Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Snow, snow...

go away and don't come back for a bit.  Thanks.

It has been so incredibly cold the past few weeks, I'm experiencing permafrost.  The good news, arguably, is that my morning commutes have still been pretty lovely!  My, now not-so-new, bike has been proving to be a winner and handles slush/ice/packed snow like a champ.  I'm pretty proud of myself as well for not giving in and getting a parking permit.  It's a workout, and I need an extra 10 minutes to get ready, but here is my simple guide to dressing for that am commute:
  • For goodness sake, please wear some undies.
  • Socks:  knee highs are my favorite, especially with boots, and I have to admit, I usually wear two pairs.  Like right now.

The favorite pair of the moment: SmartWool Popcorn Cable socks.
  • Long-underwear:  preferably soft on the inside and a tad "slippery" on the outside to help avoid scrunching and different weights help you adapt to different temperatures and conditions.

·      Totally cute t-shirt/long-sleeve shirt/cardigan combo:  just because it’s cold outside doesn’t mean the looks go out the window – but this is where I’m lacking advice, I NEED the advice.  I like to layer a long sleeve shirt with a contrasting cardigan, something colorful but sticking with earth tones (they’re so hot right now).  Be comfortable, confident.
·      Jeans:  I’m a jeans girl, so this is a must for me.
·      Boots:  I like to have a casual, all-purpose pair and a “nice” pair for “dressier” times.  I use these terms lightly because we’re talking about boots.
These Simple boots are one of my favorite pairs of shoes; I have them in black, perfect with jeans, tights, skirts…  The second, more casual are a pair of Merril’s I’ve had for a while and can always count on for those really cold days out.
  • Down Jacket:  I’m still in love with my North Face Transit down coat; it really does provide some extra protection on really bitter days.
  • Headband:  if it’s below 20°F I need to cover my ears and I rely on another awesome product from SmartWool.  I bought it for a race in October (my ears are very sensitive to cold temperatures), and it’s been perfect for super cold mornings.
  • Wool Hat:  handmade, of course.
  • Mittens:  I got mine at Target for .39c, and a two-pack at that!
  • Scarf: can be oh-so-conviniently pulled over the nose for those really bitter days.  On the coldest mornings, I have had frost collect from my breath... not that's cold.

Things to keep in mind (1) think about the materials you’re layering: cotton is soft but holds moisture close to the body, wool naturally wicks it away and keeps you cool/warm depending on the air (2) if you hop on your bike warm, you’re over dressed (3) make sure you're clearly visible to other vehicles and abide by biking rules.  I received a nice booklet from MDOT outlining everything, making commuting a little less scary.  Confidence and consistency is key!

Happy biking and stay warm!

Thursday, February 17, 2011


We are in the midst of a thaw here in mid-Mich and it is much needed.  There isn't enough yarn in the world to cure me of the mid-winter blues.  I just can't seem to handle gray-skies day after day and being able to shed a few layers (a "how I bike to class at 8am in below zero temps" post is in the works) and soak up some rays was revitalizing!  The snow we had pile up (photos to follow) has been minimized to a soggy mass maybe 4" high nothing!  This is what we started with (after the infamous Snowpocalypse):

 That's right, superman-ed out our front door.

Ok, so maybe I added a few extra to show how much we enjoyed our snowday.  Even better than jumping into a pile of fresh fluffy snow?  Our Decemberists concert in Royal Oak that night was rescheduled!  Now it's on a Friday!  Much better than a Wednesday night before an 8am class with an exam.

As I'm sure everyone has noticed, Valentine's day has fallen upon us once again, and on a Monday no less.  Nick and I don't celebrate V-Day but we did grab a bit at our favorite burger joint; our anniversary is two days later and that is way more fun to commemorate!  It seemed like this year everyone was seriously divided: do you hate or love Valentine's day?

Nick and I celebrated our 4th anniversary!  Before class, I baked him a Nutella brownie/peanut butter cookie thing that made the house smell like peanuts all day!  I'm sure you could guess what his favorite sweet treat is...

And although we specifically discussed no gifts... Nick hand-made me a coupon for a new tennis racket!  I somehow was able to put my anger aside and might have squealed a little bit. 

Just a little.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

giveaways and juice boxes.

My friend is having her first blog giveaway!  Be sure to check out and follow!

Oh, yeah, and here are some cute juice boxes:

credit: imgur