What I’m Loving – Holiday Cocktails, Knits by Mom and Icy Showers

Hello again!  after a small hiatus I’m back.  The Holidays are my favourite time of the year and the busiest, hence the small break in writing.  It’s been a while it seems since I’ve shared some of the things I’ve been loving so let’s jump right in. 


Having a cold shower probably sounds like the most unappealing thing to do especially going into Winter but hear me out: Cold showers have been proven to have many benefits for our physical and mental health, some being: 

-Improved Immune Function and in some cases, icy showers have been connected to improved Cancer survival.

– Elevated mood (reducing Anxiety and Depression).  Cold showers lower the heart rate and with time you are able to endure stress in a healthier way. 

– Speeds up the Metabolism which in turn aids in weight loss 

– Increased alertness and productivity. Nothing like freezing water to boost your energy and make you feel alive! In reality a cold shower helps create endorphins, a hormone in charge of elevating mood and reducing inflammation. 

– Improved circulation (reduction in celulite)

– Induces deep sleep 

The way I do this is by either first taking a warm bath or shower.  No, you don’t have to jump into a freezing shower (or lake), just start warm and when you’re ready set a timer (I started with just 30 seconds – you’ll have to build up). Then turn the water all the way to cold.  Take some deep slow breaths and step in.  Make sure to keep your breathing steady and your body calm.  With time I actually quite enjoy and look forward to it everyday.  It’s amazing how invigorated, energetic and happy I feel.  Afterward I pop on my fave cozy p.j’s and enjoy a warm drink.  Because of the increased circulation, my skin is glowing for hours afterward.  To learn more check out  the Wim Hof Method at What are the benefits of the Wim Hof Method?


I picked this Eyeshadow palette up on a recommendation from Youtuber  Jenna Froese.  It’s a cool toned palette and very different from what I normally gravitate toward which are warmer, gold, browns and matte tones.  I’ve been using it every day since I bought it and am really enjoying how glam yet subdued it is, perfect for work. 


Luke is a fellow British Columbian who travels throughout the province filming some amazing hikes and exploring abandoned places.  I love that he finds places off the beaten path, places I never knew existed; An abandoned ski resort near whistler, a plane wreck site at widgeon lake, even a monks cave hidden in the mountains near Hedley BC.   Until the Summer when I can get back out and hike, I’m very much enjoying his adventures.  He built a tiny house so that he can take his home with him when he does longer trips like one he did to the Yukon. 


Sitting under a cozy blanket with a pile of Christmas books is my idea of a great way to spend a stormy afternoon.  I have managed to collect quite a few over the years and these are my favourites.  Tonight I’ve made the Winter Braised Ribs and Garlic-y Scalloped Potatoes from Ellen Stimson’s An Old Fashioned Christmas.  Find my twist to this recipe HERE.


We went show shoeing in the mountains this week.  Cypress Mountain is less than an hour’s drive from my home.  $36 gets you a ticket and snow shoe rental.  There are 3 levels of trails, from the easiest to most difficult;  we took the easiest route as we warmed up and once we reached Hollyburn Lodge, veered off into the more difficult terrain winding through tall cedars and western hemlock blanketed in heavy snow. I couldn’t help but hum Da Who Dores (from the Grinch) all the while, it’s like Whoville up there.  The snow fell and we did 6 kms of trails.  A wonderful activity for the entire family. 


I used the Clinique 3 Step system for years but stopped after a lot of research about the importance of acids, serums and Retin-A, but I’ve come full circle and started using the 3 step system again.  I’m still using my acids and Retin A but you can’t use these very concentrated products on your skin every day so in between I take a gentle break and use the Clinique Cleanser,  Toner and Gel Moisturizer.  It’s so simple and clean with no fragrance.  Skin feels comforted and supple. 


My mom gifted me the cutest slippers this week hand knitted by herself. They’re so soft and warm and I’ve been wearing them every since.  You can find my mom on IG @knittingintherain15 .  My feet are feeling extra cozy. 


Maison Margiela makes some seriously gorgeously unique scents. Their blends are inspired by nature and capture moments and places with perfection.  In early Fall this year I fell in love with the Autumn Vibes scent; a mixture of Red Berries, Cardamom, Cedarwood, Moss. It truly smells like musty leaves and a walk over the damp earth in the forest.  Going into winter I’ve been wearing the By The Fireplace scent with Clove Oil, Chestnut Accord and Vanilla.   At the first spritz, you get a hit of burning woodfire. It may not be something everyone loves but I’ve always loved musky, earthy scents like Patchouli and Vetiver so these fragrances are right up my alley. 


I seem to allow myself to have a cocktail more during the holiday seasons than I usually do throughout the year.  This one’s about 1 million calories (265 to be exact)  so one small glass is enough.  I’m so loving Eggnog with a shot of Bailey’s Irish Creme with a large ice cube. Christmassy goodness. 

And this concludes my favourite things.  I hope you’ve enjoyed them and even found something new to try out.  I love hearing from you so if they’re anything you think I should try, let me know! 

Thank you for joining me today. If you haven’t done so already, don’t forget to subscribe to my blog and join me over on Instagram BellWitchManor
If you feel so inclined to buy me a hot chocolate so that I can continue to create content like this, you can do so here.

Happiest of Holidays to you and yours.



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