15. Solid advice about the dinner parties. I need to finagle an invitation to one. :)

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    1. well we did great last night - wonderful meal!

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  16. I just finished The Goldfinch - loved it so much (and I'm late to the party too, but it was too hard to get stuck into a long book before Christmas for me). I LOVE your flower arrangement, I'm so impressed you put it together yourself, it looks very professional, and the sort of thing you'd pay a lot for from a florist here (we do like our bright colours in Oz). Enjoy all the veggies. I like to slow roast lots of root veggies with mushrooms, onions and then toss through a bit of quinoa and some fetta cheese or olives. Delicious and healthy. Happy new Year Wendy xx

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    1. Oh Heidi - true confession - its an online image - I hadn't gotten to the grocery store yet! I promise to take a picture of my happy little daisies!

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  17. Hi Wendy, we just got back from 3 days in Ottawa, so I'm catching up on blogs and on the January Cure. For Christmas I received Linda Grant's The Thoughtful Dresser and have been enjoying that - I used to read her blog back when she had it and really enjoy her writing.

    Today I will do the floors, clean out the fridge by making a soup and perhaps take down the decorations. Downton will be PVR'd so I can watch it with my husband on Friday evening - but I don't mind if you give spoilers later in the week, as I've already read reviews in the British papers online. Some parts are going to be tough to watch ....

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    1. Hi Patricia - no worries - no spoilers here - I have decided to not look at anything and watch as I go, though as soon as the season 4 is released in a couple of weeks I am binge-watching it!!!!

      I'll have to look for the thoughtful dresser - sounds interesting!

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  18. Now is not the time for good taste indeed Wendy!!! Flowers are not varied right now at all in the London shops. But as I am still a wanderer I haven't missed them as much as I wouldnormally. Enjoy Downton - I am surprised by your self control though and that you didnt download earlier!

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    1. My daughter keeps saying that but want to watch when my buds here watch it!

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  19. Love the flower idea!

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    1. Hi Anon - it is a good idea, isn't it!

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  20. I love treating myself to fresh flowers, only when they're discounted though! This is the first Christmas in years when no one bought me a book, I've still got a heap waiting to be read so it's not a problem - I maybe need to put those two on my Amazon wish list.

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  21. I love flowers. Can't wait until tulips make their appearance again. They make me feel like Spring has come!
    Stay warm.

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Kindness is a virtue...