Battling the Winter Blues

The aftermath of last winter's snowstorm

The aftermath of last winter’s snowstorm

I’m a summer baby in every sense of the word, I was born on a hot summer night in August and have reveled in warm weather my entire life. As a child I spent my summers running around the park behind my house, playing in the forest, or pool hopping. If it was above 20 degrees Celsius you could count on me being outside soaking up every ray of sunshine I could. While some people complain about blistering 30 degree weather, I’m completely in my element – those days with heat wave warnings, they’re my favourite. I’ve always associated the heat of summer with absolute freedom; as the days grew warmer I was that much closer to ridding myself of the responsibilities of school and whatever stress came with it. Summer is synonymous with happiness to me, so when the cooler weather inevitably rolls around you can imagine how my mood plummets.

Living in Canada means that I’m subjected to seemingly never-ending winters. The first snowfall marks the beginning of my own personal hibernation season – my motto is if it’s below freezing count me out. Aside from the obvious social drawbacks of being cooped up all winter, living as a weather-induced recluse is mentally draining.


This year, I’m trying to brainstorm ways to keep busy during these frigid months in hopes of improving my outlook on the snowiest season. In typical list-loving fashion I’ve created an index of activities and things I want to accomplish between November and March. I’ll probably be adding to it over time, but here’s what I have so far!

1. Host a dinner party
2. Learn how to make chicken pot pie
3. Build a snowman … while singing do you want to build a snow man :)
4. Take my younger cousins out
5. Decorate my house for Christmas
6. Host a fondue/cocktail party
7. Make all of the hot chocolates on this infographic
8. Go to the Toronto Christmas Market
9. Go skating at an outdoor rink
10. Knit a scarf
11. Take photos of a fresh snowfall
12. Make a festive bread pudding
13. Make homemade dog treats
14. Make a printed t-shirt
15. Sew another shirt – I made one before Europe but bought material to make a second, the design’s from this blog!
16. Buy another onesie … I’m on a hunt for a panda one!
17. Make a list of New Years resolutions
18. Make a perfectly roasted chicken
19. Clean up my Macbook
20. Organize my closet
21. DIY some Christmas gifts (maybe bath bombs? I LOVED these when I was little)
22. Create a monthly meal plan – and stick to it
23. Learn to make gnocchi
24. Perfect my hummus recipe
25. Learn to make falafel balls
26. Make a croquembouche tower – preferably for my dinner party
27. Learn to make my Dad’s beef stew
28. Make a mini terrarium for my room
29. Organize my new Filofax (it should be shipped just in time for Christmas!)
30. Write Christmas cards to both my Great-Grandmothers
31. Visit at least 2 restaurants on this list
32. Make a custom ceramic mug with a sharpie (I love this one!)
33. Make my own body butter – I need to find a good recipe for this … my Bath and Body Works bill has been getting out of control.
34. Redecorate my room
35. Continue planning my next international adventure
36. Perfect my mussels recipe (I’ll be doing a post on this soon!)
37. Find the perfect winter soup recipe
38. Purchase the perfect over-the-knee boot
39. Go on a winter hike
40. Go tobogganing
41. Bake the perfect chocolate chip cookie
42. Learn to make the Butterbeer that was at Harry Potter World
43. Make a photo album of my last Eurotrip
44. Make a Cake Batter Protein Shake (recipe here)
45. Watch all the old Christmas classic movies – I’ll never grow out of watching Rudolph
46. Learn how to waterfall braid
47. Clean out and reorganize my closet
48. Learn to make sushi
49. Redecorate my bathroom
50. Spend more time with family and friends

As you can see a lot of them have to do with food – the only upside I see to cold weather is that gaining a pound or two isn’t as easily detected under big sweaters – not to mention that it’s near impossible for me to lose weight while stuffing my face with turkey around the holidays!

I’m hoping by the end of this winter I’ll feel more like this …


Do you like winter, or dread the season like me? What are some things you do to keep busy when it’s cold out?


Tiny Beaches


Cottage season in Canada unofficially kicks off May 24 weekend and for most wraps up around Labour day. Despite the fact that my family has consistently chosen trips to exotic beaches over a cottage in the Muskokas I was privileged enough to always have friends who invited me along to theirs. There is just something about a cotty weekend that’s so quintessentially Canadian – the smell of smokey campfire, the delicious barbecue food, and of course a 24 of cold beer. You can always sense when you’re heading out of the city, the air seems a bit more crisp and you feel a bit more free.

This past summer we experienced below seasonal temperatures and a lot of rain – virtually a nightmare for anyone with a cottage. In Canada a rainy summer means a plethora of mosquitos up north – not exactly ideal outdoor conditions, especially when you factor in the amount of tree cover around the typical cottage. Normally I would have been extremely upset by this, but I was working most days and weekends to save up for Europe, which pretty must obliterated any travel plans.

After spending nearly a month soaking up the Mediterranean sun coming back to a cooler than average September/October was a bit of a shock. Luckily, there was a lovely weekend towards the end of October where my friend Erica invited my other friend Julia and I up to her cottage for a day of autumn relaxation. I was so excited to see both of them – the summer had passed too quickly between work and travelling and I hadn’t gotten to see much of either of them!

We slept over at Erica’s house Friday night, catching up and planning what we’d do up north on Saturday. We decided that a picnic and bike riding sounded perfect.


We left for Tiny, a small town a few minutes outside Wasaga Beach, early Saturday morning. After quickly stopping by the local Fortinos for paninis and snacks we were on our way! The drive up seemed  – time passes much quicker in good company :)


It was a bit cloudy when we arrived but the weather improved throughout the day. We headed down to the beach and biked around for a few hours just taking in the scenery. The leaves had all begun changing colours making for some gorgeous pictures!



What kind of activities do you like to do on your staycations? I’d love to hear about them – especially if they involve travelling around the Toronto/GTA!