I've had a long spell of overcast skies, so I was surprised a few nights ago to see something bright - could it be an actual star? - through the kitchen window. Even with the kitchen lights reflected in the window, this was bright and twinkly. Decided it must be Sirius. From another room, which has a window I can open and lean out, I had a good look.
Besides being the brightest star in the sky, Sirius is twinkly and tends to change color. This is because it's low in the sky and therefore its light comes farther through more of the atmosphere, and the atmosphere affects the steadiness. If you think you're seeing Sirius, you can check it out by looking for Orion.
For most people, only the Big Dipper is easier to find than Orion. There's a bright reddish star - that's Betelgeuse, one of Orion's shoulders. And one foot is a bright blueish star - that's Rigel. Orion's belt is three evenly-spaced stars which point towards Sirius.
If you find Orion and Sirius, you can spot the Winter Triangle
. Since you already have 2/3 of it, it should be obvious where Procyon has to be to complete the triangle.
You may think, from the picture, that it'll be hard to find these stars, because there's so much else there. I rarely find myself anywhere with really dark clear skies. Most of the time it's easy to pick out constellations and asterisms, because they're made up of fairly bright stars, and without binoculars or a telescope, you can't see the many dim ones.