"We are what we believe we are."
C.S. Lewis

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Warm House Warm Heart

Simmer a pot of water and throw in a cinnamon stick: instant humidity.
 We're having a cold snap here, it's down to -18 or so today.
To tell the truth the cold isn't bothering me.  I've been out and around running my usual errands on foot (you may remember that I don't have my own car so I have to walk everywhere, like it or not) and what I'm finding is that I am enjoying the fresh cold air, it just feels good.
I do like to take extra good care of my house when the temperatures drop.  The furnace is running seemingly all the time and the air gets dry.  I simmer a pot of water (with a cinnamon stick thrown in) all day to humidify the air.

We all wear sweaters in the house.
Speaking of sweaters, doesn't this look MrBP-ish?
John Molloy Shawl Collar Cardigan J.Crew
 I keep a stack of wool blankets in the family room.
Wool blankets, family room.
 If there was ever a time to give up carbohydrates this is certainly NOT it.
Spelt Bread baked by Jesse the Bread Guy.
 There is nothing cozier than sitting in a cozy house and looking out the window at a winter landscape.
The view from my office window.
 I need to go out later this morning.  I'll be bundling up in about three layers of Brora, including one of my Brora skirts.
Brora skirts.
Brora hacking jacket at left.
If you are in the cold snap I hope you stay warm and cozy.  My best tip: it's all about the feet, layer your wool socks and pull on your warmest boots!
Have a great day.
xoDani

59 comments:

  1. Dani,
    How do you get around? Didn't quite understand about not having your own car, and being on foot isn't a choice? In Los Angeles, the temps vary so much throughout the day (often 30 degrees), I feel like I spend a lot of time putting on, and taking off various layers.
    Your Brora all looks so cozy.

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    1. Hi Kathy, I walk everywhere (I didn't phrase that well, I'll have to change that, it's like I'm TRYING to confuse people). We share a car but really MrBP needs it most of the time, he has clients all over the province. I only have the car on days when MrBP can walk to the office and will be there all day (which is quite nice for him, the office is only 3 blocks away).
      I haven't had my own car for 9 years. We decided to try it as it is such a money-saver, and it saves us SO much money we've never gone back to two cars. The one car we do have is a business expense (well 80% of it is) so we have almost zero personal car expenses, it makes a huge difference to our budget.

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    2. Virtually impossible in LA not to have a car, but when we lived in NYC, we didn't have one. It was much cheaper to rent a car if we wanted to drive somewhere for the weekend, as car garage storage in NY is astronomically expensive. I think it's great that you can be down to one.

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    3. Kathy I've never been to LA but I can still see that it would be impossible to walk everywhere.
      I love the idea of NYC living, no car, always walking and the freedom of cabs or rentals when needed.
      We live in an urban area so our one-car mostly works, it can be tough for things like getting to the dentist.

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  2. I walk everywhere as well, Dani - mainly because I don't drive! I just don't trust myself behind the wheel. I keep saying I'll take lessons, but quite like hoofing it. I must try the cinnamon stick in simmering water, it must smell lovely. I can just see you striding around in your Brora and La Canadienne boots!

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    1. Hi Sulky, I didn't learn to drive until I was 22. I think I could be content never driving, driving into Toronto these days sends me around the bend!
      Those La Canadienne boots are the best money I ever spent, they are so warm.

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    2. Dani, I can trump you there - I didn't learn until I was 40! Well, I had had the learner's permit for almost 5 years, but we had moved to England in the meantime so I never bothered. It was do or die - the learner's permit was about to run out, we were in Alberta, in a town with 2 sets of traffic lights and a stop light on every corner; the stars were aligned! :0) So I just drive if I really have to, and never on the highway, I'm too nervous for that.

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    3. Even here in Dallas, my La Canadienne boots are some of the best money I have ever spent. I have three pairs of them. They are great in cold and wet weather. They are going strong on their third year.

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  3. It is freezing here too, brrrr (tell me you are speaking Celsius). I am wearing my thickest cashmere sweater (Zadig and Voltaire) and I am dreading pickup time.
    Have a great day and let me know if you like the movie when you get a chance to watch it.

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    1. Ema, yes Celsius! That converts to -0.4 Fahrenheit, I just checked.
      I am going out shortly covered in sweaters!
      I'm going to find that movie today, I will let you know.

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  4. Dani wow that's what I call really cold!!!! Like your idea of the cinnamon stick ,I will give it a try. One question for you ,I am considering the short Ryder boots . As I recall you purchased them in the fall. How do they fit?-Do you like them ? I am usually an 8 ,do you recommend I stick with that size? Thx Dani and stays warm!!!

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    1. Hi Anon, I did buy those Ryder boots but I have to say I hardly wore them. I think they look great with jeans which I hardly wear, that could explain it. They are nice and seem to fit true to size. They seem well made but I can't really review them properly as they mostly have sat in the closet!

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    2. Thanks Dani,I was thinking of wearing them with pants and some dresses however maybe they would look foolish

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    3. Anon I like the look of a short boot with a dress, especially with a thicker sock over tights, but it is definitely a casual look. I think the Ryder looks good with a skinny-leg pant, they are too wide to tuck under a pant leg, at least that's what I found! But with skinny denim they look great.

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    4. Dani, Went to purchase and they are gone .My bag is empty. Oh we'll I guess I hesitated too long. Thanks for you help anyway! Must not have meant to be.Bloomies is having a sale I will check out there boots.

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    5. Anon, I have a pair of the Ryders as well (wish were the chocolate colour) and I do wear them with casual/ knit dresses , textured tights and cashmere short socks . Hope they pop back for you or you find a good Bloomies alternative soon.

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  5. I love the idea of walking everywhere. I long to live closer to town so that I can actually do it without getting mowed down on the 6 lane roads. Feet are crucial in the cold but for me fingers and ears must be toasty too. I'm impressed you've managed to stay a one car household. I imagine it saves a lot of money!!
    Stay warm on your walk today!
    Jennifer

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    1. Hi Jennifer, Oh the ears! A hat is a must. My fingers seem to freeze no matter how warm my gloves.
      I've lived in places where it is impossible to walk, no sidewalks and freeways everywhere, it can be downright dangerous.
      Yes it saves loads of money, I recommend it for anyone who can manage it.

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  6. You Canadians excel in the cold, the UK has been in a frenzy because it snowed a few mm's - all the newspapers were saying, why can Canada cope but we can't, we need to learn from them!

    I'll stay in for six months rather than walk, I am terrible about walking, it has to be 80 degrees and sunny before I'll consider it, since I was about 6 mum has been saying "you lazy wretch, you won't walk the length of yourself."

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  7. Hang on, minus 18 celsius? I have been dying because it's -3 or 4 celsius here, ok I cannot fathom that kind of cold.

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    1. Tabs Yes it can feel colder than that with the wind too, yesterday with wind chill it felt more like -22, and it was indeed cold when I was out walking, my eyelashes froze together! It's true!
      Your Mum is so funny, she's lovely but she has those zingers doesn't she!
      I'll tell you what really toughens a person to winter: living in Eastern Canada. My gosh the snow! It doesn't get as cold but it's a damp cold, I'd rather have the dry sunny -20 days. With frozen eyelashes.

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    2. Toronto gets that damp cold too, near the lake, and it is brutal the way it gets in your bones. I always say that I feel like I'll never be warm again.

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  8. Hi Dani-Gosh, I feel like a super wimp complaining about my 12F outside this morning when I came down to the kitchen. Your Brora stuff looks so wonderfully cozy. I can't be outside in the cold much, my fingers and toes turn white and lose feeling, it is called Raynaud's phenomenon. I wish we could get by with just one car, but since we live just outside of town and because DH has to run to the office/hospital occasionally to see an emergency, the second car is a necessity. Both my grandmothers never learned to drive and I remember walking with them when they did their shopping-it was so much fun!

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    1. Hi David, I have a friend with that Raynaud's, I bet she hasn't been out much this week. She starts wearing a full length down coat in September, I feel so bad for her. Canada is not kind to your condition, if you're going to visit it had better be summer!
      Most people cannot get by with one car, living downtown is a must. It is fun to run errands on foot, it gives a good sense of community. I bet your Grandmothers were both good characters!

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  9. Dani - I just put my pot of water on as per your instructions! It is SO cold here. I haven't been out yet - have to run a couple of errands this afternoon so will see. It was -25 with windchill this a.m.! What saves me are my ugg boots (the ones that look like LL Bean boots, my long down coat and my UGG mittens. I swear by those ugg mittens. My hands have never been cold in winter since I bought them! They are ungodly expensive - $120 or so, but they are as warm as regular ugg boots, only on your hands. I don't care if they are not chic whilst going around town, I am always just so grateful not to have white fingers!

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    1. WMM I must find those UGG mittens. I have cashmere lined leather gloves and they do not do the trick.
      I'm headed out now, wish me luck!

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    2. Dani, these are the ones I have:

      http://www.ebay.ca/itm/UGG-Turn-Cuff-Mittens-L-XL-Chestnut-Daily-Deal-/150948177996?pt=US_CSA_MWA_Gloves_Mittens&hash=item232536684c

      you are going to want s/m of course. Do not choose ones that are not suede on the outside with the shearling inside. Those are the ones that are warmest and I am telling you they will change your life! Really and truly! I am speaking as a person who has bought every expensive glove and mitten out there in the hopes of not having my fingers go numb!

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    3. WMM, you mean there are Uggs I might actually invest in? This weather I've got to hand it to a pair of Dakine ski mitts. Mike blanched when he bought them for me years ago in Banff, but they have literally saved my digits and probably our marriage.

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  10. Yes, so cold this week-- it was 2 F here this AM; but , the sea smoke is so lovely when it's this cold. Our post office is in our small village store half mile away, usually a nice walk and a chance to see neighbors. I think I will walk even though it's so cold, layered with merino unders, turtleneck and cashmere.

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    1. Lane, sea smoke, that sounds beautiful.

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  11. I would add also cover your head. I am amazed how much colder I feel if I don't have a hat. Also don't forget to cover the other extremities -- your hands.

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    1. Rose I have one of those J.Crew shearling hats, it's super warm even if it makes me look like Elmer Fudd.

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  12. I could walk pretty much everywhere too and plan to do much more when I retire...
    if it was -18 here I'd be wearing my vintage fur coat and lined boots.
    You must be ever so cozy in your Brora and La Canadienne's
    a mug of hot chocolate might be in order after you return from your outing!

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    1. Hostess I saw a few fur coats these last couple of days, and I do not live in a city where we see that very often.

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  13. Brr!

    I agree - feet, as well as head and hands. And core! I always wear a tucked in silk or wool cami to avoid the wind blowing up my shirt or dress.

    We don't have a car; I have never owned one. I guess I owned one for a brief moment in California, when we got married and my husband's car became "our" car. That said, I never drove it.

    I think that not owning a car, or having only one, is a great way to save some money and reduce your footprint. It has a big impact on where one chooses to live too - part of what I didn't like about California was how necessary it seemed to own a car each.

    Stay warm, Dani!

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    1. Abby without a car the only choice is to live somewhere accessible to a shop, the doctor's office, a pharmacy and post office. Sometimes I fantasize about moving to the country but then I remember I'd have to drive everywhere, forget it!

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  14. You know how you always see illustrations of Dickens stories showing Victorians wrapped in mufflers with the ends down the backs of their necks? It turns out there's some nerve endings at the back of the neck that convey feelings of cold to the brain, and hence the rest of the body, immediately. That's why a cold breeze makes you shiver. So I recommend adding a wool or fur scarf, and leaving it on in the house.

    There are similar nerve endings in the lower back, around the kidneys, but I haven't liked the idea of a wooly apron for the rear end.

    Simmering cinnamon reminds me: my friend used to do that to make her house smell like dinner would be really special, when of course it wouldn't. If she couldn't find a pot - yes, that kind of cook - she'd stick the things in the oven. After removing the sweaters, of course.

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    1. WFF, that reminds me of the realtor ruse - the pre-made vanilla cookie dough, bake at home loaves, vanilla in boiling water, orange blossom type blooms - they suggest to homeowners to provide that homey background scent.

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    2. GF, my sister won a bread machine as a door prize (!) and would lend it to people who were selling their houses

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    3. I've been wearing two scarves, a lightweight wool from Brora under my coat and my huge cashmere wrap over my coat. Works well.
      I didn't know that about the neck nerves but makes sense Fred!

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  15. Mmm, I bet your house smells heavenly with the simmering cinnamon on the stove. I could never give up carbs but enjoy bread even more so on a winter's day and that loaf looks delicious.

    It is -13 here with a 32 kph wind. We took the dog out for his daily walk and since we've had quite a bit of snow had to stick to the open space along the ridge. The snow is really deep in the trees and although we can wear snowshoes it is hard work for the dog when the snow has become crusty and uneven. The wind was biting cold. I wore my UGG Adirondacks without socks as always and my feet were toasty but the exposed skin on my face was feeling quite pinched. Now we are hunkered down in the house with a roaring fire for the rest of the day. Winter is pretty to look at but I'm so tired of it.

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    1. xoxo my only experience with a winter out west was a ski trip we took about 9 years ago, we flew to Calgary and then into the mountains in BC, there was so much snow and it was Cold.
      Your poor dog, he'll need snow shoes too!

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  16. DBP, ta for cosy thoughts and aromatherapy. Needed today.

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  17. Ditto to GetFresh, I need this cozy and warm post today. Just made me smile after a tough day. :) I also love the cold air, especially going out for a walk all bundled up. When I lived in Chicago, no need for a car, and I really didn't mind walking everywhere. Healthier, cheaper. (Although waiting for the bus at the lakefront for work commute was brutal in the winter!) That's something I miss out in the suburbs, where I can't walk to anything. When we move, we're hoping to be closer to a little downtown, so we can at least walk somewhere for a coffee or a meal.

    Oh, and another lovely thing to put in a simmering pot - lemon, fresh rosemary, and a few drops of vanilla. Smells divine!

    Stay warm! :)

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    1. Hi shopwithm, I think I'll pick up some rosemary today, what a good idea!

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  18. We also have a cold wave here, but I don't think I can compare to your weather... I agree it is all about the feet, and I have hard time to find decent boots which means beautiful, warm and practical... I have seen some beautiful ones: Penelope Chilvers and I will have to plan this for next winter. When it is really cold outside, I cannot deal with skirt, even the warm Brora ones...
    I love your Bridgewater mug. I have several pieces with the same pattern... Too bad they discontinued it... Take Care.

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    1. Steph we've had a very mild winter so far and last year winter was non-existent so this has been a shock for some people, I've been enjoying it. I hope the cold hangs on so we can get some skiing in!

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  19. Oh boy that's cold.Talking to my sisters in Toronto and they said winter's arrived. We had one car for the past three years as my husband works five minutes away. I love to walk and only use my car for the big grocery shopping. I really enjoy going down our main street and find it very calming versus finding a parking spot and driving in traffic. I agree with you it's all about the layers.

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    1. Hi Marsha, I was speaking to my brother out in Tofino yesterday! He forgets what our winters are like here.
      I use our car for a big grocery shop but not very often, only every couple of weeks. Driving around is so hectic!

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  20. Brrrr It's freeeeezing! I'm an hour out of TO and I don't think I've been warm in weeks!

    I love the view from your office - I'd be staring out there all day too!

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    1. Suburban Princess, yes I spend far too much time staring out the window!

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  21. Oh wow , I feel like a total wimp since I whined about the 10F, it just seemed sooo cold in the morning. We are having a coldest week of this winter here and I have a friend staying with me so I was hoping we can take more walks and such. But I could not even manage to walk my daughter to school even if it is only couple blocks we drove. I do like the Idea of limiting the use of the car and I do live in a place where I could walk much more but many times I am lazy. I still walk more than any of my neighbors , we Americans are so dependent on cars unfortunately :(

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    1. Hi ajc, I know you are not a wimp but a tough cookie! Cars get to be habits, I was the same years ago when I had one of my own. Sometimes there aren't even proper sidewalks to use depending where you live!

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  22. thanks for the tip about simmering cinnamon :-) It isn't nearly as cold here as it is there, but my skin is painfully dry so I need all the help I can get.

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    1. Julie I am using so much moisturizer these days, I am swearing by Nuxe. Luckily I found some on sale too.

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  23. Dani, Absolutely frigid her and bundling/layering is the thing to do!
    Warm throws/ hot chocolate at home! Cozy time.

    xoxo
    Karena
    New 2013 Artists Series

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  24. What a charming view from your office window. I don't mind the cold either, but don't know if I am brave enough to weather running errands on a cold day in a dress. Brora must be very warm!

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    1. Knityarns, it's amazingly warm, I can wear their tights and one of the mohair skirts and it's as warm as wearing ski pants.

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