Thursday, February 22, 2018

Getting Through Winter, Part 2

Hi all, we're almost through with another work week.  Did you have sunshine in your corner of the world yesterday?  We did, and even though it didn't come out from behind the clouds until mid-afternoon, we were elated to see it.  🌞 🌈
A few weeks ago, I wrote a post sharing some of my favorite products for winter, and I promised a Part 2 for that post.  Well, finally here it is -- better late than never.  Even though the temperature reached the mid-70's here today, I'm pretty sure we're not completely finished with winter -- or maybe winter's not finished with us. 
The first thing I want to talk about is lighting.  My personality is such that I can only take so many gray, dreary, rainy days before I'm ready to start banging my head against the wall.  Lack of sunlight bothers me much more than cold temperatures.  We all know that winter time brings with it shorter daylight hours and colder temps.  My hat is off to those of you who endure the long winters in the north and Midwest.
I recently purchased this new lamp for my kitchen, and I love it.  It adds just the right amount of warm, cozy light to this corner.  I also have the under-cabinet lights on in this picture, but I don't burn them a lot; I usually save them for task lighting.  You may know we had our kitchen re-modeled in 2012.  Up until then, I'd had a lamp in this same corner, but with the "new" kitchen, I was ready for a change.
This is the kitchen before the re-model and you can see the old lamp in the corner.  I liked that lamp, but it just didn't look right with the new countertops -- too pristine white.  I decided I didn't really need a lamp in that spot because we had better lighting over the sink and under the cabinets.
So I stored the white lamp in the basement and put this Royal Worcester "Evesham" pie plate in the corner.  
I love this dish, and I enjoyed displaying it for almost six years.  Then this winter, I saw my mom's little lamp on her kitchen countertop, and I realized that I missed my cozy lamp in the corner.  I was happy to find this pottery lamp at my favorite local lamp store.  It was made in North Carolina, and it's even shaped like my pottery canister set (which I didn't even notice until I got the lamp home).
The other thing that has made a big difference for us, lighting-wise, is LED light bulbs.  We have a lot of lamps in our house, and light bulbs were getting to be expensive because we seemed to go through a lot of them.  We especially like the Cree LED bulbs; they have a warm, clean light, and we almost never have to replace them.  They take less energy to use, lower the cost of our power bill, and are better for the environment.  What's not to love?  I am so thankful for LED bulbs, because I was truly worried that someday I would be forced to use these horrible things --
You don't want to get me started on my feelings about these bulbs.  Ugh!  Hal and I could not be happier with the new LED bulbs, and we have them in almost all of our lamps now, and a few of our other light fixtures, too.  We have candelabra LED bulbs in the chandelier in our kitchen,
in the small track lights over our sink, and Hal just finished installing LED light fixtures in the hood over our stove.
These lights emit a clean, warm light that covers all of the stove top.  One reason I'm focusing on lighting in the kitchen is that our kitchen is probably the darkest room in our house.  It gets very little natural light because it has a carport off of the door and a screened porch which blocks a big part of the light to the window.  
We're still using incandescent lights on the exterior of our house because we just don't like the light put out by outdoor LED bulbs.  I'm hoping those will be improved upon in time.  So good lighting is an essential in helping me get through the winter months.  Do you need extra, artificial light in the winter?  Does your home have lots of big windows?  Our house is surrounded by tall trees, and it has a northeast exposure as well, so we do need a lot of artificial light inside.  
  Apart from all the talk about extra light in the winter, I consider lamps a decor feature.  I just love seeing pretty lamps scattered throughout a home, do you?
Another important factor in winter is staying warm, yes?  I wanted to show you my favorite blanket for warming up and staying warm in the cold season.  My sister gave me this blanket for Christmas about ten years ago; she and my niece made it for me.  This is one of the warmest blankets I've ever seen.  My sister chose red and beige for this one so that we could use it as a throw blanket in our den.
Are you familiar with these no-sew blankets?  You just put two pieces of fleece back to back, cut strips around all four sides, and then tie the strips from the two pieces of fleece together and voila.  There are lots of videos on YouTube demonstrating step-by-step instructions on making these.  I really need to make one of these for our son next winter.  I wonder what it is about fleece that is so good at holding our body heat and staying warm?
Last, but not least, I count on our Keurig coffee maker in the winter; it really does make the cold, dark days more bearable.
This is our second Keurig machine.  The first one was a Christmas gift from my in-laws about six years ago.  It lasted five years, so we bought a replacement last year.  I had never heard of them until we received this as a gift.  It didn't take long to get hooked on it.  :)  These are so convenient if you only want one or two cups of coffee in the morning (like yours truly here) and I hated to brew a whole pot of coffee for just myself during the week.  I often went to the drive-thru at McDonald's for coffee, and that was no fun in bad weather.  I really count on my morning coffee to help me wake up (and warm up) in the winter.  Of course, you can also make hot cocoa and tea in the Keurig machine. 
The down side of these machines is that the K-cups aren't bio-degradable and they can't be re-cycled -- yet.  I've read that Keurig Green Mountain is working to solve that issue, so we'll see.
I'm sorry this post ended up being so long; if you're still reading, thank you for hanging in there.  :D  What are some things that help you get through the winter months?  I'd love to hear from you!  As always, I so appreciate your visits and hope you enjoy the rest of your week!       


  1. I do love lamp light much more than overhead light. I'll have to see if we're using those lightbulbs you're raving about. I didn't like the whiteness of the new lightbulbs but I know they have improved them. But it does seem like spring has come. I wonder if we'll get any more winter.

  2. You have some nice sources of light around your place. My daughter made one of those no sew fleece blankets for her Marine hubby. One side was Marine themed and the other side was navy blue. It was fun to watch her put it together.

  3. Love your little corner lamp. I have been looking for one similar for a while now. I like having the cozy light in the kitchen. Yes, I agree wirh you about lightbulbs. I truly loathed those futuristic things, but have been pleasantly surprised by the newer LED bulbs.

  4. You know, lighting is essential in the winter. I like to sit by the fire and knit when days are cloudy. It's peaceful and stress free. I, too, have never made one of those blankets by my daughter made some for her kids. They really enjoy them on a winter's evening! Have a grand day!

  5. Your little kitchen lamp is a lovely thing! Lamplight is so much softer than overhead lighting, and cozier, too. I love sitting by the fire, drinking copious amounts of tea, and reading or sewing. Winter's drawing to a close!

  6. I love your cozy kitchen lamp, Denise, for it adds such a soft glow. I've made those no-sew blankets, and they are indeed warm. I don't have a Keurig, but my friends sure love them! I use my electric tea kettle constantly all winter.
    It's been dreary and rainy here in Texas, and I'm cozy in my fleece.



Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...

My Blog Designer