The Best Winter Leggings. Ever.

Top Secret Best Winter Leggings

Some of you are going to think I’ve gone insane when you read this post. Some of you will think I’ve just given up. And some of you will think I’m brilliant, go out and purchase them, and then be really, really happy getting dressed for the rest of winter.

My go-to legwear for winter are leggings, since they fit into my boots and I can wear them with dresses. A couple of years ago, Lindsey introduced me to fleece-lined tights, which I would sometimes wear under my leggings for protection. Then, my very fashionable and pregnant co-worker, Amy, told me that she had just ordered some maternity leggings that she would continue to wear even after giving birth because they were so comfortable. Amy is enviably thin–one of those pregnant women who looks exactly the same as usual except when she turns sideways–so I took this declaration to heart.

Then I found the perfect marriage of all those things: fleece-lined maternity leggings.

They came up in my Google search for fleece lined leggings and Amy’s voice rang in my head. I ordered two pairs and when they arrived I was delighted to discover that they don’t look like maternity clothing–no obvious seams or extra fabric. They’re pretty heavyweight for leggings, and jet-black. And unlike my other leggings, they don’t bag in weird places. Just a sleek, totally comfortable, and surprisingly warm legging. Pretty much everything I’ve been looking for all these years.

Anyway, I know it’s a little weird but I couldn’t resist letting you guys in on the secret of the best leggings ever. They’re buy one, get one 50% off right now at Motherhood Maternity. Don’t worry, I won’t tell if you get a pair. But you might find that you love them so much you’ll have to tell all your friends too.

This isn’t a sponsored post. I just really love these leggings!

I’m So Done With Winter + Weekend Links

Frock Files // Weekend Links To Cheer You Up

Earlier this year, I wrote about how I’ve managed to stave off seasonal depression with exercise and the necessary evil/blessing of dog walking even in bad weather (which delivers all that Vitamin D). But after being hit by one snow storm after another, things came to a head this week. On Wednesday morning, halfway through a particularly harrowing drive to work, I pulled over, called James, and burst into tears.

Despite living in Massachusetts for a cumulative six years, I still haven’t quite figured out how to deal with the six months of coat wearing, the slippery sidewalks, and the sheer terror I feel every time I lose some control of my car because of ice. Which is what kept happening to me on my way to work, and then because of a surprise afternoon storm, on my way home. If I can be really, totally, brutally honest for just one second, I’d like to say this: I love living in Massachusetts from April through November. I don’t really even mind it in December. And there’s hope, at least, in March. But January and February? No redeeming qualities. None. Okay, one: sometimes it’s sunny.

But since we don’t have any plans to escape the winter physically (and, hey, maybe it’ll be over soon…?), I’m turning to the kind of escape that doesn’t require a plane ticket: entertainment. If you, too, are in need of a vacation from this winter, perhaps you’ll want to get absorbed in another world as well, even if just for a few seconds.

What happens when everything is just right Except For That One Thing.

The new wave of Americans in Paris?

Completely obsessed with Orphan Black.

Food and charming stories by an author named Banana? In Japan? Perfect.

Louis CK on trying to impress his daughters, screwing up, and impressing them anyway. Adorable. (This whole series is awesome.)

P.S. I promise I’ll be in a better mood next week. It will have a lot to do with the floral DIY I’ve been putting together for you!

We’re Going Somewhere Warm!

We survived the blizzard! In fact, it was a pretty great weekend — we didn’t have to leave the house so we got plenty of work done, drank lots of hot chocolate, and ate our way through the contents of the fridge. Which was perfect, actually, because we’re headed to Puerto Rico this afternoon.

By February, we both get to this level of stir crazy that borders on lunacy and we just need to get ourselves the heck outta Dodge. This year, in particular, I slipped into a mild seasonal depression around Christmastime. James quickly ordered one of those little blue lights, which I used while downing great amounts of St. John’s Wort. Once the sun began sticking around until 4:45 and now 5pm, everything got better. But for the past few weeks we’ve been banging our heads going, “WHERE IS IT? WHERE IS SPRING?”

Friends keep asking what we’ll be doing once we land. Scuba diving? Sightseeing? The truth is that we have absolutely no plans aside from sun bathing, spending time together, and trying a few restaurants we’ve read about. Since we’re pretty much constantly working here at home, what sounds boring to some people sounds wholly blissful to us. To be honest, we just want to be warm. Like, outside.

What’s making its way into my luggage? Not much. Here are my essentials:

dress / b.b. cream / swimsuit / sunglasses / iPad case / lip balm

(I’m not going to say much about these except that I adore them all. I’ve had the J.Crew swimsuit for years and don’t see the need to get another one. Also, even though the Baby Lips packaging (and name) makes me cringe, that stuff is the shizz if you have problem lips, like I do.)

While I’m gone, Frock Files will still be up and running! It’s Valentine’s week after all. So I hope you’ll stop by for my manly dessert (you’ll probably find it craveable too) and some ideas on planning your own budget friendly getaway. And if you’re in need of some sunshine, I promise to post plenty of it on my Instagram feed.

What are your plans for this lovely week? Whatever they are, I hope they’re full of love. xoxo

Words, Words, Words: The Heat (is Broken)

Our heat started doing a funny thing this week, and for awhile it looked like we might be without it just in time for the arrival of our first snowfall.

As the central heat whirred and clicked, sounding very much like the little engine that could, I thought about our friends in New York City who were without power for a week in these chilly temperatures.

One friend told me that she actually liked certain aspects of it — boiling her water with herbs to take scented, candlelit baths; eating simple meals of tea, bread, and cheese; the quietness that seemed to blanket the space without the presence of little blinking LED lights or the neon glow of digital clocks ticking off the minutes of the day. She is made of much heartier stock than I am. Of course, you never know what you can endure until you do it; until the point where it’s no longer bravery but absolute necessity.

When I was growing up, I dreamed of the snow. I distinctly remember lying very still one Christmas just to keep cool, listening to the neighbor’s air conditioner groaning next door, and wishing desperately for cold weather, sweaters, hot chocolate. On a school field trip, they took us to the freezers in the supermarket and explained that we would be that cold if we lived somewhere with snow. Yeah, I thought, teeth chattering, but at least we could make snowballs.

The grass is always greener. Or, you know, frozen in place beneath that majestic white stuff.

The winter I moved to Boston was the first time I ever held a shovel. It was beyond me that this fluffy stuff — the stuff we eat out of cones in Hawaii — could be so impossibly heavy. It took me over an hour to get my car out of a snow bank, and by the time I was finished I’d shed my coat, scarf, hat, and sweater, and was still sweating in just just jeans and a t-shirt.

“Hey!” my neighbor shouted as he jogged by. “Looks like you’re stuck!” He became a descending electric blue streak as he went past me down the street.

Hey! HELP ME!” I wanted to wail back.

I’m still not very good at shoveling, which is okay since we live in a place with covered parking. But I’ve learned about how to use salt to melt ice, and the value of keeping a thermos with hot tea in my bag at all times. I know what to do if I hit black ice. I understand that blow dryers are as good for warming up hands and feet as they are for styling my hair, and that an oven can act as heat when your radiators go out. Even pockets have new meaning for me: once just convenient containers for change, now necessities for warmth.

Last night, we gave up on the heat and burrowed under three layers of blankets, grateful for our double paned windows and the fact that the blanket to person ratio in our home is completely uneven, at four to one. We’re getting on a plane to see my family on Monday too, and that fact alone radiates warmth. Living in the Northeast has forced me to unearth a tolerance and capability I didn’t know I had, but my roots in Hawaii make it clear that I come from people who know how to adapt. It’s the original mashup; the reason why I sometimes don’t know if I’m saying a word that’s Hawaiian or Japanese or Filipino. We are the mosaics of our many small parts, and in the end mine is a map of the globe.

While I’ll be gone next week, some of my favorite ladies will be here, and you won’t want to miss their posts! Delicious food, simple crafts, and some words of wisdom. I’ll be tweeting photos throughout my trip, so stay tuned!

{ Photo Credit }

Turn It: Dreading Winter? Embrace the Chill.

{ a la }

Do any of you watch Game of Thrones? Me neither, but I know that the characters are famous for warning that, “Winter is coming.” While I’m never eager for the arrival of winter, this year I’m especially weary of it since I’ve been in the Pacific Northwest for the past two years and I haven’t had to deal with very much snow or ice at all. In fact, even out here in the Northeast there wasn’t much of that. But the days are dark, it’s cold, and the trees are bare — and that’s what I dread most.

But over at Pars Caeli, MJ and I have been working on a series called “Turn It” in which we talk about ways to turn ominous things into happy ones. I’ve decided to take my feelings about winter and turn them upside down. Check out our most recent update, featuring ideas on all the things you can look forward to this winter. I have to say that after stockpiling these ideas, I’m actually getting a little excited about having the excuse to stay inside with a book, a drink, a warm blanket, and some crafts. Heck, by the time spring rolls around, we may finally have finished decorating!

Head on over to Pars Caeli for all the details. What are you most looking forward to this winter?

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