A Lifestyle Blog by Mwahaki King

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Monday, 6 February 2017

Seasonal Favourites - Winter



“In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan, earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone; snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow” – In the Bleak Midwinter, Christina Rossetti. January 1872

Hello everyone! I hope 2017 is treating you well so far. The hymnal lyric above was one of my favourites growing up and the chilly weather in Boston has gotten the tune stuck in my head lately. If it does leave my head, it is quickly replaced with California Dreamin’ (all the leaves are brown and the sky is grey. I’ve been for a walk on a winter’s day…) Suffice it to say, I could feel a theme emerging in my head. At the end of last summer, I compiled a few of my favourite things (Cue: Julie Andrews and some Austrian children) from Summer 2016. So, I thought the best thing to brighten up my winter would be to do something similar and share with you some of the products that are helping me to survive these long months.

So, here we go:
CLOTHING


L.L. Bean Ultrawarm Coat, Long
The first item up is this deep chocolate coat from L.L.Bean. The down insulation has kept me toasty warm in some truly frigid Boston winters. Furthermore, the coat comes with ample storage space; two zipped pockets on the outside, one smaller pocket with a Velcro closure on the inside and a very deep breast pocket with a zip to keep items safe.

We all know that quality winter apparel can be a bit of an investment; and at $239, this supremely soft winter coat may be a bit pricey. However, it is still a fraction of the cost of similar Canada Goose products that can retail upwards of $1300. Now, don’t get me wrong, I love the style and design of the popular Canada Goose coats but we can’t always afford such an expense; so it’s great to have this gem from L.L. Bean. Furthermore, it’s exquisite craftsmanship, comfort and utility have made it well worth my while.




Caheez Satin Lined Knit Hats


The Caheez satin lined wool hats are a lifesaver for curly-haired girls and naturalistas. The smooth inner lining retains moisture and prevents breakage while the outer woollen layer keeps you comfortably warm in frosty temperatures. For more information on the company and the nature of the hats, you can read my full review here









Jobedu Hoodies 



I learnt about the Jobedu brand while I was living in Jordan in 2011. Ever since then, their cosy hoodies have become one of my favourite things to pull out of my closet come wintertime. Their apparel brilliantly depicts Amman’s growing youth culture, through witty Arabic euphemisms and pop culture references. I recently did a more in-depth recap of my time in Jordan and discovering some of my Jobedu favourites here.  

SKINCARE

Moving away from clothing and into skincare, it would be impossible not mention some excellent products from The Body Shop. Growing up, my mother’s vanity and bathroom were always filled with beautifully packaged, aromatic lotions and scrubs from The Body Shop. Several years later, I seem to be following in her stead.



Hemp Hand Protector
The Body Shop’s “Hemp Hand Protector” has been particularly helpful in the past few winters I’ve spent in Boston. There is a sharp, arid element to winter in New England that can cut straight through you, a dryness that used wreak havoc on my hands. However, the Hemp Hand Protector has completely resolved this issue. It eliminates cracks and blisters while providing soothing relief. The scent is rather strong and can a bit pungent to some noses, but trust me this little tube of goodness is an absolute godsend for sufferers of dry skin.  





British Rose Hand Cream 
While the British Rose Hand Cream may not have the super strength of the Hemp Hand Protector, the rose petals still leave your skin feeling soft and smooth in the dry winter months; and the rose fragrance is a sumptuous alternative for those who may have a problem with the earthiness of the hemp cream.



The Body Shop Spiced Apple Body Butter


The Spiced Apple Body Butter maintains the signature thick texture of The Body Shop butters that we’ve all come to love; but is also infused with nutrient-rich apple seed oil from the Italian Alps and a subtle warm hint of cinnamon. This luxurious lotion is a wonderful addition to any winter skincare routine.

HOMEWARE
Mahogany Teakwood Bath and Body Works Scented Candle


This fragrance is the very essence of winter in the countryside. The notes of mahogany, teakwood and oak evoke the scent of freshly chopped wood, while the delicate trace of lavender is reminiscent of damp earth after a fresh snowfall. Lighting this candle on chilly winter evening after a long day, adds such comfort and tranquillity to my apartment. For a moment, I’m no longer in my complex in the city, but am transported to a cosy log cabin in a secluded forest. The scent of the Mahogany Teakwood candle encapsulates the best of what winter has to offer.

Bergamot Waters Bath and Body Works Scented Candle
For those who may find the heady woodland composition of the Mahogany Teakwood candle a bit too potent, I would suggest the softer aroma of the Bergamot Waters candle. The citric note of bergamot is coupled with the hearty but not overpowering scent of sandalwood. When the fragrance fills my home, I can practically taste the sandy, salty air of a crisp dawn on a wintry beach. The Bergamot Waters candle is a perfect fusion of summer and winter, which in addition to the classic white marble design makes it an excellent accent piece year-round.
         


So, that’s it for my winter favourites. How about you? What are some of the things that help you soldier on to Spring? Feel free to let me know in the comments. For now, I’m off to curl up in a warm blanket, with a steaming cup of hot chocolate and a good book. I can’t think of a better way to spend a winter’s night :)


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