Although I often long for the fresh start of a new year, when January finally rolls around I get in this weird post holiday, cold weather funk. I can hardly complain living in California and not having to slog through snow for months on end, but I never thought I was a “sun person” until we finally had an extended period of rain this winter. We desperately need it, so I’ll take all the weather these days, but without the warm afternoon sun I rely on simple shifts around my apartment or in my daily routine to feel good. These are a few of my current favorites!
Change Of Scent
I pretty much always have fresh flowers, but this time of year I long for something with a little scent. To be honest I will take whatever I can get just because the sight of flowers cheers me up, but lilac and freesia are two of my favorite. They always remind me of spring and add a subtle sweetness to any room. If flowers aren’t your thing or out of budget – I also love having fresh mint or basil on the kitchen countertop. It is hard to find basil plants right now, but I try and get the living basil and just put it in a vase. Smells so fresh! I have mentioned this a ton, but I also change up my candle scents. Come January I store all of my pine and wintery fragrances until the next holiday season. I have a small bin under my bed and wrap each one in a baggie in order to prevent the scents from mixing. Even though it is still winter I crave lighter scents in the new year or something a bit more floral for a pick me up. English Pear & Freesia will always be a favorite of mine and somehow never gets old. I also have a post on more warm weather candle favorites. Other simple scent swaps – changing out your countertop spray, dish soap and/or hand soap or adding a diffuser to a room if candles aren’t your thing!
My Bed Is My Happy Place
I have a deep love for my bed which is heightened in winter, since I seemingly spend more time in it. Whenever I post a photo of my bed on Instagram I get a ton of questions about the specific pieces used and how I get it so fluffy. I think the key to a great bed is each individual component. The sleeping pillows, the pillows you use for the shams (euro or standard), your duvet insert, etc. I like a fluffy bed, so over time I started replacing our more lackluster (aka flat) components with high quality pieces. Bedding can be EXPENSIVE.. I never realized what a quality down pillow can cost, so for me this was definitely something I had to work up to and buy pieces over time. It really does make such a big difference and now I am not constantly buying bedding. I have done a few posts on this before, but since I edited the linen closet around the holidays I will share the two sets I rotate between and the staples I always have. If you are not in the market for more investment bedding, I have found the quality of H&M bedding to be great, especially their linen and cotton percale.
For bedding set number one I use this duvet cover with the matching linen euro shams (or these because I have had them for years and love the simple look). I also use the matching linen king shams and for sheets & pillowcases I use this scalloped set with white trim. Seriously so soft!
For bedding set number two I use this duvet cover (white/mink) with matching euro shams, for the king shams I use these with the white trim (I put my euro shams in front so you can’t really see them and I didn’t want too many flange details which is why I matched the euro shams to the duvet and not the king shams) these are the pillowcases and the fitted sheet. My forever favorite (they are SO soft), but Daniel gets too hot with them which is why we don’t use a top sheet. If you want the full set – you can find it here. I also love the matching duvet cover and would use it all the time, but he says it doesn’t breathe as well as our others.
Pillows For Shams (medium firm)
End of Bed Quilt (natural/ivory – I always have the ivory color showing in my photos)
In addition to making some changes around our apartment, I also like to implement new elements to my routine. I always have body aches and pains which gets exasperated in the winter cold, so I find it extra important to treat my body well. I am a big fan of heating pads and recently got this one that goes over your shoulders for instant comfort. I also take baths more often this time of year and recently tried these for the first time which I love. I am trying to actively wind down at the end of the day by turning the do not disturb on my phone, putting on a mellow playlist, stretching or reading a book. Even getting into bed 10 minutes early makes a difference for my wind down routine!