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With the seasons changing and fall quickly turning to winter in Chicago, going outside isn’t most people’s favorite option. (Except maybe the kids ofcourse when it snows). Which means our leisurely activities are changing. I’m not sure about you, but I personally enjoy hibernating in the winter. I like the winter activities just as equally as the summer!

You would think a woman would be most weight conscious in the summer when it’s bikini season. But hell, I’ve got stretch marks, the horrible, not normal kind, that I prefer not to show off. So for me,  bikini seasons is always out. (Note: I embrace the majority of my stretch marks, they are my “war scars” from my pregnancy. I know my body isn’t ruined, I’m a sultry tiger and I earned my stripes. But I’m not about to show the ones that look like an old man’s ass, off). ….back to my point. I actually am most weight conscious in the winter, when I’m stuck inside. Sure with the holidays I eat more, but I also work out a heck of a lot more, as the gym offers me something to do.

Then there’s the bar scene. Ever notice how the bars are more crowded in the summer than the winter? That’s because in the summer we have beer gardens to explore and in the winter, we’d rather cozy up to our lovers at home in front of fire with spiked hot chocolate, or egg nog.

Eva Gizowska’s things to do now that you’re…single again, even recommends we do this. Well, the fire!

“Spend an evening chatting with friends in front of an open fire.” Simple enough!

Recently, I had the pleasure of doing just that. A former friend of mine and I recently started getting reacquainted. He like I, experienced a difficult loss to a similar cause. Over the past few months we have spent some time sharing our grief and trying to make each other laugh. Last week, while at his house we had had quite enough of drunken nights rambling about death and loss, and opted for entertainment. We pulled up a recipe for spiked cider and brewed an entire two pots. We turned on Saturday Night Live, got out some cards and lit a fire to keep us warm. While I’m pretty sure lady gaga made a fool of herself on SNL that night I can’t tell for sure. I was too busy listening to crackle of the fire and enjoying the company of a dear friend.