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These (heeled) boots were made for walking

Do you despise slushing through the miserable grey snow in the Canadian horror we call winter? Do you wish you could feel light as a feather and as chic as a French model during Mode à Paris?

Well, you are in luck. I’ve mastered the walk of the winter goddess and have decided to share my secret. It is called the high-heeled winter boot.

For many, it seems insane, maybe even stupid, to wear high-heels in the winter. This is an unwise assumption. The proper high-heeled boot is the smartest and safest way to rock the pedestrian look, not to mention you can manage a confident and sexy swivel while you traverse the terrors of Canadian terrain.

Every year I go on a shopping bonanza for the perfect winter boot. But, I don’t buy just any boot! First and foremost, the boot must have a thick heel. I don’t want to see any women with skinny eight-inch-heels. They will snap on the ice in -30 degree weather. You will die. A sturdy thick heel doesn’t just look sleek, but it also lifts the buttocks, makes your legs look awesome, and maintains your personal safety.

The boots must also be constructed of thick materials such as pleather (a cheaper and more animal friendly alternative to leather). You must also ensure the fabric is waterproof. I also recommend getting insoles to further protect your feet from the cold concrete. Insoles are usually sold at most shoe stores. One of the best arguments I can make for wearing heels in the winter is that the foot remains mostly elevated from the ground. This creates less contact with the snowy cold surface, therefore your feet stays warmer and the women in them stays much happier.

The other reason I love to wear high-heeled boots in the winter is because I can get a grip on the icy surface while I walk. Contrary to popular belief, the heel can actually stabilize the boot on a slippery surface because it hooks into the ice. Taking a tip from the majestic goat of the mountains, a hooked heel helps to be more grounded and stable, rather than slipping while wearing a flat toed shoe and ending up face first in a snow bank.

Finally, the boots look great. Especially if you purchase the protective spray that guards the boots from the winter salts that seem to be hell-bent on destroying nice footwear. Being able to strut down the street during a blizzard helps morale and warms the heart. During the tough winter months, this is a necessity. Happy winter perusing comrades — stay sexy and toasty.

5 stylish winter coats for the not-so-winter season

Tis’ the season for winter coats — well, maybe not yet. It’s been unusually warm in Canada this December, but I’m still dreaming of a white Christmas. Eventually, the temperatures will drop below zero and small white fluffs of frozen water will descend from the sky. Wouldn’t it be better to be prepared?

Winter coats, especially those made for typical Canadian winters, can usually look a bit frumpy. The sensible among us will get the thick overcoats that make us look like the Michelin Man. However, not everyone wants to feel puffy when heading to work or for a night out with friends.

Here are some good alternatives to keep you warm, and stylish, when winter finally arrives:

 

The toggles: My sister came home with a coat similar to this one last week. Apparently, toggles are the newest coat fashion trend. Rock the militarized look with multi-coloured palettes. Just make sure that the coat has a zipper underneath those chic button accessories. It’s important to make sure the seams can withstand snowfall.

Hudson's Bay, $189
Hudson’s Bay, $189

 

The long and insulated: I am an absolute fan of the long winter coat. Not only is it fashionable, but it also provides the maximum protection from the cold. Don’t worry, this coat won’t make you look like the Michelin Man. The shape of the jacket pinches in just the right place to show off your curves, and the fur-rimmed hood adds a little colour and style.

Canada Goose, $775
Canada Goose, $775

The professional: This jacket is perfect for a business meeting or an interview. Tied at the waist, this coat will flatter just about everyone. One of the best features includes a shawl collar, which can be worn with a sweater or a turtleneck shirt for effect. It’s the epitome of the professional outfit.

Le Chateau, $225
Le Chateau, $225

The unique: There are a lot of coats out there that don’t meet the typical criteria for a winter jacket. These items are sleek, fashion-forward, and one of a kind, although they may not be as warm as the other options in this piece. This particular jacket, however, is multi-layered, which means that it is just as warm as it is stylish.

Zara, $199
Zara, $199

The faux-fur collar: Instead of fur-rimmed hoods, the trend is to have a full fur collar as an accent to a simply designed coat. Paired with some warm boots and leggings, this coat is perfect for a night out with friends. And you won’t even have to wear a scarf!

00146053-02

Forever 21, $115
Forever 21, $115

Do you have a favourite winter coat? What do you think of our choices above? Let us know in the comments below.

3 simple ways to wear a blanket scarf

It’s that time of year again; days where you choose to skip the gym and hide under big sweaters in the name of fashion (and cookies). Blanket scarves are the new trend this winter, but the size can definitely be overwhelming. With the right tips and tricks, you can turn this warm, versatile item into a work of art. Check out how to wear them below:

1. Be A Sophisticated Turtle 

Wrap your blanket scarf around your neck once and let the two ends hang for a big, cozy look. Resembling a turtleneck that’s more ”I woke up like this” than ”grandma made me wear it,” this type of look goes great with a leather jacket and a pair of leggings. Be sure to contrast the colour of your outfit with your scarf to really make it pop! Make this look work-appropriate by opting for a blazer, some nicely tailored pants, and your favourite hand bag. Finally — a look that screams chic while still keeping you warm during the week!

MonicaxGuan blanket scarf leather jacket
Image by: Monica Guan

2. Baby, Let Your Hair Down 

There’s nothing like a warm cup of tea and your favourite blanket after a long day at work. Throw on your favourite sweater and wear your blanket scarf like a shawl for the perfect outfit to lounge around in. For a more effortless look, let one side drape over your shoulder and the other side drape over your shoulder. Either tie the two ends together to keep them out of the way or let them hang in front for more coverage. It’s perfect for a night in with your friends or a quick date at the coffee shop. Embrace the blanket part of the blanket scarf without being caught! To pull it all together, wear this look with a pair of cute shorts or pull on a pair of leggings for those days you think you should be doing yoga, but decided not to. Don’t worry, we won’t judge.

MonicaxGuan blanket scarf square sweater heather grey crochet shorts-15
Image by: Monica Guan

3. Make The World Your Runway

Straight outta Milan is what you’ll feel in this high-fashion look. Great for a day out in town or a stylish walk in the park, using your blanket scarf as a shawl or a batwing-style sweater is a sure fire way to turn some heads – if not all! Cover your shoulders with the scarf and let the fringed ends hang evenly down both of your sides. No knots or tying required! You can belt your scarf down to create an open-sleeved cardigan for a more put-together look. However, to truly master this outfit, it’s important to accessorize. Match your scarf with a basic top underneath and pair with a floppy hat and some thigh highs. Update your look for an extra chilly day by ditching your tank for a cute turtle neck, a pair of dark denims, and some ankle boots. Bam! The key to pulling this off is simple; confidence.

MonicaxGuan scarf poncho knee high wide brim hat-2
Image by: Sandun Dissanayake

 

There you have it: three easy ways to wear your blanket scarf. Warm, fashionable, and cute. It’s like wearing a hug throughout the day! Have some other great ideas on how to wear a blanket scarf? Share them with us in the comments below.

 

5 boots to keep you warm and stylish this winter

Don’t be fooled by the warm weather this week. It’s fall, almost winter, and it’s time to start dressing like it. Get ready to throw away the light scarves in exchange for the thick-knitted one your mom made you. It’s time to store those sandals in the back of your closet and buy some fuzzy socks.

But, don’t worry. We know that it’s important to look presentable, even if the temperatures starts to drop. To help, here are five of the top boot trends for 2015:

 

The ankle-boot: I’m thrilled that the stylish and professional ankle-boots are back in style again. Nothing looks better with a good pair of skinny jeans and a blouse then the ankle-boot. They are also undeniably more comfortable than those black wear-every-day-to-work pumps.

ALDO, $145
ALDO, $145

The suede heel: You can’t go wrong with a good pair of knee-high boots, especially in this chilled weather. Not only do they add an extra layer of warmth to your legs, but they look amazing with both jeans and tights. Just make sure you buy some protective spray for the material. We all know how wet these Canadian seasons can be.

Le Chateau, $119.95
Le Chateau, $119.95

Knit insides: Canada knows how to make warm and stylish boots. Most of the 2015 designs will have a knit layer inside the boot, and then pair it with lace and zippers to make it as stylish as it is weather appropriate. They are also the perfect casual boot—pair it with jeans and a light knit sweater, and you are weekend ready.

Call it Spring, $59.99
Call it Spring, $59.99

Fringe: We always seem to come back to the fringe-style: in the 60s, then the 90s, and now in 2015! I’ve always loved fringe, the way it swishes as you walk. Turns out, I’m not the only one. Most stores carry a few stylish and trendy fringe options, and they are worth checking out.

Nine West, $295
Nine West, $295

The totally Canadian winter boot: Come December, our cute boots may not be able to cut through the slush and snow. This boot, however, was made for a Canadian winter. A hearty waterproof sole, a plaid knit top, and a maple leaf on the back—just in case it’s not clear that we are Canadian.

Cougar Boots, $160
Cougar Boots, $160

4 ways to beat Jack Frost and stay active this winter

At this time of year, the chilly embrace of Jack Frost can feel as unwelcome as a wet blanket, eating snow cones on a frozen pond or a long hug from your great aunt that you haven’t seen since you were five. It goes against human nature to deliberately turn off the fireplace, get out of your comfy clothes and into layers of moisture wicking, water proof gear so you can venture outside to the bone-chilling tundra, of which only polar bears and ice sculptors are acclimatized.

Perhaps I exaggerate just a smidgen but no one should minimize how biting Canadian winters can be.  The trick is to take what Mother Nature offers and make the best of it by staying fit.

How do you break this cycle of not feeling motivated when winter has settled in across our Great White North with sub zero temperatures, and less sunlight? For some lucky mammals, they just hibernate.  For the rest of us, we need compelling reasons to push ourselves out the door to go for that run or walk, hike or skate.

Living in Canada winter can be, however, an enjoyable experience with the number of activities we participate in like tobogganing, building a snow man, igloo or ice cave. Take advantage of a winter sport or activity like hockey and this will help you stay in shape during the cold months.  Curling is another Canadian winter pastime which can lead you all the way to the Olympics if you’re good enough.

Winters are much more enjoyable when you’re dressed properly, which may be obvious to most but the ones who get sick or frost bite are still there to remind us. If you happen to be a fair weather runner like so many who love the summer sun, you may be pleasantly surprised to discover just how invigorating it feels to run on a crisp, cold winter day while getting your healthy dose of vitamin D in the process.

To help inspire you to get off your comfy couch and into the spirit of exercising outdoors, here are the top four ways to stay active during winter:

After each activity reward yourself by having a cup of hot chocolate or eggnog and then cozy up by the fireplace – the feeling being much more gratifying after a workout.

1. Build a snowman

Two women with a snowman

Building a snowman can be fun for the whole family. All you need is your imagination. The bigger the snowman the bigger the workout you get. According to sources, every hour you will burn 285 calories. This is based on a 150 pound person.

2. Shovel the snow

Mother and Daughter with Snow Shovels

Shoveling snow is a good workout activity and sometimes can be a chore. You can make it fun by having the family take part in the activity and having music play in the background. You will burn 273 calories per hour based on a woman who is 120 pounds.

3. Go snowshoeing

Woman Snowshoeing Past Forest

Snowshoeing – like cross country skiing – is a good cross trainer for running and an enjoyable outing for the whole family.  Hit the trails or slopes and enjoy Mother Nature at her best. You can burn 380-plus calories based on a woman who weighs 120 pounds. Cross country skiing can help you burn over 400 calories. Ice skating can be fun for the whole family and is great for your core and upper body. Many community centers have ice rinks while some families enjoy the convenience of having their own backyard rink, depending of course on regional climate.

4. Play some hockey!

Family playing hockey

Ice hockey is Canada’s sport and what better way than to participate in it and burn calories while having fun?

 

No matter which activity you choose, you can be sure to feel more alive afterwards. Whether it be from having a snowball fight to finding a good hill for spending the afternoon sledding, your fun will keep you fit. If you’re a runner, mix up your routine by doing some snowshoeing or winter hiking.

 

Follow Christine on Twitter at @ChristineRuns and YouTube at RunWithItCB1.

Check her out on the web at RunWithIt.ca