Joanna Anastasia

winter

How to survive the freezing cold with kids

survive freezing cold with kids

Here in Montreal winter gets really really really cold. Between December and March we are used to -15Cto -20C degrees with the peaks of cold up to -35C ! And in my daughter’s school kids go out to play every single day. Snow, wind or ice, they always play outside. The only exception is rain or the weather colder than -25C! So you can imagine how winter gear is really, really important for us!

To top it of, on the weekends my girls like to play in our backyard, and every longer weekend we pack up and head up north to visit our family that lives in the even colder place then us ( yes, it exists. It’s called Saguenay. )

survive freezing cold with kids

And this year we got to test the Souris Mini winter gear line, and boy they did not disappoint! We got the three piece sets for them, and one cute sherpa suit for the baby. And it’s been almost two months now that we have been testing them- in all the winter conditions you can imagine! And I must say I’m impressed!

survive freezing cold with kids

Disclosure: this post was brought to you by Souris Mini, all opinions remain entirely my own. 

The snowsuits are really made for our Canadian winters. They are both 3-in-1 snowsuits that are made up of a coat, snow pants and a quilted jacket ( perfect for fall and spring!) They are seriously cozy, with plush lined hoods and a zipper openings that are camouflaged by a windproof flap!

I love that they have the reflective tapes in front and back for extra safety, backpack-type straps inside the coat and a back interior pocket in which a heating pack can be placed! I really wish I could have one in my size!

survive freezing cold with kids

So when we went to the coldest place I know ( aka , behind the wall, aka winter wonderland, aka Station De Ski Valinouet)  I knew they would be warm and cozy-  and indeed, they were so comfy that they wanted to play outside even at -25C!

survive freezing cold with kids

survive freezing cold with kids

survive freezing cold with kids

survive freezing cold with kids

And in all honesty, the key to surviving winter with kids is the right gear. For you, and for the kids. Because if you’re dressed for the weather, then you can really enjoy the skiing, sledding and skating- and actually have fun during the winter months! 

survive freezing cold with kids

How to survive the cold weather with kids:

  1. Dress for the weather- dress in real winter gear with lots of layers and wind and water resistant upper coat.
  2. Do try winter sports that work with your lifestyle. It can be as low kea as walks in the snow park or sliding. Even 20 minutes outside will make you and your kids feel better.
  3. To avid cabin fever try mixing up the indoor activities – crafting, board games and imaginative play are our favorite!

And remember, winter is much more fun when we play outside!

Disclosure: this post was brought to you by Souris Mini, all opinions remain entirely my own. 

Staying positive this winter

staying positive this winter

When you live in a cold Canadian climate then you know that winters are long, cold and dark. That after the initial excitement of first snow and decorating for the holidays, the days are getting darker and everyone get’s sick. That when the temperature drops and there’s less light outside, it’s just so difficult to stay positive! And that the more you feel down, the easier it is to get sick and feel even worst.

That’s why, after a couple of cold, dark and long Montreal winters, I feel like staying positive this winter is my biggest goal. Because we all now that you can’t pour from an empty cup, and as a mother, when your morals are low, so is everybody else.

And I found, that one of the most importation components of feeling positive is staying healthy as a family. Because once the kids get sick, they stop sleeping well, once they stop sleeping, I get exhausted and prone to get sick myself, and once that happens, the home turns in to chaos.

But it’s not only that. The colder and darker days make me want to sty at home with my family. Especially if we feel a bit sick, we’ll be probably staying home all day. But the lack of sunlight and fresh air makes me feel sad and negative. And that’s a vicious circle.

staying positive this winter

staying positive this winter

staying positive this winter

staying positive this winter

So here’s my plan for staying positive this winter:

1. Go out and have a small walk every day.

Fresh air and sunlight are in-replaceable. Even a 15 minute walk will make everyone feel better! Even during the cold weather make it your habit do dress warm and go for a small walk!

2. Prevent the sickness.

This winter I’m using ColdQ on repeat in order to avoid getting sick in the first place! I carry it around with me, to never forget it, and I make using it my habit. Since it’s an all natural spray, it hits the germs and viruses right where they’re at, and it’s so easy to use on the go. And so I’ts been over a month now that I keep it in my purse, and even though my kids got a bit sick, I managed to stay healthy and did’t got their virus! So I think it worked for me so far! ( you can read more about how it works and why I love it here!)

3. Eat more healthy and less comfort food.

As much as heavy and comforting meals are what we prefer during the colder days, it’s actually the healthy diet that helps us feeling full of energy and positive. So I plan lot’s of soups and healthy grains, veggies and green smoothies!

And with all that in mind, I hope that these cold and dark months will pass by fast, and I’m sure we just might avoid getting sick and feeling down!

staying positive this winter

Disclosure: This article was brought to you by ColdQ, all opinions remain my own.

Holiday soft sugar cookies

Easy and puffy soft sugar cookies recipe , so delicious and uncomplicated! And once frosted with this vanilla cream cheese frosting, they simply melt in your mouth!

What I love the most about winter weekends, is that we can stay in our pajamas all day and bake cookies together. And one of my favorite recipes is this one here, for perfectly puffy and delicious holiday soft sugar cookies!

These cookies are melting in your mouth, so easy to make, and frosted with delicious and simple vanilla cream cheese frosting! Pure winter perfection, if you ask me!

And, I really find that cold mornings are meant to be spent in comfy and cozy onesies while making a mess in the kitchen with kids. And my both daughters, they just love helping me with baking! I let them mix all the dry ingredients together, and then they choose their cookie cutters. And let me tell you, we have a real collection of cookie cutters now : forest animals, Xmas trees and snowman, little hearts and geometric shapes! But for little hands it’s easier to operate smaller cookie cutters, so we stick to these mostly.

And while the weather outside might be dreadful and cold, I make sure we’re cozy and warm, in our winter fleece pajamas, onesies and cozy winter slippers from Giant Tiger. Actually my girls love their onesies so much they want to wear theirs all day, and not only in the morning! ( And they might have been wearing their onesies to groceries the other day.. But I don’t blame them, they’re so cozy and soft!) While me, I love to have some soft flannel pyjama pants and micro polar on me, and yes, I love winter prints too! Having some nice pj’s and slippers make getting up early on weekends a bit easier! ( because #momlife! )

Holiday soft sugar cookies

Holiday soft sugar cookies

Holiday soft sugar cookies

Holiday soft sugar cookies

Holiday soft sugar cookies

Holiday soft sugar cookies

So while we’re all cozy and warm, we make cookies and listen to Xmas songs, because that really makes everything more cheerful!

And here’s what you’ll need to make your soft sugar cookies:

For the Holiday Soft Sugar Cookies:

– 2 cups sugar
– 1 cup softened butter
– 3 eggs
– 9 teaspoons of milk
– pinch of salt
– 5 cups flour
-5 teaspoons baking powder

For the Vanilla Cream Cheese Frosting:

– cream cheese package
– 1 1/4 cup sugar
– 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
– drop of food coloring

Preparation:

Mix the dry ingredients separately in a bowl. In a mixer, combine softened butter, eggs sugar and milk. Once all is well blended, add dry ingredients. Mix slowly together. Divide the dough in two. ( Since it’s a recipe for at least two big sheets of cookies, I usually work with first batch while the other half of my dough refrigerates. You can keep in a fridge for up two 2 days, if you feel like finishing your cookies a bit later.)

Roll and cut! Have fun with shapes, or use a glass to cut out simple circles like my grandmother used to do!

Once they are ready bake, set your oven for 350F and bake for around 10 minutes. If you want them to be really soft and puffy they can’t get brown! Not even a little!

Prepare vanilla cream cheese frosting: Mix all the ingredients in a mixer, and blend well together. Add a drop of food coloring.

Let them cool down completely before frosting.

Frosting hack: use a small zip bag, fill it with frosting, cut a tiny hole, and then frost!

vanilla cream cheese frosting

Holiday soft sugar cookies

Holiday soft sugar cookies

Holiday soft sugar cookies with vanilla cream cheese frosting

holiday soft sugar cookies

And so even though I’m not the biggest fan of cold winter months, I think that as long as we have someone to snuggle and make cookies with, then these Canadian winters of ours are not that bad after all!

Disclosure: this recipe was brought to you by Giant Tiger, all opinions remain my own.

Keeping kids warm

keeping kids warm

And just like that the days are getting shorter, and the weather colder. The leaves are falling and my kids are beyond exited with Christmas approaching. And my older daughter keeps on reminding me that soon we’ll have snow and that she just. Can’t . Wait!
And that makes me worry about the cold, and about them not getting sick again (it might be obsessive. Please don’t judge me!)

But after last two cold and long winters, I did found ways to keep them warm on the days when my kids spend more time playing in cooler weather.

My plan for the days of playing outside during fall and winter:

1.Starting their day with a warm beverage.

While I was growing up in Poland I would always drink hot fruit herbal tea ( made from dried fruits) and this is what my girls love. But they also love to start the cold days with hot chocolate!

2. Dress them in layers.

Instead of one big polyester pull, that doesn’t really breathe, I go for a couple of layers. It’s just so much easier to control their body temperature that way.

3. Look for natural fibers while shopping for kids.

I like to choose cotton for layers touching body, and merino wool for the layers that are keeping them warm . Add then depending from how cold it really is, I’ll either add a wind/rain coat, or a real snowsuit for kids.

4. Cook soups that kids will like to warm them once they’re back home.

Nothing warms up as a bowl of soup, and if you can sneak in some veggies and a bit of garlic, ginger or turmeric, then for sure your children will warm up and stay healthy!

So this is what I learned after getting through many Canadian winters, and this is what works best for my kids. So this year, I decided to get some new merino clothing for my growing daughters. Because if there’s something that’s essential for cold Canadian weather, it’s merino wool.

keeping kids warm

keeping kids warm

keeping kids warm

keeping kids warm

keeping kids warm

I just love how Lili feels in her soft pink hoodie. It’s her go to piece, perfect for her kindergarten days when they play in the yard, and for long walks with me in the park. It’s perfect for playing outside in the fall leaves. And it’s so pretty and soft!

As for Rose, I got her a simple and cozy gray merino sweater,that looks great with everything. So I don’t have to worry if she’s warm or freezing. I know she’s good. And she just loves her pockets!

Oh and of course these girls love matching, so they got the same (one size really fits all) super warm and soft merino beanies.

What I love about merino it’s that it’s a natural fiber, keeping kids warm like nothing else. But it’s also evacuating the heat better then any other fabric, so your kids are always warm but never too hot!

It has really been a while now that I love Luvmother. Their products are designed locally, and outsourced ethically, they’re pretty in every little detail and really made to last. And with great quality comes great comfort!

And so, this fall and winter I’ll be feeding my kids lots of soups, and dressing them in merino layers. Because I’m sure they’ll stay warm and cozy that way.

keeping kids warm

Disclosure : This post was brought to you by Luvmother, all opinions remain entirely my own.

4 simple ways to enjoy winter

These four simple ways to enjoy winter with young kids have saved my sanity !

If like me you live in a winter wonderland, aka a-place-where-winter-is-long-and-cold, then you know how important it is to actually enjoy winter. It may be hard when the temperatures drop drastically, or when it’s snowing so badly that you barely see where you’re going. But when doing winter sports with young kids is not your thing (it’s really not mine), then you’re tempted to stay inside, and that can end up in a seasonal winter depression!

Enjoy winter

Yes, my first winter as a new mom, four years ago, was the darkest I can remember. I was too freezing cold to leave the house, and I was scared to expose my small baby to the snow and cold. So I stayed inside of the house for four long months! At the end, I was depressed, I hated winter, and I was getting constantly sick. Since then I’m doing my best to conquer winter, by dressing better and doing more winter activities, even when I have to drag myself to it!

So when I found Noujica back in November, I knew that I needed their winter gear. Because when you’re dressed warm enough, if your mittens stay dry and your ears are covered, then it’s easier to enjoy winter, even if you’re stuck in the city. And this winter gear is not only super warm, extra soft, and really cute, but it’s also meant to tough through the coldest Canadian winter, as it’s made and designed locally, from resistant organic materials.

And so when the big snowstorm did finally came, I felt confident enough to actually go outside and play with my daughters. I even came up with new ways to enjoy our cold Canadian weather. So here are some simple ways to enjoy this snowy season, even when it’s really cold, even with young kids, and even in a city!

1.Go on a winter hunt with your kids.

This is a great activity even for toddlers! All you need, is a list of things to find, and you’re ready to go. I printed mine here, and then I’ve put it in to a plastic cover. We were supposed to find birds, branches, berries, traces of animals and pinecones.

Nature hunt

It’s all about staying focused and encouraging your kids to observe carefully what’s happening around them!

Nature hunt

And will you believe me if I’ll tell you, that it was -16 C, and that we really didn’t mind it?

Nature hunt

We found everything that was on our list, and we even found birds to feed. Of course Lili couldn’t stand still, so the birds never really approached her, regardless of the fact that she was trying her best to sing like a bird so they would come!

Winter nature hunt

And despite the weather, we walked, and we picked tiny pine corns, and we spotted animal traces all in that crazy cold weather! And our hands did stay dry!

Winter nature hunt

2.Dress similarly with your kids in coordinated mittens, hats and scarfs.

It may sound silly, but it did cheer my daughter to see that we can be dressed similarly! Our scarfs, mittens and hats from Noujica are similar, and it made my daughter so happy to be dressed like mommy!

Enjoy winter

3.Play in the snowstorm in the backyard.
My usual respond to a snowstorm is making sure that we have enough of hot chocolate with marshmallows on hand. But, last time a snowstorm did happen, we just dressed warm, we grabbed our winter gear from Noujica, and we went to make paths in the snow, and some snow angels in the backyard!

Enjoy winter

And it may sound a bit crazy, but I think that this afternoon of snow-angel-making, was one of the best that or backyard have seen!

Ways to enjoy winter

But obviously, we did have some hot chocolate afterword!

Winter nature hunt

4.Have your coffee outside, even if it snows!
Just make sure you’re wearing some winter gear, and enjoy the beautiful winter wonderland!

Enjoy winter

And if like me you have young children, and your stuck in the city, how do you enjoy winter?

Disclosure: I got this product free for review, all opinions remain my own.

Winter wonderland

Today I want to share with you a bit of winter wonderland photos. Usually in Montreal we have a lot of snow, but this year it took much longer than usual before the first snow appeared. So when I came to my in-laws for the holidays, I was more than happy to see all that white gorgeousness. And I figured, that those of you who don’t get much snow might enjoy it too.

Winter wonderland

Chicoutimi is a city on the edge of the fiord, close to the mountains and surrounded by the forests and fields. It’s really beautiful.

Winter wonderland

There’s always a lot of snow here during the winter. Sometimes when we come for Easter holidays, we can still go skiing!

Winter wonderland

I love walking in the fresh snow, it is always magical, especially if you’re the first person to leave the marks in the fluff!

Winter wonderland

And there’s the fiord. I love the fiord and the river, it’s always in movement, beautiful and dangerous.

Winter wonderland

Winter wonderland

And then there are the fields and farms, space and the horizon.

Winter wonderland

Winter wonderland

And snow, so much snow!

Winter wonderland

Winter wonderland

Winter wonderland

And after all of this winter wanderlust, it’s time for a hot chocolate. But that is a subject for a different blog post!

Enjoy your winter !

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