The last few weeks in Toronto have been unbearably cold.  We are in the middle of what many are referring to as a Polar Vortex: a cyclone of freezing weather.  So while updating my desktop background (I keep it seasonal), I found this gorgeous and perfectly fitting image from Pottermore.  This is what my world looks like right now.

So I thought I would share some of my favourite things to do while being stuck inside, since that is what has been happening to me in this -40 degree (with the windchill) weather!

1. Coffee, coffee, coffee.
I drink coffee a lot. It doesn’t have to be a blizzard outside to make me want the strong smell of coffee beans filling my nostrils, or the warm cup in my hands.  But coffee just tastes better when it’s freezing outside and you are warm and cuddled up on your couch.

2. Onesies.
This is a tender topic, as some people feel like onesies are for children. I disagree!  When I get home from work and literally cannot feel my face, the first thing I want to do is put on a fleece bodysuit that lets no air in from below the neck. My feet warm up, my midsection has no accidental draft when I stand up from the couch, and I can toss and turn as much as I want and I’m 100% covered. I actually own two onesies, a huge red fleece one that Jay bought me for Christmas and a lighter one that is blue with snowflakes from my brother! I alternate depending on the temperature in the house, and I must admit, I don’t know how I went about comfort before they entered my life!

3. Marathon a show.
Jay and I are currently addicted to Breaking Bad and watch it during any spare second we have. On Saturday night, when the wind sounded like a wolf howling outside, we hunkered down and watched a solid 5 hours worth, armed with blankets and chocolate. Occasionally we even blow up our air mattress and set up shop right in front of the TV. Like a little oasis, in our living room!

4. Have a stack of great books at hand.
I’m currently reading Max Barry’s Lexicon and really enjoying it. When I finish, I have a stack to work on througout February with books like Dark Places by Gillian Flynn, Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets, The Poison Tree by Erin Kelly and a stack of awesome-sounding comic books! I quite love getting sucked into a thriller while secretly fearing that The Day After Tomorrow may not just be a movie.  And a little Harry Potter adds a lightness and a warmness to the stack!

5. Make hearty food.
Being newly vegetarian has forced me to get back into the kitchen with a new attitude. Over the past few days, I have made my own spicy curry, lentil and yogurt dish on rice and my favourite, white cheddar and corn chowder. If you are a meat eater like Jay, tossing chicken in their does the trick. I tend to make a ton of everything, enough for lunches and perhaps another dinner if I find myself in a stick and can’t cook anything. These warm bowls full of deliciousness have kept me full and happy when it’s too freezing to venture out for food!

When you run out of food and drink, or have to go to work in the morning like me, here are two things that have made my winter MUCH more comfortable!

  • BIG COAT.  I am a bit of a cheap person when it comes to things that are typically expensive to buy (winter boots, winter coat, shoes in general..) and I will put it off for years. I have gone through the last 5 winters without proper winter boots, or a thick winter jacket. But this whole polar vortex thing forced me to take action. As I don’t buy anything down-filled, I went on the hunt for a warm, thick coat that had no animal cruelty anywhere in it’s manufacturing process. I ended up with the TNA Aspen Parka, which I am well aware that everyone and their cousin owns but there is a reason why. This coat is miraculous! It has faux-fur all over the inside and around the hood and is insulated with polyester that is extremely warm! While visiting my parents over the weekend, my mom wore the coat to take our dog out and came back saying she absolutely had to buy herself one. It’s not cheap (clearly, as I had to build myself up for years to buy it) but I am so so happy that I did!
  • EARMUFFS! I typically don’t wear hats because my hair is usually wavy and gets too flat, but earmuffs have been my saviour. I have 180s Ear Warmers (mine don’t have the headphone part, but this is the idea.  My guess would be that they are much cheaper without the cords) and I love them! My nose may be on it’s way to becoming an icecube, but my ears feel like they are sitting by the fire!

If you are stuck in a polar vortex, or just enjoying the winter months, let me know what you do to keep warm and comfortable!


4 thoughts on “The Polar Vortex

  1. I loved this post! It made me feel all warm and cozy. I can only imagine what it’s like up in Toronto but in New York it’s pretty brutal too, feels like five below. All I want to do is pop popcorn and make hot chocolate and read! I also eat twice as much and wear all my fuzzy sweaters :) I can’t deny, it’s pretty awesome.

  2. It’s strange, reading that post where it is Summer here in Australia but you made it sound so warm and cozy that I can’t wait for winter. I think onesies are amazing! We bought one recently for a friend and he loves it (he’s 40) – just for kids? Pfft! I just haven’t got around to ordering myself one. Might get onto that now…

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