Tag: winter

When It Gets Game of Thrones-y Outside

Ever since November we’ve been living in a Game of Thrones state. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve said “Winter is coming” to my husband in the most menacing voice I can manage (hint: I’m not really menacing, so he laughs at me). While we enjoyed some warm weather at the start of winter, I actually looked forward to the cold and the snow. Winter without snow is depressing in Michigan, and winter without cold is disconcerting.

I might be the only one appreciating the cold, albeit from the safety of my home, buried under three blankets, in a robe and a sweater. Perhaps with a cat on my lap. Seriously.

Winter is a great time for a good wood burning fire; I’m lucky I have a wood burning fireplace and that my husband loves making fires (not in a dangerous way). But for those of you who don’t have one, I suggest a small space heater with a photo of a fire behind it and a heavy dose of suspension of disbelief.

Here ya go. Go wild kids.

Step two to winter survival (or enjoyment, go your own way) is a good book and a great cup of tea. I’m a huge fan of Teavanna’s looseleaf teas.

The vat of tea I’m currently working my way through has popcorn in it. You’d be surprised how good it is.

So at this point I’m either studying or cozying up with a good book. The way grad school is going for me, I’m generally studying. If you’re in the boat with me, I have to say that my fellow Koala bloggers have shared some excellent study playlists if you want to check those out.

On the fun side of things, I have recently been devouring comfort books (AKA books I’ve read before). But since some of you may not have read them, I’m gonna recommend them to you.

Winter book coverA few months ago Marissa Meyer released the final book in her Lunar Chronicles series.
These are YA books, which I am a huge fan of. They also pull of some unbelievable elements I could never execute. When my best friend offered me the first book, Cinder, I read the blurb and laughed out loud. It’s a play on the Cinderella fairytale, only it includes cyborgs, a worldwide plague, people who live on the moon and are creepy bad guys with supernatural powers. There are four books in the series, each including a new character that originates in a fairy tale – a pilot named Scarlet (Little Red Riding hood), a computer hacker named Cress who’s been trapped and isolated in a space satellite (Rapunzel), and a beautiful princess, Winter, who has been disfigured and is kind of a little insane (Snow White).

This sounds crazy and I feel you. I only read the first because it was so out there I needed to watch the train wreck. But I love, love, love these books. They have some diversity in there (though they could have more). For the most part the pacing is great and the writing really worked for me. The other characters are fantastic—funny and sweet and complicated. I also have an affinity for a series that keeps you engaged and lets you linger in a world, which Meyers totally delivers.

In sum, Tania’s winter blues recommendation (and my winter high recommendation, because I love this weather): Fake fire, blankets, sweaters, a cat or two, some tea and a great book.

Trendspotting: Winter Footwear

Maybe it’s just me, but this endless winter has taken a lot out of me, including my fashion sense. It seems every winter campus changes from a colorful array of various fashions and individual styles, to blobs of neutral grays and blacks, student marshmallows with furry boots poking out of past-knee length down jackets. These furry-footed staples do lots when walking to class, but add little to your cozy sweaters and leggings look once the coat comes off.

Myself, I hate winter boots. I would much rather trudge through the snow in my Doc Martens, and have, only to slip on layers of ice several times over (it’s gotten to the point I have to make sure I have a walking buddy everyday I wear them, to save me from myself). But with the never-ending blizzards, and the realization that although I’m moving in August (to Chicago, which is still in the Midwest), I was forced to buck up, grow up, and spend my money on a pair of Khombu waterproof boots instead of the tan combats that I truly longed for.

image 2
The boots! (www.khombu.com)

What you’re gonna want from a good winter boot is, overall, durability. You want these boots to withstand the test of time, and last you through the season and into the next year, or more. Making sure the boots you’re looking at are waterproof is a MAJOR must. Not only does it snow in the beautiful Mitten State, but we also get sleet, freezing rain, hail, and that snow can turn to wet, brown slush in a matter of a couple hours, and the last thing you’ll want to deal with through your busy day is sopping cold socks. It also helps to have fur or extra material inside, for added protection and warmth! You’re also going to want to look at the bottom of the boots, and check the ridges there to make sure there’s enough grip that you won’t slip on the sidewalks, which can be coated in layers of ice built up over months. It helps, too, to go for boots that go up to at least mid-calf, so you won’t have to worry about snow sneaking it’s way in when walking through ~ten inches of fluffy white freeze. Lastly, find something that’s comfortable and makes you feel hot, even in the negative degrees weather! I chose a bright purple for my Khombus because it’s my favorite color, so every time I look down at my feet to shield my eyes from the oncoming snow flakes, I get a tiny dose of bright happiness, even in the gloominess and clouds of the winter day.

When I joined the pack with my clunky, furry boots, I began to notice others like mine, and others totally different. There’s a lot of variety out there that makes winter boots finally… fashionable. My purple Khombus, though they clash with some of the nicer things I’d like to wear, keep my precious toes warm, dry, and happy, and keep my butt where it should be instead of on the ground—and I still get compliments on them! It’s all about using the boots to enhance the snow-bunny sweater look you already have going in the winter. Especially since mine are so bright, I make sure whatever I wear on top doesn’t clash too hard, so I usually go for white, black, or something more plain and neutral on the days when I know I can’t make it to class without them. Whether you rock Ugg, Timberland, or Khombu like me, how do you use your boots to keep you warm and your look hot in the Snowpocalypse?

My comfortable, warm, wind-blown winter look, with my purple Khombus included.
My cozy, warm, wind-blown winter look, with my purple Khombus included.

Jam of the Week – World So Cold


“World So Cold” by Three Days Grace seems like a very appropriate choice to kick off the Jam of the Week with this semester. In my quarter-century as a Michigan native, I don’t recall ever having experienced a winter so brutal. Ice storm, blizzards, sub-zero temperatures, one MSU snow day and two delays- this combination hurts the soul. It makes going to class and getting work done for school that much more difficult. So, in a song with lyrics clearly written about losing someone dear, I hear the lyrics and think of the sun and how much I miss it. While I’m pumped we’ve survived January, I fear we have a great deal of winter left to withstand. In the meantime, jam to “World So Cold” – then come on into the WC and warm up with some hot coffee while having your paper consulted by one of our many wonderful and capable writing consultants.

Trendspotting: Warm Winter Boots

Trendspotting with Alyson GinesCan you believe we’re already in our second-to-last week of classes? Per usual, this semester has managed to fly by. The trend for one of these final weeks is undoubtedly warm, comfortable boots. Temperatures, in classic Michigan style, have dropped rapidly, leaving many students and consultants alike breaking out their winter boots to stay warm as they travel across campus. What’s your favorite accessory to stay warm in these chilly winter months?