This winter I’ve struggled — being sick for most of December and January destroyed my energy levels. Post-Collections (busy time at work) I was burnt out, and the term had only just started. Hence, this winter has been mainly survival mode. In January, I was an expert at hygge, spending time snuggled in bed every chance I got, with a candle burning and a hot chocolate in hand. Hopefully spring will be more productive! Even though it wasn’t the best winter for health and activity, I’ve still been loving lots of things – here are my winter favourites for 2018/19
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Firstly, and yes it’s cheating a bit, Christmas is always a favourite. Since I was too sick to post my Christmas photos from Vancouver, here are a few. Lafarge Lake (Coquitlam, Canada) Christmas lights were definitely a highlight this winter!
I’ve been obsessing over this breakfast delight since autumn. I make my porridge on the stove by adding 1/2 cup of oats and 1/2 of non-dairy milk (oat or soya usually) and 1/2 cup water. I add a pinch of cinnamon and a teaspoon of brown sugar along with some sultanas. I bring it to a boil and then let it simmer for 5 minutes. Then, I add some of my homemade applesauce (just apples stewed with cinnamon) to cool it down. Delicious! Sometimes I also add Red River Cereal for extra fibre.
If you drink flavoured coffee, then you know that the syrups come in big plastic bottles. I don’t consume sugary drinks, so I opt for the aspartame sweetened versions. Now I avoid buying anything in plastic packaging, so this means no more flavoured coffee (which obviously is a luxury not a need). The cravings wouldn’t abate so I decided to try these concentrated stevia drops in caramel. They come in a glass dropper bottle, and you only need 5 drops for a large coffee, so they last for ages. I think stevia is also a healthier option than aspartame. If you’re looking for a low waste coffee favouring (that’s also dairy free), give them a try!
I finally had time this winter to start knitting again. I essentially had to teach myself from scratch from YouTube videos because I never learned how to cast on and off, or follow a pattern. I’m focusing on small projects right now, like baby booties and a knitted toy.
This is just generic black tea with maple favouring, but I love it. I think you can only get it in Canada and maybe the US, so it’s a home comfort.
My new boots
I got a pair of brown lace up and zippered Clarks boots in 2012/13, and for the past few years I’ve been trying to replace them because they completely wore out. After searching in Canada and the UK, I finally found a pair on boxing day in the mall. They’re Rockports (these, but in brown) and very similar to my old pair (but not worn out). So comfy – like walking on clouds!
One of my favourite flowers; I love how they’re a glimmer of cheer in the cold months. Fun fact, hellebore was used in the early modern period to treat rheumatic disorders as well as madness (depression and other mental health disorders).
I’m reticent to mention this product since it isn’t zero waste, but I was gifted this salt scrub for my birthday and I love it (such a luxurious gift). I certainly wouldn’t buy it for myself so I enjoyed every use. I’m going to see if I can make a DIY version with salt and essential oils.
Dried Mango and Mejool Dates
I’ve specifically been loving the Waitrose Duchy organic mango strips because they’re both sweet and sour. As for the dates, I’ve been enjoying taking them for lunch whole, or adding them to my porridge.
Two Neflix shows I’ve been loving are Sex Education and You. Sex Education is a high school comedy filled with 80s nostalgia (think Freaks and Geeks or Breakfast Club) and loads of cringe-worthy moments. You is a suspense-drama akin to Dexter with a hint of Gossip Girl. I like that the narrative is unpredictable.
I hope everyone is having a good winter and that you’ve got lots of exciting plans for spring. As always, feel free to share your favourites!