Dreaming of warm weather wear

Two weeks form now the hubby and I will be taking a much deserved break from the far north, and heading to Florida to soak up some sunshine at my in-laws place. 

The thought of not wearing 10 layers of clothing every day has me daydreaming about sundresses, sandals  and bare legs.

Here's what I'm dreaming about wearing....

All from Madewell

Easy Vegetarian Chili & Cornbread

While chile isn't the most glamorous of meals, it certainly is satisfying... and nutritious... and super quick & easy. 
And the beauty of chili is that almost everything comes from your pantry, which is perfect for a winter's night when you've been too lazy to go to the grocery store in weeks.

There are a million chili recipes out there. Mine is a bit different every time I make it. But the basic recipe is the same, and it's always delicious....


Weekend Moments: Taking it easy...

 Despite the fact that I'm starting a cold, I loved this weekend. 
It was relaxing and stress-free, and filled with good food & wine. 
Just the way I like it!

After a long, luxurious sleep-in, we kick-started the weekend by making delicious breakfast burritos with scrambled eggs & arugula.

And then we went for a snowshoe in the woods with a few friends.

And on Saturday afternoon we drove down to the bay and watched winter kite surfers glide across the frozen ocean. 

We have new neighbours up here in the north (this is very exciting for us). 
And on Saturday night they invited us over for a lovely neighbourhood pot-luck dinner.

There are no restaurants up here, so a well-cooked gourmet meal like this is a real treat!

 To my delight, the northern lights were out again, and gave us some truly beautiful auroras.

 The hubby and I stood outside in the cold and watched them until I couldn't feel my fingers anymore.... but it was worth it! It always is.

I hope you had a lovely weekend too.


Smile, Breathe, Go Slowly.

"We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive."
~ Thich Nhat Hanh, Peace is Every Step

Have a peaceful weekend.


Snoozer Loser (How to get up in the morning)

I don't where or how I got lost along the way, but I used to be a morning person. 
Now I repeatedly press the snooze button for an entire hour, without even entering a semi-conscious state. 

So I've been looking online for tips on how to get up earlier in the mornings. Most of what I read I already knew, and is pretty obvious, but I think I needed to hear it again. 
I am now fully motivated to reclaim my status as a morning-person.

Here's my plan of attack for how to get up early and save time in the morning....

1. First get rid of the snooze button option. Seriously, it's an addiction. And it only teaches your body to ignore the sound of your alarm.

2. Place your alarm clock across the room, out of arms reach. This one is obvious, as it physically gets you up out of bed in order to shut off the disturbing noise.

3. Resist the urge to crawl back under the covers and force yourself to drink a cold glass of water. Apparently this kick starts your metabolism and tells your body it's wake-up time.

4. Pick out your clothes the night before. I waste SO much time in the morning deciding what I want to wear. It's like my half-asleep brain is incapable of decision making.

5. I read in some places to ditch coffee altogether. But that's never going to happen, I love coffee way too much. I read elsewhere to prepare your coffee machine the night before, and set it to auto-brew. This will save precious morning minutes and the smell will likely help draw you out of bed too. 

6. Get some early morning exercise. This is truly my ultimate goal. Back when I was a morning person, I would get up and do yoga stretches for 15 minutes, even before my coffee. I'm not sure how I lost this, but I'm pretty sure I was a more balanced person back then. I seem to remember having more energy throughout the day as a result of this. I am determined to get back on track (I just need to get myself physically out of bed first, then I'll work on the exercise factor).

7. Reward yourself for getting up early. Use the extra minutes for some "me-time". Contemplate on life for a while. Write in your journal. Try to remember your dreams. Meditate. Have a long, luxurious shower. Whatever floats your boat.

Ok so that's my plan... I'll let you know how it goes!
Any of you have any tricks you want to share?
(I need all the help I can get!)


Northern Exposure

I took these pictures Sunday night outside my apartment. 
The auroras danced through the sky for hours and hours.

Just wanted to share a bit of that magic with you.



Weekends: Winter camping "in the bush"

We had quite an adventurous weekend this weekend. After work on Friday, we packed up the car and drove 3 hours into the wilderness (as if we weren't remote enough already!), then transferred all our stuff to a great big sleigh pulled by a skidoo, and drove deeper into the forest to a tiny wood cabin. And that's where we spent our weekend. 
No electricity. No running water. 
It was minus 30 degrees inside the cabin when we arrived.

But we quickly lit a fire and opened a bottle of wine, and we felt warmer in no time!

The cabin was pretty rustic, but it had everything we needed. A camp stove to cook on, a kettle to make tea in, and plenty of wool blankets to pile on at night.

Going "into the bush" for a few days (as the Cree people call it) is a very popular thing around here. There's something so wholesome about removing yourself from all the overstimulation life constantly bombards you with.

During the days we went snowshoeing across the frozen lakes, and into the silent forests. It felt like the entire world was hibernating and we were the only ones left wandering around.

I made a big batch of this soup, and just as an aside, I think it might be the best soup recipe in the entire world! (Just thought I'd share that!)

Sunday morning was bright & sunny and the air was filled with tiny snow crystals, which created the most magnificent winter rainbow I've ever seen.
ps: this solar phenomenon is called a parhelion (or sundog), in case you're interested : )

It was a beautiful weekend getaway, and I would definitely do it again in the future. 
But there's no denying that by Sunday night we were both feeling relieved and very grateful to be falling asleep in our warm bed after an excessively long hot shower!


Aurora Lullaby...

Last night we fell asleep watching the northern lights from our bedroom window.
There are many challenges about living in the far north, but this makes it all worth it.

Pure magic.

The auroras lasted for hours last night, and I couldn't resist getting all bundled up and going outside with my tripod for some proper photos (I'll share them later).

I hope you had a lovely weekend.

ps: Here's a lovely song about the northern lights to fit the mood...


Happy Friday - I'm going winter camping!

We're off for the weekend, and heading about 3 hours out of town, deep into the wilderness to our friend's winter camp. I'm a little scared to be honest. I'll let you know how it goes.

Have a fabulous weekend.


Weekend Moments: x-country skiing at sunset

Lately up north we've been doing a lot of cross-country skiing. 
It gets us outside and it's really great exercise too (which keeps us warm while we're out there in the minus 30s).

There's a lot of friendly stray dogs around town, who always like to come along.

I love being in the woods at sunset. 
The way the setting sun shines through the snow covered trees is truly magnificent.

Lately the hubs and I have a new favourite meal, brussels sprouts & tofu. The recipe comes from the amazing vegetarian cookbook, Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi. This book is incredible! I own a lot of vegetarian cookbooks and they're all basically the same. This one is special.

Lately up north it's been rather stormy, and all I want to do is stay in bed all day and hibernate.
This is what we face in the morning when we have to go start the car. Brrrrrrrr!

Hope you're doing well out there : )


Have a peaceful wintery weekend

Can you believe it's mid-January already? We're really in the long haul of winter now. Four long months of winter left to go (at least up here anyway). 
This is when I start to dream of travelling south, of warm ocean breezes, flip-flops and sunshine.
I think it's time to plan a winter getaway! 

I wish you a warm and restful weekend, wherever you are.


Fashion Forward....

(Rochas, pre-fall 2012)

Living up north, I feel pretty cut off from the fashion world. 
You could wear your pyjamas to work up here and no one would think anything of it... and that's wonderful, and I wouldn't change it, but sometimes I long for the glamorous styles of the city.

So I sometimes get my fix by looking at couture collections online. 
Here's what I'm loving from the pre-fall 2012 collections....

 I'm loving the preppy seductive feel of Carven (above)

And the über coolness of Rag & Bone (below)

I'm loving the simple sleek tailoring from The Row...

And the classy elegance of Nina Ricci

ok, ok, well that's enough of that. Back to reality now.

All photos from style.com
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