The end of winter seems to be the bleakest month of the year.  The holidays are over and the cold sets in deeper.  Here are five ways to beat those winter blahs.

Pretty Pedicure

Who says pedicures are only for the summer?  Even if you’re not wearing sandals, treat yourself to a pedicure.  It is such a cheerful sight when you take off those warm socks to see brightly painted toenails.  While we tend to go darker shades of nail polish in the winter, choose a bright summer color for a quick way to lighten your mood.

Simmering Soup

Nothing says warmth on a cold winter day like soup cooking on the stove.  Here’s my recipe for chicken noodle soup:

Ingredients:

  • Package of chicken legs
  • Package of chicken breasts (with bones)
  • 1 onion, cut into quarters
  • 5 carrots, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 5 stalks of celery, cut into ½ inch pieces (save the tops)
  • Chicken bouillon (cubes or powder – 1 tablespoon powder= 1 cube)
  • 2 packages thick egg noodles (I buy them at specialty food stores like Trader Joes and I have even found them in Sprouts/Sunflower)
  • Pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to taste

Directions:

  1. Place the chicken, onion and celery tops in a large stock pot, cover with water and cook until meat is falling off the bones.  I try to let it simmer for about 4 hours just to get all of the flavor.
  2. Take the chicken out and remove the skin and bones.
  3. Strain the water in the pan to make sure to get out any small bones, skin, onion and celery tops.
  4. Add water to fill stock pot about 2/3 full.
  5. Add 3 or 4 bouillon cubes until the chicken taste comes through.
  6. Add pepper, onion powder and garlic powder to taste.  We like lots of spice in our food.  I don’t add salt because the bouillon is salty.
  7. Add the carrots and celery and boil for about 15 minutes.
  8. Throw the chicken back in, add the noodles and cook for another 15 minutes.

My soup is really thick with noodles and not much broth.  You can always add more water as long as you also add bouillon to keep the chicken flavor.

Bright & Bold Color

Spruce up your house with bright colors.  Buy flowers and place them in several vases around the house.  Purchase some bright colored pillows to throw on your couch.  Get a bright colored tablecloth for your dining room table.  Don’t stick with the dark drab winter colors, instead opt for bright and cheery.

Brownie Baking

Yes, you just got done with all the holiday baking and you’re starting to lose the weight you gained eating all those goodies.  But nothing picks you up like some decadent brownies.  Sam’s Club sells some great Ghirardelli chocolate brownies that are super easy to make.  They come in a box of 4.  All you need to bake a batch is:

  • 1 package from box
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup water

These are rich and chocolaty, with chunks of chocolate chips in them.  Add coconut/pecan frosting for an even richer taste.

Bath & A Book

Buy your favorite bath oil and sink yourself into a deep bath.  When relaxed, grab a blanket and curl up on the couch to read a book or watch your favorite movie.

How do you fight the winter blahs?