Chilly Weather: Ways to Fight the Cold and the Winter Blues

October 30, 2015

Winter is coming. And with it comes one of the things we love (and hate) the most about this time of the year, the cold. The transition from warm Summer weather, to the chilly Autumn temperatures often creates a lack of motivation.

Get Scented

By scented, I mean scented candles, of course. For those of us who don't have fireplaces, there's nothing like a good ol' scented candle to melt away the cold weather blues. Scented candles aren't the only way to enjoy a fresh aroma though. I love wearing scented creams, so that by bed sheets and PJs also smell like apple blossoms, vanilla woods or wild orchids. Also, putting a few drops of essential oils like lavender into water (to make a mist) or onto fake flowers (to make a DIY diffuser) gets the job done.

Shake it Up

Music is food for the soul, and a rekindled spirit is just the spark necessary to jumpstart your determination and motivation to persevere until winter break. Spend a few minutes to make several playlists that combat each of your cold weather moods. For example, I'm crankiest on my way to school, when the air is crisp and chilly and I am still sleep deprived. So the soundtrack on my walk there is full of Beyoncé, Michael Jackson and Christmas songs. Also make sure to give the playlists a fun name to give you a visual pick-me-up every time you scroll through your iPod.

Wrap it all Up

Scarves are the answer to everything, in my opinion. Feeling cold? Wear a scarf. Need to make a quick getaway? Use your scarf as a rope ladder. Feeling a little underdressed? Well a nice scarf can take your style to a whole new level. They're extremely versatile and come in all shapes and colors, allowing you to add a pop of color or a splash of patterns anywhere on your body.

Get Crafty

You can never have enough room décor. I love making colourful pieces to add around my room to liven up my environment. Get festive and be inspired by the beautiful fallen leaves outside (or a few YouTube videos) to start decorating your room according to the season. It doesn't have to be a whole revamp, just a few new items or pictures here and there to breathe some life into your bedroom.

Spice Up Your Life

From the Spice Girls to Pumpkin Spice Lattes, there's something for everyone to look forward to. Chilly weather makes me crave warm meals and hot drinks with lots of spices and flavour to combat the drabness of the landscape without all of the greenery. I generally prefer my homemade pumpkin pie, but opting to watch the Spice Girls: Spice World movie works too.

~Alexandra XO

Autumn Reads: Advice, Adventure and a Bookstore

October 05, 2015


Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore by Robin Sloan

Brilliantly told and full of old-fashioned fun, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore won me over from the page one. We follow the young, talented, yet unemployed Clay Jannon as his new job as a bookstore's night clerk leads him (along with a medley of characters) on a quest to decode the book, unveil the secret pasts of its bizarre clientele, and unlock the key to everlasting life. Funny and thrilling, we are quickly drawn in to Clay's 21st century San Francisco and thrust into a world full of century old cults, hidden messages and Google. One part suspense, two parts adventure, one hundred percent entertainment, at the end of the ride we are left with warm smiles, open eyes and a heart left pounding from all the excitement.

After that, the book will fade, the way all books fade in your mind. But I hope you will remember this:
A man walking fast down a dark lonely street. Quick steps and hard breathing, all wonder and need. A bell above a door and the tinkle it makes. A clerk and a ladder and warm golden light, and then: the right book exactly, at exactly the right time.”
― Robin Sloan, Mr. Penumbra's 24-Hour Bookstore

Pretty Honest by Sali Hughes

Engaging, helpful and honest (of course), I loved reading this book. Even with the lack of pictures that generally fill the pages of most beauty books, I still managed to clearly understand what she was describing. If you are looking for a step-by-step explanation of how to apply makeup, then this book isn't for you. However, if you are searching for the tidbits of wisdom about all things beauty related, then you've chosen wisely. In the end, it was the author's personality that shined through and made her advice truly sink in. Frank, funny, and full of amusing anecdotes, her suggestions flowed with the rest of the prose, making me feel as if I was talking to a wise older sister, rather than some guru. Her lessons were more than just skin deep, proving once again that it takes more than a few stokes of lipstick to reveal your inner beauty.

We are not rehearsing here. We are alive now and deserve to look and feel great. Buy the neon lipstick, pour the luxury bath foam with abandon, light the candle for no discernible reason and wear Chanel No5 to the Co-op. Lovely things deserve too be seen, use and enjoyed, not hidden away. And you deserve to live well and feel great now, not later. Life is really bloody short, so stop saving things for best today.
~ Sali Hughes, Pretty Honest 

~Alexandra XO

What are you reading this fall?