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How to stay warm in this frigid Toronto winter

It was -30 degrees this morning in Toronto with the wind chill, and according to the Weather Network, these temperatures are here to stay. For newcomers and those living on the street, this realization is even more shocking, not to mention dangerous. As Environment Canada puts it, “extreme cold alerts put everyone at risk.”

The City of Toronto has issued its own extreme cold alert, which means additional warming centres and shelter beds become available for those that need it.

Here are some tips to stay warm over the next few weeks:

Layer it up! I’m talking leggings under your pants, undershirts, and sweaters. When you go outdoors, make sure to wear an appropriate jacket that is warm and wind resistant. Pair it with a scarf that covers your entire neck and your face. Hats, mittens, and winter boots are necessary. If you don’t have any of these items, make a trip to the store as soon as possible. There are still some decent boxing day sales on (thank goodness they last for the whole week) and you won’t regret the investment. Don’t worry about your hair or your makeup in this weather. Just get from work to home safely and warmly — no one will care!

Stay indoors if you can! It’s all about reducing your exposure. In these conditions, skin will freeze after 10-30 minutes of exposure to the air. If you are waiting for a bus, for example, this can be problematic. It can also be problematic for drivers, as an increase in freezing temperatures also leads to an increase in black ice. Make sure to limit the time spent outside and talk to your employer about potentially working from home.

Insulate your home! It may be too late to put a plastic wrap around your windows this year, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get creative. If your radiator is battling against a cold front, your home won’t actually warm up. Drape a blanket or sheet over your air conditioner and windows. If you have to use a staple gun to keep the sheet up, so be it. This will create an extra barrier against the cold entering through these crevasses. You can also roll up towels and place them at the bottom of all your doors. Speaking of doors, make sure all your doors are closed so the heat can fill up a space without travelling to great a distance.

Stay active: The more you sit, the colder you will be. Try to move around, even it if is indoors. Do some yoga, walk up and down some stairs, do some jumping jacks, or even just wander around to different rooms in your home. First of all, it’s important not to lose your fitness regime in the winter, so moving at all is a step forward. Second of all, your body circulation will help you retain heat.

Soup and coffee! Thermoses are your friend. Make sure to warm your insides by drinking lots of warm beverages and hot meals. Invest in a good travel thermos to make sure these meals stay hot for hours. I love my travel mug, which allows me to drink hot coffee from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m.!

How are you staying warm going into the New Year? Let us know in the comments below!

5 ways to keep active this winter season

It may be difficult to stay motivated with your workout routine during the dark winter months, but this does not mean you should lose hope that momentum you’ve built up over the last few months!  Here are five tips from Women’s Post on ways to stay active in the winter.

Get out there

The biggest hurdle in embracing the winter season is the cold weather and chances of snowfall. The best thing to do is bundle up, change your mindset, and enjoy the season . Get out there and find something to do. It can be having a snowball fight with your kids in the backyard, or going ice skating with your friends. If you aren’t up for a big to-do, you can always just go for a walk and enjoy the sights — there is nothing like crisp snow on tree branches. Use this opportunity to practice your photography skills or catch up with a friend.

 

Try a winter sport

Just like summer, winter time offers a few sports that you can take part in or at least introduce yourself to, including skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, and snow tubing. If you want to stay away from anything competitive, try building a snowman or going tobogganing. Check out sites like Toronto Adventures Inc to get started.

 

Try a different gym class

If you’re anything like me, doing the same gym routine over and over gets a bit boring. Add the extra nuisance of marching through snow or beating winter traffic and it’s a wonder you get to the gym at all come January. The key is to get yourself excited about working out. Try something outside of your usual treadmill and elliptical routine. Take a  salsa dance class, do some boxing, go bellydancing, or sign up for a  winter bootcamp. Just switch it up to stay motivated and group fitness classes is a fun way to do so. Check out places like YMCA.

 

Try something indoors

So the cold air isn’t for you? That’s okay! This may be time to take advantage of the indoor track at the gym, or even going on long walks along the Toronto underground PATH. There are many indoor activities that are offered all year round or maybe even take part in your own at-home practice with exercise videos or create a home gym. You don’t have to be outdoors to be active!

 

Be prepared

The best way to get along with winter is by being prepared for all the season has so offer. Layer your clothing, stay hydrated, and create a positive mindset to the season ahead and you will find that it’s a great way to continue doing the things you love. Remember, you’re just trading the beach for an indoor pool.

 

How will you stay active this winter? Comment below !

How to get the perfect layered look

“Oh the weather outside is frightful, but the fire is so delightful”.

I love winter. The feeling of snow lightly falling in my hair, the smell of ginger and cinnamon, and, of course, the fashion. I love being cozy, wearing sweaters, scarves, and hats. Sure, it may be cold, but with the right outfit, everything seems warm. For this winter, the trends seem to be heading towards the layered look — an outfit you can wear inside and outside while still maintaining a sense of style.

Here’s what you need to re-create the classic layered look:

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Anthropologie, $98.00


A blouse: This is the “under-layer” of the layered look, if you will. It can be a plan and traditional white shirt with a collar or something a little funkier – as long as the funkier option doesn’t clash with the other layers. These blouses can be worn underneath a sweater with a popped collar and a long necklace or on its own with a cardigan and  a short scarf. Pair with skinny jeans or flare dress pants.

Simons, $39.00
Simons, $39.00

A winter dress: These dresses are made with cotton or wool and look amazing with a pair of warm tights or nylons and an oversized sweater. Pair with some boots or high heel pumps for a more professional look. This type of layered outfit is great for the workplace and for an evening out. Just make sure that you are not going to do a lot of walking in the snow if you opt for more professional heels.

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Anthropologie, $98.00

A sweater: I feel like this one is obvious. A nice sweater can make or break a wintered-layered look. I tend to love oversized sweaters because you can layer more easily, but if you’ve got a body that just screams for more form-fitted materials, go for it!! If you do opt for the more cozy option, make sure it doesn’t swallow you up. There is a fine line between oversize-chic and just too big! Wear these sweaters with leggings and a pair of nice shoes to make it more business appropriate. Remember to accessorize. For form-fitted sweaters, pair with fitted pants and a textured scarf for a more wintery look.

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A cardigan: similarly to the sweater, this one is a closet staple. You can pair it with a blouse as mentioned above, or with a shirt or sleeveless top. It’s important to remember to measure the length of the cardigan according to your body type. Some cardigans can appear rather short on taller women, so make sure it works for you. The trend is to wear the cardigan open, without doing up the buttons, letting it fall in a flattering way.

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A scarf: Because it’s winter, duh. The scarf is the perfect accessory. It protects you from the cold wind while you are outside, and then doubles as a great accent with a shirt or sweater.  It also has the added bonus of being fuzzy. For added texture, pick a scarf that has fringe or intricately woven materials. This will add a more bohemian style to your outfit.

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A hat: This layered look needs a final addition, a winter hat. My personal favourite is a toque or a slouchy hat, something that doesn’t make my hair look ridiculous once I get to the office. The best part about a hat is that if you have a bad hair day, you can always keep the hat on because it’s the winter style!

 

What is your layered must-have? Let us know in the comments below!

Layers — the solution to this crazy Canadian climate

Dear Canadians,

We live in a wonderfully weird country where the snow falls in the morning, the sun blazes in the afternoon, and the wind howls in the evening. One day it could be -28 degrees outside and then the next it will feel like a balmy autumn afternoon.

There are no other words to describe it: the weather in Canada is frustrating, annoying, and just plain crazy.

The challenge becomes this: how to dress for your workday when the temperature can change at the drop of a hat. The solution, dear readers, is layers.

Coats, Jackets, and Cardigans

The key to layers is putting together an ensemble that is warm and professional at the same time. A long-sleeved cardigan paired with a sleeveless printed shirt is the ultimate winter professional look. You can also try a long-sleeved shirt or turtleneck with a blazer — both cover your arms and it makes it easy to shed a layer if the heat in your office is blazing.

If it’s going to be a very cold day, you can always put a jacket over top of the cardigan, over top of a sleeveless shirt. This look can get a bit complex for the inexperienced, but I promise the outcome will be worth it. Keep the layers light so that if you are taking public transportation you don’t sweat through your clothing. One layer is sleeveless, the second is a light cardigan, and the last layer can be a something a little thicker like wool or cotton.

Long cardigan - true black
Gap Canada, $69.95

 

Le Chateau, $139.95
Le Chateau, $139.95

 

The knit sweater

Knit sweaters used to be something you hid in the back of your closet, but now it’s time to bring them out. Pairing a colourful sweater with a pair of dress pants and a white blouse as an under layer — collar showing above the neckline — can be a professional and transformative look. If it starts to get warm out, just remove the sweater and reveal the business-ready you!

Another option is to wear a tank top under a knit sweater with a pencil skirt and leggings.

H&M, $59,99
H&M, $59,99

 

flashesofstyle.blogspot.com
flashesofstyle.blogspot.com

Wrap a scarf around it

Sometimes, all it takes to stay warm is a good scarf around your neck. A thicker wool scarf can be paired nicely with both a winter jacket and a light sweater or cardigan in the office. Or change it up and wear a lighter scarf with a thicker sweater. The best part about scarves is that there is something for every outfit — whether you like silk, shine, matte, fringe, wool, patterns, or knit-wear, a scarf will always be there for you. They are the easiest of the layered accessories.

Artizan Fashion, $19.99
Artizan Fashion, $19.99

 

Le Chateau, $89.95
Le Chateau, $89.95

 

If all else fails, remember that it’s okay to bring an extra pair of shoes to leave at the office. No one wants to walk in 15 inches of snow with heels, or spend the entire day in waterproof boots that make their feet sweat. It’s okay to leave one “layer” at work while sporting the other on the road.

Do you have a favourite layered look? Tell us about it in the comments below!