It’s been a cold winter up here in Alberta, Canada… and a busy one for us too!
We’re building a house on our acreage, and life with two kiddos is busy as it it is.
If you really want to know, my uniform of choice these days is a big sweater or cardigan, a stretchy tank and leggings (or super-stretchy skinny jeans). When I’m busy (and cold), I tend to go for “easy” and “comfy” with my outfits.
I haven’t had a chance to take any decent photos of my style choices this winter, but here are some of my favourite “selfies” I’ve posted on Instagram when I have managed to put together a look that I’ve been proud of.
As you can see, I still love to wear either a belt or an empire-waisted dress to highlight one of my smaller parts (a great trick if you’re wide in the hips) except for on comfy home or casual playdate days (when the big cape sweater comes into play like the lower left picture).
Scarves are an essential in the winter for practical reasons, and they’re a fun way to make an outfit special. I’ve been wearing them a lot lately!
My favourite colours this chilly winter season? They’re red, grey, emerald, coral and mint. Yes, I believe you can wear pastels in the winter!
My adorable daughter has been loving our crafty days lately – she almost expects a daily craft time now, which I think is the cutest thing in the universe!
Yesterday during “quiet time” we whipped up these easy hot chocolate snowman jar gifts that I think will make cute handmade Christmas presents for our neighbors this year. They’re unique and practical – filled with hot chocolate mix, peppermints and marshmallows that a whole family could enjoy.
I found the inspiration for this project on Pinterest. I saw this image last year and thought it was such a fun way to yet again recycle some baby food jars. (Forgive me – I’ve tried to find the original source to this image via Google image search and simply can’t. If you know the originator of this image, please let me know so that I can give them proper credit!)
This fun Holiday craft took us less than an hour. I did the hot gluing and ribbon tying, but my 3 year old did the rest! We’ve made two so far. After we made the first one, my daughter was indignant: “He needs a SISTER!” So, we had to make a girl snow-woman.
How to Make a Hot Chocolate Snowman Jar Gift
empty & clean small baby food jars and lids (3 per snowman)
hot chocolate mix
scraps of ribbon and felt
hot glue gun
Fill one jar with hot chocolate mix, one with peppermints and one with mini marshmallows. This is a fun job for a kid! Put the lids on the jars.
Hot glue the bottom of the peppermint jar to the top of the hot chocolate mix lid, and the bottom of the marshmallow jar to the top of the peppermint jar lid.
Tie a ribbon(s) around the “neck” of the snowman. If you want to, make a hat for his head out of felt pieces (a circle slightly bigger than the jar lid, topped with a rectangle of felt rolled into a cylinder and glued together) – glue a ribbon around the hat for a hat band (as pictured).
Draw a face on the snowman with a permanent marker.
I have a “thing” for cream coloured, lacey knits. When the weather dropped to minus 30°C a couple Christmases ago (this is common up here in Edmonton, Alberta!), I decided that I could use a new pair of warm, wooley mittens. Rather than buying a pair, I decided to design some using odds and ends from home. Et Voila! The Pearly Girly Mitts were born! These would make a great gift for the ultimate girly-girl in your life, or for yourself! These mittens feature a lacey ribbed edge, a feminine and practical tie around the wrist, a smocked pattern down the center, and they’re topped off with some lovely faux pearl button embellishments.
Yarn: 2 skeins Lamb’s Pride Worsted (85% wool/15% mohair) in White Frost or a similar worsted weight yarn
Needles: 4 Size 6 US (4 mm) double pointed needles (or size needed to obtain gauge)
6 faux pearl buttons
Thread to sew on buttons
Sizes: Women’s size medium Gauge: 4.5 st = 1”
Abbreviations & Explanations:
K = knit YO = bring yarn over needle to create an extra eyelet stitch P = purl St st = stockinette stitch PM = place marker K2tog = knit two stitches together ssk = slip 1, slip 1, knit 2slipped stitches together M1 = make one stitch by inserting tip of left needle underneath the strand of yarn between two needles, place the lifted strand on the left needle, and knit the lifted strand, twisting to avoid leaving a hole Sl = slip Tie st = sl next 5 st on to cable needle, wrap yarn around these 5 st twice, then K1, P3, K1 from cable needle
Openwork Rib Pattern:
Round 1: K1, YO, ssk, P2 (repeat until end of round) Round 2: K3, P2 (rep to end of round) Round 3: K2tog, YO, K1, P2 (rep to end of round) Round 4: Same as R2 Repeat rounds 1-4 for pattern Smocked Honeycomb Pattern: Round 1 & 2: P3, *K1, P3*, rep from * to end of round Round 3: P3, *tie st, P3, rep from * to end of round Round 4, 5 & 6: As round1 & 2 Round 7: P3, K1, *P3, tie st, rep from * to end of round, ending last rep with K1, P3 Round 8: As round 2 Repeat rounds 1-8 for pattern.
Smocked Honeycomb Pattern:
Round 1 & 2: P3, *K1, P3*, rep from * to end of round Round 3: P3, *tie st, P3, rep from * to end of round Round 4, 5 & 6: As round1 & 2 Round 7: P3, K1, *P3, tie st, rep from * to end of round, ending last rep with K1, P3 Round 8: As round 2 Repeat rounds 1-8 for pattern.
CO 42 st evenly onto 3 double pointed needles. Work in Openwork Rib pattern until ribbing measures 2.5” from start. Next Round: K2tog, YO, rep to end of round. Next Round: Working in K3, P2 rib pattern, increase 4 st evenly across round
Round1: P12, work 19 st in Smocked Honeycomb pattern, P3, PM, M1, P1, M1, PM, P to end of round.
Round1: P7, PM, M1, P1, M1, PM, P3, work 19 st in Smocked Honeycomb pattern, P to end of round.
Round 2: P12, work 19 st in Smocked Honeycomb pattern, P to end of round (slip markers as you go) Round 3: Work in pattern as established (Smocked Honeycomb pattern in center front of mitten bordered by reverse stockinette stitching) to thumb gusset, M1, P to marker, M1, work in patt to end of round Rounds 4 & 5: Work evenly in patt as established Rep rounds 3 – 5 until you have 15 thumb gusset st between markers, ending with a Round 3. Next Round: Work in patt to thumb gusset, remove markers, place thumb st on scrap yarn, CO one st, cont in patt to the end of the round Cont in patt as established until mitten measures 6.5” from ribbing (or to desired length).
Discontinue Smocked Honeycomb pattern and work all st in reverse stockinette. Round 1: *P2, P2tog, repeat from *. Round 2 – 4: Purl. Round 5: *P1, P2tog, repeat from *. Rounds 6 – 8: Purl. Round 9: *P2tog, repeat from *. Cut yarn leaving a long tail. Thread tail onto yarn needle and draw through remaining st. Pull and fasten on the inside of the mitten.
Place thumb st onto 3 double pointed needles and pick up an extra stitch on both sides of the CO st. Work in reverse stockinette until thumb measures 2” from base. Next Round: *P2tog, rep from *. Cut yearn leaving a long tail Thread tail onto yarn needle and draw through remaining st. Pull and fasten on the inside of the mitten.
CO 3 st onto a double pointed needle and knit one row. Do not turn work. Push stitches to other end of the needles. Swap the RH needle with the LH needle, pull up the yarn and K the 3 st again. Rep for each row until cord measures 20”. Bind off. Thread knitted cord through eyelets created at the top of the ribbing. Tie in a bow where desired.
Sew 3 pearl buttons with needle and thread in the centers of the Smocked Honeycomb pattern (use picture as a guide). Sew in all loose ends. Block if desired.
We had a light dusting of snow yesterday (alright, it was a massive down-pouring that resulted in several inches of the stuff on the ground and school cancellations).
It was the perfect weather for making snow angels (my little Canadian three-year-old has no fear when it comes to jumping right into big piles of snow)!
The blustery weather got me thinking about my winter coat collection. I am admittedly a bit of a coat and jacket addict, and some of my very favourite winter jackets have been purchased from Modcloth. I’ve been browsing and pinning their latest selection this week, and here are some of my favourite winter jacket picks that I’d love to share with you:
The Cocoa and Waffles Coat reminds me of a country sleigh ride with a cup of hot chocolate on a cold winter’s night. I love big shawl collars like this, and the cinched sash and roomy peplum would be flattering on a petite curvy girl like myself. The South Bank Stroll Coat in Goldenrod is such a striking, military-style jacket in such a beautiful marigold yellow colour that’s so trendy for this year. It would look great over a dress or jeans. It has a very tailored profile and a cinched waist also which would be flattering on any body shape.
Finally, the Amateur Astronomer Coat is such a classic piece with a twist – it’s in a classy navy colour and a classic peacoat shape, but it has a large folded collar that I think is so adorable.
Which winter jacket should I choose? What do YOU look for in a winter coat?
(Disclaimer: This post contains Modcloth affiliate links. If you decide to purchase clothing from Modcloth via these links, a small percentage of the sale will be given to me at no extra cost to you. It’s a win-win – thanks for helping support thediymommy.com!)
I saw these little grey, stretchy baby mittens at Walmart for $0.60 cents and I had an idea:
They were little and sweet, but very plain and needed a little embellishment for my baby girl! I’ve never embroidered before, but I had some happy-coloured scraps of yarn that I thought would look so sweet as little flowers on these mitts.
I decided on a whim to add more petals in the spaces between the previous petals in a contrasting blue colour (instead of adding more individual flowers).
A third layer of petals, now with green yarn, goes between the blue petals.
Finally, I stitched a layer of white petals between the blue ones, as pictured above. The design is simple but pretty and I think it livens up these wee mittens so much!
I think these mittens would make such a cute shower gift for a winter baby and the best thing is that they cost less than a dollar to make between the 60 cent mittens and the scraps of yarn! I think that they’ll keep my little one’s hands warm and toasty this winter in handmade style.
I love me my coffee. And my hot chocolate. And my apple cider. I enjoy pretty much any type of warm drink when the weather cools and the autumn leaves begin to fall! I’m one of those moms that needs my coffee (or tea, or hot chocolate) for my “get up and go” some days. When you live a little off of the beaten path like I do, it’s nice to have some DIY recipes on hand to make your own yummy, hot drinks if you can’t zip to the coffee shop. Here are my 9 most favourite DIY make-at-home hot drinks (I’d like one of each right now, actually!):
Chai Latte from Fitness Chicks: Here’s another spicy drink that’s such a classic. FYI: the site’s in Dutch, so here are the English ingredients: 1/2 tsp ginger 1/2 tsp cardamom 1 clove 1 tsp cinnamon 2 bags of black tea 1 tbsp sugar 500 ml water 500 ml milk … and the pictures are easy to follow!