Staycations: The Winter Edition - Testament Interiors

Staycations: The Winter Edition

As featured in UNO winter 24

Humans don't hibernate like some animals, but as the weather changes and days grow shorter, we tend to spend more time indoors. It's a time for cosy activities like reading by the fire, playing games, and enjoying comforting meals.

The winter staycation edition will inspire readers with ideas to create a winter staycation without having to leave home. This not only saves money but also helps your body reset and helps prevent mental health decline over the cold and often wet months of winter.

As featured in UNO winter 24

Winter knows to hush, still, listen, so the soul can speak.

Angie Weiland-Crosby

Board games

For years, I've wanted to learn the rules of chess, and I thought a winter staycation would be the perfect opportunity to finally do it. Spending winter evenings by the fire mastering chess not only allows me to learn its tactics but also lets me enjoy quality time with loved ones or friends, instead of just watching Netflix movies.

The history of chess dates back to the 6th century, and while its exact origins aren't fully known, it's believed that the Gupta Empire in India had a version called "Chaturanga," a war game played with four players. This winter, why not embrace the classic charm of chess by purchasing a chess set and enjoying this ancient board game?

Chess image
Book winter blog image

Winter Reading

One of the joys of this time of year is discovering the perfect spot to curl up with a captivating book or magazine. It's essential during winter to have good lighting, whether a stand-up reading lamp or overhead lights, for those gloomy, dark days. Add a soft wool throw, plush cushions, and some delicious snacks; you've got the recipe for a fantastic reading session right at home.

# Sarah's top picks are “A Richer You” by Mary Holm and UNO magazine winter edition out now at all retailers and supermarkets  *Featuring Sarah Parry from Testament Interiors.

Winter throws & Cushions

A simple and cost-effective way to update your home for winter is by purchasing new cushions and throws. Adding new décor items can dramatically change the ambience of a room. Opt for tactile cushions that are soft and textured and choose feather inners for that cozy snuggle factor. Feather inners also allow you to achieve the stylish pillow chop look when the cushions are not in use.

# Sarah's tips for winter colours are moss greens, rusts and earthy colours. Opt for natural fibres and most importantly use feather inners to create that designer look.

winter throws

Comfort Cooking

One of my favourite aspects of winter is making a good hearty soup. Some of my favorites include minestrone, chicken sweetcorn soup, seafood chowder, and my current go-to, turmeric chicken soup. It's not only anti-inflammatory but also a perfect evening pick-me-up.

# Sarah's tip is to make a large pot in the evening at the beginning of the week, so you can reheat on cold and busy winter evenings. It lasts for a week in the fridge or can be frozen for those days that you are unwell or just short on time.

Sarah's chicken turmeric soup

Chicken soup 2


  1. Use a large stock pot and heat the coconut oil on medium heat.
  2. Add the chopped onion and sauté for 3-4 minutes. Add in the garlic, ginger, celery, cauliflower and carrots and sauté for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour in the chicken broth or stock, coconut cream, and lemon juice and stir until creamy. Season with the turmeric, salt and pepper.
  4. Add in the shredded chicken and chopped parsley and bring to boiling point, then simmer on low for 20 minutes. # Alternatively, you can use a large uncooked chicken breast, add this to the chicken stock and it will cook during the simmer stage. remove the chicken breast and cool then shred and return to the stock pot.
  5. Stir in the kale cover with a lid and turn off (leaving for 5 minutes to welt)
  6. Serve topped with additional parsley, fried shallots or sliced spring onions.


2 tablespoons of coconut oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 cloves of garlic (minced)
3 celery stalks
2 cups of chopped half-moon carrots
2 cups of chopped cauliflower
6 cups of chicken broth or stock
1 cup of coconut cream
1 lemon (juiced)
2-3 teaspoons of turmeric
1 teaspoon of crushed ginger
Freshly ground black pepper and rock salt (to taste)
16 oz of shredded chicken (half a chicken)
2 tablespoons of fresh parsley(chopped)
1 ½ cups of chopped kale (destemmed)


Romantic Dinner at home

Nothing is more romantic than a home cooked meal at home, where you can create the perfect setting with candles, your favourite Spotify playlist and your partner's favourite meal. A new tablecloth, dinner set and drinking glasses will elevate your dining experience or create a cheese board platter and have a picnic in front of the fire with some mulled wine.

# Sarah's tips are greens and gold paired with burgundy red decor, which will set the scene for a romantic night in.

Romantic dinner image
Bonsai image 1

Bonsai Winter project

The concept of bonsai traces back to its origins in China over 3000 years ago during the Yin and Zhou dynasties. Later adopted and refined by the Japanese, bonsai translates to "dwarf tree" or "garden planted in a small container."

I have always been fascinated by the art of bonsai, with fond memories of my mother nurturing a bonsai tree when I was young. Learning bonsai has been a long-standing ambition, and this winter, I'm finally embarking on my first bonsai project from scratch. I plan to start with New Zealand natives like Pohutukawa and Totara seedlings.

# Sarah's tip is to sign up for the Testament Interiors newsletter where I will post updates on my bonsai progress.


I love improving people's well-being, by creating beautiful, sustainable and harmonious interiors spaces that reflect a person's life journey.

Sarah Parry

Testament Interiors By Sarah Parry

In Summary

This winter, why not try some of the ideas I have shared to create your own staycation? Learn a new board game, update your living spaces with décor or soft furnishings, or explore the art of bonsai. It's also an excellent time to start planning your spring or summer interior design projects.

Curious to learn more? Contact Sarah to book a quick 15-minute discovery call. Let's transform your space and enhance your life together.

I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Blessings Sarah 

# The next blog will be on wonderful ways to use wallpaper including some creative ways to make art that is perfect for those who are renting or in spaces that you are not able to change the walls.

Branding Photography, Interior Designer; UNO Magazine @gisellebphotos

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