5 Woolly Winter Essentials

5 Woolly Winter Essentials

As the autumn chill enters, so do my favourite woolly accessories. With these cuddly pieces, I am armed for winter!

1. Over-the-Knee Socks ^

I tend to wear tights through the winter, so my best trick is to wear warm tall socks over top. They can be rolled up or down, so perfect for transitioning to sweltering indoor heat or for working up a sweat on a brisk walk. These are from Cath Kidston, and also happen to be adorable.

2. A Scarf to Wrap Around My Face

5 Woolly Winter Essentials

As I learned from Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone, there are many ways to wear a scarf. It can simply hang from your neck, or you can tie it in place to fight the wind. My favourite is to start with the end and wrap tight layers around my neck when it’s really cold! This is my Exeter College scarf because I have mad college pride.

3. Cashmere Leggings

When cold comes to freezing, these haven’t failed me yet. Great as pajamas or to wear out, the only problem is sometimes they’re TOO warm. These are from BCBG and have lasted me a couple of years so far.

4. Cashmere Fingerless Gloves

5 Woolly Winter Essentials

These recycled cashmere Turtle Dove gloves from Indigo are perfect because I can still use my fingers, but they keep my wrists and hands super warm. If I’m especially cold I can ball my fingers into a fist and so far that’s been warm enough.

5. Woolly Hat! ^

If my head is warm, the rest of me is that much warmer. When I couldn’t figure out my heating last winter I even wore this thing to sleep. Hey, pixie cuts are cold. This one is from Forms, one of my favourite nooks in Camden.

What are your wintery essentials?

miss xandra bee

P.S. throwback to last year’s woolly wonders… 

Pumpkins, Ghibli Style

Pumpkins, Ghibli Style

Pumpkins, Ghibli StylePumpkins, Ghibli StylePumpkins, Ghibli StylePumpkins, Ghibli Style

Carving pumpkins to a playlist of “Thriller,” Wizard Rock, and songs about candy. There are no erasers, so you have to slow down and plan and focus. [Or, like Steve's sudoku pumpkin, be adaptable]. Then light them up in the window and watch Ghostbusters by pumpkinlight.

miss xandra bee

P.S. Kiki, World’s Coolest Minimalist Witch

4 Things I Do Every Day to Stay Productive and Happy


Every day I have four non-negotiables. When I do these things, I am happier, more productive, and feel more accomplished:

♡ Journal

♡ Check emails

♡ Exercise

♡ Tidy

At first I ticked them off every day, Gretchen Rubin style, and was most successful when I gave myself the incentive of colouring to finish them! The problem with this method is that I was doing the tasks because of my obsession with finishing lists, or with colouring, when really the tasks in themselves are rewarding.

So now, instead of a list, I am trigged by my daily routine.

I noticed that I was most successful at tidying, because I wouldn’t let myself go to bed until the flat was clean. Without realizing it, I was setting a trigger. So I decided to set other triggers too.


I journal first thing when I sit down to do work for the day, whether it’s in the library or on my café crawl. Instinct tells me to rush straight into “productive” work, but I need that morning meditation to slow down, reflect, and enjoy.



After lunch, my energy lulls. Getting back into work mode can be difficult, so this is when I have my concentrated email-checking time. I set a timer for 15 minutes and plow through one by one without letting myself get distracted. At the buzzer I get up to take a break from the screen, then it’s back to the second 15 minute block, if necessary. 



Exercise has the greatest effect on my day, making me feel accomplished and energized when I do it, or sluggish and defeated when I don’t. Luckily I live close to a beautiful park where I love to jog, and in a city with lots of hilly, windy streets, perfect for a brisk march. I make sure to do one of these things, or at least a quick yoga flow or Blogilates video if I’m feeling masochistic. I make sure to do something before dinner so I don’t feel too full. A good workout in the afternoon also means better sleep.



Like Monica Geller, I like things clean. So I sleep better at night knowing that everything is in its place, and when I get up in the morning, it’s really a fresh start.

My routine shifts each day, but these four tasks ground and support me. What do you have to do every single day? You owe it to yourself to get them done!

miss xandra bee

P.S. Inbox Zero: How to Manage Email so it doesn’t Consume Your Life

Mini Adventure: Pie-Baking Day


Baking tends to be a rushed activity for me: I’m usually working up to an event or just craving cookies as soon as bake-able. See, I even called it “work” even though it is for pleasure. So when I saw Minimalist Baker’s Pumpkin Spiced Apple Pie recipe, I decided to take my time and devote all of Saturday to the baking of it. 

I read over the recipe carefully, because often I overlook equipment I might need or extra steps I need to take. Our kitchen came furnished, but we’re still tailoring it to our needs, so the pie was a good excuse to get a pie pan, a pair of [bright blue] tongs, a whisk, and some mixing bowls that double as fruit bowls. 

That morning I had selected a range of sweet and tart apples from our weekly market shop. Yum yum yum. Then I picked up some pumpkin puree from Real Foods – I was so surprised to find it in this country! In the days to follow I attempted my own pumpkin butter from scratch, but was grateful for this shortcut in my first attempt.

Overall, I didn’t mess up the pie too much, but trying a lattice top was not an option, as the crust was simply too crumbly. I think next time I need to use colder, harder butter. Nevertheless, it was delish, especially with some Swedish glace, one of my favourite non-dairy ice cream options. It’s officially autumn, people!
What autumnal goodies have you been enjoying?

miss xandra bee

P.S. Halloween is just around the corner! Here are some last-minute ways to celebrate.

Sunday Sampling: Date Like Jane Austen


♡ Add this DIY knitted wall piece to my to craft list please.

Jane Austen Rules for Dating – just as relevant as ever.

42 Ways to Make Sure People Like and Respect You: another gem found via Smart, Pretty, and Awkward!

♡ Balancing gratitude with frustration: Make two lists.

♡ With a minimalist edge: Make Home Life a Priority.

Literary Cures for Emotional Crises: so necessary!

♡ The Ultimate Guide to Binge-Watching Gilmore Girls. Just yes.

miss xandra bee

Being a Heroine

Mini Adventures


Simple Fix