I’ll never forget walking into my Swedish neighbor’s house on a gloomy, rainy day. There were lanterns lit on the porch, the kitchen was overflowing with baked goods and fresh cups of coffee and tea, geraniums were blooming in the windows, and little candles were scattered throughout the house. It wasn’t a holiday party, it was just a normal winter day. You see, the Swedes make every effort to make winter a cozy experience. You’ll find lanterns sitting outside shops (even convenience stores!) all winter long. Here are a few tips I picked up from the Swedes and a few habits I’ve tried to get into to make winter a little less daunting. (Photo: Lisa Warninger)
Brew Tea (or Coffee)! 1 of 5There's something so cozy about brewing a cup of tea at least once a day. Consider planning meet ups with friends for coffee or tea. There's nothing as comforting as a warm coffee shop on a cold day. The Swedish call their coffee meet-ups, Fika and it usually requires some baked goods like cinnamon rolls, too! My favorite tea is "Meadow" from Steven Smith Tea Makers.
$11.99/15 Tea Sachets at Steven Smith Tea
Visit Your Local Art Museum 2 of 5I am kind of ashamed how often I forget this one. This winter I've made a point to visit my local art museum, and while it's not quite The Met, it's warm, dry and filled with colorful paintings I could stare at for hours. It's a great place to introduce children to at a young age, as well. Find your local museum right here.
"Tennis at Newport" by George Bellows at The Metropolitan Museum of Art
Invest in Wellies or Cute Snow Boots 3 of 5I find my mood is definitely brighter when I am donning a pair of wellies around my rainy hometown. Since these boots are so cute and playful, you can't help but be in a good mood when wearing them. Plus, there's definitely something to be said for dry feet! Kids love wellies too!
$57.95 at Stitching Horse Saddlery
Light Lanterns 4 of 5The Swedes have a tradition of lighting lanterns at home and at businesses as soon as it turns dark and cold. Outside on porches and storefronts you'll find lanterns and inside you'll find cozy little votives and scented candles. You'd be amazed how much cozier your home feels with a little light. Lanterns are safer than candles, especially with young children around.
$7.99 at IKEA
Visit Your Library 5 of 5Visit your library and pick up that Russian novel you've been wanting to read. Or, escape to a warm climate via the pages of a classic book. One of my favorites is Enchanted April about a group of women who escape their dull London lives for a villa in Italy. Kids love trips to the library too. Bring them along!
$10.17 at Amazon