Winter finally arrived last weekend and she seems to be making up for lost time. We got all of December and January’s missing snow in one day and then the temperature plummeted to -20°C the next night. We went from spring-like bare ground to middle of winter snowbanks in a few hours. Pepper couldn’t be happier, though.
We walked her downtown to get doughnuts Saturday morning, went to the park Sunday morning, played fetch in the yard and have had a hard time convincing her to come or stay inside. This dog loves her snow is making up for that lost time too.
Scarf knit with yarn from Michaels
All photos by me.
The December days can be short and dreary with long, dark winter nights in Canada. The sun starts to rise around 7:30 am but isn’t fully up over the houses and horizon until the morning routine is coming to an end. The sun sets before the day’s work is complete and Pepper and I are able to admire the Christmas lights on our after-work walks. Though it doesn’t rain much anymore, or snow quite yet, this time of year, bright and sunny days are rare. It can be easy to feel as dismal as the weather as your world get colder and darker everyday. It takes a battle plan to stay positive in the weeks around the solstice. Here’s a list of some of the things I find really help me to stay happy in the face of gloom:
- Stay active and keep a fitness routine. Resist the urge to hibernate every night.
- Get out and into nature during the daylight when you can. For me, that’s on the weekends.
- Embrace the dark! Put up Christmas lights and find some candles you love.
- Spend the long evenings cooking healthy comfort foods, set the table and enjoy dinner by candlelight.
- Load up on the seasonal fruit and vegetables that are best at this time of year, like clementines, pomegranate and Brussels’ sprouts.
- Go for a walk around the neighbourhood to look at the Christmas lights. Come home, turn up the heat, turn up the humidifier and get cozy in your pajamas with some eggnog or hot chocolate.
- Hibernate some days. Surround yourself with your favourite snacks, a cup of tea, fuzzy blankets, and watch your favourite movies.
- Save the alcohol for the holiday parties you’ll be attending every weekend and don’t drink much, or at all, on the other days. Stay well hydrated.
- Stick to a moisturizing skincare routine.
- Go to bed on time. Don’t let midnight sneak up on you when the evenings stretch on forever.
- Buy or knit yourself warm things to wear outside.
- Care for some houseplants to have something green and thriving in your immediate surroundings.
- Find ways to entertain yourself at night that don’t involve looking at a screen. Read, bake, practice a hobby or listen to music, instead.
- Stay social and connected to friends and family, even if you can’t be with them in person.
- Make goals for the new year and next season.
Most of these tactics come down to just taking time to take care of yourself, physically, mentally, socially and emotionally, whatever that means for you, and staying connected to nature and trying to sync to it’s cyclical rhythms, even when they are resonating at low levels. This season doesn’t last forever.
All photos by me.
I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who is organized enough to own a favourite piece of clothing in multiple colours. I never seem to be on the ball enough to go back and grab the same style in a second hue or print after falling in love with the first. I’ve also always wondered, while watching others do it, if this makes good wardrobe building sense.
I bought this skirt from ModCloth a couple of years ago, in yellow, and immediately loved it. I love the colour, the cut, the way it moves and the way I can style it to suit every season. I get compliments nearly every time I wear it and it’s always the first thing I toss in my suitcase when packing for an adventure. I’ve already had to mend it twice and will be utterly heartbroken when it dies.
I’ve been aware since I bought the skirt – and agonized over the colour choices – that ModCloth sells the style in a rainbow of colour options. I’ve kept the notion that I might buy it again tucked in my back pocket but never thought I would pull the trigger; the fashion world is so vast and life’s too short to explore the same place twice, right? But then I saw my beloved skirt on sale, in red, and decided to see what this complete collection thing was all about.
Let me say, I’m so glad I did. I love this skirt as much as the first! The neat thing is, I already know exactly how to wear it… because I sort of already owned it. It seem to me to make good sense when assembling a wardrobe, even on a budget. You know it’s going to work with your overarching style, and match the other pieces already in your collection, because you’ve previously tested it. The longevity of the new investment seems solid too. The risk of the new piece falling out of style or you falling out of love with it are low when the rewards of old one have been so great.
I think I’ve been converted to this way of thinking and shopping. Maybe I’ll become one of those people with the gorgeously curated closet holding a full rainbow of their favourite pieces.
Stockings What Katie Did
All photos by me.
I was sick with a bad cold and stuck inside almost all of last week, so I didn’t get to enjoy the unseasonably mild weather we’ve been having. It’s been a strange feeling, being sick and bundled up inside at the end of January but looking outside at a garden that looks like early spring. The birds are chirping and the sun is streaming softly through the windows between gently rolling rainstorms but I can’t let myself get excited because it doesn’t feel real; it’s too early to be spring.
It’s hard to know how to dress for this type of weather. We’re still in the middle of winter but the temperature’s above zero in the afternoons and all the snow is gone. The colourful clothes of spring don’t match the browns, greys and muted greens of the world outside but my winter clothes feel a bit too heavy. I’m keeping the spring clothes tucked safely away so I’m not so crestfallen when the chill returns but I couldn’t help but sneak out the kitschy rabbit earrings while the weather is calm and promising.
Socks McGregor Socks
All photos by Matt.