Oh, the weather outside is frightful…

With the buzz of Christmas now officially behind us, it’s time to gear up for a few months of cold (and often miserable) weather. In the spirit of looking on the bright side, I’ve compiled a list of some personal necessities of my own. Here is Jen’s Winter Survival Guide, to help keep you warm, cozy and smiling all through the next few months:

Photo courtesy of Jeevice

Whether you’re a ski bunny or a shred dog, you want to be warm, dry and look cute when you hit the slopes. Who better to outfit you for your winter action sports than DC? They make fashionable and practical outerwear and snowboots. Plus, they also have just launched a new line of snowboards to keep you looking hip, while still being a serious rider on the hill.

Photo courtesy of Macys.com

The cold winter weather can result in drab, dry skin on your face. The perfect remedy? Benefit Honey, Snap Out Of It Scrub will keep you glowing even when the sun’s not shining. It’s one of my all-time favourite skin care products, and thankfully my mother replenished my stock this Christmas. It’s a morning must for smooth skin. Use daily for unclogging pores, deep cleaning and gentle exfoliating. With triple milled almond paste, you can feel the vacuum cleaning begin immediately. Seriously amazing!

Photo courtesy of Global Gallery

No matter whether you’re exhausted after a long day at the office, or a full day at the mountain; soothe your tired body in a warm bath. Origins Calm To Your Senses Lavender Vanilla Bath & Body Oil can enrich this experience for you. Lavender is known for its ability to soothe the soul, calm the mind and inspire a sense of balance and serenity, and the rich aroma of vanilla carries a familiarity that comforts and relaxes. This oil can be used on your body or in bath, it’s a real treat for your skin and your senses.

Image courtesy of Style Bytes

There’s nothing better to keep you warm and cozy on a cold day than a fantastic scarf and hat. I love throwing a hat over my locks and not having to worry about them- especially in the rain and snow. Scarves are absolutely one of my favourite winter accessories. You can change your whole outfit by throwing on a different scarf. I just picked up a new black and red one last weekend at Winners. My other favourite finds this season have been at second hand stores, H&M and Urban Outfitters. There is so much cute gear for heads and toes.

Photo courtesy of Ugg Australia

Omnipresent and omnipotent, the knee-high boot is the god of fashion this season in the heaven of shoes. How often do beauty and practicality collide? I’m a little boot obsessed this year. UGGs are another a staple, which I couldn’t live without…like butter on my feet, I tell you.

Photo courtesy of Mecca Beauty

Bumble and Bumble’s Defrizz is the perfect remedy for your frizzy, flyaway winter locks. Defrizz smoothes and tames, leaving hair shiny and amazingly soft. Enough said. Go visit my friends at i.d salon today!

Photo courtesy of Blog Apogee

One of my favourite things to do on a cold winter night is to curl up with a big mug of hot chocolate. Check out this amazing recipe. I don’t watch much television but watching tv shows on dvd is one of my guilty pleasures. The Sex and the City and Friends series are classics, but I am always on the hunt for new ones. Up next is: Big Love, season two.

What are your winter must-haves? What does it take to keep you smiling through the coldest months of the year?

It’s all over now, baby blue

Well, another Christmas is in the books; and a white Christmas no less. I can’t really explain my complete lack of motivation to write anything over the last little while, except to say that I just haven’t been able to conjure up anything interesting to talk about. The last few days have been mellow, relaxing and quiet. Rather than putting myself in the middle of the Boxing Day chaos at the malls today, I opted for one more peaceful day in the country before I head back to the city tonight and work tomorrow.
Christmas itself was, in truth, absolutely perfect. Time with loved ones is something to treasure and that’s certainly what I have done over the last few days. I can’t say that I’m ready to go back to reality quite yet, but alas I don’t have a choice.

I must have ended up on the Nice List because despite expecting nothing at all, I was utterly spoiled on Christmas morning. Plus, Santa must read my blog because he caught my hints and left a Canon PowerShot SD 850 IS under my tree! I was delighted (to say the least) and have been snapping like crazy since I pulled it out of the box.
I hope that all of your Christmas wishes came true! I also hope that I am soon inspired to write an entry that may be somewhat interesting to you all! (I realize that it has been a while!) In the meantime, I’d love to hear how your Christmas was in my comments!

Happy Christmas Eve Eve

I could say that I haven’t posted anything for a couple days because I’ve been so busy. But today, that would be a lie. The truth is, with all the stress I’ve been under and the craziness at the office over the last couple of weeks, today is the first day that I have done absolutely nothing. I just haven’t felt inspired to write much over the last few days. I cuddled up in bed with my laptop watching season four of Nip/Tuck in my pajamas for hours. I’m addicted and I can’t get enough. I think season two of Big Love is going to be up next. It’s an absolute pleasure to forget about everything for a few days and just relax with my family. This is what I love about the holidays.

Last night was all about holiday cheer and old traditions at Danielle’s annual “Christmas Vacation” party. Another night with those old friends who can make you laugh just by glancing at you sideways was just what I needed. It was the perfect combination of debauchery and jack assery so of course we carried the party on to the local pub. Many, many drinks were had and the traditional 2am stop at Denny’s was a must. It has certainly been a while since I’ve done that. It was fantastic to get the whole crew together in the spirit of the season. Good friends are the greatest treasure in the universe and I am blessed with an unreal group of peeps.

Tonight, my little bro and I are going to watch my most favourite Christmas movie of all time Santa Claus ,The Movie plus some other favourites; Home Alone 2: Lost in New York and Ernest Saves Christmas. I also still have some serious wrapping to do. Are you all ready for Christmas?

Happy, happy!

Today is my dear friend Eddie’s 27th birthday. I love that his birthday is at a time of year when he is usually in town, especially because his days in Vancouver have certainly been numbered over the last couple of years. A small group of us met for dinner at Guu with Garlic on Robson Street last night to celebrate. I was pumped to get to spend some quality time with Cindy B. as well as Eddie’s sister Gillian, who is visiting from Toronto. Eddie has a dynamic group of extremely brilliant friends in this city, so I always enjoy getting to hang out with them and look forward to having the opportunity to hear about their elaborate life experiences. We noshed on tuna tataki, beef carpaccio, duck salad and an array of other tasty tapas. Everyone was impressed that Salimah had called ahead to pre-order some of the famous pumpkin balls, which are known to sell out early on and are absolutely amazing. The highlight of the evening was when they brought out a sizzling mackerel with birthday candles on it and we all sang to the birthday boy. Nothing like a flaming mackerel to get the party started.

As we were leaving the restaurant, Salimah emerged with a shirt for Eddie. Until today, we were unsure about whether the shirt was purchased, or cajoled off some unsuspecting waiter. Salimah has confirmed that the shirt was in fact brought out by Dice Kay just for Eddie. He designs them so he has some in the back. It’s the Guu with Garlic birthday shirt. This is a photo of Eddie modelling his new birthday shirt:

There is something sacred and special about the people who knew you when you were young. Connections you had when you thought that bad times were not ahead of you, that they only existed in books and movies. The people who wiped your tears, who knew you when you were really, really dramatic (or was that just me?) and put up with you anyway, because you were loved the way you were. So today on Eddie’s birthday, I want to say hey, I am really lucky to have you. You have made my life so much richer and my soul so much stronger. Love you E.

I heart Christmas

Photo courtesy of Lindey Magee on Flickr

I have always gone through phases of feeling completely frozen. My fears feel huge, overwhelming and unprocessed. It has nothing to do with anybody but myself and more than anything, is just a matter of being so completely caught up in my own shit that dragging anyone else into it seems unfair. As much as I want to pull myself out, there is no choice but to let it run its course. I cherish the friends who understand these phases of mine. During these times, quiet is the one thing that makes sense. I have started to see the world with new eyes. I am trying to look outside my own lines and rules into the challenges of others. It is transforming me. The vibration is higher, stronger, and I have much more clarity. This is the most beautiful way to see people, I am discovering.
Although the previous weeks have been filled with Christmas parties, celebrations and cute Santa suits, only today has it really hit me that in just a week, it will all be over for another year. On Saturday I will go out to my mom and dad’s to spend some time with friends and family, engage in our favourite traditions and won’t return to my apartment in the city until Boxing Day. Unfortunately, due to the short timeline for my upcoming selling season, I will have to go into the office while it’s closed over the holidays in order to get my showroom set up and so that I can retain my sanity (at least to some degree) and feel prepared to take on my new role in 2008.
Despite the roller coaster ride of emotions that I have been on recently, I do genuinely delight in this time of year: giant mugs of hot chocolate, candy canes, sprinkles on cookies, coming home to twinkling lights, sipping egg nog lattes in the comfy chairs at Starbucks, hearing carols on the radio. Plus, I am obsessed not only with regular Christmas movies but also the really cheesy made for tv ones (and I recently discovered you can in fact rent many of them!) I love Christmas episodes of any television show too. I wish that they would release a dvd of a whole bunch of them, like Saved By The Bell, Friends, Beverly Hills 90210, Family Matters, The OC’s Chrismukkah episodes. I can’t wait for this Sunday’s Christmas episode of Brothers & Sisters. Tonight, I’m going to watch A Very Brady Christmas. Classic. I can’t wait!
What is your favourite thing about this time of year? Do you have a favourite holiday tv show episode? or Christmas movie?

EDIT: My super awesome friend Leah posted a special shout out to me on her Flickr page today. Thanks Louie! I love it! You rock!

Photo courtesy of Simone Hudson on Flickr