Winter Is Coming here are a few things to make it a little more enjoyable. (For you and for others).

Details, details....The Eleven Elfs Icicle Coat in Black is part of the new Urban Excursion collection. (All photos of me in Eleven Elfs by Tobias Wang)

One Coat, So Many (Chilly) Occasions

In Canada, and in many other countries around the world, a winter coat is a pretty important part of one's wardrobe. You're going to be wearing it for an (unfortunately, in my opinion) large chunk of the year. So it had better be 1) warm 2) stylish 3) functional...........and every year it drives me nuts trying to make one garment be all of these things. How can one thing be many things? I know.....I know, it's not impossible to own more than one coat, so I should probably calm down. But in the interest of decluttering and yes, perhaps frugality, I decided to try and find one coat that would do many things. This year I've chosen the Eleven Elfs Icicle Coat in Nero to be my everything-as-much-as-possible coat.

It's a parka that feels and looks sleek instead of bulky, with down & feather fill for extra warmth, a wind and water resistant soft outer shell and detailing that is both stylish and functional. You can find the range of this European line online here, or if you're in Toronto, select items in store or online at Sporting Life, or Layover on Queen St. West. 

Get Out Here

Nike is makes staying active in the winter pretty tempting with their sleek technical gear that keeps you warm and dry. This Therma Sphere Vest is no exception.  (Photo by Tobias Wang)

Here's a (not really a secret) secret. I like winter or wintery conditions until January 1st. So that means I like the early dark nights, falling snowflakes, twinkly lights and pepperminty things of the holiday season. Then I am done. The problem is there is a whole lotta winter (if you live where I do, about 3 more months) to deal with the cold and damp and windy and generally unfriendly weather that goes with it. How do I deal? I stay active, because it keeps me from going totally squirrelly. Sometimes that means indoor workouts, and sometimes that means embracing the elements and heading outdoors. It just so happens that Nike has ALL SORTS of exciting news right now for Canadians that want to keep moving when the mercury drops. Of course, there is there always-on-point collection of gear to keep you warm, dry and of course looking amazing while working up a sweat. To encourage you even more, there is the #GETOUTHERE challenge. Take your training outside and share evidence (photo or video) of your winter warrior-ness with the #GETOUTHERE tag, and you could win a trip to Chicago for one seriously cool outdoor training experience.

BUT GET DELIVERS TO CANADA!!! (Am I yelling? It's possible that I'm yelling because it's exciting that we are no longer in the desolate wilderness deprived of such e-commerce. Woo!)  So browse and shop to your heart's content for all your training and running needs, including a wide array of functional and fashionable footwear......without having to ship it to your cousin in Topeka, your Granny in Fort Lauderdale, or brother in Palo Alto and then harassing them to ship it to you. RIGHT? now delivers to Canada. now delivers to Canada.

Ok I know.....Mind. Blown. But here's one more thing for those of you that love having something totally original, and totally yours. Now we can also order NIKE iD in Canada! That's right, design your very own Air Max, Huarache, Roshe, Air Force One, Janoski, Zoom many possibilities! If you happen to live in Toronto, you can even book an appointment at the Nike Loft for an exclusive sneak peek and 1 on 1 design session a the new Nike iD Studio. 

The new Nike iD studio at the Nike Loft in Toronto. Photo courtesy Nike Canada.

A Little Embellishment Goes A Long Way

Winter is a tricky time of the year when it comes to skin care and makeup. Like many people, my skin gets pretty dry and sensitive. So my needs are not only to treat and protect, but also to enhance in a way that won't look cake-y or makeup-y. This is especially important when I'm outdoors, whether it's out for a stroll or snowboarding or whatever. So I've found a few goodies lately that help with all of this.

Revise your skin the gentle way with this stuff. Trust me.

Revise your skin the gentle way with this stuff. Trust me.

SkinCeuticals Metacell Renewal B3 is quite the little wonder. Fights the signs of photo aging like uneven texture and tone and those little lines (who, me?) without making skin overly sensitive. Normally, my skin can't handle much of products that achieve these kinds of results, especially in the winter because my skin ends up all red and rashy, but not with Metacell B3. Happy happy.

Protect & conceal without looking makeup-y.

Protect & conceal without looking makeup-y.

BUT....that doesn't mean that protecting your skin isn't a priority. Using products that revise your skin makes you even more in need of SPF. I was also recently introduced to SkinCeuticals Physical Fusion UV Defence SPF 50 suncreen, and I'm kind of hooked. Paraben-free, not greasy or shiny, broad spectrum UV protection and with a hint of tint that makes me feel finished with out the fuss. Because I don't want to wear makeup when I'm out on the slopes, but a little coverage with my SPF is just fine, thank you. 

Dior Cheek and Lip Glow. (Photo by Ryan Emberley)

Dior Cheek and Lip Glow. (Photo by Ryan Emberley)

Just in case the cold hasn't given your skin enough of a glow, Dior Cheek and Lip Glow will do the trick. Because no one wants a powdery blush on dry winter skin. It makes no sense.  Instant blushing rosy tint in a universal shade. Minimal fuss (one product for two parts of your face) and optimal texture. Maaagiiic.

Baby it's Cold Outside....Take Care of Each Other

Warm fuzzies. Any excuse to use this photo, really.

Warm fuzzies. Any excuse to use this photo, really.

With colder weather and the holidays (pick your favourite) approaching, it's a really good time to give back and take care of others. There are so many great causes to get involved in. Start close to your heart, perhaps, and visit an elderly friend or relative that has a hard time getting out in the colder months. Shovel their drive or walkways, make them a hot meal or some tea. Be there to talk or to just listen. It will do wonders.

The Syrian refugee crisis has been a front and centre issue lately, and it is important to keep the momentum going. To find out more about the issue and how you can help refugee families make Canada home, visit Lifeline Syria. Your help could mean the world to a family that has been through hell. 

The Shoebox Project is a great cause that I have donated to for the last few years during the holidays. Get a shoebox, fill it with little luxuries that women in need can use to make their days a little warmer and brighter at this time of year, and drop it off at one of the locations in your city that will help distribute them to shelters across the country. For instructions on how to create a little #ShoeboxLove take a look here

Or whatever feels right and good to you. And that right there is the stuff that is really, really magic. 

Stay warm.