Winter is all fun and games until after New Year’s when all the festivities are over and the only thing to look forward to are more rain, numb toes, and chapped lips.
That being said, wintertime is the best time to slow down and cozy up with that book you kept saying you’d read and that knitting project you forgot about amid the holiday rush. Here are some things this winter that sparked joy for me; enjoy!
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1. “Green Dreamer” is the empowering eco-conscious podcast we all need to bolster our spirits while fighting for the earth.
I have very recently discovered that podcasts are great (sorry to everyone who kept recommending podcasts to me that it took me THIS LONG to start listening to them!).
Green Dreamer by eco-creative Kaméa Chayne explores sustainability from various angles and topics, from environmental policy to food packaging to the privilege of conscious consumerism. I love the focus on innovation and solutions rather than the gloom and doom that’s prevalent in so much environmental dialogue, and I end up feeling hopeful after listening.
If you’re curious about what victories we can celebrate in the
2. This jacket from The Arrivals is the best purchase I have ever made.
I grew up in the eternal sunshine of southern California, where winter was just three months you would deal with by walking really fast and eating a lot of soup. I didn’t know about layering, or down jackets, or wool socks, and came to Seattle wholly unprepared and miserable.
Fast forward two years, and I am still intolerant of the cold, but now I have enough disposable income to buy warm things! I finally sprung for a very expensive, but extremely warm down jacket from The Arrivals, and I am not being hyperbolic when I say this is probably the best thing I have ever bought. I still hate winter, but at least I can go outside without instantly regretting having ever been born!
3. This is the only thing I’ve tried that actually prevents and treats ingrown hairs!
TMI, but I have been struggling with ingrown hairs in the, uh, nether regions for a while. I’ve tried everything from not shaving to exfoliating scrubs, but nothing really worked until Fur offered to send me their Ingrown Concentrate to try out.
Since I began using Fur a few times a week, inflamed, painful ingrown hairs have become a distant memory. Their products are non-toxic, vegan, and cruelty-free, and I highly recommend them!
4. This natural face mask is a holy grail product for taming breakouts!
I’d heard marvelous and miraculous reviews of Herbivore’s Blue Tansy mask and finally tried it this past month. The mask helps clear up my skin and isn’t too drying, even in the dry winter weather. Plus, it’s all natural, vegan, and cruelty-free. I highly recommend trying this mask if you struggle with acne-prone skin. (My complete skincare routine for acne-prone skin is coming soon!)
5. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez gives me hope for the future.
For a long time, I have been disillusioned with the American political system and its potential to change for the better. I still am, but seeing more diverse representation in Congress than ever before has me really hopeful!
In particular, Congress member Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (or, AOC as she’s often called—you know, like JFK) has me inspired to be more engaged in politics again. A working-class woman of color, she’s fearless in speaking the truth and standing up to power; and if the conservative obsession with her is any indication, she has those in power scared. I know she’ll inspire a generation of girls and women from diverse backgrounds, and that gives me so much hope for the future.
6. This funny, intimately relatable coming-of-age story is one of my favorite novels of all time.
When I picked up Chemistry by Weike Wang at my local bookstore, I wasn’t expecting the emotional magnitude that this little novel delivers. It tells the story of a chemistry Ph.D. student who begins to wonder if the path she’s been on her entire life is actually the right one for her…but it becomes so much more than that.
As an Asian American woman who abandoned science for a less traditional vocation, I found the story intimately familiar (as many of you know, I have a B.A. in physics and decided that the field was not for me). I laughed and cried and laughed again, all in one sitting.
7. Sorry to Bother You is the anti-capitalist acid trip of a movie I can’t stop thinking about (starring all BIPOC leads).
Sorry to Bother You follows the main character, Cassius Green, a black man navigating his fellow telemarketers’ push to unionize. Sounds straightforward, but trust me…it gets deliciously weirder and weirder.
The film is shot completely in 75mm, which gives it an intimate perspective that’s intensified by the increasingly strange chain of events and cast of characters. I don’t want to give away much, but I’ll say it’s a damning yet nuanced look at the ways that capitalistic entities trap and seduce workers into becoming complicit in systemic oppression, as well as the costs of complicity.
This movie was so good, I watched it twice in one week. There’s so much in it that it’s completely worthy of multiple viewings. Just go watch it!
8. Marie Kondo sparks so much joy!
Last year, I read The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up by Marie Kondo. I expected cheesy self-help dribble but instead gained a framework for having a healthier relationship with my possessions.
When she came out with a show on Netflix, Tidying Up with Marie Kondo, I was beyond excited. The show is incredibly wholesome and feel-good, and it’s causing a movement of people questioning their relationship to their material possessions. In addition, I derive great joy from watching Marie Kondo introduce husbands to the novel idea that they need to be responsible for their own belongings.