Stay in Bed

I’m writing this from one of my favorite little coffee shops. It’s a charming home-away-from-home to make a little workstation, as there’s always warm, spicy tea and big windows for taking periodic visual breaks from the screen to look at people bustling about town with their babies, bags, pups, and friends, kicking up the first few autumn leaves on the street and pulling their coat collars closer up their necks. That’s right, kids – Fall is truly here and it’s starting to get cold as fuck. In grand Chicago fashion, we’re not just facing fall – we’re facing a three-day autumn which will then be followed by a six-month long, brutal, colder-than-a-witch’s-titty style winter. While I adore fall, I’m dreading winter, but coffee shops like this make it infinitely more bearable.

fabcakes chicago

I used to have a decrepit little basement apartment in Boston that I’ve been thinking about a lot lately. You know how certain places, at the time, don’t strike you as special, and then you find yourself wistfully remembering them later? Yeah, this is that place.

The pipes didn’t just creak, they would bang. All damn night, as the old-timey radiators would produce that hiss of steam heat. I  had a sleepover with friends and while I slept soundly through the clanging I’d become accustomed to, they were awake all night, terrified. The building was covered in ivy, which crept down to my windows and wove its little vines around the 1920′s window grates. The kitchen was not technologically advanced, but had a remarkably sunny window and epic counter and cabinet space. The floors were blonde and brown original pine and felt magical underfoot, even in freezing temps. And the bathroom had original black-and-white penny tiles, pedestal sink (I’d imagine some fancy flapper girl getting ready there, though that probably never happened), and a GLORIOUS claw-footed tub with just the right slanted back for soaking in lavender-infused baths while still balancing a book or magazine. At the time, I had no idea this place was such a hub of magic, but by golly it was. I don’t have many pictures from this apartment, save for this one, of my bedroom window on a dreary day. I remember taking it with my digital camera and feeling so cozy (yes, it’s a small pic. Technology, you know…):

basement apt

The Ritual of Relaxing

During days like this, you could find me one of three places: (1) in the kitchen cooking while listening to The Cure; (2) in the bathtub taking a luxurious soak; or, (3) in the bedroom reading, talking on the phone, or making collages (because I had the preoccupations of a 15 year old, I guess…).  I would lay on my bed on such rainy days, steam heat banging and windows open (to hear the plop plop ping ping of the raindrops and get a fresh cross breeze), pull my coziest duds on, and read and sip tea or Cafe Bustelo all afternoon. It was a little ritual that got me through breakups and work challenges, stressful times and occasional illnesses, and would generally recharge me to start the workweek fresh and with renewed vigor. During these times, I would also task myself with fun challenges that truly made me and my life better. There was one month in particular where I had three challenges going all at once: (1) Pack my lunch every work day (It’s no coincidence that I lost 6 lbs during this challenge); (2) Read every book on my bookshelf before I buy or acquire any new ones and donate them to a friend or charity once I finished reading them (that was a truly rewarding exercise, and I did it!); and, (3) Use up everything in my fridge before I go grocery shopping (this led to many interesting meals…).

This unwinding and enjoying my space is a ritual that somehow, I’ve forgotten and neglected. Life gets busy, we cohabitate, and we forget to carve out a niche of space that feels like ours, that feels special. Although it feels like you’re doing nothing, relaxation gives way to so many ideas and much-needed freshness in life, and I find winter to be a marvelous time to turn inward, cultivate those special little spaces and rituals, and get our little squirrel houses in order before the sunshine returns.

Stay in Bed

Perhaps this post is aspirational. As I was compiling these luxe and comfy finds, I was feeling like I was back in that little garden apartment , surrounded by the permission I used to give myself to kick back, imagine, compile, read, and generally enjoy life from the bed. I hope this inspires some of you busy bees to pause a moment, take shelter from the cold, and indulge in pulling on yummy pjs and socks, burrowing in to the covers with a good book (I mean, how can you beat Moz’s autobiography? Right, you can’t) and an adorable mug filled with of-the-moment tea (maple? pumpkin? chai? fuck yes), and a candle that smells like heaven.

stay in bed the little foxes vegan vegetarian recipes style

// 1. ALAS Lingerie Astronomy Pajama Set // 2. Morrissey Autobiography // 3. Pacifica Tibetan Mountain Temple Candle // 4. Char-Bea by Ashley G. Brushstroke Duvet Cover // 5. Peshtemal Organic Cotton Turkish Fouta + Throw // 6.  How to Make Pumpkin Maple Chai Tea // 7. Homegrown Monogram Mugs // 8. Crocheted Tabi Sock by Miakoda in Black //

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10 thoughts on “Stay in Bed

  1. I loved this post! It definitely makes me want to put on some cozy PJs and jump into the covers with a good book and a hot cup of tea or cider. Your basement apartment sounds like it was such a unique hideaway. I would love to have a bathroom with a claw foot tub (even though I don’t take baths that much). I also find that sometimes it’s hard to appreciate things until further on down the line.

    • You’re so right! At the time I loved the place, but now I’m like “OHMIGOSH, how could I let that place go?!?” Hindsight. :) Thanks for reading, pretty.

  2. What a great story! I had a crappy studio apartment one year in college, and I still think back on that place so fondly. It was my first (and only!) time living totally by myself, and I loved curling up on my futon to read a book and watching my Guinea pig run around on the floor.

    • Becky, I want to be in your apt with the little guinea pic running around. Sounds awesome!

  3. Just found your blog via Carrie on Vegan. This post is awesome and you are hilarious. Reading this reminded me of the time I stayed overnight at a friend’s apartment in Chicago that had radiators, we joked that Nine Inch Nails was putting on a midnight show from all the clanging. Good times.

    • YOU are hilarious…and potentially my soulmate. NIN impromptu show? Amazing. My friends and I used to joke that it was Depeche Mode doing the beginning of “Everything Counts” on my heater pipes. Were we in the same friend-group? PS – I live in Chicago now. Where was yo place? Thanks for stopping by!

      • I live in Milwaukee but I’ve been making trips to Chicago to visit my pals since forever ago. Ah, Depeche Mode…love it!

  4. I love this post as I, too, am a coffee shop lover…and like the title “stay in bed” as sometimes that just sums it all up LOL

    • Tora, you’re a gal after my own heart! Now, coffee IN bed? Well, that’s just perfection. ;)

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