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8 Ways to Enjoy a Seemingly Endless Winter

8 Ways to Enjoy a Seemingly Endless Winter

“Winter is coming” is not just something you hear on Game of Thrones; for those living in the Northern Hemisphere the mood of doom and gloom associated with winter is reality. Cheer up—winter comes and goes, and with a bit of creativity you can brighten up its dreariness. Here are some ideas to have fun with:

1. Drink In the Warmth

Why does winter send chills down your spine? Most likely, it’s raw winds, blizzards, or sleet outdoors, and dry air, sneezing, and coughing indoors—a recipe for a headache, sore throat, and a sick leave. To keep them at bay, keep a vacuum flask with hot herbal tea at home to drink immediately after coming in from the cold. The assortment of drinks to fight off chills is vast; check out some of the recipes!

2. No to Winter Blues, Yes to Activity

The key to a full life is not letting yourself succumb to the blues. The ways to do it are innumerable. Stop browsing Instagram—instead of envying friends’ pictures from a skating rink, a concert, or a hot-chocolate-and-pajamas party, do something like that yourself. Join your friends, or go and meet new people; and presto, there you have some warm winter memories!

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Enjoy the little things, like your cat purring by your side in the morning, birds chirping outside in a spell of sunshine, streetlights flickering in fancy patterns on a frost-stained window; even a bowl of good old-fashioned soup instead of a microwave-defrosted pizza can make your day.

3. A Christmas Bargain on Cars

Planning to buy a car? Here’s some good news: according to the latest market statistics, there’s been a noticeable decline in prices on pre-owned convertibles, as quite many people are willing to sell before Christmas in order to get money for celebrations. Ironically, buying a convertible in December is rather practical—modern ones, made since 1996, have foldable metal hardtops and other improvements making them fit for winter. Moreover, classic convertibles are eligible for insurance with handsome policy benefits. Don’t miss out on the opportunity.

4. Après-Ski—A Social Touch to a Sporting Holiday

Skiing is a habitual holiday pastime for thousands of families, as well as student or corporate groups. However, skiing per se gets rather boring after a while, and tourists start seeking entertainment opportunities as well. If you are not keen on rushing down pistes, make sure to pick out resorts with après-ski options. Dusk-till-dawn parties at bars, chic restaurants, shopping, casinos, concerts—après-ski encompasses all these and more.

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As for mountain sports, skiing and snowboarding are not the only two out there. If you’re on the lookout for fresh experiences, try some fusion winter sports, like ski biking, ice surfing, speed flying over snowy slopes—many resorts will provide you with all that is necessary.

5. Indulge in Sweet Memories

If pre-holiday stress is getting at you, a sure way to relieve it is relishing something sweet—no, not sweetmeats, but memories. Remember Christmases of your childhood and how delighted you were even with the simplest things. It doesn’t take a posh Christmas party to make you happy; just taking a walk down brightly-lit streets alongside decorated shop windows can fill you with festive spirit.

6. Save on Bills to Buy More Gifts

In case you favor more practical ways of enjoying yourself—like optimizing your expenses—there’s a wise way of reducing your heating bill: warm yourself instead of heating the entire house. If you have no small kids or temperature-sensitive pets, it’s no use heating the house day and night. You can make do with incandescent bulbs (they give off heat along with light), heated mattress pads, a heated keyboard pad, and an extra layer of clothing. In a month compare the bill with the previous one—the difference will surprise you.

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7. Start Spring Cleaning in Advance

Spring cleaning is a tradition of our ancestors: they heated their dwellings with wood and coal, so by spring the entire house was full of soot, ash, and dust. But we have no such problem, so maybe it is better not to waste beautiful spring days but do spring-cleaning in winter, when we are unwilling to go out anyway?

8. Go Where It Is Warm

If summer has left us, why not follow it? Take a trip to where it is warm and have an excellent time, forgetting for a while about snow and howling winds. Just make sure to prepare for it carefully: learn all about your destination, arrange your affairs to take care of themselves in your absence, find out how to stand up for your rights in case your flight is delayed or cancelled (for example, with the help of Flightright).

It is not our surroundings that make us happy, it is our attitude towards them. Stay positive, and you’ll have happy and joyous memories in spite of the winter gloom!

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Featured photo credit: Winter/@Doug88888 via flickr.com

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Melissa Burns

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Last Updated on June 24, 2019

15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

15 Easy-to-Make Crockpot Freezer Meals for Busy Nights

You work all day, and you come home exhausted and hungry. Naturally, the last thing you want to do is to spend hours in the kitchen cooking dinner. If you love cooking, but your busy schedule doesn’t allow you to cook every night, you can simplify your life by making crockpot freezer meals. These meals will allow you to still eat homemade, healthy, filling dinners without the countless hours and enormous effort spent in the kitchen. You can store the simple ingredients in freezer bags and put them in the crockpot when it is time for dinner, or you can cook over the weekend and stock your freezer with delicious ready meals that will make your life easier. Here are 15 easy-to-make recipes to make delicious dinners for busy nights!

1. Cheesy Tortellini With Ground Beef

Cheesy tortellini with ground beef

    This is a perfect crockpot freezer meal that even your kids will love. The best thing of all is that it’s incredibly easy to prepare. All you have to do is crumble some ground beef and combine all the recipe’s ingredients in your crockpot. The other ingredients needed for this super delicious meal include tomatoes, herbs, and onions. Tortellini is one of the most commonly ordered meals when eating out, but this way you will get to eat a homemade, healthier version of the popular dish. Find the recipe here.

    2. Cranberry Pork Roast

    Cranberry pork roast

      Cranberry pork roast is a gluten-free meal that everyone can make, regardless of their culinary skills. The dish requires only these few ingredients: onion, cranberry sauce, bone-in pork shoulder, and honey. To prepare this mouthwatering dish, simply combine all the ingredients together in the crockpot and let them cook. If you don’t like pork or if you prefer not to eat it, you can easily use beef as a substitute without impacting the flavor. Click here to see the recipe.

      3. Greens and Beans

      Greens and beans

        Greens and beans are the ideal dishes if you want a dish that is both delicious and nutrient-dense. Combine vegetable broth with beans, garlic, kale, escalore, and Parmesan, and let cook. The result will be a dish with a soup-like consistency that will fill you up and provide you with a lot of vitamins and minerals.

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        As a bonus, if you or someone else in your family suffer from rheumatoid arthritis or some other common types of arthritis, greens and beans can reduce the inflammation. That’s because kale and other veggies rich in Vitamin K are anti-inflammatory and are known for relieving arthritis. Click here and start cooking!

        4. Chicken Curry

        Chicken curry

          That is yet another gluten-free recipe that you’ll love to make. Chicken curry requires basic ingredients such as tomato paste, coconut milk, honey, onions, and garlic, in addition to chicken and curry of course.The result is a sweet and spicy dish where different flavors are perfectly balanced. Find the recipe here.

          5. Honey Sesame Chicken

          Honey sesame chicken

            Honey sesame chicken is a simple and effortless dish that delivers an amazing taste. To make this wonderful recipe, you have to combine all the ingredients except for the sesame seeds and green onions and let them cook. Use the sesame seeds and green onions for garnish when serving. Click here for the full recipe.

            6. Mushroom Spinach Stroganoff

            Mushroom spinach stroganoff

              In this warm weather, many people opt to eat lighter food that is easy on the stomach. Mushroom spinach stroganoff fits the bill being a vegetable version of a famous comfort food that you and your family will love. The dish requires simple ingredients such as sour cream, onion, garlic, ketchup, vegetables, and mushrooms. This dish is very simple to make, and thanks to your crockpot, you won’t have much work to do. Find the recipe here.

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              7. Stuffed Peppers

              Stuffed peppers

                If you’re looking for a healthy, simple, and delicious recipe, you’ll love this one! These crockpot stuffed peppers are easy to make, and they require only a few ingredients such as ground turkey or beef, onion, garlic, bell peppers, and pasta sauce. This meal will remind you of grandma’s kitchen. You can find the recipe here.

                8. Cilantro and Lime Chicken

                Cilantro and lime chicken

                  Summer is the perfect season to experiment with more exotic flavors, and this meal can help you do just that. To make cilantro and lime chicken, you will need to combine some simple ingredients such as lime, jalapeno peppers, fresh cilantro, and salsa. The result is chicken that is super tender and that you’ll want to make over and over again, so get the recipe here.

                  9. Beef Fajitas

                  Beef fajitas

                    This is an excellent meal for busy weeknights. The best thing about this recipe is that the required ingredients are probably already there in your kitchen. The recipe is also quite simple — combine all the items in a crockpot, cover, and let cook.

                    The result will be beef and peppers that melt in your mouth. You can easily pair this beef fajita with rice and tortillas and get a meal that the entire family will love. You can find the recipe for this delicious beef fajita here.

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                    10. Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps

                    Asian chicken lettuce wraps

                      Asian chicken lettuce wraps are sweet, slightly salty and very easy to make. All you need to do is add the chicken, red bell pepper, carrots, soy sauce, honey, garlic and the other ingredients to your crockpot and let them cook. You can also replace the chicken with beef or turkey if you like. The presence of different flavors gives this meal a summer flavor you are sure to love. Learn how to make this meal here.

                      11. Hawaiian Chicken

                      Hawaiian chicken

                        This dish enjoys phenomenal exotic tones due to pineapple and lemon flavors. To make this yummy crockpot freezer meal, you need skinless chicken breasts, peppers, ginger and corn starch, in addition to the iconic pineapple and lemon. Learn how to make this perfect summer dinner here.

                        12. Beef and Barley Stew

                        Beef and barley stewd

                          Beef and barley stew is as healthy as it is delicious. Not to mention it’s incredibly easy to make. Besides the beef and barley, you’ll also need carrots, peppers, herbs and beef broth. The result will be a mouthwatering stew that you can serve alone or over white rice. Get the recipe here.

                          13. Meatball Soup

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                          Meatball soup

                            This soup is very delicious, easy to make and quite versatile. You will be able to swap ingredients and experiment to find your perfect combination. To make this meatball soup, you will need to combine meatballs with pasta sauce, chicken broth, carrots, beans, zucchini, and onion. You can view the recipe here.

                            14. Turkey Black Bean Chili

                            Turkey black bean chili

                              Everybody loves chili and for good reason — it’s very delicious, and it’s a perfect combination of different flavors that balance each other out. To make this chili, you’ll need ground turkey, tomato sauce, black beans, paprika, frozen corns, and a few other ingredients. You can get the full recipe here and have this delicious dish ready when you come back from work on those busy nights.

                              15. Ham and Pinto Bean Soup

                              Ham and pinto bean soup

                                What makes soups special is the fact they’re tasty, healthy and filling at the same time. This soup is no exception. The best quality of this ham and pinto bean soup, however, is its simplicity; it requires only five ingredients: ham, beans, ketchup, salt, and water. Learn how to make this soup here.

                                Conclusion

                                With a demanding work week and a busy schedule, it’s normal to have a low energy level by the time you get home. If you don’t feel like standing in the kitchen and cooking dinner due to this, you don’t have to resort to junk food. These freezer crockpot meals offer you the perfect solution for healthy meals that require minimal preparation. You can either combine each recipe’s ingredients in a freezer bag to be thawed and cooked in a few minutes, or you can cook your meal and freeze it to be used later, it’s up to you.

                                This article showed you 15 easy and simple recipes that you can make using your crockpot. All of these recipes contain anti-inflammatory foods whether it is in the form of vegetable, herbs or spices to improve your overall health and wellbeing.

                                Featured photo credit: Google via bettycrocker.com

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