Embracing Winter

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Poor winter gets such a bad rep. While we certainly are no strangers to a seasonal slump, we’re also all about embracing this time of year to basque in the good things it has to offer. This winter has been slightly warmer than usual, but we’re New Englanders – so we’re ready for you, harsh, cold February.

We’re both pretty active people through out the year, whether it’s being physically active or socially active, but we tend to slow down a bit during the winter months. While we do love the mini hibernation mode, that’s when we start to really feel the cold, darkness that New England winters are known for. We’ve decided to embrace winter this year and have the best winter yet. Reg is going on a work ski/snowboarding trip this weekend and Christa has been bundling up and taking walks at the reservoir even when it’s a tad chillier than she’d like!

Here are our favorite ways to take advantage of winter weather:

Cook and bake
Put on your favorite movie in the background, or a new album you’ve been wanting to listen to (ps. the new Childish Gaminbo is great, and people are loving the new XX album), and try that new recipe you’ve been eying!

Host
Having people over is always fun! We know it can be a little bit of work, but it can be as simple as hosting a movie night where people bring over their favorite movie watching treats, or having a potluck so you’re not the only one on the hook for food. Plus, what a good excuse to tidy up the house 😉

Winter walks and sports
As we mentioned above, Reg is getting back on the snowboarding-saddle after a couple years to go on a work ski trip, and as you probably saw on instagram, Christa was recently in Colorado for some skiing. Finding an outdoor winter activity is fantastic! Of course the first couple minutes of being outside in the cold, you are asking yourself, “why did I do this?!”, but from our experiences, we always feel amazing after!

Studio exercise classes
BUT, if you really, really hate the cold, you can be just as active inside! Reg loves yoga and Christa plays indoor soccer once a week, but it could be as simple as just warming up at the gym (we’re both loving the Nike+ Training app.)

Reading and writing
This is always one of our New Years Resolutions, because once things get busy, the lovely leisurely activity of reading and writing tends to get pushed aside. We’re going to try our best to keep this going, especially during the chilly months. Curl up in bed, on the couch or at a cozy coffee shop and dive into a new world. Christa is currently reading H is for Hawk, and Reg is searching for something great – any suggestions?!

Movies
Guys, this is *literally* the best time of year for movie watching! The Oscars are right around the corner and the last couple months have been filled with fantastic movies. We both saw Manchester by the SeaArrival and La La Land. Reg saw Nocturnal Animals, and Christa saw Loving, and we both still want to see Jackie and Moonlight.

Burn candles, incense and simmer pots
We’re big components of this (we’ve mentioned it a couple times here on the blog!) super easy mood setting tactic. Reg makes a mean simmer pot that really cozies up the house. Hoping to have a post on that someday! 🙂

Meditate and color
As mentioned in last week’s post, the better you feel, the better you’ll be equipped to handle the New England winter.

Make art
Do it! Any kind of art! Draw, doodle, knit, craft, sing, write. While you’re stuck inside, take that time to express yourself a bit – even if it’s for your eyes only.

Museums
We unfortunately forget what wonderful museums we have right at our doorstep. Christa has easy access to the Wadsworth Athenaeum, the New Britain Museum of American Art, the Hill-Stead Museum, the Mark Twain House, the Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, and many many more. And with Reg in Boston…it’s endless! Her favorites are the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum, the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, the Harvard Museum of Natural History, and the Institute of Contemporary Art.

Pamper yourself
When you’re feeling frumpy from endless bundling up – why not treat yo’self! Get (or do your own) mani/pedi, get a massage, get that haircut you’ve been dreaming of. As we mentioned before, the better you feel, the better winter will feel!

Puzzles and games
And last, but not least, play some games! Reg has been loving putting together puzzles, and Christa and Curtis have friends over all the time to play board games. They’re a lovely way to spend an afternoon with friends.


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Happy Weekend!

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Yay, it’s Friday! We’re counting down the hours until our G&M weekend in Boston! Our friend Brittany (last seen here), will be joining us, and we literally can’t stop talking about how excited we are to get Union Square Donuts, ha! Christa cut out treats for the month of January, but obviously this is the 1 exception, and how sweet it will be!

For all of you out there getting hit with the massive snow storm, stay warm and safe! We’re a little sad we won’t be getting much (or any) snow, but our time will come. Cheers to a fabulous weekend! xo G&M


cct // How is it almost Valentine’s Day already?! Get prepped with 3 cocktails for your sweetheart

rkv // Quinoa and chai? Yes, please

cct // I’ve always been an advocate for leggings as pants, IF they are styled well. This girl knows what I’m talking about…

rkv // Calculate how many hours you will spend on this winter’s shows

cct // Gotta love a good decoupaged chair

rkv // Is Katy Perry behind this?

cct // This little blurb about a bison who was stuck by lightning from the WNPR science blog, The Beaker, is just adorable. I know, it sounds weird, but it’s great! *Also, spoiler alert, in case you were worried about him, he’s doing great!

rkv // The best beer gardens in America


 

Christmas Eve Cocktails

With the hustle & bustle of Christmas going on around you, why not take a moment tomorrow evening to chill out with a friend or family member you haven’t seen in a while, and make them a festive cocktail? These four actually seem to embody almost all of the flavors that remind us of winter — citrus, rosemary, gingerbread, and peppermint — yes, please! So put on your party dresses, dust off your shakers, and have a very happy holiday!

In case you missed it, last year we rounded up four delicious looking cocktails as well. It’s becoming a bit of a new Christmas tradition 🙂 .

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Clockwise From Top Left:

Winter Citrus Punch

Pear Rosemary Flip

Peppermint White Christmas

Gingerbread Martini 


 

 

Happy Weekend

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This week was certainly a doozy. Between dinners, holiday shopping, and wrapping up the craziness at work before vacation, we certainly have been keeping ourselves busy. But, there’s always time to surf the web for entertaining links! Hope you all have wonderful weekends, see you on Monday!


cct // Did you guys watch Masters of None? Here are 5 awesome food related things he gets so right.

rkv // Forever finding our way out of the conversational awkward pause

cct // Did you guys see this story on Tracey Norman, a transgender model in the 60s and 70s? Such an inspirational but sad story.

rkv // Have you guys ever smelled these candles? I purchased the Spruce one for our office yankee swap, and it was a big hit.

cct // This make up tho – dang!

rkv // The lightsaber workout

cct // Stocking stuffers, yankee swaps, coworker gifts – this list of Fabulous Gifts Under $25 is much appreciated

rkv // Shut. The. Front. Door. (Such a sucker for celeb gossip)


Sweet Beats // December 2015

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For those of you who celebrate Christmas like us, we’re struggling a little to fully get into the spirt this year. For some reason it’s just not feeling like the holiday season! It probably doesn’t help that yesterday was 60 degrees and sunny… usually we’ve already busted out our wool socks and scarves! We’re hoping that by listening to a little holiday music it’ll get us more excited and ready to drink that nog and deck them halls.

We’ve busted out two seasonal playlists from the archives for ya, because why not?

Check out the links below for our playlists on Spotify!



december 2015 // part 1

1. baby, i love you // the ronettes

2. lollipop // chordettes

3. sugar dumpling // sam cooke

4. try a little tenderness // otis redding

5. dream a little dream of me // the mamas & the papas

6. blue moon // billie holiday

7. mele kalikimaka (merry christmas) // bing crosby

8. having a party // sam cooke

9. snow in his hair // johnny cash

10. (what a) wonderful world // sam cooke

11. you belong to me // pasty cline

12. unchained melody // the righteous brothers

13. in the still of the night // the five satins

14. goodnight sweetheart // the spaniels

december 2015 // part 2

1. winter wonderland // darlene love

2. shake hands with santa clause // louis prima

3. white christmas // the drifters

4. i saw mommy kissing santa clause // the ronettes

5. sugar town // nancy sinatra

6. what christmas means to me // stevie wonder

7. rockin’ around the christmas tree // brenda lee

8. all i want for christmas is you // mariah carey

9. little saint nick // the beach boys

10. merry christmas, baby // the beach boys

11. please come home for christmas // james brown

12. blue christmas // elvis

13. linus and lucy // vince guaraldi



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Espresso Peppermint Brownies

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If there’s one weakness I have, it’s dense delicious fudgy brownies. And in case you didn’t know, Dec. 8th is National Brownie Day, so we decided to pay our tribute. This recipe is pretty much as simple as homemade brownies get, and most certainly a crowd pleaser.


For the brownies:

  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate
  • 1/2 cup white granulated sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • eggs, lightly whisked
  • teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 2/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon espresso powder (optional)

For the topping:

  • 4 large candy canes

To make:

Preheat oven to 350 and set aside an 8×8 pan lined with parchment paper.

In a heat-safe bowl, combine 1 cup of your chocolate chips (save the rest to add to the batter), butter, and oil, and place over a small pot of boiling water.

Once fully melted and slightly cooled, combine in a stand (or hand) mixer with your sugars. Mix well, then add espresso, vanilla, and eggs. Add your flour and salt mixture and blend until just mixed. Fold in your chocolate chips.

Place in the oven for 30-35 minutes.

While baking, prepare your peppermint topping. *Warning, this part is loud*

Place your candy canes into a plastic baggie, removing the air, and adding into a second baggie. With a rolling pin or hammer, gently break your candy into pieces.

Once your brownies have five minutes left in the oven, remove and sprinkle on the candy. Place back in the oven and finish baking.


Recipe adapted from Food 52

Happy Weekend!

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Happy Friday, loves — how’d you guys hold up this week? The week after Thanksgiving can sometimes feel extra long, but this year it didn’t seem too bad. This year we’re trying to be a little more conscious of our holiday habits — actively trying to keep our nutrition and exercise in check, and budgeting ourselves so we don’t overspend. It can be a challenge at times, but it seems to be helping, because we’re feeling good! Are you guys doing anything differently this year to feel a little more balanced? Hope you guys have a great weekend — see you on Monday!


cct // An older and wiser friend of mine always swore that sipping on a little whiskey when you’re feeling like you’re going to get sick will fend everything off – and I’m thinking he was right 🙂 So long cough syrup, and hello hot toddy’s!

rkv // Have you guys tried the mediation app Headspace yet? I have two friends with rave reviews!

cct // Purge the closet…you know you never wear it..do ittt (stop overthinking it!)

rkv // Why, hello holiday mai tai

cct // Which 2015 Pop Hit Are You?

rkv // Because sometimes the holidays aren’t always merry & bright — how to beat the holiday blues

cct // These 9 Trends Prove That the Way We Travel Is Changing (also Afar mag is the best of the best, if you love travel and design, think about subscribing, it’s my favorite magazine!)

rkv // How to make friends in adulthood

 

 

Sweet Beats // February 2015

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Lately I’ve been finding myself straying from my typical love of breathy folk music (#chickmusic) for something with a little more beat. This type of tune just feels so right when doing a little evening yoga before bed, walking home from the train, or sinking into the couch to get into the photo editing zone. I’m definitely the day-dreaming type, and all about detaching from everyday stresses to take in a few intrinsic moments. What kind of things have you guys been doing these days to unwind?

Click here for a link on Spotify.


february 2015

get good (infinitefreefall remix) // st. south

every other freckle // alt-j

don’t wanna fight // alabama shakes

hospice gates // lower dens

the stars in spring // epic45

great escape // washed out

no stranger // small black

party talk // craft spells

lately // memory house

genesis // grimes

suddenly // junip

inside out // spoon

james dean // dale earnhardt jr. jr.

bloodflood pt. II // alt-j


 

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Love Want Need // Chunky Sweaters & Winter Boots

Remember last week when we mentioned a mild winter? Well we were just kidding. And to our fellow New Englanders, we apologize for jinxing you. We were hit pretty hard by Juno yesterday in both Boston and Hartford, but we ain’t complainin’ (snow dayyy!). SO all of those retailers with their Spring 2015 lines coming out… slow your roll, okay? Because it’s still chilly and slushy around these parts, and we need some gear to get us through it all. Hail to the chunky sweater and waterproof boot!

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Love: Zara belted sweater // Timberland lace-up boot
Want:  H&M cable knit sweater // Hunter high gloss boot
Need: ChicWish flare cable sweater // Teva buckle boot