Five Winter Nights In

Nicki Alchin
31st May 2016

Cook Up a Winter Warmer

Whether you have a household of flatmates to feed or just yourself, there's nothing more satisfying on a cold wintry night than being in the thick of the warmth of a kitchen and cooking from scratch winter rib sticker mains and dessert classics. Pull out your cookbooks, foodie magazines, or search the net for ideas.

Some of the most popular winter meals include pea and ham soup, minestrone soup, Irish stew, lamb ragu or a traditional beef casserole. For desserts, look into recipes for puddings, custards, chocolate fondues, and fruit pies and crumbles.

Feel your spirits lift as you dish out your winter masterpieces. You will be overwhelmed by the hearty flavoursome aromas and big warming hug as you dig into your very own slice of winter happiness. 

Winter Beauty Pamper Night In

Winter is notorious for wreaking havoc on our hair and skin. As the air becomes drier our bodies need additional nurturing to fight the dehydrating effects. This gives you a great excuse to have some me time and enjoy a top to toe beauty pamper night in as the temperature drops outside. 

Jump into the mood by setting up your bathroom vanity with all your hair and skin care essentials. Pull out all your products to devise an all over beauty package, especially all those treatments your never have time to use like  hair and face masks, callus removers, and body loufahs. Also line up some relaxing music on your iPod.

Start off with a long hot bath or shower enhanced with bath salts or a milk body wash. You are now ready to go forth with your Winter night in beauty pamper. Go the full distance attending to your hair, face, hands, legs, and feet. Once you have finished, go grab yourself a wine and settle back on the couch to catch up on your reading or tv viewing. 

Crafty Night In

By jumping on board with the crafty trend you can create some cool pieces and unleash your creativity this winter. Some of the current favourite craft hobbies for the under 30s include knitting, sewing, embroidery, jewellry making and art (think painting/drawing). 

Either tap into the skills you learnt at school or at the side of your mother/grandmother. If you need a refresher or step by step instructions in your chosen area, ask friends and relatives first. For further assistance check out the net for on line and on site lessons. Suggestions are below:

Retro Games Night In

Get your household and friends together for a night of games. Drag out the classics like Monopoly, Trivial Pursuit, Pictionary, Uno, Yahtzee, Scrabble, Twister, Cluedo. 

Set up your space either on a big table or on the floor with cushions and rugs.Just make sure you have enough room to seat everyone comfortably without hindering the set up of the game. Also allow an area for snacks and drinks that will be consumed throughout the night. Share the burden of catering around by asking everyone to bring a savoury or sweet platter of snacks, and a bottle of wine or some beer/cider. To add that extra ambience, choose some cool music that can slide into the background without interfering the game playing. 

Settle in with a Book or TV Series Box Set

Head off to your local library / bookshop / JB HiFi store to prepare for a snuggly night in on the couch. 

When choosing a book think about what interests you - there are novels that can provide you with a release from your everyday world by: 

- taking you on an action packed adventure

- bringing to life an historical saga

- romancing your senses

- introducing you to the crime busting world.

Another thing to think about is whether you want to hook into an established series that follows a character throughout the books or go for a stand alone story.

If novels aren't your thing, you may want to investigate the latest autobiographies, self help books, or political intrigues. You can seek help from library or bookshop staff.  

With TV series box sets you may want to be nostalgic or go with a recent tv series. You can re-visit the 90s with favourites like Seinfeld, Friends, Buffy, Twin Peaks. For those wanting something more up to date the obvious picks include (but are not limited to) Game of Thrones, Miss Fischer, Grey's Anatomy, House, or The Bletchley Circle. 

Once you have chosen your book or box set, create a nest for yourself on the couch. Blankets, cushions, throw rugs will keep you warm and comfortable. Throw on your pyjamas, dressing gown and bed socks to complete the scene. Hot drinks, wine, after dinner liqueurs and snacks will also help you settle into your relaxing reading or watching experience.