Today in Boulder was snowy, frigid, and beautiful. These are the days that I love being inside and am especially thankful to be working from my home in a frumpy wool sweater. Being curled up inside reminded me of my winter favorites, my fondness for which are renewed this time of year:
In no particular order as far as level of loving, my cold weather favorites are:
1. Receiving gifts in the mail from friends. The little silkscreen pouch my friend Emma sent me was such a pleasant surprise!
2. Sparkling Apple Juice. Honestly, give me this stuff over champagne any day! You’ll notice the bottle is already empty; we bought it this morning.
3. Our Subaru Outback. It’s a scrappy little guy, and when the weather gets tough, the Subaru gets tougher.
4. My rice pillow. Hands-down, this is one of the best cold-combatting accessories I own. Every night before bedtime, I heat it up in the microwave for five minutes; then I put it under the sheets where my feet will be. When I crawl into bed, my feet are nice and toasty! If you live in a cold area, I strongly recommend making a rice pillow; it’s so easy. I can’t sew, and I made this one! Simply sew a pouch, pour some cheap rice in, and seal the pouch.
5. Knitted slippers. These come from the Hutterites, a colony/community of people in Montana. Hernán and I both have a couple of pairs and consistently wear them out every season!
6. Chai tea. Plus almond milk and stevia. Absolute heaven on a cold day! This isn’t pictured, but if you’re looking for truly amazing, knock-your-Hutterite-slippers-off-hot-chai, try Santuary Chai. It’s a mix that’s brewed here in Boulder with local honey and spices. My favorite is the Caffeine-Free Herbal Chai. I can’t really do caffeine, and I love that they don’t use refined sugar. If you’re looking for a unique gift for a chai fanatic, don’t hesitate; buy some.
Speaking of gifts, this time of year can be a little crazy due to trying to juggle what to make or buy for everyone. One of the hardest parts of the whole holiday gift-giving thing, at least for me, is getting and giving those gifts on time. So. This year, I made myself a couple of “cheat sheets” that I’d like to share with you.
These printables assume that you, like me, have two groups of people. The first group is comprised of close family and close friends, people you’re willing to splurge on in terms of time or money, as far as a gift goes. The second group is comprised of friends and relatives who you would like to send a small token of holiday cheer to. These people are generally folks who live far away or people it would be socially awkward to give a lavish gift to. You can download the printables by clicking these links: Holiday Gift List and Small Gift Ideas List. I hand-drew the calligraphy and graphics on these printables, and I am very excited for you to get to use them!
This year, I will be giving out a mix of homemade caramels and cookies as my small gifts. Last year, my sister-in-law made handmade tea bags for everyone, which I thought was genius. Sugar scrub is also a good bet!
Happy gift-purchasing, making, and giving!