Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Things to love about winter

Today was the coldest June day that Sydney has had in 27 years. To my northern hemispherian friends, that must sound totally bizarre. But, it is well and truly winter here.

That said, Sydney winters aren't exactly arctic. Temperatures will go down to freezing at night, but not much below that. Because of generally mild weather, many houses don't have central air or heat--ours is one of them. So, we feel the cold a lot more here, even though the temperature doesn't dip as much as it does elsewhere. When we get up first thing in the morning, I can see my breath in our kitchen while I'm making breakfast. Once the fire gets going, though, it's quite cozy. Today, though, as I shivered and piled layers on myself and the kids, I needed to be reminded of a few things I like about winter here.

1. Our fireplace. It is seriously indispensable! Ours has a little door and then you switch on a fan which blows warm air into the room. And not only that, who doesn't love a fire? We let the kids roast marshmallows in front of the fire sometimes, and we all sit around it in the evenings. So it's like camping--but I get to sleep in my own bed and flush the potty!

2. Grace's blanket sleeper.
She sleeps in it and then we keep her in it until the house warms up a bit in the morning. It's so funny to watch her crawl around in it--she looks like some kind of baby-mermaid hybrid or something. A snuggly baby-mermaid hybrid. And who wouldn't want that? I defy you to resist a bundled up baby. It cannot be done. Cannot.

3. My new crockpot. Slow cookers, they call 'em here. I got one as a wedding gift when we got married--doesn't everyone? I think it's a requirement in the American South. If you don't get a crockpot at one of your bridal showers, it's really time to question whether this relationship is gonna work out. But I left our crockpot in Dallas when we moved to Oz and never got another.

Once it started to get cold this year, I had a craving for stews and roasts and things made with cream of mushroom soup. So I got me a crockpot, y'all! And I forgot how EASY they are. Plus, you feel all virtuous when you turn it on in the morning for dinner that night. "Look at me--so organized! So prepared!" And you'd have to ask Jason, but I'm pretty sure our marriage has improved some since we got it. So, that's a plus.

4. Ava's winter uniform.
Here she is the other day, all bundled up for school. There is much to be said for school uniforms. It certainly makes our mornings easier! I think I've posted about that before. I just love this little plaid dress and tights. I like when little girls look like little girls, y'know?

5. My bed-warmer. No, that's not my nickname for Jason--and stop being so cheeky! I don't really know what you call this, I guess it's just an electric blanket. BUT, it straps to your mattress, under the fitted sheet. It has two controls, so each person can set the temperature at what they want. If you turn it on a few minutes before you get in bed, it is pure heaven. I do not exaggerate. When your bedroom is officially registered as "freaking cold", a toasty bed is dreamy. And having it under you, and not over you--like the other electric blankets I've used, makes a huge difference. Love!

These are a few of my favorite things...winter edition! Please be sure to attend my upcoming lecture, titled Scarves: So Much More Than An Accessory--The Unsung Hero of Winter.


  1. yea, I've had three layers of clothing on me today, seriously!
    It was down to - 4.8 degrees C out our way last night!!!
    I never knew you could get electric blankets that covered that an American thing? :)
    stay warm!

  2. I just love blanket sleepers! I even got one with ankle holes for Emmy when she was a toddler. And you are so right about crock pots. We got one for our wedding too, but I haven't used it for a while...since it's summer here!

  3. Ava's uniform is the number one thing to love, that is so adorable! It is so Aussie and cute with that hat!

    And you are the Queen of Year-Round Scarves. I await your accessory secrets.

  4. Those are some great things to love about your winter. In farenheit, what is the temp?
    I am the queen of scraves over here. Love them. In 10 years you will love them even more (loose neck skin syndrome). Yeah, but I didn't think it would happen to me either.

  5. Michele, in general I'd say the temperature is in the 40-50s during the day and the low 40s and 30s at night. Rosemary (joyfulmum) lives in western Sydney which gets colder in the winter and hotter in the summer. -4 is about 24 degrees Fahreneheit, which is pretty chilly for out here!

    I know Atlanta gets much colder, but when it's in the 30s outside, it can easily be only 42 degrees in our house first thing in the morning, like it was yesterday. Yowza! With the fire though, it starts to warm up fairly quickly. But I still wear a scarf inside!

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  7. I came back here to complete my statement from last night - "Stay warm in bed with Jason" :)
    Did you know that was a quote from a commercial that used to be on TV many years ago....Jason is a brand of electric blankets, how co-incidental for you:)

  8. Really?? Too funny! Now that you mention it, I've seen that brand. :)

  9. Great post - It's nice to read the nice things about the cold. Another friend was just telling me about slow cookers. I am so gonna go check one out.

    Did I tell you our new place has a fireplace too? Joy is just thinking of the marshmallows!! :)

  10. So much to say...

    I miss Jude's sleeper sack thingy so much! Ah! that was such a sweet and snuggly time!

    My beloved Crockpot is not only a essential Winter cooking tool, but I've also found it incredibly helpful in the summer because it doesn't heat up the kitchen. Nice.

    Ava's school uniform is so bloody cute I can't stand it! That hat!