Hello, how was your holiday weekend? Mine was all over the place. I ran a 5k on Thanksgiving morning! And then Alan and I drank bloody marys and went to my parents’ house for food and family time. A record 40 family members were in attendance; the 60th year of Royce Thanksgiving. And all the tiny ones were out in full force because my siblings and cousins have been procreating like rabbits.TG-WEEKEND-1So many tinies! TG-WEEKEND-2TG-WEEKEND-3TG-WEEKEND-4TG-WEEKEND-5It was a rare gloomy Thanksgiving, and our annual walk wasn’t the usual crowded affair. Just me, Alan and my dad. It was about 4 o clock, and everything was very moody and atmospheric. Really got me in the mood for impending Christmas.

TG-WEEKEND-7I joined my parents and sister on their annual trip to cut down their Christmas tree. This used to be my tradition as well, and I don’t think I’d been along for like 7 years. TG-WEEKEND-9(note – I don’t know these people)TG-WEEKEND-12TG-WEEKEND-13TG-WEEKEND-16

And then of course there was my own Christmas decorating which was in FULL FORCE. I cranked the tunes, got out the pine candles and decked the muthafuckin’ halls.TG-WEEKEND-17TG-WEEKEND-19TG-WEEKEND-20TG-WEEKEND-21TG-WEEKEND-22TG-WEEKEND-24Even hit the ground running by baking a batch of sugar cookies. This time of year always feels so fleeting and in past years I don’t feel like I got into the season as much as I could… So I’m packing it all in. TG-WEEKEND-18This season also turns me temporarily lutheran again and I lit a candle for the first Sunday of Advent. Gosh, Lutheranism has the best and coziest of holiday traditions. Played summa dat Old World Christmas a lot too.

Winter *is* Coming (whether you like it or not)

WINTERISCOMINGIf I could, I would like to rebrand this blog as your official guide for Learning to Love Winter™ as I am an outspoken advocate (because the season is short on those). I think a lot of people I know probably have no problem with winter; it’s the whiners I have a huge problem with. That’s what inspires me to write these. THE COLD IS YOUR FRIEND, PEOPLE. And like, in 50 years winters will be a thing of the past (probably. I mean, I’m not a climate scientist).

I want people to love winter because in Minnesota at least, it’s something you have to deal with, and people who live here? Complain about the weather so much it’s pathetic. It may be cold, but winter has a rare beauty that is not matched by any other season… People complain about the dark, but it’s pretty dark in the fall too.

Anyway. I hope you will indulge me in the coming months. Because I’m going to keep posting about this stuff until you all love winter. Or die trying.

For a successful winter, you need to be dressed properly. And luckily, there is no shortage of stylish digs that are also functional (people who don’t live in wintry places don’t know/understand this). I can personally vouch for ~all of these (the scarf: no. I haven’t received it yet. My guess is if you order this thing now, you’ll get it in January)WINTERISCOMING2

  1. North Hat by Askov Finlayson. These hats are super popular in this area. A real status symbol, if you will. Plus, with every purchase, Askov (owned by the Dayton brothers, our super great governor’s sons) donates to Climate Generation in an effort to Keep The North Cold.
  2. Big F, Little F at Cotton Bureau. Another popular design, this has been brought back a few times now. I have this design in black on gray heather (which is an older campaign, this new one is pretty dope too). I also can’t stress the quality of these sweatshirts. Cotton Bureau does great work. (Protip: You can get any design that speaks to you the most, though I of course will always recommend brandishing “Feminism” loud and proud).
  3. Winter Leggings by Lou & Gray. I was surprised when I got these, first of all, by how well they fit (always a risk when purchasing bottoms from a branch of Ann Taylor Loft), and how warm they are. Plus they have a reinforced waistband which is AWESOME as I have a problem with leggings sliding down my wide hips. Would be excellent for winter running or wearing to the office.
  4. Toasty Transit Coat from ModCloth. I bought this just recently during their week of sales, because it was cheap (<$100) and had great reviews. It fits super well, is nice and long (a commodity as a larger women) and the toggles and oversized fur hood are very charming. Plus it’s actually very warm. I have a couple Columbia down jackets (also a recommended brand), but this is a great everyday coat for wearing to work or like, the movies or something.
  5. The Pembroke Cowl by Yokoo. Yokoo has a NYT profile written about her, so you could say business is going well, and seems to have no sign of slowing down. After many years of wanting one of these, I finally ordered my scarf in the beginning of October and I don’t think it’s even been made yet. So, be prepared to wait.
  6. People Socks. These are THE BEST SOCKS. So cozy and warm. Plus, the dude on the website is super cute. I recommend buying several pairs and wearing them for days.
  7. 1460 Boots by Doc Martens. A classic boot. Not necessarily designed for winter, but they’re sturdy and keep weather off your feet (just make sure to keep the Wonder Balsam close by). Just because it’s winter doesn’t mean you have to wear winter boots (just look out for ice, and wear tall, warm socks).

For more cozy fashions, I got a Pinterest board you may be interested into. For stunning photos of winter guaranteed to give you butterflies, I got a board for that too.

Happy Wintering.  snowflake

Joy to the world!

UNKNOWNSWEATER-1I received a little carrier pigeon with the message that this Joy Division sweater is available to purchase once again. One morning a year ago I received a mysterious email about this sweater, and within 10 minutes I had bought it. They found me because I bought a Smiths sweater from this shop (they’re the same person). They only become available in the holiday season. And while I love being the only person I know to own this, it would be wrong not to let the people know what must be known. It’s a cozy acrylic (read: vegan) garment and the CP-1919 graphic is amusingly huge. Perfect cold weather wearable for your favorite post-punk fan.

I am just over 200 lbs and 5’9″ and wearing a size M. j1_copyUNKNOWNSWEATER-3The M size is a tad snug for me (I dunno, I’m considering sizing up right now), but the good news is I can still dance in it.dancing


CWC2015-59In Northern Minnesota, the smell of pine is ubiquitous and comforting.

Winter is an extremely sacred time for me; Christmas in particular. One of the hallmarks of my childhood is the smell of fresh cut pine in the house in December. Now I have my own way of decorating for Christmas and I don’t have space for a real tree. So, I have to rely heavily on pine scented products to create the mood, and through the years I have found some pretty stellar products. In honor of the first truly cold day of the coming winter season, a few of my picks for pine scents that totally fit the bill. You’ll think you HAVE a tree in your house! PINE

Mrs. Meyer’s Iowa Pine, Smoke & Musk by Earl of East London (one of the best pine candles I’ve found), Christmas Fir Trail Soap by Juniper Ridge.

You do what you can to keep feeling bright and happy during the cold, dark months. I relish this time and look forward to it all year. Bringing the smell of pine trees indoors is the perfect way to feel cozy while the wind is howling outside.

Calendar Alert

cc56c15c5fb49a3c3040eae570dff7632016 is right around the corner, friends, and be advised – the time is now to snatch up a cool calendar. I feel like wall calendars are a bit like wristwatches: mostly obsolete. We can check the time and keep appointments on our phones now, but there’s still something cozy and precious about continuing to carry the time on me, or to decorate a space with the current month. I just went ahead and purchased out Stendig Calendar for the year 2016 (they sell out like crazy fast) and look forward to a whole ‘nother year of minimalist graphic goodness covering our kitchen wall. CALENDARS2

  1. We love the Stendig Calendar – as I mentioned, we had one this year filling a pretty substantial gap in our kitchen (you can see it peeping out in this post), and it’s become a ritual every month to get out the giant level to tear it off. I have all the giant pages still and plan to use them as Christmas wrapping. You can buy it here for a pretty good price, although they are moving FAST. This is an extremely popular calendar in the blogosphere.
  2. I had this Kikki K day planner, and I used it a lot until I stopped needing to plan vita.mn covers ¯\_(ツ)_/¯. I love that huge, simple type treatment on the front. They come in tons of sizes – and styles – too.
  3. Charley Harper was a dynamite illustrator from the mid century – you can almost certainly find his work in any modernist’s home. A calendar is a cheap effective way to get those super colorful and painstakingly geometric illos on your wall.
  4. A lot of calendars on Society 6 were kind of a toss up, but this one jumped out at me right away. It’s fun, colorful and has a very distinct Scandinavian influence. Would make a really cute art print on its own. I might get one for my cubicle even.
  5. Speaking of calendars I’m definitely going to get – how cute is this? And with the frame? We usually keep a calendar on the side of the fridge for date keeping (the Stendig is almost purely for decoration).
  6. Our calendar of choice on the fridge this year was this gorgeous Gem + Mineral calendar, which I waited over a year to use, and it sat in my office patiently throughout the last few months of 2014.
  7. Lastly, I’ve been a great admirer of Anna Bond for years and years, and she just can’t be stopped. This Folk calendar from Rifle Paper Co is really beautiful and would go anywhere. At the end of the year I would trim it down and boom! You have a bunch of little prints to hang about your dwelling.
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