9 Things to Make Your February More Cheerful

February is a tough month — with the gray skies and snow-covered ground, we need a little bit of sunshine to get us to March — even if it’s metaphorical sunshine! Here are 9 things to make your February more cheerful.

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Cats We love how our cats pounce, lick and purr — by instinct, that’s how they communicate with each other. To us, they communicate using a special language developed only for humans: meowing!

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Raccoons Raccoons love water so it’s not much of a surprise that this one’s not afraid of the sprinkler. They almost never build their homes more than 1200 feet from a water source.

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Lions Lions are very affectionate creatures. In their downtime (they spend up to 20 hours a day lounging!), they rub heads and groom each other. If they were average house cats, they would purr, but lions don’t purr. They prefer to roar to communicate vocally, which can be heard five miles away!

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Sea Otters Otters are funny little mammals that can live their entire lives without leaving the water. They survive on marine life like sea urchins and shellfish. But sometimes getting the fish out of the shell is tough, so they have to use rocks to crack them open. And if they find a useful rock they like for hunting, they keep it in their built-in underarm pockets.

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Elephants While these little guys are using their trunks to splash water on themselves to keep cool, elephants can use their trunks for snorkeling, drinking and, most importantly, smelling, too. Because they’re so big — trunks can weigh up to 400 pounds! — they have plenty of olfactory receptors. In fact, they have so many they can sniff out a water source from twelve miles away.

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Bunnies Bunnies love companions! They’re very social creatures and, generally, they should always be kept in pairs. Rabbits tend to get lonely and can develop weird behaviors if they don’t have playmates.

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Hedgehogs Those little spines on hedgehogs make them slightly similar to porcupines, but the are not related. However, like porcupines, hedgehogs do use the spines as a defense mechanism; they keep predators from taking a bite out of them. Each hedgehog can have up to 7,000 spines all over their backs but their faces and bellies remain soft.

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Goats Goats are always up for a little bouncing around. While this is just a wobbly sheet of metal, goats are known to ride around on the backs of bigger animals with their signature bounce. And that bounce is, indirectly, how we get our morning boost. Coffee was discovered when goat herders noticed the goats had a lot of energy after munching on coffee beans.

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Dogs Dogs are amazing creatures! They’re about as smart as two-year-olds and can understand more than 200 words as well as count up to five. And, of course, we can’t forget their noses! We all know they can smell well, but a fun fact about their noses is that they stay wet so dogs can tell which direction a scent is coming from.

At The Lakeside Collection, we have products and ideas to make every month bright! Whether you need pet toys in February to stave off your dog’s cabin fever, or you need beach towels for your June road trip to the beach, shop Lakeside for unique products at reasonable prices.

The Case for Febgiving

Dinner-partyAs we enter the latter half of winter, it can be kind of discouraging to know that there’s not much holiday-wise to look forward to. All of the big ones have already passed, and the “fun factor” of Valentine’s Day isn’t quite as universal as we’d like to believe. Thus, it may be good for our collective mental health to consider a new holiday that’s been catching on: Febgiving!

At its core, Febgiving is a holiday for gathering up your friends and family to have a day of warmth and celebration despite the bitter cold. Consider it as a sort of pre-party for the end of winter and a surefire way to combat the season’s blues. Modeled on the luxurious feast that defines Thanksgiving, Febgiving, like most good holidays, is simply an excuse to eat and drink well in the presence of people you care about.

Not sold yet? Though the benefits to Febgiving are literally unending, here are a few choice reasons for you to jump on the bandwagon.

You don’t have to deal with tradition
Am I alone in my hostility toward whole roast turkey? It’s one of my least favorite dishes, but having a Thanksgiving dinner without it would invite endless scoldings and complaints from people who are devoted to it for the sake of tradition. That’s why Febgiving is so great: there aren’t centuries of tradition to deal with, so you can do it up however you want! Cook up a nice porchetta, some brisket, or quiche as your main dish instead — it’s all up to you!

You don’t have to invite everyone
One drawback to the major winter holidays is the feeling that hanging out with not-so-nice family members is mandatory. It’s sort of the price you pay for eating all of that good food. Since no one’s heard of Febgiving, you’re freer to decide who gets to come over and celebrate with you. You can make it a friends-only affair, or dine with a few close cousins instead of the whole clan.

Traveling is easier in February
Anyone who’s flown or driven to relatives’ homes during the winter holidays knows that it can often balloon into a huge expense. You have to budget for inflated airfare, airport snacks to eat during the inevitable delays, and extra gas for bumper-to-bumper traffic. The good thing about February is that it’s one of the slower times for interstate travel: you’ll get where you’re going faster and cheaper than in November.

It makes February a little less lonely
Though Valentine’s Day can be a lot of fun for couples, the flipside of it is that it tends to leave unpartnered people in the lurch. And since Valentine’s is really the only holiday in February, it can make the whole month feel like kind of a bummer. With Febgiving, you can extend the spirit of love to everyone in your social group, regardless of whether they’re coupled or not. Everyone wants to feel loved; especially in February.

Leftovers!
Do I even need to explain this one?

Soleil is a former chef, with an encyclopedia of recipes floating around in her head. Nowadays, she applies her culinary expertise to the wonderful world of fancy picnic baskets.