Confession. I don’t like summer. Summer can get stuffed. I’m practically part vampire – pale skin, aversion to sunlight, dead inside – so I don’t cope with all the brightness, heat and sweat of summer. I’m built for winter activities. Red wine, snuggly jackets, big thick bedspreads and soup with toast. Summer lovers can hold their warm, sandy beer in their sunburnt hand on a crowded beach. I’ll be waiting by the fire in a cashmere sweater with a mug of mulled wine.
Whether or not you’re a lover of winter or you spend the entire season wrapped in a blanket screaming ‘WHHHHHYYYYYYY????’ here are a few winter activities you need to put on your Must Do list this chilly season.
1. Make the most amazing breakfast you’ve ever made
When it’s too damn cold outside and you have no intention of leaving your house, why not go kitchen bad ass on the breakfast situation? Mr Smaggle and I do a proper breakfast every Saturday with eggs, bacon, avocado, halloumi, tea and coffee and then we eat it in bed while watching We Bare Bears on the kid’s channel. It’s magnificent. If a fry up isn’t really your bag, try literally ANY Donna Hay breakfast recipe. They’re delicious, super easy to make (I’m an adventurous cook which means I’ve screwed up A LOT of recipes but I’ve never had a Donna Hay fail on me) and they almost never contain stupid ingredients like quail eggs or weird seeds you can only get in Tibet. Here are a few of my favourites.
Chilly weekend mornings are the perfect time to get busy in the kitchen. Pop on an awesome podcast and spend a delightful morning making something totally delicious.
2. Play a video game
This is a bit of a weird one but hear me out. I’ve never been that into computer games but if I find the right one, I really enjoy it. I generally like cute ones with funny characters where you have to collect things like in Mario Kart, Yoshi’s Woolly World or Ray Man. I played my first ‘serious’ game about two years ago and it was so much fun. It was a fake true crime kind of a thing and it chose your own adventure style and I bloody loved every second of it. The other one I played in tandem with a mate of mine (we’d switch over controls every 20 minutes or so) and it was an unbelievable amount of fun. It took us about 5 hours but it was a complete hoot. Even if you’re not into video games, give it a whirl. With the right group of people on a chilly winter night, it can turn into a seriously fun evening.
3. Clean your house from top to bottom
I always find cleaning in summer to be a bit pointless because I always leave the windows and doors open for fresh air and the house just feels dusty for months. At least in winter, everything is all shit tight and you have the opportunity to properly clean without it getting all hot and dusty thirty seconds later. There’s just something about popping on your old gross trackies, cranking up some awesome tunes and smashing out an amazing cleaning sesh.
4. Sit in your clean house and watch an amazing movie
This one partners very nicely with winter activity number 3. There is something so unbelievably pleasant about cleaning your house from to top to toe, having the most amazing hot shower of your life, slipping into fresh, warm comfy clothes (in the Smaggle house we call this ‘comfing up’) and settling on the couch to watch an amazing movie. Here’s a few awesome movies I’ve seen recently that you should totally watch. Most of these should be available on Netflix, Stan, Hulu or iTunes.
10 Cloverfield Lane (scary)
Get Out (scary)
The Big Sick (romantic)
Baby Driver (thriller)
The Disaster Artist (mockumentary – you need to have seen The Room before you watch this one)
Turn off all the lights, grab a cup of tea or a glass of wine if you’re feeling sassy, pop a big bowl of popcorn and snuggle down with a blanket. Bloody blissful.
5. Make soup
The very best thing about winter, is making and eating soup. When it’s freezing cold outside and you can’t quite get warm enough, a bowl of delicious hot soup will warm you from the inside out. I generally make soup in my pressure cooker (best thing I’ve ever bought, for real. I love it so much.) and I mostly make up the recipes but here are a few I love that I base some of my made-up soups on.
6. Learn to crochet
I know I’m totally biased but crochet is without a doubt the best of all the winter activities. I mean I crochet in summer because it’s a great all year round hobby but crocheting in winter? It’s the stuff puppy and unicorn dreams are made of. If you’ve never tried to learn a yarn craft before, now is the time to do it. Here are some super easy beginner projects to get you started.
7. Read a good book
I know so many adults who love reading but somehow they never seem to find the time to do it. It’s kind of hard to justify sitting down and reading a book but mindlessly scrolling through your phone while not watching TV seems perfectly acceptable. Take control of your winter evenings and get that beautiful butt of yours to bed half an hour earlier each night and read a god damn book. Here are my 2018 book recommendations if you need some inspo and Reece Witherspoon’s book club also has a pretty high hit rate.
8. Have your friends over for board game night
I truly don’t understand people who don’t like board games. Give me a group of my favourite people, a couple of bottles of red wine and Codenames or Settlers of Catan and I’m a happy little clam. I’ve observed people who say they don’t like board games and I think I’ve come up with the reason why. Most people who sit there all grumpy and hating board game night didn’t listen to the instructions. They were either too busy chatting or just simply tuned out when the rules were being laid out. Hot tip if you think you hate board games: Make sure you’re paying attention when the rules are being read out. Not knowing how to play a game is the fastest way to not enjoying it.
9. Have a mending day
Grab all your clothes that are missing buttons or need hemming and have a big mending session. I do this about once a year. I’ll pop something lovely on Netflix (Call The Midwife is a FABULOUS mending show) and spend an hour or two just pottering around. Bonus is you’ll get a whole new wardrobe of clothes you haven’t worn in ages!