7 ways to stay warm this winter

We know that there are times the winter chill can get you down. Whether you're dealing with snow, rain, wind or just plain icky cold weather, sometimes you just want to feel the warmth of the sun. If there's something we've learned about living the Posh life, it's that nothing is impossible when you set your mind to it. There's no need to feel down when the clouds are around. Instead, you can find a way to let the sunshine in and spread a little of your own as well. No matter where you live, you can find ways to stay warm this winter. From tasty treats to warm retreats, we've got 7 of our favorite ideas here for you as a start.

 

Drinks That Warm Your Belly & Your Soul

Nothing warms the tummy and spirits like a warm drink. Alcoholic or not, there's something so comforting about a hot mugga something. Hot Toddy? Irish Coffee? Mulled Wine or Cider? Hot Buttered Rum? Warm Cocoa? Chicken soup? Choose whatever works for you and get that potion in your favorite mug, sit back and enjoy! Here are a couple of our favorite recipes to get you started.

Classic Hot Toddy (just for you!)

1 tbsp honey 
3/4 glass brewed tea
2 shots brandy
1 slice lemon

Brew some tea and fill your favorite mug 3/4 full. Add honey and brandy shots and mix well. Add lemon slice and enjoy.

 

Warm Spiced Apple Cider (for a crowd)

 

1/2 gallon apple cider 
1/3 cup dark brown sugar 
2 cinnamon sticks, more for garnishing 
5  whole allspice berries 
1  1/2" x 1/2" square of fresh peeled ginger 
3  whole cloves 
8 slices of orange for garnishing, optional
Combine cider, sugar, cinnamon sticks, allspice berries, ginger and cloves in a large saucepan. Heat to a simmer and allow to cook for 20 to 30 minutes. Strain into a punch bowl and serve warm. Ladel into cups and garnish with cinnamon sticks, orange slices. Serves 8.


 

Warm Weather Retreat

Sometimes the best way to beat the cold is to head out of it for awhile. Hop on a train or catch a flight to get out of town for a long weekend in a warmer climate.  Check the last minute travel sites for great deals on package trips to a sunny destination. Nothing makes you forget the sub-zero weather like a few days on the beach or golf course.

Here are a couple of sites that offer last minute deals.

 

LastMinuteTravel.com

Wide offerings for hotels, flights, cars and cruises to many top-notch destinations. The hotel names are not available from this site until you book. You choose a star rating and location - they provide the hotel amenities and a bird's eye view map of the location. In a quick search we found hotel and air to Miami for a quick four day weekend next week for under $450.

Hotwire.com

Low rates on air, hotels, cars and packages. We found a rate under $300 for a quick flight to Miami next weekend. They can find you low cost hotels but again you won't know the exact hotel until you book.

 

Get into Hot Water

If you want to take an inner retreat from the chill, one of the most affordable luxuries available is to relax in a warm bath with your favorite bathroom essentials, a little lavender, your favorite bubble bath or bathoil, hot water and a beach novel. This mini-retreat can take you away from the frost outside for at least an evening or an afternoon. Make sure to turn off your phone and ignore all the email and Facebook status reports - give yourself a break from everything and just relax. Add a glass of your favorite wine or other special beverage and enjoy.

Just a few recos for some warm water reading:

 

The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets Nest by Stieg Larson

The final book in Larson's Millennium Trilogy. If you've enjoyed the first books in the series, this is a must read. We won't provide any spoilers here, but rest assured you will not be disappointed.

The Map- Finding the Magic and Meaning in the Story of Your Life by Coletter Baron-Reid

If you're looking for some new directions in your life this book provides some tools to find your way and chart your own map. Baron-Reid offers ideas on harnessing your energy and shaping your own destiny.

Just Kids by Patti Smith

Great story from rocker Smith, tells the story of Smith and photographer Robert Mapplethorpe as friends & lovers. Get a unique glmpse of the New York music scene in the 60's, Janis Joplin, Jimi Hendrix and more appear in this love story and eulogy to Mapplethorpe.

 

Turn on Your Heart Light

We believe it always feels good to do good & give back. Warm your heart and the lives of others to forget about whatever the weather is bringing you right now. Choose your favorite charity and go volunteer for a day or part of a day. If you can't make the time to be there yourself make a donation, many organizations accept canned food, gently used clothing and other goods as well as money. If you're looking for something that makes us feel warm and cozy  check out Heifer International.  Team PoshPorts is building an ark that will help many families in desperate need. Please help us reach our goal - join Team PoshPorts, make a donation if you can, and share the information with your friends and family. You'll feel downright hot (and we'll tell everyone we know that you are!)

 

Heifer International

 

Take the Time to Connect

Time goes by quickly, even in the winter. Take some time to call a friend you've been thinking about. The chat will undoubtedly make them happy as well as you. It's a good chance to share a few laughs, catch up and reconnect. Don't have time for a long call? Send an email or a written letter, card or even a postcard. This small and perhaps random act of kindness is sure to brighten someone's day. It's a good idea to keep a few extra blank cards on hand for times just like these.

 

Share The Warmth Of Your Home With Your Friends

Put some chili, stew or soup in the crockpot in the  morning and invite some friends over for a pot luck in the evening. Let them bring the sides and the dessert. Keep it simple so no one has to worry about preparing a gourmet dish. Build a fire or play the faux fireplace DVD and enjoy each others' company. Strike up a card game or bring out a few board games for some easy, laid back fun. Friends make every day a warmer day.

 

 

Easy Crockpot Chili

Ingredients

    2 pounds ground beef, pork or turkey
    1 large cans kidney beans, rinsed and drained
    1 large cans crushed tomatoes with juice
    1 small can tomato paste
    2 medium onions, chopped (you can also add as many other veggies as you like - be creative with diced carrots, celery, corn, etc.)   
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 Tablespoons chili powder
    2 Tablespoon cumin powder
    1 teaspoon each of salt
and pepper 

    Toppings: Shredded cheddar and/or jack cheese, diced onions, chopped green onions, sour cream, croutons or other desired toppings

    Other serving ideas: top off a baked potato; mix in macaroni, serve over rice, top off crunchy tortilla chips, serve on soft tortillas and top with fried eggs


Directions

In a skillet, cook ground meat over medium heat until browned; drain. Transfer cooked meat to a crockpot. Add all the ingredients except for the toppings. Cover and cook on low for 8-10 hours or on high for 4 hours. Garnish individual servings with toppings as desired.

Music & Movies - Hot, Hot, Hot

Nothing changes your mood faster than a good summertime tune. Crank up your iPod and dance until you feel the heat of summer. Beach Boys, reggae, summer classics - whatever your taste you know what it takes to bring on the summer memories and have some fun.

Don't stop with the music - pop in a summer-themed movie, turn up the heat and just imagine your own Beach Blanket Bingo.

Some fun summer songs...

Summer Lovin' - Grease

Surfin' USA - Beach Boys

Summer - War

Saturday in the Park - Chicago

Hot Fun in the Summertime - Sly & the Family Stone

Vacation - The Go-Go's

Walking on Sunshine - Katrina & The Waves

Margaritaville - Jimmy Buffet

All I Wanna Do - Sheryl Crow

 

Summer Movies...

Blue Crush

Almost Famous

Dirty Dancing

Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead

National Lampoon's Vacation

Field of Dreams

CaddyShack

Summer of '42

Jaws

What About Bob?

The Endless Summer

 

So pick your favorite way to warm up and know that spring and summer are just around the corner! And when you feel the warmth take over, drop us a line and let us know what did it for you. If you have any other ideas we'd love to hear them too!