"FUIMUS - We Have Been"

"FUIMUS - We Have Been!" motto of Clan Bruce

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Friday, 10 February 2012

ONCE UPON A DREAM; On This Cold Winter's Night...

Snuggle up and dream!

We have been enjoying a cold spell in the UK this past week or so, and there is still ice and snow lying on the ground as I write.  Tonight the temperature is set to plummet again and it has been subzero all day.  I do love the dark winter nights, and I enjoy making my home as warm, cosy and welcoming as possible.  When a cold snap is forecast I like to lay in a store of goodies to turn freezing weather into an opportunity for home pampering, so I stock up on scented candles, bubble baths and salts, mulled wines, chocolates, yummy baked goods, a few beauty treats and a stack of books to read, along with more mundane grocery staples.

I really enjoy working from home. I know that I am lucky that my job allows me to do this, and some of you will have been braving the ice and snow each day to get to work, so it is even more important that your home is a cosy haven from the freezing weather.  A little bit of planning goes a long way and cold snowy weather encourages us to settle down early and just relax.  Hot dinners of comfort food are what your body needs to stay warm and healthy during freezing temperatures and it is normal to put on a couple of pounds during the winter months.  Hot baths, chunky knitted bed socks, hot water bottles to curl up with,  hot chocolate, warm mulled wine or spiced cider to sip on can all add a touch of luxury to a cold winters night.  If you have a real fire, make the most of it and keep the logs burning;  put on the bed socks, pull up a footstool and toast those frozen toes.   Otherwise crank up the heating and play a Fireside DVD on your TV to give you the fireside atmosphere; just the sight of a log fire has an instantly warming effect on the psyche. Burning spicy oils and candles somehow helps to make the house smell warmer too!

Rather than just coming home from work and flopping down on the sofa, take a little time to set up a lovely atmosphere in your home to make the most of a cold, dark winters night.  I love creating atmospheres in my home, whether it be one of romance, magic or just a general feeling of abundance during the sparse months of the year.  To make my home warm and welcoming I use fire-glow bulbs in the wall lights, burn spicy scents and lots and lots of candles. I play music inspired by winter such as Enya's And Winter Came or Nox Arcana's Winter's Eve.  I layer the chaise lounge and the bed with velvet throws and extra pillows to burrow down into.  I bake potatoes and pies, make rice pudding with cinnamon and nutmeg, and sip on herbal teas, lattes, mocha and mulled wine.  Going out for a snowy walk or ride and coming back to the smell of something delicious baking in the oven is one of the joys of winter.  The clear night sky means a hard frost, but it is also a great opportunity to wrap up well and star gaze when night falls early, before coming indoors for a fireside supper of steaming tomato soup and Welsh Rarebit crusty bread soldiers to dip.

Winter nights are great for snuggling up with a good book, so an early night with a novel and something festive to drink can be just enough to recharge the batteries. As the cold weather makes a night out seem less attractive,  a night indoors can be a good opportunity to indulge in divination, scrying with candle flames or a glimmer-glass dark mirror.  Hibernation is the key word - check out my post on Sulking to see how I have mastered the art of hibernation!  Most of all a cold snap gives us the chance to enjoy the place we are fortunate enough to call home.  So on this cold, snowy winters eve make time to snuggle up and dream!

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