The Best of January

It’s done. January is over and done with. Not that that means much to you people in Australia or New Zealand but in Canada? It’s quite an accomplishment.

I actually like the snow and cold and storms. Match those up with a roaring fire in the middle of the day and you’ve got a perfect picture as far as I’m concerned. WAIT. NO!!!!

There is something even more perfect.

The most perfect winter weather scenario in the world?


Yes. Thundersnow. It’s a rare occurrence where it snows and thunders at the same time. Snow whipping through the air while earth shaking thunder fills the skies. It’s like Armageddon without Will Smith. Or was it Bruce Willis? Either way Thundersnow is better and equally enjoyable with popcorn.

So January is over and done with but because I know not all of you are around all of the time I have for you the Best of January. The 5 posts that I think you should make sure you read in case you missed them the first time around.

click map

Bikram Yoga Grow Tomatoes indoors! Chicken Video to Cure the Winter Blues Paleo Meal Plan DIY pencil holder

What do you have to look forward to in February? A quick and easy way to make your Valentine’s dinner more Valentiney, How to accessorize your mantle, bookcase or coffee table, How to make Beef Stock and more!


  1. Charlene says:

    From Georgia USA ( though originally born in in Florida – I do miss the beach!!!). Had a lot of rain lately, wouldn’t mind one good snow storm to kill the bugs (in foothills of Blue Ridge Mtns, we get them occasionally) and catch up on work with no teachers and students!

  2. Sara says:

    I’m so confused. Winter in Central Texas is short, but it was unseasonably short this year. I feel like a grumpy bear who didn’t have enough time to hibernate. On the upside, farmers are bringing strawberries and artichokes to the local farmers markets now – yum!

  3. Em Johnston says:

    I’m looking forward to my birthday. Tomorrow. A facial in the morning then taking 2 girlfriends out for lunch and thrifting. I’m doing the taking because their jobs suck and I don’t wanna have a crappy lunch.

  4. Barbie says:

    The “Here comes the sun” video. DEF my favorite! You did it so well I could almost “feel” the sun. Good job with the editing…I envy your ability!!

  5. Shauna says:

    oh never mind never mind – win, not 3rd place. I need to calm down & read before I post.

  6. Shauna says:

    oh poo, does this mean we can’t vote for TAODS?

    Who is eligible?

    Any blog, amateur and professional in the homespace in the six categories listed above. 
 Past winners and Apartment Therapy blogs are not eligible.

    • Karen says:

      Hi Shauana – Sure you can vote for me. I came in 3rd last year (didn’t win) and I’m not an official apartment therapy blog at all. Their editors just link to my posts when they like em. ~ karen!

  7. Shauna says:

    And, for those wanting to vote for Karen, let’s make it easy for you to do so…Here’s the link:

  8. Sboo says:

    We had thundersnow in Arkansas last month! Snow itself is a fairly rare occurrence down here, so it may have been the first thundersnow EVER. It *was* the first time the National Weather Service classified our weather as a blizzard. Most of Little Rock lost power for at least a couple days and they are still clearing downed trees!

  9. JF says:

    *waves farewell to January*

    man, Jan, don’t let the door hit you on the way out!

    and, apartment therapy is doing their Homies 2013 (favorite blogs) — I’ve already voted for The Art of Doing Stuff in Decorating and DIY but the rest of TAODS readers need to get over there and do the same!


    (seriously, I checked out a number of the Other Blogs and was not impressed!)

    • Karen says:

      Thanks JF. I did a big push last year for the Homies and came in 3rd. I’d love and appreciate more votes. I just won’t be pushing it so much because .. well .. it’s more of a “see who can get the most people to vote” kind of award as opposed to one that’s actually based on quality. I suspect I have the most amount of actual content on Apartment Therapy so I’m pleased with that. (Apartment Therapy’s editors feature and link to my posts a lot) ~ karen!

  10. Nancy Blue Moon says:

    Snow storm due here in Pa tonight also..We have had thundersnow in the past..I always find it amazing when that happens for some reason..maybe because it is so rare..I’m not a snow lover so I think I will go watch the video again and dream about spring and gardens and sunshine..Now If I can just get “chicken poo tea” out of my thoughts..

  11. Toronto Boy says:

    It’s been a pretty good winter in Toronto … Not much snow fell thus far! Huzzah! With the passing of January we hit another milestone! Only 2 more months to go before we start to see the trees begin to bud!

    Hopefully old man winter retires very soon! =P

  12. Apparently snowmageddon is headed our way. Hopefully it delivers, because I’m with you on loving the snow and cold and storm! The bikram yoga post was my favourite this month. I sent it to every yoga-doing person I know, and they loved it too.

  13. Jeannie B says:

    Thundersnow! I remember a morning back in the ’80’s, when my kids were in elementary school. It was snowing so hard that you could barely see in front of you. But, I trudged through the snow with my bundled-up kids, to get them to the school. It was thundering and there were flashes of lightning, high up in the clouds.My kids muttered and complained all the way. Two hours later, I got a call that they were closing the school, so I went back to get them. But, to this day, they still remember that Thundersnow storm! Wish I had that kid with the snow shovel, to help with the “heart attack” snow that’s due tonight.

  14. AngB says:

    We actually had Thundersnow in Texas! Weird. Only the snow isn’t really snow…prob not like your Canadian snow. Texas snow = pretty weak. :) By the way, I’m kinda new to your site…I LOVE IT! Thanks!

  15. I hope the mantle decorating episode comes up soon. Mine has sat pathetically since the Christmas takedown and I have no inspiration. Meanwhile, I feel exactly as you do about January – let it be gone!

  16. Annie says:

    I had no idea that Thundersnow was possible until this year. We were up at Tremblant, sleeping soundly when it hit the mountain (and the gondola). I thought it was an avalanche. I was too terrified to enjoy it, or pop popcorn.

    Congratulations on surviving January. You’re lucky that the worst is over. In Ottawa, February is when winter turns ugly, really ugly. Imagine even uglier than chicken poo tea.

  17. Lynn says:

    Sort of off topic Karen! but I am buying seeds today and wondered about what that gorgeous striped heirloom tomato that you raved about last year is called. Here in Georgia, garden planning is at full steam! Also, I was wondering if you have ever made chicken poo “tea” to use on your garden – if so, any advice on the making of it, using it etc? Thanks in advance! Lynn

    • Karen says:

      Hi Lynn – I have never made the chicken poo tea you speak of. I know about it, but just never had time to do it. I compost my chicken poop with the straw and get a good stock that way. The green/yellow striped tomato everyone loved so much is called Green Zebra. It was also the most prolific. ~ karen!

  18. cred says:

    we had thundersnow this winter in southern ontario- I don’t recall even experiencing it before but it is cool!

  19. Tracy says:

    In Florida, we’re just as excited to see January go away! I mean, there were, like, 3 or 4 whole days where we had to wear…I can barely even type it, it’s so awful… we had to wear… SWEATERS.

  20. Jody says:

    I have to say the beautiful chicken video is the best of the best. And a bit of trivia–Laura Ingalls Wilder was born today in 1867.

  21. Jrn says:

    Thundersnow is amazing and one winter evening we sat in the living room, lights out, to watch an amazing display of lightening, thunder,and snow. These days, I’d be happy for a blizzard. Last one was in 1978. I may be in the minority but love the snow. But we have a back- up generator so…there’s no worry about failed electricity. Plus a wood stove so we could hunker down for awhile.

  22. Clara says:

    I’m from the Washington DC area and no one around here likes snow. I have a 40 mile drive into work each morning. I work for a law firm that almost never closes due to bad weather and I almost always drive the 40 miles even in the snow. I love snow and really enjoyed reading that someone else out there does too.

  23. Gina says:

    All the upcoming posts sound good. I’m also hoping you’ll do a book update soon. I’ve set a big goal for this year (250 books!) and need suggestions, and the ones last year from you and the community were great….(P.S. It was 60 at the beach yesterday and sunny…YAY!)

    • Bobbi says:

      Gina…if you read 250 books this year, when do you have time to pee ?

      • Gina says:

        Who says those two things are mutually exclusive:)?
        Any of the retired menopausal insomniacs out there know this is a reachable goal, right? Once you’ve read Karen’s blog post at 3 am there’s still plenty of time to read…..

  24. Moe says:

    We have a huge Nor’easter heading our way. Looking like up to 50 cm of snow. Maybe we’ll experience some Thundersnow. Never have before. Wish I had a fireplace to snuggle up in front of.

  25. Sue T. says:

    I took this opportunity to watch the Chicken video to cure winter blues again (actually I watched it twice), I love that song. Karen, you are an artist in so many ways. What a beautiful job you do !!! And your girls are so photogenic !

    Anxiously awaiting Feb. surprises,

  26. Susan says:

    All links on mobile site go to yoga posting

    • Karen says:

      Hi Susan – It might be your browser. I’ve double checked here and on my Mac on Safari they’re all correct. Or maybe if you’re on a tablet or iphone it screws up the mapping somehow. Boooo. ~ karen

  27. MaggieB says:

    OMG, just experienced my very first Thundersnow (shouldn’t Thundersnow be spoken in a very portentious-voiced Morgan Freeman?) here in Germany. Walking along enjoying a nice crisp winter’s day – next leaning into the wind, skin being flayed by horizontal hail and snow and the sound of the end of the world overhead!!! Once my heart started beating again and was back in the car, absolutely incredible to watch.

  28. Raymonde says:

    It’s february and it’s -30 celsius, without the windchill factor (which is now -36 and falling quickly towards the predicted -42). We still have a few months before spring, a few very long months…

  29. karenagain says:

    We watched a movie the other night that had the thundersnow. I’ll believe it when I see it. And yes, we are heading towards summer. January is over, February is tiny and then springy!

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