It’s cold outside, the wind is blowing, and the forecast is for snow. I have a fire in the fireplace, yummy smelling candles that make me dream of gorging on the pie. I’m proud of myself for having a healthy recipe in the crockpot.

Now it’s time to daydream about spring,  plan my garden and landscaping, and get to work on my outdoor kitchen layout. I’ve been talking about it for years- “pinning” ideas on my Pinterest boards, perusing “Houzz.com”, and sharing my ideas with all my real and cyber friends on “Facebook”. There are so many places to get inspired. Online, in my favourite brick and mortar stores- stocked with everything I could need, want, or think of. My head spins with the choices, and fear nips at me— will I get it all right?

It would be easy to get stuck in patio envy. Looking at other dreams’ come to life- my envy grew a lot this past summer. I was fortunate enough to score some great invitations to a few fabulous parties and barbecues last year. I’m no doctor (I may have played one once!) but surely, Patio Envy must be a real thing. I’m certain I have it. I will go ahead and diagnose myself. I’m not ashamed.

I see beautiful things- patio pavers, fireplaces, pergolas, well placed potted plants, shrubbery in all shades and textures. The perfect splash of colour- in flowers and a perfectly positioned cushions. Design that carries my eye out toward the horizon, and makes me pause. I sink into the ideal chaise and listen to the sounds of birds and the trickle of water from the subtle, yet stunning water features. As the sun fades, landscape lighting accentuates the artfully designed space- and I do not want to leave. After eating and cooking and drinking, and enjoying the company and space, I realize I am about to overstay. Yes, I am about to be THAT person. I don’t want to leave! I have Patio Envy.

I drive home thinking about my outdoor living space. It’s time. My Envy of Other’s Patios is about to come to an end. I will use this pending snow day to plan and prepare. My idea boards will come to reality. I am armed with referrals from friends to the best landscape designers and architects. I have product knowledge- I have my goals and budget, and a plan to build it all. I plan to test my abilities (only in the garden- definitely not in the construction!)

Tomorrow, when I exit my winter cocoon and begin to shovel snow, I will do it with a lighter heart. Spring is around the corner. 2015 is the year of my Outdoor entertaining room and outdoor kitchen. I will have the pieces I’ve dreamed of.

A wood burning fireplace, a gorgeous gas fire feature, Lloyd Flanders furniture, The New American Oven, a fancy gas Grill, a kamado grill, an outdoor refrigerator and bar. Great lighting and a trickling water feature will set off the patio and landscape design. I may even add space for a TV- so I can satisfy my not-so-secret love of football.

My Patio Envy will be replaced with reality!