Fresh baked cookies are pretty darn exciting, right? I mean, who doesn’t love them? Whip up a batch of chocolate chip cookies, cinnamon rolls, or gingerbread men to fill the house with a gorgeously yummy smell of sugary treats, and more importantly – a treat for later. You can even do it with your family as a fun activity or maybe an ongoing tradition! If you are watching your waistline (which you shouldn’t be because you should be living your best life), then you can still bake something that smells delicious without worrying about calories: stovetop potpourri.
To make a stovetop potpourri, combine dried cranberries, cinnamon sticks, star anise, cardamom, whole cloves, candied ginger, a vanilla bean pod, a rosemary sprig, and a candied orange peel in a pot with simmering water. Keep adding water, so it does not get too low. That is different from boring, stale potpourri in that the scent is released when it is simmering, so it doesn’t sit in a bowl collecting dust! Your home will smell absolutely wonderful – and you might catch yourself making it year-round.
To make your home feel ultra-cozy for the long winter nights, you might want to take another look at your lighting situation. Softer lighting creates a warmer environment at home, which is where you escape from work to relax. Fluorescent lights emit strong UV and can even lead to some eye disease, so why not give yourself a break from them? If changing the bulbs to a different temperature is not an option, maybe you can add a dimmer switch to the outlets you do have, though that does require specific bulbs as well.
If you aren’t familiar with the different light temperatures, let’s briefly go over them. Color temperature describes the light’s appearance and is measured in degrees from one thousand to ten thousand. Typically, the colors are represented as warm white, cool white, or daylight. Warm white is the coziest and inviting of them all and is best for living rooms, bedrooms, and kitchens. You can use warm white bulbs in lamps and chandeliers. The brightness of the light then can increase to daylight bulbs, which is typically described as “invigorating,” so you can tell that’s not exactly the ‘relaxing’ scene you would try to set after a long day at work.