Friday Feels – 5 tips to beat winter and my fave app

Hey guys! I’ve really missed the brain dump that typically makes up the Friday feels, so I’m excited to get back at it today. I mentioned in Wednesday’s post that January is always a hard month for me to get motivated, especially creatively, but just in general too. Michigan winter’s can be pretty brutal with all of the gray sky, snow and limited sunshine, so I thought I would share a few tips that help keep me going.

The 10 minute pick up. I’m the first to admit that clutter gives me anxiety and just adds “noise” to our already crazy house in the mornings. Making my bed first thing and just walking through the house for 10 minutes picking up water glasses, stray toys and paper sets the tone for a productive day for me.

A bedroom with a bed in a room

Coffee and quiet time. We have to be out the door by 6:50 to make the bus stop, so my mornings are a little fast and furious trying to herd tired kids out the door. When I get back I take 15 minutes to sit on the couch, drink my coffee and have some quiet time. Our church emails out daily devotions that go along with the week’s sermon and I take that time to read that along with any book or bible study I’m doing (right now I’m reading Jen Hatmaker’s new book.) It is nice to reset my mind after the “where are my mittens/gyms shoes/lunch/*insert anything here that is not a permanent appendage*” shenanigans every morning.

A woman sitting next to a dog

Get outside. Even when the weather is freezing and miserable, I always feel better getting even 10 minutes of fresh air. Whether that’s bundling up and walking the dog, watching the kids sled or even just shoveling the sidewalk.

A tree covered in snow\

Take a break. Take time at the end of the day to stop and do something you enjoy. The Mr. and I try to turn off our computers and phones at a certain point every night and watch a funny show together or read a book. Just relax for a half hour at the end of the day. A glass of wine or cup of tea helps too ;) My favorite show that I just finished was The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel on Amazon. Someone please tell me you have watched it too?! I’m also reading the new Ken Follet book – Column of Fire.

Workout. This is the biggest key for me. I workout 5-6 days a week especially in the winter and it’s more for my mental health than my physical health. My favorite workout app that I use every day is Tone It Up. Our nearest gym is actually in a gas station (I don’t think anyone ever believes just how “in the middle of nowhere” we live until I explain that our gym is attached to the gas station… oh, and it used to be an archery range… yeah, a former archery range turned gym and attached to a gas station… can you say big city metropolis?). And it has no childcare, so working out at home works best for me.

A cellphone on a table

I started using the Tone It Up app this year and love it! It’s way less expensive than a gym membership, and every day there is a new workout class to take, which you sign up for a specific time. That has been super helpful for me, because it sends little reminders like ” your class starts in 10 minutes.” Something about actually signing up for a time has kept me accountable. There are also daily toning moves each day to work through, and if you miss your class or sometimes it’s not a workout I love, (like yoga when I’m in the mood for cardio) they have On Demand classes. The classes are broken down by what body part you want to work (legs, abs, butt, etc. – you can see it the photo above) and then by time. So, if you have 10 minutes, 20 minutes or 45 minutes you can pick something that fits your schedule. Most classes you just need a set of weights and a mat.

The other perk of working out at home is my fancy trainer here doesn’t understand ab routine does not equal snuggle time…. :)

A small dog looking at the camera

This is not sponsored, I just really enjoy their workouts and the ease of the app. I’ve been doing Tone It Up workouts for about 2 years. They have a nutrition program as well that I use a lot of recipes from and it really works for me. Here is a link to their site where you can try the app for free for a week! And this is their site if you want to check out more about the workouts and nutrition plan.

Any beat the winter blues tips you love? Share in the comments below!

Happy Weekend!

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  1. I love your tips! Often during winter I feel down and don’t want to go out because of the bad weather but recently I found out that the more I go out the better I feel.

  2. Hi!
    The Tone It Up app sounds so great! I love that you can do everything at home, and that the class times hold you accountable. (Something that I would need!) Do you have to watch the classes on your phone or do you link it to your tv screen somehow? If it’s just on your phone (which I’m assuming it would be since it’s an app), do you find it hard to see what the instructors are doing?

    1. Hey Stephanie so you can definitely mirror it onto your TV if you have the right stuff (I know I can somehow but I’m not that tech savvy ha) to do that. I typically watch it on my phone, I just set my phone against a weight near my mat and don’t have any issues. Also all the instructors give great verbal cues so you don’t necessarily need to be looking right at the phone the whole time. It took me a minute to get used to because I used to do their workouts on my computer but now it doesn’t bother me. I wonder if you could use an iPad otherwise? I haven’t tried that!

  3. Thank you for the tip on the workout app – I may need to check that one out! I’m a substitute teacher so my schedule can be very unpredictable…sounds like this app may be the way to go for me to finally get my body moving :) I’m in northeastern Iowa where winters can be just miserable so I agree that getting out of the house for even 10 minutes can be huge! I need to take a cue from your routine about making the bed. Our master bedroom really takes a hit and gets ignored so much but it feels so good when it’s all clean!

    I do have a question and I think you said you were going to do a basement post soon. Do you have wood floors in your basement, as well? If so, how do you like them down there (being in a cold weather winter climate I’m wondering how comfortable they are). We are preparing to finish our basement and are going back and forth between comfy warm carpet and pretty wood (vinyl most likely) floors. Thank you!

    1. Hey Kim, I love how flexible the TIU app is so I hope you give it a try. And we lived in Iowa for 5 years so I can relate completely to the winters there. I will be posting the basement soon (maybe next week?) we actually did a combination of flooring down there. The kids have laminate in their rooms. There is tile in the bathroom and engineered wood in the hallways and we did an inlaid carpet in the center of the room. I will say we have radiant heat in our floors so it is always toasty so I can’t really speak to if it would be cold without that. Good luck with the renovations!

  4. Your looking pretty gorg doing your reading. Do you do make up etc before kids leave? This winter really has me off schedule. My husband drives kids to school and I start house chores and one thing leads to another and day gets away from me. Usually 7.30/8 at night I’m sneaking to a corner to got in a workout. What is your schedule? Seeing how other people do it is helpful. My kids are in high school sports so warmer weather is great. Take them to practice and have a couple hours to walk/run etc.

    1. ha no way! I’m just a visual person and wanted some images to go along with my post, so I quick snapped this later in the day. I drive my kids to the bus stop in my bathrobe most days lol. My day typically goes like this – I’m home by 7:15 for the bus run, I make my bed and do my little clean up. Usually 7:30-7:50 is my quiet time and then I throw my workout clothes on for the 8:00 class on the app. Then I shower and start my day on my computer working. I try to get all my blog work done before 1:00 or 2:00 and save an hour or two before my kids get home to clean, dinner prep or run errands. Hope that helps, sometimes it’s hard to get in a groove!

  5. I absolutely loved this post, just what I needed! I’m in California so I definitely don’t have the low temps and snow to deal with-although to me it’s freezing right now! ;-) I’ve been trying to find a simple, convenient workout routine I can fit in with my full-time job, two little boys, and husband and I think TIU will be exactly what I’m seeking! Thank you so very much for giving us a peek into your home and life, I gain so much inspiration from your home decor style!

    1. Hey Meredith oh man enjoy that CA sunshine for me! I hope you love the app, it’s so flexible and perfect to use on the go!

  6. I, too make my bed 1st thing each morning! :) It makes your feel like you’ve accomplished something right out of the shoot. I adore your bedroom…clean, simple, and charming. I’ve been looking at new bedroom furniture for some time and actually have actually had this same bed “in my cart” for a long while… I just can’t get my husband to love it as much as I do… errrrr. (he likes cleaner lines… yucko!)

    Have a great weekend!
    Toni C.

  7. Marvelous Mrs. Maisel is PHENOMENAL!!!! Can’t wait for Season 2 and wondering when it will be out???

  8. I’m so happy to hear that you’re a bed-maker, too (LOVE your bedding!). Lots of people think we’re nuts (including my sister!) but a pretty bedroom puts a smile on my face.

    I suspect my weather is fairly similar to yours (far northwest Chicago suburb) so lately my outdoor time has been limited to filling the bird feeders and heated birdbath. But hubby and I walked at least a mile every day during our 3-week stay at my son’s house in CA during the holidays. It was wonderful!

    And if I had a trainer as cute as yours, I’d work out more often. :-) Have a wonderful weekend!

    1. Ha my trainer is very cute but snuggling is not the most effective workout ;) so glad you got a chance to soak up the sun in CA for a bit!

  9. HI Kelly,

    Love your bedroom sheets and the way you make the bed. Maybe some time do a step by step (picture by picture) on how to make the bed? I have a big fluffy feather comforter and when I make my bed and turn down the top it does not look as good as I would like.

    Thanks and I love your house! Stay warm and as my mom tells me “spring is right around the corner”, even as it snows there in Glenn, I ask her how she knows and she says……”I just received my seed catalogs in the mail” :)))). And I believe her!


  10. This was exactly what I needed to read this morning! I am also going to check out the exercise app! Thank you!

  11. Love your home and thoughts about taking time for yourself. Would you mind sharing where your bedroom linens are from? Beautiful! Thx for sharing!

  12. So funny about the gym! People really do have a hard time visualizing it, but yep it’s in a pole barn/ gas station.
    I love TIU… super curious about the app though! I just pull up you tube videos.

    1. Haha love all the fun quirks of living out here :) I’ll have to show you the app on my phone next time I see you, or try the free week it is so easy to use!

  13. Thank you for the info on Tone It Up App. :-) Can’t wait to look it over. I love your morning routine. God’s blessings

  14. I must admit, I do envy (in a good way) your life. Here in Denmark only a few women/mom’s/people are so lucky to be in a relationship/family that do not require them having a full time work to be able to pay for a (lovely) home and a life that is not limited by lack of money. Our whole welfare in this country depends on (very) high taxes both on income and everything you can buy. And I do believe that I recently saw that Denmark was the highest taxed country in the world. But then we of course have free doctors, hospitals, education, and if you are out of work you do not starve. But my dream is absolutely to be able to be economically free of a job – so I rely heavily on being one of the big lotto winners :-))). I wish you a wonderful day in your beautyful home. Greetings from Denmark (no, it’s a country – not the capital of Sweden! And no, we do not have polar bears in the streets ;-)….)

    1. Hi Iben, I do feel really blessed to have an unconventional job that let’s me work from home and arrange my work hours around when my kids are home. Thanks for reading!

    2. Hi Iben,

      Just want to give you a more realistic picture than you may have. Most families in the United States have to have all adults working, whether out of the home, or from home like Kelly does, in order to have even a normal middle class house, or even a low income home, depending on which area of the country they live in. Most people do not live on a lake in an over-the-top beautiful house, haha. (Kelly is just so talented!)

      I myself earn all the income for my family because my husband is very ill (chronically) and the health care here is horrible. So he is most often not able to get the health care he needs, unless we pay out of pocket and that makes feeding the family difficult. We make too much to be on the welfare system, but not enough to live without a struggle. I’m not telling you this to complain or anything, but just to say that in reality the USA is maybe not what you’re imagining. You’re very, very blessed to have that healthcare and be taken care of should any bad circumstances fall on your family. Also, I imagine that your life is probably much less stressful than what American’s live under (but then, maybe I don’t know much about your country, lol.)

    3. Hello Iben,

      Please let me give you some further clarification of life here in America. Kelly does have the most beautiful home, a wonderful talent and sense of style! She is also very generous to share all of that with us, her adoring followers. She also has the cutest workout buddy ever!

      We are extremely lucky in America. Our health care is the best in the world, we don’t turn any one away and we treat everyone regardless of their age or station in life. We also send or medical knowledge to every corner of the world, no matter who needs help. Sadly, medical service isn’t free, not for us, and not for your citizens either. The facts are, governments don’t have any money to spend until they have taxed their citizens. The more governments “do” for people the more they have taken from those people. America may be the only country on Earth where the people/citizens revolt when the government tries to do too much.

      Please don’t misunderstand. If that much government and taxation works for your country, that’s wonderful. But in our country, taxes high enough to support all of those programs and the associated government restrictions wouldn’t be acceptable to most of us. I feel bad for Monica’s situation, it is very difficult to have a spouse with a chronic illness. But America is very good at seeing to the medical needs of all of our people. There are more services available than you can imagine to help people get food and medical assistance regardless of their employment status and even their citizenship. Also, food is provided for those who need it. There are dozens of programs for all ages, employed and unemployed, if you need help its available for you. Children have it from before school until into the evening hours. You will find Americans are very generous people, to each other and to others in the world.

      Good luck with your lottery tickets, I hope you find some winning numbers! If you do, please plan a visit to the United States. Michigan is a beautiful state. I live in Colorado, come and visit here too! We can go skiing if you visit in the winter. We can do something different if you come when it’s warm. Maybe Vail or Aspen, do you enjoy shopping? Kelly, you’re welcome to come along. Bring the family, it’s a great place to visit!


      1. Thank you both for your reactions to my respons to Kelly’s (in my eyes) wonderful life.
        I am sorry to hear about your struccles Monica and very much hope that things will be better for you and your husband. And Thank you to you, Linda for your invitation ?. I am actually in USA on regular base but that is unfortunately only in business related matters and I have not yet had the pleasure to enjoy your country as tourist.
        Regarding welfare and taxes, I guess there are pro’s and con’s no matter how a country decides to tax their citizens.
        I wish you all a wonderful weekend

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