11 Creative Ways To Make Your House Cozy

Want to make your house cozy this winter? Looking for winter decor tips? Look no further! Click through for cozy, warming, fun ways to make your house a snuggle palace this winter! >> yesandyes.org

Now, I don’t want to brag or anything but I’m pretty much a competition-level cozy-fier. As a third-generation Minnesotan of Scandinavian decent, I know how to make your house cozy – I mean, it’s kinnnnnd of written into my DNA.

Even if you live south of the frost line, winter means shorter days and longer nights. I bet even Floridians could benefit from these house cozy-ing ideas!

11 ways to make your house cozy

1. Purchase and light all the candles that have ever been made

But not just any candles, you guys. If you haven’t experienced the wonder that is a wooden wick candle, you need to stop reading this post, drive to Target, and buy three of them right now. I’ll wait.
Are they a bit expensive? Yes. Are they 100% worth it? Also yes. They make audible fire sounds, dudes. That is worth $18 when it’s sleeting outside. Also of note: this candle allegedly smells like campfire and I can personally vouch that soy candles really do last a lot longer than wax. Which matters when you’re burning three at a time for 12 hours a day.

2. Add cozy, warm lighting

By now we’re probably all using fluorescent bulbs because we care about the earth, right? I think it’s okay if you use a few rosy, lower wattage incandescents here and there around your home. If you’re fancy/handy install a dimmer switch or just pop on a more opaque lamp shade.
One of my favorite things to do in these darker months? String fairy lights through the branches of my big fig tree. It’s festive and warming and since they’re white lights I don’t feel like I’m preemptively decorating for the holidays.

3. Swap in warmer, textured furnishing

“Now, Sarah, that’s a bit much, isn’t it? Do you really have two different sets of decor for the season? Are you a Rockefeller?”

I’m not, my friends. I do, however, live through six months of snow and darkness each year so I take this business Seriously.

A few months ago I splashed out on lined, velvet curtains (I got these and they’re amazing) and they’re about a million times nicer than the thin, linen, $26 curtains from Ikea. You know what’s nicer than cotton and satin pillows when it’s cold? Velvety, corduroy pillows. And purchasing the perfect couch blanket is a science which I have perfected. It’s this one.

And if you’re realllllly serious and live in a space with hardwood floors, change out your classy, thin Oriental rugs for something thick and shaggy.

4. Get the perfect slippers + and the perfect ‘house sweater’

I have a pair of fur-lined leather slippers I bought on the street in Peru but my mom swears by the L.L. Bean version and I steal them every time I’m home.

What’s a ‘house sweater’ you ask? It’s a drapey sweater that serves the same purpose as a robe or giant hoodie but makes you feel slightly grown up. I have one similar to this and I wear it constantly.

5. Simmer some good-smelling things on the stove

If you’re a lady who reads the internet, I’m sure you’ve already heard about stove simmers. Thrift an old pot, fill it with water and good-smelling things, turn your stove to low and allofasudden your house smells wonderful and you didn’t even need to cook. Here are some ‘recipes’ for stove simmers.

6. Run your humidifier

In Minnesota the air dries out as soon as summer ends, which means chapped skin, more colds and flus, and the temperature inside even feels colder! Run a humidifier, guys. You can get them everywhere, they’re not expensive and they’ll make your apartment feel warmer (literally!) Just be sure to clean it regularly so you’re not pumping wet, germ-filled air into your home. 

7. Create an excuse to use your stove + oven

It’ll make your house smell good and feel warmer. Here are 10 amazing soup recipes and a million interesting, innovative cookie recipes.

8. Pet cuddling #dur

This is obviously the time of year for enforced pet cuddling – and if you have an aloof pet they’re more likely to snuggle now because they want to steal your warms! If you’re a super devoted owner of an older pet, consider getting a heated pet bed!

9. Start a fire or watch a fireplace DVD

Are you lucky enough to have a functioning fireplace? Awesome. When can I come over? If not, tune into this three-hour long fire video on Youtube or buy a million of those woodwick candles I won’t shut up about.

10. Turn on the cozy music

Rather bizarrely, I have some very specific ideas about which types of music are ‘cozy’ and which aren’t. In my mind, electronica and punk aren’t cozy. Jazz and Rhye are. I’m sure you’ve got your own ideas of cozy music, tune in accordingly.

11. Bring your cozy with you

If you regularly spend the night somewhere else – like your partner’s house or you travel a lot for work – make yourself a little cozy bag filled with duplicates of all your favorite stuff: slippers, house sweater, travel candle.

Is your office less than cozy? Bring in a little desk lamp with an incandescent light and use that instead of that horrible fluorescent number. Bring a few cuddly pashmina scarves that are office appropriate but still cozy-i-fing.

How do you keep your home cozy during these long and gray months?

P.S. How to look cute even when it’s really cold + How to break out of a winter style rut

photo by paul itkin // cc

Web Time Wasters

A Youtube playlist of the entire Amy Grant Christmas album!

Before we dig into those links, two things:

1. Tomorrow at 2 pm CST, Tiffany Han and I are hosting a pitch-free planning workshop! We’re talking about how to make 2018 awesome and giving you tons of helpful tools + resources.

It costs $0 and it’s 100% sales-free. It’s just us, sharing insights and answering questions.

If you can’t join us live, sign up anyway and we’ll send you the replay 🙂

2. Yes & Yes will be off for the holidays December 11 – 31st! I’m taking time to celebrate Hanukkah and Christmas, go to lots of parties, watch 100 terrible Christmas movies, and play my actual cassette tape of Amy Grant’s Christmas album.

I am, however, using a clever plugin to re-post some of my most helpful, holiday-related posts. There will still be good stuff appearing on the home page every day and I’ll still be popping into the Money & Happy Facebook group and sharing things on Instagram.

Anyway! Links for you!


A Planner That Helps You Create The Life Of Your Dreams NBD

This post is brought to you by a planner you’ll love using, a better 2018, the letter L, and The Life Design Planner.

Are you the sort of human who loves a good to-do list? Who gets an endorphin spike every time you accomplish a task? Who has a hard time not equating productivity with self-worth?

Hello! Welcome to the club! I am the treasurer.

If this sounds like you, you probably love a good planner. You’re probably really good at planning errands and events and tasks, but you’re less good at making time for introspection, creativity, or spiritual pursuits.

Thankfully, Carrie Jordan created the Life Design Planner. It can  help us plan the nitty gritty of our week AND dig a lot deeper into what we want for ourselves.

Carrie doesn’t just create amazing planners. She leads programs, writes about goal setting, and hosts a podcast. Take a peek at her stuff – I think you’ll like it!

Yes & Yes runs two sponsored posts each month. If you’d like to introduce your work to my 13,000+ daily readers, you can read more sponsor info here or drop me a line at sarah@yesandyes.org and we’ll get you set up!

How To Make 2018 Awesome

Want to make 2018 awesome? Looking for goal-setting, habit-making, productivity tips? You're in the right place! Click through to learn how to stick to your resolutions and make 2018 the best year ever!

It’s a sunny, blue-skied winter day and I’m sitting on the couch, cuddled up with my journal, my cat, and a cup of peppermint tea. I stare into the middle distance, nod at no one in particular, and then write something wise and insightful in my notebook.

Juuuuuust kidding!

That’s what I wish planning for the upcoming year looked like. I wish it was sweet, intentional, and cozy!

Often it looks more like one enormous Google doc filled with 17,243 bullet points. It’s arranged in no particular order. “Finally figure out that software I bought three months ago” is nested directly below “More quinoa” and “Nut cheeses???”

This year, I’m committing to doing better and I’m bringing you with me. Next Monday, Tiffany Han and I are hosting a cost-free, pitch-free live workshop to help you make 2018 awesome!

What: Make 2018 Awesome! planning workshop
When: Monday, December 11th 3 pm EST/2 pm CST/noon PST
Where: In our own private online space where we can chat with each other in real time! (don’t worry – we’ll send you a link)

You’ll learn

  • Our 3-part process for evaluating the past + how to apply that knowledge to the new year
  • How to stick with your plans and create habits that support your creative vision
  • What worked for us (and what didn’t!) in 2017…and what we’re focusing on next
  • A beautiful 27-page workbook with journalling prompts and tools
  • Plus live Q & A – It’s basically free, one-on-one coaching!

It costs $0 (for now) and it’s totally pitch-free! We won’t try to sell you anything at the end of it 😉 It’s just a group of lovely, like-minded humans getting serious about 2018.

If you can’t attend live, sign up anyway and we’ll send you the replay and workbook!

Know someone who could use a bit of help laying out the coming year? Send them a link to this post! The more the merrier!

Hope to see you there, friends!

Photo by STIL on Unsplash

7 Real Talk Holiday Reminders For All Of Us

These holiday tips will help you navigate the holidays with intentional and grace. If you're hoping for a stress-free holiday season or a more minimalist Christmas, click through for helpful, sane holiday tips.Pre-P.S. On Monday, Tiffany Han and I are running an awesome, pitch-free workshop to help you make 2018 awesome! We’re sharing our 3-step process for setting goals + tips to change habits! And we’re not trying to sell you anything 😉 Click here to join us! Can’t join us live? Sign up anyway and we’ll send you the replay. 

It’s the most wonderful time of the year!

It’s time for thematic sweaters, egg nog, and the joy of finally giving that perfect gift you’ve had tucked away for three months!

It’s also time for holiday card-triggered feelings of inadequacy, credit card debt, and never-ending sugar crashes.

As we head deeper into the holiday season, I wanted remind all of us (myself very much included) of these seven holiday truths.

7 Real Talk Holiday Reminders For All Of Us


Web Time Wasters

As you read this, I’m poking around the Mojave with my girl Alex! You can follow along on Instagram if you’d like to see us eat at weird desert bars and stop at those famous dinosaur statues.

A few years ago, I took a six-week roadtrip around the US.  I spent pretty much the whole route between Palm Spring and Needles, California yelling “WHAT IS THIS????!!!” and searching for desert Airbnbs. If you, too, are intrigued by Mad Max-ian spaces, you should know all about Wonder Valley. I’m so excited to go back!

FWIW, other places I saw on my roadtrip and want to revisit: Thousand Islands, Ottawa when the canals are frozen, Montana’s garden of one thousand Buddhas, Little Rock, Arkansas and Coeur D’alene, Idaho.

Related: Everything you need to know about planning a road trip.

Links for you!