For me – like nearly everyone else this year – home took on a new meaning in 2020. My feet were grounded and my world became contained to my small New York City studio apartment as of March 16, 2020.
Fun Holiday Activities At Home
I’ve always been someone who enjoyed being home. I absolutely have a homebody nature. But I typically balance it with an active social calendar and my love of traveling and being out in the world. I’m an ambivert – my personality equally values being both an introvert and extrovert. (Read more about my results of a personality test here).
My time at home has always been that of recharging. My time alone usually focused on rebooting myself. But this year my time spent at home meant expanding my horizons while also managing to work through stress and uncertainty on levels I’ve never known.
One of the things that brought me joy was getting dressed every day in cozy, comfy clothes. Clothes that feel like a hug. Clothes that feel like pajamas but aren’t pajamas. And clothes that come with the victory of saying “Ok, day. We’ve got this. I will power through another day as our world battles a pandemic and so much unknown.”
My shopping changed as a result.
I’ve not bought my usual blazers or high heels this year. Hardly anything fancy and no new handbags. Instead, I changed where I typically invest. You all know I am a big believer in investing in beautiful, well made pieces and wearing them again and again. And 2020 became the year that Loungewear was added to that category in my wardrobe where I invest. For years now I have invested in high quality sweaters that I will reach for again and again. (Some of the cashmere in my closet has been there for nearly a decade!) And this year I added things like investment leggings and joggers and hoodies that feel like they are keeping me in cozy company all day. (But that will also be worn easily in a post-pandemic world because we will get through this. We will.)
In the spirit of cherished time at home this season, Eileen Fisher asked me to style some of their beautiful pieces crafted with home life in mind. I had such a wonderful time styling these looks and hope you’ll feel inspired for dressing with more time at home in our futures.
The Recycled Cashmere Wool Box Top is that oversized sweater you can wear a myriad of ways.
It’s available in the most perfect ruby red as well as charcoal and a beautiful “Jam” color as well. Pair it with the matching Recycled Cashmere Wool Scarf, Recycled Cashmere Wool Hat and Recycled Cashmere Wool Glovettes. These Recycled Cashmere Wool pieces are Responsible by Design which means they meet the Eileen Fisher highest standard for environmental or social impact and reflects their efforts to take responsibility for what they make, always looking for more sustainable materials and methods.
I paired these pieces with the Stretch Velvet Knit Leggings that are the most leveled up leggings and I *love* them. And they are made with recycled polyester from plastic bottles! Stretchy yet sleek.
The Cashmere Silk Bliss Turtleneck is utter heaven.
Think what it would be like to wear your favorite blanket – that’s what it is like to wear Eileen Fisher’s Cashmere Silk blend fabric. I couldn’t stop feeling it. It’s plush, oh-so-soft and cushiony beyond belief. When you slip this on you may just ooh and aah. It is hands down one of the most luxurious pieces in my wardrobe.
I paired the turtleneck with the elastic waist pants that you’ll want for elevated yet comfy holiday looks – the Velvet Tapered Ankle Pant.
These pants can be dressed up or dressed down which I love. They look great with a sleek sneaker like I styled them here but also are beautiful with a sock bootie or heel for future years when we are dressing up more during the holidays. These pants are elegant and yet oh so-comfy thanks to their pull on style.
Similar to the turtleneck I shared, the Cashmere Silk Bliss Crew Neck Top is heaven and an option in this divine fabric if you’re not a fan of turtlenecks. (If you run cold be sure to check out this fabric as these sweaters are SO warm! ) Paired with the Merino Jersey Jogger Pant in Regenerative Wool it is the ultimate WFH outfit.
These pants are like sweater pants and I am in love with the slouchy fit and the change up in silhouette from my usual go-to leggings and more traditional joggers with fitted cuffs. The wool is not only responsibly grown, it’s helping to fight climate change, sequester carbon and regenerate depleted grassland in Argentina. I love them so much that they were my comfy pants of choice for all of Thanksgiving this year!
And I have to recommend the brand’s beautiful glovettes as a gift this season.
At $98, these Italian Cashmere Glovettes make a beautiful, under $100 gift for someone on your list this year. They leave your fingers available to text and still manage to keep you cozy warm. I wore mine to outdoor dine in 30 degree weather and they worked great for managing a meal outside – much more so than being able to do so in a traditional glove or mitten. For an even more luxurious gift, I recommend the Cashmere Silk Bliss Wrap which is made of my favorite fabric from the two aforementioned sweaters! It can be worn as a wrap at home or for when we travel again or wrapped as a scarf.
Eileen Fisher pieces are absolutely investment pieces.
If you’re keen on one piece in particular – I always recommend saving up for it. A methodology I personally always use to save up for a piece I really want is to keep track of more fast-fashion pieces I am eyeing. I forgo the purchase and instead make note of what it would have cost me. Then, once those purchases add up to the investment piece I have been eyeing, I purchase it. I’m always happy with the investment purchases and do so only with pieces I know will be able to be worn a lot and will hold up to lots of wear.
As background, Eileen Fisher’s commitment to sustainability is part of what makes their pieces a bit more pricey. They prioritize things like fighting climate change, ensuring fair wages and making clothes more sustainably and that sometimes (often!) means it is more expensive to make. But this also makes them purchases you can feel good about.
In addition to sharing these three Eileen Fisher looks that I will value in my closet for years to come, I wanted to share a list of fun and cozy activities to do at home this holiday season – and beyond. I have personally loved learning into new hobbies, getting back into some tried and true traditions and ways to pass the time and I’ve really enjoyed hearing from you – my lovely readers – about the activities you’ve come to cherish this year following the pandemic sidelining a lot of our lives outside our homes.
Fun & Cozy Activities At Home This Holiday Season:
Some of these I crowdsourced from you guys on Instagram! Thank you so much for sharing the activities that have brought you comfort this season and I hope these will inspire you to make new memories at home with loved ones this season.
I am finding the time off my phone and spent on puzzles so rewarding. I also recently discovered the site Piecework Puzzles – such chic and fun looking puzzles!
There is no denying the positive effects exercise can have on your mood and 2020 brought about loads of new exciting workouts you can access from your phone. There’s Obe Fitness, Megan Roup’s community, Amanda Kloots’ live and streaming workouts and my personal favorite, the Sweat App. Try a new one to boost your spirits and after you exert yourself, shower and slip on your coziest clothes.
I find watercolors oh-so-soothing and there are great kits you can do right at your own kitchen counter! This is a great activity to do with kids, too.
Of course bread has really been having a moment this year. I haven’t personally yet tried making any bread but it’s on my list for 2021 for sure.
A methodical no-screen activity with a rewarding ending.
I have loved seeing so many of my IG followers share that they love needlepoint. My friend Carly has shared so many beautiful needlepoints and has a great guide for beginners. I think it is such a lovely way to spend your time (and you’ll have some great gifts or uplifting art in your home after!)
Holiday Lights Walk.
This is a personal favorite thing of mine to do this time of year in my neighborhood and a great outdoor activity to get some fresh air. I recommend filling up a MIIR tumbler with wine or hot chocolate or apple cider for your walk!
Even if it doesn’t turn out perfectly, I have loved exploring baking more this year. I’ve found some great new recipes and on some days I just open a box and take the easy route but the reward feels just as comforting. Next year I hope to try to learn some of my French favorites. Need some inspo? My favorite blogs to make baked goods from include Sally’s Baking Addiction, Joy the Baker and Half Baked Harvest.
Paint by number.
Not just for kids! A w&w reader told me this has been her favorite activity of the year. This shop has a lot of beautiful options.
Learn a new language.
A little bit of French every day via Duolingo has been a constant companion for me for the past 200+ days of 2020. Even if I just do a few minutes, I instantly feel a sense of accomplishment – and on certain days this year I’ve really needed that feeling.
Hot Chocolate Bar.
The other day I was inspired to make an indulgent hot chocolate after a crazy morning. I decided to film it and loved hearing how many of you wanted to try the same! Set up a toppings bar of crushed peppermint candies, marshmallows, whipped cream, etc. and have everyone top off their mug. I shared a great French inspired hot chocolate recipe in this recent post.
Holiday Movie Marathon.
Make a list of all the cheesy ones you want to watch and then queue them up for a Saturday or Sunday indulgence. This could also be a fun Christmas Eve tradition!
Virtual Viewing Parties.
My BFF and I watched a Netflix Christmas movie “together” the other week – despite my being in NYC and her in CA and it was pretty much the best. We did it over Facetime but there are also other ways to do a virtual viewing party with friends and family.
So many of you told me you’re looking forward to safe, socially distanced outdoor sports including ice skating, snowshoeing and cross country skiing. Nothing better than being with Mother Nature this year.
Get your kids involved and send out holiday cards that have their art skills on display. Better yet? In addition to sending to those you know & love, consider sending some to seniors who have no doubt been lonely this year.
Weekly Pizza Nights.
Friends of mine have done Pizza Fridays every week of quarantine. I’ve made it a tradition on certain weeks, too. It’s a DIY pizza night though! If you have kids, have them select their favorite toppings and do individual sized pizzas so it’s a fun activity that makes everyone happy.
I have read more books this year than I think since I was in college! I find it so nice to have some pages to turn. Even if you don’t have much time, set a time for 10 minutes and put your phone on airplane mode. Get through whatever you can in those 10 minutes. It’ll be worth it! Also this holiday season you could consider starting a new tradition with a holiday book with your kids. One to read every Christmas Eve or Christmas evening?
This is a personal favorite of mine and I’ve been doing a hot 20 minute bath with all my favorite soaks and salts and a good book nearly every night since the chillier temperatures arrived.
Virtual cooking classes.
I made Tarte Tatin with a French chef via my iPhone the other weekend and had a blast! Not to mention I learned a lot. You and a friend can sign up together. I recommend the classes with my favorite Paris cooking school: La Cuisine Paris.
Gingerbread House kits.
When I was younger I used to love hosting an annual gingerbread house decorating party with friends. The decorating of these kits is definitely my favorite part but I don’t hate the candy inclusion, either! Such a festive craft for kids, too.
Whenever I visit my friends with kids and color with the little ones I am reminded of how meditative it feels to color in the lines. There are now so many fun adult coloring books to get you off your phone and into some easy creation.
New board games.
Classic TV shows.
I started Golden Girls for the first time this summer and it’s given me some great laughs. Is there a classic TV show you’ve never seen? Start now! It’ll keep you company this Winter when nothing else is on.
I now have so many blog posts that will serve as time capsules for 2020 but I also may write a letter to myself about this time, too. You can email it yourself and revisit it in years to come or share with your kids who were too young to remember all that we endured.
Level up your wrapping skills.
I’m not the best wrapper of gifts but then I watched this video on Gift Wrapping Hacks and oh wow- you can definitely level up how those gifts under the Christmas tree look! Color me inspired.
. . .
What activities are you going to be taking up this season? I would love to hear about them or what you’re inspired to try off of this list!
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This post is in collaboration with Eileen Fisher. Thank you so much for supporting the brands I love to work with! You can see our last collaboration together here and more favorite styles from the brand here.