What To Do on a Snow Day

Chicago is getting slammed with a record-breaking cold front today, in addition to the near-foot of snow we’ve gotten in the past 36 hours. Apparently, it’s all thanks to a “polar vortex” of wind swooping down from the North Pole. Santa, you rotten bastard!

Screen Shot 2014-01-05 at 4.11.17 PM

The high today is supposed to be -13 F, with windchills clocking in at a bone-chilling negative 43 degrees. Yowza. Needless to say, it’s downright dangerous to be out and about. Most Chicagoans have off of work or are working from home.


Which is where I am—working from home, buried beneath wool socks and a huge robe, with a space heater blowing directly on me. So while I’ll be working today, here are a few indoorsy things I’d like to do on future snowy days.


I’m bored of the old chocolate chip cookie routine. Here are three delicious baked goods on my to-eat list.

Salted peanut butter pretzel M&M cookies, via Our Best Bite


Cinnamon maple candied almonds, via Foodie with FamilyMaple-Cinnamon-Candied-Almonds-by-Foodie-with-Family

Peanut butter cookie dough brownies, via The Nonpareil Baker


Get crafty

Nothing like plummeting temps to make me want to channel my inner Martha.

–  Cover mini-flower pots in a bright, floral fabric. I just know mine would never turn out like this, but a girl can dream.


– Frame one of my grandma’s handwritten recipes. I’d love to do this with her lemon sugar cookie recipe, as it’s been passed down through the generations from her mother, who was born in Germany.


– Construct this handy-dandy family birthday calendar (to help with one of my resolutions).


Snuggle with a good book

Snowflakes gently falling outside, a roaring fire (or um, space heater…), a good book in your lap, and nowhere to be. Paradise. I’m currently reading One Summer in America: 1927 by Bill Bryson. Here’s what’s next on my list:

– And the Mountains Echoed by Khaled Hosseini


– Sisterland by Curtis Sittenfield


– The Boys of My Youth by Jo Ann Beard


 Catch up on blogs

These blogs—a handful of my all-time favorites—have great big archives worth digging through, ideal for the snowed-in gal with hours of time. What a match!

– Cup of Jo

– Style by Emily Henderson

– The Kate Keeper

– Her Pursuit of Sunshine 

– Go Fug Yourself

Binge-watch a TV series

Blustery winter days were made for snuggling on the couch and ingesting entire seasons of TV shows without coming up for air. I just watched the documentary Blackfish—a heart-wrenching expose on SeaWorld—on Saturday and I highly recommend it. If you want to binge-watch a TV series from the start, here are my suggestions:

– “Veep” on HBO, my favorite comedy on TV right now

– “Mad Men” on AMC

– “Downton Abbey” on PBS

How do you keep busy on a cold winter’s day?


  1. Brrrrr I checked the weather in Minnesota this morning, since that’s where Alex’s family lives, and it’s -22 there!!!! Meanwhile it’s in the 60’s here in Richmond :)

  2. gah I heard sisterland was so good. it is next on my list. I am right now sucked into Defending Jacob and I have to say I really like it.

  3. Oh, I LOVE the idea of framing a handwritten recipe. How special is that? :)

  4. We woke up to -22 this morning in Minneapolis, We’re going to spend our day crossing our fingers that the power doesn’t go out and that no pipes burst. It makes for riveting drama!

  5. I’m working (and blogging!) from home today but I also use the time stuck inside to get caught up on laundry and cleaning. I’ll probably fire up the slow-cooker, too. Stay warm!

  6. Sisterland was pretty good. A little slow at times but a good read. Just finished Sharp Objects and I’m waiting for Dark Places. Thanks for the recs. Also, McGowen is reading about bernadette and agrees that it’s not that funny.

    Off topic– I read your wool socks as wool slacks. And then I laughed thinking of you sitting on your couch in your cozy wool slacks probably laughing at Selina on Veep.

    • We should start a cross-country book club, Steph! We all have such similar reading diets. I don’t get the obsession with Bernadette—people said it was laugh-out-loud funny and I found myself more annoyed than anything. Dark Places was my favorite of Flynn’s three books so I’m curious to hear what you think! Also: did you see that both the movie versions of Gone Girl and Dark Places are coming out in 2014?!

  7. Great idea. I’m in Los Angeles now, but was raised in Chicago and know a thing or two about snow days. I always used the first snow day after xmas to write thank you cards. Other favorites (on days when it was too cold to go sledding) were massive games of hide and seek, watching old movies, and building forts!

    • I love the idea of catching up on thank you cards! I still have a few left to write myself. Building forts is an excellent one! Bonus points for setting it up in front the TV so you can watch an old movie while snuggling in your fort.

  8. My Top 3 – Reading, Watching a Movie and Napping:)

  9. GET OUT OF MY BRAIN, LARSEN. Didn’t this happen once before that we posted the same blog post on the same day? Your snow day recs sound both lovely and familiar. Now bring me some of those peanut butter cookie dough brownies, and we’ll clink them together in cheers to many more days of brain sharing :)

  10. Uhhh the framed recipe idea is awesome, must steal that idea! I told Megan that your new fantasy bachelor game is going to make you famous, I will continue to check Yahoo.com for your story :)

    • Hahahaha, fingers crossed, Maura! Don’t you love the framed recipe idea? I really think it’d make a great gift for a mom or sister too.

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