Thursday, February 11, 2010

3 Cozy Ways to Counter Cabin Fever

It's snowing again here in Germany and, from what I hear, we're not the only ones dealing with cabin fever. So, I thought it would be fun to share a few of the non-work things I've been doing to make life indoors a little more pleasant.

1) Prepping for Valentine's Day. This free printable Valentine's banner from Whisker Graphics (they have a cute Etsy shop, btw) makes for sweet and budget decor and is easy to do if you have a color printer and some way to string them together. I like ours in the kitchen.

I just used a needle with red thread, things I already had on hand. If you have one of those mini hole-punchers you're golden!

2) Lent starts next week and, although we'll be doing only a partial fast, we won't be eating tons of extra treats during this time, so I'm getting it out of my system now by baking some mini brownie bites. Shoot, I guess you could also use these for some sort of Valentine's treat if you want! My efforts of being all Martha Stewart-y didn't really fly...maybe you'll have a better idea. Looks like I'll have to pull on my boots and buy some puder zucker (powdered sugar) if I want to make real frosting.

My favorite fudgy brownie recipe calls for things I always have on hand as well, so no need to slip and slide my way to the grocery store. You know you can freeze butter, right? This way I always have enough. Also, you only need plain cocoa powder to make these, so no need to chop chocolate!

Oh, um, you might want to butter AND flour the cups...a third of mine just did not want to come out as anything other than a pile of crumbs. Whoops!

3) In the spirit of 'whistle while you work', and as a way to combat the chilly weather, I've been cranking up summery Beach Boys music. One wintry road trip my husband and I listened to the Beach Boys for over 17hrs straight. I know, I know! But we all have our weaknesses, right?

A lot of online music sites don't work if your ISP shows as outside of the US, but this site has been working for me so far...

What are YOU doing to fight cabin fever?


Mitzi Curi said...

Excellent suggestions, especially the brownies!

frauheuberg said...

cute the picture with the brownies...;)...for me "listen to music" is my key for happiness...;)...thanks for sharing a little from you with us...cheers ines

flowing moments said...

I really enjoyed your post ... thank you for the valentine banner and those cakes look so yummy, can I join you in your cabin ??? :)

GOSIA said...

A really nice post. I liked the pics very much.
Weekend cheers from just another cabin fever sufferer.

Anonymous said...

Genial post and this enter helped me alot in my college assignement. Say thank you you seeking your information.

jane said...

what? no cranberries? :) you cracked me up. mmmm and those brownies look delish! stay warm! jane


Loved your inspirational board and all the rich colours!
Have a lovely Valentine's Day!
See you on BYW.

Allison said...

Very, very cute Valentine's banner... so sweet.

Where in the world do you get pure vanilla extract?!? I can only find the flavored kind with butter in it, and that is definitely not the same as pure. I sure do miss brownies. Occasionally I bring a mix back with me, but this trip was filled with baby stuff.

Thanks for the link... I'm excited to try it. I had a whole huge playlist going and then all of a sudden one day, they decided to notice that I'm not in the U.S. hmmmppph!

Oh, I have cabin fever BAD! The streets here are still so icy that I can't even take a nice walk. Well, I guess I could, but not recommended for a big "preggie" like me... so, it's staying in the sewing room. Too many projects started... have to finish something!

juliette said...

thanks all!

Allison - I have a stash from the States, shhh! ; ) But I kind of want to try one of those vodka-vanilla bean recipes I see online, people say they never want to go back to the store-bought after that. However, it takes a while for the first batch to really get going, so that's been a deterrent so far.

and the music, I know. SUPER annoying! is also useful...

stay warm and safe! gosh, and finishing stuff...heh

vicki said...

delicious, inspiring and funny post! thank you. i use vanilla extract from a company here in South Africa called Nomu - I'm pretty sure they export - it's amazing and pretty packaging too.

Barb said...

Thanks for the link to the valentine banner -- I printed it out and made a little valentine for my funny valentine. I make most of my cards now and that was JUST the thing!

Waterlilly said...

Fun stuff from my brilliant daughter! I am so proud of her!!
Love you bunches, MOM
(thank goodness for the Suby since we have 2 feet of snow!)
Dealing with my cabin fever by watching the Olympics!

TheCluelessCrafter said...

Puder Zucker is my new word of the day, perhaps even new baking jargon. I'll make all my friends think I'm learned in many different culture's confectionery creations.

When I see your muffin tin, I feel a lot less silly. For some reason I always say I don't need to add any more oil since the thing I'm baking is a big block of lard. ALWAYS the wrong thought.

Happy belated Valentine's Day!

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