We feel it too: this season can be hectic. You’re balancing a calendar that suddenly seems to have very little weekend availability, less daylight, low temperatures, gifting… all on top of regular ‘ole life.
For anyone feeling less twinkly than the festive lights outside, it might be time to slow things down and simplify. We’re talking easy one pot dinners, stress-free hosting, letting go of expectations, finding little ways to get outside, and keeping outfits simple.
Here are our Top 5 Tips for living with less to feel more this season:
One Pot Wonders: Easy Homemade Dinner
Take the complication out of a homemade weeknight dinner… and have leftovers for lunch tomorrow (dare we say it: two meals, one pot).
Soups and pastas are a great option here, but there are also plenty of other one pot recipe ideas out there. Bagged salads are also an easy option to get some greens in with no preparation required. Pre-cooked rice can also be a time saver without sacrificing delicious-ness.
Here is one of our favorite “one pot” recipes that sounds fancy, but is actually really easy. While the squash bakes, you can tackle other things.
Roasted Winter Squash with Feta, Mint, and Pistachios
1 butternut squash
Salt and pepper
1 ½ tsp lemon juice
1 tsp honey
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese (or substitute your favorite cheese)
¼ cup shelled pistachios, finely chopped (optionally toasted)
2 tbs chopped fresh mint
Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. Use a vegetable peeler or knife to remove squash skin. Halve squash lengthwise; scrape out seeds. Slice into ½ inch thick pieces.
Toss squash with 2 tablespoons olive oil and a sprinkle of salt and pepper, then place on baking sheet in a single layer. Roast squash until browned, 25-30 minutes. Rotate sheet and flip squash, continue to bake for additional 20-25 minutes.
While baking, whisk together lemon juice, honey, 1 tablespoon olive oil, and a pinch of salt. Once squash is finished baking, transfer slices to a plate. Drizzle squash with lemon honey mixture and sprinkle with feta, pistachios, and mint. Enjoy!
No Fuss Hosting & Cocktails
Be the hostess with the most-ess by requesting that everyone contribute to the gathering. Maybe that’s taking care of appetizers, dessert, or drinks. Or try asking one or two of your guests to bring a game, playlist rotation, or thoughtful conversation starter for dinner time. Remember: hosting doesn’t need to be a performance for loved ones.
If you’re making the main dish and stumped for ideas, pick something straight forward – maybe even refer to a one pot recipe! Appetizers can be easy, too. Think cheese and crackers or chips and guacamole.
If you’re making beverages for the group, consider easy-to-make drinks with ingredients you might already have. We find that spritzers often do the trick. Flavored bubbly water is your friend! Try mixing a little bit of sparkling water with wine for a wine spritzer or try pairing flavors with your favorite liquor. Have fun with flavors!
Two more easy spritzer faves:
- Muddle lime, mint, and cucumber with gin, then top off with sparkling water.
- Muddle ginger and lime, then top with a mixture of Prosecco and sparkling water.
Letting GoEvery season has its opportunities. In the summer it might be hitting the lake, going to the beach, working in the garden, or backyard BBQs. It can be easy to pile winter’s opportunities around the holidays: play in the snow, bake cookies, visit local festivities, holiday parties, decorations and crafting, shopping… the list goes on.
Start the season by letting go of expectations. Decide what activities, traditions, and even obligations are necessary. Bonus points if you can do this before the calendar starts filling up.
How much of your home are you going to decorate? Are you making homemade gifts? Do you want to host a get together this year? It’s okay to opt out of parties, ornament and cookie exchanges, and jam-packed weekends. Boundaries, baby!
Need help slowing down? Try planning unplugged time. Maybe that’s spent tackling a puzzle, reading a new book, even taking the long route home to check out holiday lights. Which brings us to…
Fitting In Time OutsideBetween limited daylight hours and the weather, it can be hard to get outside in the winter. But a little fresh air can go a long way, especially this time of year. It sounds basic but try a quick walk around the block on your next lunch break. Or, bundle up and grab a flashlight to take an evening stroll around the neighborhood (hint: this is the best month to do it – you’ll be rewarded by a new perspective of your neighbors’ holiday lights).
If you’re looking for a longer outdoor adventure, check the forecast and plan it out in advance. You’ll likely be rewarded by less-crowded trails and the opportunity to really slow down and enjoy the time outside.
Bringing Back The (Better Than) Basics
Make your wardrobe and outfits a cinch by leaning into better-than-basics. We promise they’re not boring!
Hosting? Try pairing our ultra-comfy, black Chaka Wide Leg Pants with an elevated tee (like super soft Rose or Foothill Pointelle), or our bestselling Mission Ridge Pants with a Henley tee.
Basics also make for effortless layering for office meetings, holiday market shopping, travel days, or hanging out around the house. Bonus: all of our basics are made to wear more, wash less, so you can easily mix-and-match them throughout the weekend for quick outfit pairings.