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10 reasons to love Minnesota winters (when you hate cold weather) Part 1 of 3


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As autumn brings cooler air, trips to the apple orchard and corduroy, it also usually gives us a few snowflakes to remind us of what is ahead. As a born and raised Minnesotan, I should have developed a love of snowball fights, cross-country skiing and hats and gloves after 32 years of winter. But instead, I prepare for the cold weather by mapping out indoor plans from home improvement projects to stocking the freezer for slow cooker meals to laying out creative tasks that require a pen and paper, not three layers of clothing, a shovel and insulated boots. If you are like me and prefer the warmth of an indoor fireplace to the chill of an outdoor snowfall, the tips below will spur some ideas for loving winter and get you through those long four to six months when the world outside is frozen.

1. Learn to love winter fashion. Cozy sweaters, worn-in jeans, tall leather boots – there is nothing more comfortable and easy than fall and winter fashion. Everyone looks great in sweaters with their favorite pair of jeans so why not embrace this time of year when we can look fashionable and be comfortable at the same time. Kick up your basic look with fun jewelry, a great handbag or fabulous boots. And take it up another level by investing in some new straight leg or skinny jeans tucked into those boots. You’ll look like you were meant to live in the snow.

2. Organize your kitchen cupboards, recipes and all things food-related. Take an afternoon to take stock of the food in your refrigerator, freezer and cupboards. Get rid of anything that’s expired and donate any canned or boxed goods you haven’t eaten in the last 6-12 months. Then start fresh by organizing your staple food items at eye-level, cleaning off the shelves, re-organizing your pans and storage bowls and getting rid of any appliances you never use. Then, assess your recipe box. If you’re like me, you may have torn out recipes from magazines shoved into a file folder – disorganized, messy and impossible to find anything you’re looking for. Take a day to pull them all out, sort them by type (desserts, entrees, appetizers, etc.) and tape or paste them into binders. I found some cute colored binders that match my kitchen (six months ago) and now have a wintertime project just waiting for me.  And maybe now is time to re-assess your eating habits too.  Swap out that high-fat, processed food for fresh, healthy produce!

3. Organize your photos. Just like those crazy recipes mentioned above, photos can get out of hand very quickly. I have two years worth of pictures thrown into two boxes – unsorted and undated. Take a day (or several) to sort them into subjects - by person, by event, by date – whatever works for you. If you don’t have time to insert them into albums, get separate boxes for each subject (the prettier the box, the more likely you’ll keep it up). If you have more time or another day, start putting the pictures into albums. You can choose a different album color or theme for each subject or label each one so you know what’s in it. Purchase themed albums that can be expanded or buy multiples of each style so you have room to add more later.  And as you sort, reflect on the memories and good times each photo commemorates.  They are all a part of your life - and these pictures contribute to your own personal happiness!

So when those cold days of fall come knocking, remember that winter doesn't have to mean being stuck inside.  Instead look at it as an opportunity to work on your goals and get some things done!

Watch for Part 2 coming next week...