This post is sponsored by Tiesta Tea. All opinions are my own. This post also contains affiliate links. Read my disclosure here.
So, it’s not technically winter – yet. But here in Chicago, it sure feels like winter already. It’s dark, it’s cold, and we’ve already had our first snowfall. As you probably know, Chicago is known for its brutal winters – the endless snow, the freezing temperatures, and that relentless wind. It’s why us Chicagoans savor every minute of every day when the weather is pure perfection during the other seasons.
So, when winter rolls around, many of us groan and complain. It’s not to say I’m not one of those people, but I secretly sort of enjoy when it’s bitterly cold and miserable outside. You’re probably thinking, huh?! Well, let me explain. When it’s sunny and warm outside, I feel like I need to take advantage of it and be outside as much as possible. When winter rolls around, I don’t feel guilty about the things that I like doing inside. I don’t feel a compelling need to be as a productive or to be outside. I feel I can be more selfish with my time and really take time to focus on me. My partially introverted self gets a little giddy thinking about all the things I can do in the comfort of my own home.
I don’t think I’m alone in this, am I? I feel like in the winter, people in general get a little less social, PJs and blankets become staples, and nights consist of Netflix and comfort food. Sounds pretty idyllic, if you ask me. Anyways, that’s why I’m jotting down my not-so-guilty winter pleasures. I’m curious to see if you feel the same about any of these!
Having More Alone Time
I recently discovered that I’m (most likely) an ambivert. While I thrive in social environments and love being around people, I on the flip side, can get emotionally drained by being around people and then just like to be alone. So it’s pretty clear that once winter comes, the introverted part of me secretly likes to be cooped up inside.
Being alone allows me to focus on things that I enjoy doing indoors, like journaling, reading and writing. These are things I don’t get to do enough of during the warmer months when there’s more events, social commitments, and travels happening. It’s in the winter where my time frees up more and I’m able to dedicate time to focus on my passions. It was actually last winter on a snowy, blustery Saturday afternoon that Lipstick & Ink was born. I brainstormed what I wanted my brand and blog to be, built out my site, and officially launched Lipstick & Ink before winter ended. With another winter approaching, who knows what I’ll dream up next!
If the weather is dreary outside, then you best believe I’ll be taking advantage of treating myself indoors. I’ll be guilt-free getting my nails done, drawing myself a bubble bath, or heading to get a massage or facial. Winter is the best time to focus on yourself and ensure you’re getting the self-care that you need, especially when you’re working hard in your job. You deserve it!
Binge Watching TV
Ah, another thing I just feel way too guilty about doing when it’s nice outside. So you can bet that once winter arrives, I’ll be in my PJs, lounging on the couch, and binge-watching TV quite a bit. It’s basically complete and utter bliss for me. I haven’t jumped on the Game of Thrones bandwagon yet, but that’s next on my TV show list to binge considering the last season begins in April!
Drinking Alllll the Tea
While I’m on blissfully curled up on the couch with a blanket watching TV or talking with Adam, I also love to have a hot cup of tea in my hands. Every winter, I’ve dabbled with a number of different tea brands and truthfully, never found one I was dead set on – until Tiesta Tea.
I came across Tiesta Tea actually at a pool party over the summer where they were serving their cold brew tea. I found out that the company was started by two fellow University of Illinois grads (I-L-L!), which intrigued me further. I had a glass of their Maui Mango cold brew at the party and was then instantly hooked. I made a mental note to try their loose leaf teas once it started getting colder out and I am seriously so glad I did. It is hands down the best tea I’ve ever had. I love everything about Tiesta Tea – not only just for their assortment of teas, but also because the company is Illinois based and they have a passion for giving back to the community.
What I like a lot about Tiesta Tea too is that they are very educational in how they position their teas. They break them up based on categories – Energizer Teas, Slenderizer Teas, Eternity Teas, Immunity Teas and Relaxer Teas. This way, you have an idea of what tea you should grab for based not only on the flavor you’re looking for, but also the goal you have in mind from drinking the tea. If you’re feeling under the weather, it’s recommended you probably reach for an immunity tea. If you’re looking for a jumpstart to your metabolism, then you may be more inclined to have a slenderizer tea. The packaging also educates you on what the ideal temperature your tea should be when it’s steeped and how long you should steep the leaves for. I honestly had no idea there was such a science to tea, but it truly makes a difference!
With the holidays approaching and the temperatures getting colder, I’ve been absolutely taking advantage of and enjoying Tiesta’s holiday teas. How cute are these!?
I can’t say enough good things about this tea. I’ll 100% be drinking this all winter.
Cooking Up Easy Meals in the Crockpot
Okay, I’ve mentioned it before and I’ll mention it again, I love my multi-function slow and pressure cooker. Adam and I got it as a wedding gift last year and we’ve been taking full advantage of it ever since. After a long day at work, especially when you’re going and leaving in the dark, the last thing you want to do is worry about making dinner. Crockpots simply just make our lives easier. All you have to do is find a recipe, throw some food in there and let it do its magic. And bam – dinner is served – effortless and guilt-free.
I’m not one to bake treats or desserts on the reg because quite frankly, I’d eat them all pretty quick. I don’t know what it is about winter though, but it just makes me crave warm, yummy cookies. I seem to think calories just don’t really exist when it’s cold out – #noshame. Anyways, a fun tradition of mine is making sugar cookies around the holidays and decorating them with my family. While I obviously enjoy the end result of eating them, I also love that that’s something my family and I can do together as we catch up and listen to holiday music.
Venturing to Cozy Wine Bars
On the small chance Adam or my friends can actually get me to go out in the wintertime, I prefer heading to a cozy wine bar. There’s nothing like sitting by the fireplace and sipping on a good glass of Pinor Noir! If you live in or around Chicago, my favorite wine bar is 404 Wine Bar in Lincoln Park! Definitely check it out if you’re in the area!
What are your guiltless pleasures during the winter months?
Kelly Nash is a Chicago-based writer, career coach, speaker and founder of Lipstick & Ink®. She also works full-time in technology as a Role Strategy and Employee Engagement Manager at Salesforce and has over 12 years of digital marketing experience. Kelly has been featured in Thrive Global, Chicago Tribune, International Association of Women, General Assembly, Salesforce, and SheFactor. She’s fueled by black coffee, sunshine, a good ink pen, and a bold lip.