25 Ways to Warm Up
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25 Ways to Warm Up

Shake off winter's chill with these simple indulgences.

25 ways to get cozy

1. Share a decadent dessert and some wine with your most optimistic friend.

2. Cuddle up with a long body pillow. When the world feels like a cold, hard, dangerous place, the antidote is something warm, fuzzy, pillowy and protective. --Gilda Carle, professor of psychology and communications at Mercy College, in New York

3. Bring the outdoors in with a tabletop fountain -- the sound of trickling water can be infinitely soothing.

4. Change the lighting in the room you spend the most time in. Instead of a single overhead light, use a combination of table lamps, hanging lights and floor lamps. Outfit them with bulbs of varying wattage to simulate variations in natural light. --Katie Brown, host of "Katie Brown on E!" and "E! Style"

5. Stay up past your usual bedtime and watch late-night TV. Just like when you were a kid, you'll feel like you're getting away with something. --Leslie Levine, author of "Ice Cream for Breakfast: If You Follow All the Rules, You Miss Half the Fun"

Bread dough, warm colors, a bedtime story

Bread dough, warm colors, a bedtime story

6. Put your hands in a mound of warm, raised bread dough -- it's the most satisfying, sensuous thing. You can use a bread machine for the mixing and proofing, then shape it by hand and bake it on a bread stone. --Linda West Eckhardt, author of "Rustic European Breads from Your Bread Machine"

7. Bake something -- anything -- with apples and cinnamon. Inhale.

8. Make the effort to entertain -- it's a way we can reach out to one another and take comfort from being together, even if we're just sitting around the table with chocolate-dipped biscotti and a cup of coffee. --Colin Cowie, celebrity party planner and spokesman for Gevalia Kaffe

9. Surround yourself with warm, yummy colors in your home. Deep reds are beautiful to live in. Mellow golds are fun, too. To keep your rooms cozy, stay away from greens and too-bright yellows. --Katie Brown

10. Read a bedtime story. For a look at all things cozy from a child's point of view, pick up "The Cozy Book", by Mary Ann Hoberman.

Pets, pajamas, warm towels

Pets, pajamas, warm towels

11. Get a pet. Studies show that living with dogs and cats can improve stress-related increases in blood pressure. And, dogs have proven to be more soothing to have around in stressful situations than spouses.

12. Slip into a pair of Nick & Nora flannel pajamas (www.sleepyheads.com; 952-933-7471).

13. Make a deal with your mate to toss your bath towel into the dryer and deliver it warm as you step out of the tub, or go all the way and install an electric towel warmer in your bathroom.

14. Pull up a rocking chair, grab your favorite quilt or blanket, and allow yourself time to simply sit.

15. Return to your food roots. Comfort food for Texans means chili; Yankees want pot roast; New Yorkers turn to black-and-white cookies. For me, it's tomato soup because that's what my mother always made when I was sick. --Linda West Eckhardt, author of "The Only Texas Cookbook"

Fleecy robes, handwritten notes, hot drinks

Fleecy robes, handwritten notes, hot drinks

16. Buy a snuggly fleece bathrobe in your favorite color.

17. Take time to do things nicely, such as writing notes by hand. It's no longer about impressing someone, but letting them know you care. --Colin Cowie

18. Pull your furniture away from the walls and create cozy seating arrangements. --Katie Brown

19. Listen to music: Research shows it can decrease blood pressure and heart rate. Wind down by listening to music that fits your current mood, moving toward music that is more relaxing. --Peg Stirn, R.N., MT-BC, of Music Therapy in Motion, Fort Collins, Colorado

20. Sip a hot drink and cup the mug to warm your hands. Choose a beverage with a spicy aroma, like Celestial Seasonings Mountain Chai. --Leslie Levine

Warm socks, sweet snacks, favorite photos

Warm socks, sweet snacks, favorite photos

21. Splurge on a pair of cashmere socks -- they're cheaper than a sweater but just as cozy. Lands' End (800-963-4816) has cashmere anklet socks for $26 a pair.

22. Warm your bed with a foot warmer -- a small flannel pillow filled with rice, flaxseed or no-pop corn. Microwave before bed, and it will hold the heat until well after you drift off.

23. Hang drapes. Big, luscious curtains that pool on the floor can really warm up a room and make it more relaxing. --Katie Brown

24. Indulge your sweet tooth.

25. Spend time with old photos. Forget about feeling guilty because they're not all in albums; just enjoy the memories.

Compiled by Sharlene K. Johnson

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